Tell a Street Preacher

It is Gay Pride season. Just as predictable as the rainbow flags and great music are the street preachers and condemnation. Some of Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 6.30.41 PMthese street evangelists present a “softer” approach; they are not bullhorn carrying or “sodomite” screaming. They arrive with smiles and slick tracts and smooth “Hey guy, I love ya” banter, but they too are destructive.

Their message can be reduced to: because you are gay or lesbian or transgender, you are a sinner and must repent or change so that you are acceptable to God and worthy of eternal life. They often think they are the kinder, gentler and inherently Jesus-like alternative.

My experience tells me that they are more damaging.

Most people ignore the God-militia bullies. You know the sort: grotesque repent, hell and “homo” shirts and tall banners with a list of those that God hates. The “hate” always includes gays, or a code word for gays — sodomite, sexual perverts or abominations.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 7.09.10 PMI have been going to Pride events for over eight years. People generally ignore the God-militia.

Lately though, the smiling street preachers/evangelists are making their way to Pride events. They want to be your pal and then BOOM — the subject of sexual orientation comes up (they will call it sexual preference). The LGBT community is presumed to be outside the Kingdom of God or the reach of it until they “repent” from being gay or trans.

Because they are comparing themselves to the God-militia and often disdain the LGBT affirming churches and Christians at the Pride events, they envision themselves as the moderate and “right” way to reach out to the LGBT community.

I try, over and over, in person, on line and in blogs to let these street preachers/evangelists know that they are perhaps MORE offensive and damaging. I have a few years experience of witnessing the attempts of these do-gooders coming to Pride events and effectively hugging the LGBT community with knives in their hands.

"God Has a Better Way"  (than) Michael Brown

“God Has a Better Way” (than) Michael Brown

Two years ago, Michael Brown led about 200 red shirt wearing, “love” offering, you-must-change messaging Christians into PrideCharlotte. It was wholly ineffective. I watched the website they set up for contact after the event. Each person that did visit it, was angered by the “bait and switch”.

In an attempt to communicate the impact before the event, I wrote the mission statement and intent of the “God Has a Better Way” invasion and asked how people inside the event might respond. I then followed up with a full report on the invasion.

While the street preachers and street evangelists play mean or even nice, I lead a completely different action.

So, I am soliciting the help of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. I need your words and thoughts.

For concrete example of the smiling, you-must-stop-being gay example of street preacher, I am going to use Pastor Steve Sanchez, Hope Chapel Christian Church, LA. He attended West Hollywood (WeHo) Pride yesterday.

I have offered to give him insights and reasons why the actions of his team are damaging, and he is not hearing.

So, I am asking others to relay to Pastor Sanchez and other street preachers/evangelists the impact of their actions. I expect interaction by other street evangelists and preachers. It could get hot on this thread. Be considerate. Those that have read my blog for years know the tone I set and maintain. Please honor it.

My preference would be that those of us that know how to love unconditionally and the faith communities that are fully welcoming to the  gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community attend Pride events. Others, please stay away. You are doing damage. Don’t believe it, stay tuned and hear the words of those you condemn.

From this point on, I will use Sanchez’ own words to describe his intentions and impressions of WeHoPride.

Explaining why Sanchez goes to Pride events to apologize, he says:Screen Shot 2013-06-09 at 7.08.28 AM

That’s why I’m called to go there: to show love, to speak truth… and to apologize on behalf of true Christians everywhere. I will tell them that I am sorry that the Christian community has not demonstrated tact, poise, reason and grace to those who are in dire need of a Savior.

Don’t get me wrong. I will talk about sin.

Inevitably, I will be asked: “Will God send me to Hell because I’m gay?”

My answer: “No one ever went to Hell because they are gay.”

Immediately, the person softens and I’m able to explain that they have sinned by breaking God’s ten Commandments. They will be judged for lying, stealing, looking with lust, hating or using God’s name as a cuss word. I warn that if they don’t change, they will end up in Hell because God is just. Then I remind them of God’s incredible grace, love and mercy as demonstrated on a cross. That if they repent and trust in Jesus, who suffered and died on their behalf, was buried for three days and rose again, they can be forgiven.

“So you see,” I’ll say, continuing the conversation, “it’s not about you being gay, it’s because you’ve sinned in these other ways. Homosexuality is a sin, it’s just not THE sin.”

When I speak to a gay person, I will be firm, but gentle—just like I am to everybody I talk to.

If I’m asked about whether gays should be married, I will not shrink back from the truth that marriage, as God created it, has always been between a man and a woman. We should never re-define a term to fit our culture’s preferences. Civil unions? Why not?

I will attempt to shake their hand, even give them a hug. I will ask them if they have ever met a Christian like me. Someone friendly, concerned, and gracious.

I suspect the answer will be no.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 5.45.41 PMAccompanying this posted picture, Sanchez writes:

What’s wrong: 1. God is a He. 2. Gay people are under God’s wrath until they they repent and trust in Christ, just like all sinners are. 3. This is not a church. A church is “God’s called out people.” Called out of the world, not the closet.

Addressing why his action is the “God-way”:

On one side I’m not hard enough according to some Christians. On the other I’m too hard. So, I’m either Westboro church, or I’m a flaming liberal. Good. That means I’m right in the middle, right where I want to be. I will call out sin wherever possible, in communities where sin is flaunted. But I will do it in a gracious, tactful, loving way. What can be more loving than to warn people of the judgment to come if they persist in their ways, and also, let them know of the love of Christ as demonstrated at the cross?

About this picture contrasting the God-militia and the affirming clergy, he writes:

I’m re-posting from yesterday to show the great divide we tried to bridge when our evangelism team went to the Pride

Seeing the God-militia and affirming faith leaders as equally dangerous.

Seeing the God-militia and affirming faith leaders as equally dangerous.

Parade yesterday. The top image is of the traditional “Christian” thugs shouting down parade-goers with anti-gay diatribe, protected by two metal gates and a cadre of sheriffs. Across from them, and just as wrong, were the gay “clergy” promoting false peace and assurance to those unrepentant and lost in their sin. All the while their loudspeakers blared worship music, and effectively drowned out the thugs. Our team quietly walked along the parade route, cheerfully handing out gospel tracts (about 10,000 of them), and having reasonable conversations with the GLBT+ crowd.

In defending his style;

I am an Ambassador of Christ as if God were making his appeal through me. If you’re not familiar with my style or my preaching, please go to my blog at Stonethepreacher.com. I am very clear on what my message is and how Christians ought to deliver the message.

Okay, there you go.

I am not targeting Pastor Sanchez specifically. He may envision himself as unusual, but he is a new breed of street preachers/evangelists showing up at Pride events.

P1010149

With Todd engaging the “softer, kinder” style of street preacher at SF Pride.

I have engaged them often. I try to have conversations to give them insight as to the impact. Most often, they leave the event or tone it down and disappear. They believe they are doing good; they believe they are doing the work of God.

I have a quick way to assess God-work. Does it bring life and love or destruction and fear? I do not see life and love, fruit and any good thing coming from the you-must-change-your-orientation street preachers/evangelists.

Gay Christians at Pride Event "Wall of Love" and str8apology

Gay Christians at Pride Event “Wall of Love” and str8apology

So, go ahead and talk to the street preachers. They do not invest time listening; they do lots of telling and assuming. Help them to hear. Express your hearts, your pain and your faith.

See you at Pride.

____________________________________________

Conservative Christians, you have gay and transgender brothers and sisters in Christ.

The church has told you for DECADES that gay and trans people are “broken” and can change. The TRUTH is coming out.

Please watch this on June 20th and begin to extend compassion to those you do not understand.

Comments

comments

Post Author

This post was written by who has written 174 posts on .

angela says:

here something to ask yourself. 1 century writer didn’t think roman was about homosexual but non procreation.

http://www.jeramyt.org/papers/paulcybl.html#_Toc261766984

Also what about NDE that shows Gay people went to heaven? He said God loved the,. They were in relationships

[Reply]

Chris says:

Steve wrote “Sorry. Regardless of your hermeneutics and your belief, or what you feel, Scripture is quite clear that homosexuality is a sin. I know you don’t believe it, don’t want to believe it, and, quite frankly, you don’t have to believe it.”

I think you meant that in your interpretation of the bible. Or is it the case that your interpretation can’t be wrong steve? Can you be wrong about what the bible says?

[Reply]

Isaac says:

The world is crashing fas and the reprobate minds are drowning without remedy. American christians groups have been infiltrated by DEMONS ON ASSIGNMENT disguising as ‘church members’ and ‘christians’ under different names. Let the true believers beware, these demons are out to destroy them. Let those who believe lies continue, the end is coming soon when we shall all know who is right. By then, it will be too late for THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN LIES to repent. God’s judgement and wrath is coming soon upon the CHILDREN OF DISOBIDIENCE!

[Reply]

Steve L. says:

Rev. Joey wrote:
“But that does not mean that the Bible is equal to God”

My friend, I’ve been around awhile and I know God’s word; check this out… Ps. 138:2: “For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.” God’s Word is His communication, His promise, the revelation of Himself to His people. It is to be a lamp to our feet in a dark and fallen world, without it we would have no way to know God or how to do God’s will. Catch catch?
The Psalmist asks Ps 119:9 “How can a young man cleanse his way? He answers, “By taking heed according to Your Word. Just a few more verses later v:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”
Joey, please get a grip! The bible reveals everything we need that pertains to life and godliness! This book demands serious study!!

Steve L.

[Reply]

Rev. Joey Reply:

And again I never said we should throw out the Bible. I hold the Bible in the highest regard. It should study and sought to be understand as it is the inspired revelation of the story of relationship with God. I use them each and every week when I preach and you may be surprised by this but I read the Bible almost every single day. I am not suggesting we get rid of it and I am not suggesting we not take it serious, quite the opposite. My point was to make a clear distinction between the Trinity and the Bible and to say the only source of salvation is Jesus Christ which is revealed to us through the Holy Spirit and the scriptures. And just to be clear, I am a clergy person so I am not new to the Bible either and have done quite extensive study of the Bible and theology.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Dearest Lily, I know Rev. Joey and he is indeed a Christian. As far as I knew, he believes in the Trinity, the Word of God and the still-speaking spirit of God. Thank you for both reading and warning, I encourage you to Read Titus 3:10 and adhere to that. You’ve now warned twice. I expect that you will obey the Word and now stop and go away and if you cannot, I will help you in that godly pursuit of obeying Him.

[Reply]

BathTub says:

Since when I have ever been banned as a nasty atheist?

You asked me to be friends on facebook!

[Reply]

Pastor steve Sanchez Reply:

Ooops. My bad. I shouldn’t have dragged you into it. You’re not a nasty atheist. Just an atheist. And a nice one at that! :)

[Reply]

I allowed Dr. Chip’s post. I sometimes only check the comments at the end of the day. The only people I have banned are some nasty atheists, two of whom have posted here already, Jim Diver and bathtub.

Otherwise, I allow pretty much all dissenting perspectives. (And it’s true that I did edit Jim Diver’s comments with a notation that said something like: “I edited this comment for my purposes.” Sometimes his comments are really, really bad. Now that he’s banned, no issues.

Thanks!

[Reply]

Jim Diver Reply:

Another flat out LIE.

Let’s look at the record, the Sunday, September 25th, 2011 post on your own blog. The subject matter was the “movie” 180.

My reply to the post was the following:

“Steve, I watched this movie a few weeks ago. I am simply not convinced. The whole argument is based on the flawed premise that a clump of cells is a human being. By that rational, a finger when chopped off, is a human being. Cells does not a human make. Humans have a personality and consciousness. A fetus hasn’t had and of those things. What does bother me the most in this video is how badly the education system has failed these people. Lack of historical knowledge and very very poor critical thinking skills.”

This is what *YOU* my post to read:

“[FULL DISCLOSURE: This atheist's comment has been edited for content and taken I have taken it out of its original context. I left in the parts of the comment that demonstrate compassion.]
Steve,
I watched this movie a few weeks ago.
What does bother me the most in this video is how badly the education system has failed these people. Lack of historical knowledge and very very poor critical thinking skills.”

Another user posted this:

“This will be my last comment on the blog until Steve posts my comment in its original, unedited form or deletes the hack job he did.
Unlike Ray and the others, I thought you might have been a better person, Steve. But I now see the frightened person you really are. Makes me sad, Steve.”

This is the edited version by Steve:

“[FULL DISCLOSURE: This atheist's comment has been edited for content and I have taken it out of its original context. I left in the parts of the comment that demonstrate compassion.]
This will be my last comment on the blog…. ”

Another user posted:

“I feel sorry for all the mothers who were forced to make that decision. I do not understand why you would want to take that decision away, when by the same logic your deity kills far more than abortion through miscarriages.”

Steve edited the post to this:

“[FULL DISCLOSURE: This atheist's comment has been edited for content and I have taken it out of its original context. I left in the parts of the comment that demonstrate compassion.]I feel sorry for all the mothers….”

Now, when I called you out here and there about your blatant dishonesty, you called me “nasty”.

Same story back in April of last year when you posted:
“In the last several weeks I’ve had to delete several comments due to to nasty attitudes. Most of them are from atheists, which is to be expected, but what surprises me is the lack of grace shown to unbelievers by those who call themselves Christians. It’s my fault for allowing some of the nasty comments through.”

What brought that on? Simple. One of your sycophants, whom you call “Righteous” made an unsupported claim (in reality it was a lie) and I called him out and and was more than willing to let him save face by backing up his claim with facts OR to retract it. Instead of taking my gracious offer, he ducked dodged and weaved again I called him out on his dishonesty and you called me “nasty”. Nasty because I expected honesty from you when the truth didn’t suit your goal.

If not allowing someone to spout lies and allow those lies to go unanswered is nasty, then I am guilty. But you are still a liar. And if there are no lying christian, then you, Stephen, are not a christian.

[Reply]

Sorry. Regardless of your hermeneutics and your belief, or what you feel, Scripture is quite clear that homosexuality is a sin. I know you don’t believe it, don’t want to believe it, and, quite frankly, you don’t have to believe it.

I’m not going to belabor the point. Many have been deceived over the years on who God is and what he requires. No words I say will convince you. You have the Scriptures. You have the prophets. I’ve just attempted to warn you…in a nice way. The blood, so to speak, is really on your hands. What can I say that God has not already said? (And I’m sure you know the verses.)

As far as those other people? We go everywhere and preach. We only go to two Pride events a year. We preach and share literally everywhere, and to your delight, I’m sure, mostly at predominantly “straight events.”

We are to warn all people. We are to into ALL the world and preach the good news (Mark 16:15). And the bad news too.

Thanks! But I’m intractable. Might as well try to convince me that 2 + 2 does not equal 4. (And actually, some atheists have tried to do that.)

[Reply]

Chris Reply:

Steve wrote “But I’m intractable. Might as well try to convince me that 2 + 2 does not equal 4. (And actually, some atheists have tried to do that.)”

In other words you can’t be wrong so don’t confuse you with the facts? How is this any different to ego worship?

[Reply]

Jim Diver Reply:

You nailed it right there Chris.

Steve has constructed a god that strangely enough believes everything that Steve believes….

Steve, you are not intractable, you are incorrigible. You refuse to learn or be taught. You think you are the world’s foremost authority on everything. A classic case of Dunning-Kruger syndrome. You wield the bible like a 11 year old who just found his granddaddy’s .44.

[Reply]

Bike Bubba says:

2 Timothy 3:16-17. Also see the Council of Nicea, Psalm 119, records of the Maccabean wars, and the words of most any of the Prophets; “the Word of the Lord came to….”.

Now you may quibble, if you like, that the particular wording is not “inerrant” and such, but if indeed God’s word is sufficient for all things (2 Tim. 3:16-17), perfect (Psalm 19:7), and the like, it’s not exactly one of the more difficult doctrines to derive. Christians and Jews alike have affirmed their Scriptures as such for millenia.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

You of course know the Bible was NOT written in English in the 21st century culture? Hopefully. Lots of room for differences on non-salvation issues. There are 31K denominations of Christianity worldwide. I trust that you do not envision that your way is the SOLE whole truth.

[Reply]

lily Reply:

Kathy you are a false prophet, you are leading men and women astray with your false teaching about homosexuality. You claim to LOVE the lgbt comm. but you don’t speak truth to them; that is not love – it is unloving. Love is of God and He is the truth. Homosexuality is forbidden in scripture, and has benn since the day it was first written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Loving someone doesn’t mean that you have to condone their wrong actions. You have been aided in your wrong thinking by others who re-translate and distort scripture to cover their own sin – beware of the road you are taking, it leads to destruction.

[Reply]

Rev. Joey Reply:

I appreciate your thoughts, but humbly disagree with your assertion. 2 Tim does in fact declare that all scripture is inspired and good, but that in no way declares in inerrancy as the two are different thing. The sermons I preach on Sunday’s are inspired by the Holy Spirit but I would never claim they are inerrant.

Also it should be noted that many scholars believe that Paul died before the Gospel of Mark (first gospel written) had been written. This would leave a significant portion of scripture out and being that Paul was Jewish he was likely referring to just the Hebrew scripture.

One other about the law being perfect, I would agree God’s law is perfect, and can be summed up in this, love God, and love your neighbor, do this and you fulfill all the law.

Finally as my seminary preaching professor put it “This is not the Word of God (holding Bible), this reveals the Word of God who is Jesus Christ.”

[Reply]

Rev. Joey says:

Pastor Steve, when did Jesus claim the Bible was infallible and inerrant? Or where is that claimed elsewhere in scripture. I would propose that this an extra-biblical doctrine that came about during the revivals of the 19th Century and therefore is not even a long held tradition of the church.

[Reply]

Steve L. Reply:

Hi Joey:
Just wanted to point out a few verses concerning God’s perfect word!
Psalm 19:7 – “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (ESV)

John Gill comments on the above: “All the Scriptures of truth, which are profitable for doctrine; for setting doctrine in a clear light, and for the vindication and establishment of it, and are the rule of doctrine both to preachers and hearers; and which are ‘perfect’, contain the whole mind and will of God, both with respect to faith and practice; the Gospel is a perfect plan and scheme of spiritual and saving truths: it gives an account of perfect things; as of the perfect righteousness of Christ, and complete justification by it; of the full as well as free pardon of sins by the blood of Christ; and of redemption and salvation from all sin and evils by him: and it also shows where true perfection is; namely, in Christ.” Please see Psalm 18:30 as well-

Just as an aside, the synonym for the word infallible is perfect!

Blessings, Steve-

[Reply]

Rev. Joey Reply:

With all due respect Pastor Steve, that does not answer the question of the origins of the doctrine of inerrancy. It does declare that the law is perfect but that is directly referencing the law given to Moses in the Torah and not a full Biblical canon or even the full Hebrew scriptures. It is only referring to this one small portion. Also in order for your assertion to be correct then the text of the entire Bible would have to have been written by God, using the authtors as mere scribes writing down what they were told. There is no Biblical basis for that. Once I had a friend say to me, “but is that not possible”. My answer was well yes it is possible for a God who can create and control the entire universe, but that there is no evidence to suggest that. Instead the Bible was inspired by God, but written by fallible humans, who were unable to to speak beyond their own understanding. Now this does not mean we disregard but it does mean we must consider the context of the author, who they were speaking to and what they were speaking about.

I would also state that I believe that all that is necessary for salvation is contained within the scripture and in the Gospel. Belief in inerrancy and infallibility and even the words of the Bible are not necessary but all that is necessary is faith Jesus Christ, son of God, know to us through the Holy Spirit.

[Reply]

Steve L. Reply:

Rev. Joey wrote:
” Belief in inerrancy and infallibility and even the words of the Bible are not necessary but all that is necessary is faith Jesus Christ”

You’re not serious!!! If that’s the case, I guess I’ll ditch my bible and just throw up a net and catch whatever doctrine happens to come floating by!
2 Peter 1:3 states: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence”-

Joey, how do we know anything about Christianity except through the holy scriptures; they are the only source, the only record of Christianity ever written! And by the way, Peter also declares that ” no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit”-
The bible is all there is; no other resource for God breathed information exists! (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV) This is how one finds out about His great salvation!

Sincerely,
Steve L. not… Steve Sanchez although he would surely agree with me!

Rev. Joey Reply:

Well just to be clear, I never said the scriptures were not Holy and good, not inspired by God and a great tool to help us understand God and our relationship with the creator. But that does not mean that the Bible is equal to God. After all in John 3:16 Jesus says all who believe in will have everlasting life. not all who believe in the Bible. Our salvation is found in Jesus Christ and nothing else. To lift up the Bible as God is to turn the Bible into an idol. There is only the trinity, God, son, and Holy Spirit. The Bible is not part of the trinity and is therefore not God. To place your faith in the Bible is to place your faith in words and law and misses the point. Our faith is to be placed in the one who created the universe and is revealed through the Bible but once again is not the Bible.

And just to be clear I would never advocate getting throwing out the scriptures. They are the most important tool we have, however the canon as we know took 400 years to pull together and was established at under Iraneous. The earliest use of the gospels and the acts and epistles as a loose canon was by Justin Martyr in the early 2nd century with the first uniquely Christian canon not being proposed until the year 140. That means people found salvation in Christ for over a hundred years before any real gospel scripture were widely accepted and used in the way we now know them. So salvation was not rooted in the Bible itself but in the message of the Bible which is the message of Jesus which is hope and salvation through redemption in Christ. Jesus is central to salvation and nothing else.

Rev. Joey Reply:

Also I would add the Holy Spirit is a wonderful resource and completely capable of reveal God to as full member of the trinity.

Kathy | Canyonwalker says:

This is just my quirkiness–PLEASE use paragraphs. My eyes scan over things that are constructed this way. Thanks.

[Reply]

Mark Gueffroy says:

How dare you? How dare Pastor Sanchez?

Your assumption that your interpretation of the Bible is more correct than mine (or any other gay Christian) is arrogant, self-righteous and not of Christ.

Attending an event for purposes other than it was intended (to shove your propaganda down other people’s throats) is disrespectful, offensive and again, not of Christ.

Check yourselves.

[Reply]

Mark Gueffroy Reply:

Grrr. Why did my comment show up as a new post instead of a reply to Scott deBeaubien’s post?

[Reply]

Wow! Great post. I hear your point of view, and respect it. Mine is more in line with Pastor Steve Sanchez, since I am a member of Hope Chapel. When it comes to sin, we don’t preach repentance to specific groups or individuals, we preach repentance to EVERYONE equally. The saying at our Church is that when I am out on the streets, or talking with anybody about Christ – I am also preaching to myself. We are all sinners, and God will not spare any of us from judgement, unless we repent and trust in His Son Jesus Christ. It really is that simple. The Bible tells us that we are all “Children of wrath” – by nature, and that nature lies to us constantly and tells us we can make our own decisions about our own lives and that we can live any way we want as long as we “Believe” in Jesus. The trouble is, of course, I can believe in a warm puppy, and call that “Love” and get all warm and fuzzy inside every time I think about that warm puppy, but that’s not really going to make a difference for me now is it? Jesus said, specifically, those who love Him will obey Him. God made the rules, not us. He didn’t do it because He’s some sort of cosmic killjoy either, he’s not out to crash our party. He does it for our good, for the good of all of us. Pastor Steve is right in that being gay is no more a sin than adultery, or stealing, or lying, or whatever. God says though, that if you break any of his Commandments, then you are guilty of breaking all of them. Romans tells us that the wages of sin is death. We are all sinners and we are all doomed – without Christ. So, the only question at that point becomes – did Jesus really call us to a higher standard? Does He truly expect me to live differently? Does He ask me to share truth with others so that they will not be in danger of the fires of Hell? Yes, yes, and YES! That’s what we do, and that’s why we do it! We don’t share Christ for anything that we get out of it. It’s about Him, God’s desire to see sinners saved by turning to Him in repentance. Repenting simply means to change your mind. Changing your mind about what? About TRUTH. Jesus said “I came to testify about the truth.” God is love, but God is most certainly also – TRUTH. That’s the hardest part to get past in our present, permissive, all about me and my appetites culture. Truth is still TRUTH! You cannot deny that God’s Word is truth without telling a lie (an untruth). You cannot deny that God has the right to tell us how to live without telling a lie. You cannot deny that His will should take precedence over yours without telling a lie. It’s not about how you live, it’s about what you stand for – and what you believe. Just because we live in an age of technology where everyone every single day expects to find the answer in the machine – the answer to life, the universe and everything, just because we live that way, expectantly, doesn’t mean that the truth has not already been revealed to us. It was revealed to us – by God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ. It came at a time when communications were good, roads were good, there was the written word to insure it would be preserved – for US!

You really have to examine this stuff carefully. Thumbing your nose at God and His Word and His Son and then somehow expecting to get into Heaven when you get there ain’t gonna work for ya. It’s a very serious thing to fall into the hands of the living God. I know, I was 35 years old when I got saved. But today, I’ve been a believer for over 18 years, I’ve been clean and sober for over 30, and I’m still learning every single day about God, and what He wants for my life, and how He expects me to live. Don’t off-handedly assume that you or anyone else can know better than God how to live your life! That is SIN! At the heart of it, sin IS REBELLION against God! It really is simply saying “I know how to live my life better than God does!” That’s what SIN is! And that’s what our enemy the Devil wants us to believe – more than anything else is that we can live without God and be just fine. I’m telling you, that’s a lie, and living that way is sin. Plain and simple folks. Our society is nearly done. We’ve gone astray and we’ve put God so far in the closet that we can pretend not to see Him any longer. But guess what, He is still there. He’s never, in fact, gone anywhere. We can pretend all we want that He is not real, but we’re only fooling ourselves. That’s why the Bible says they are “Fools” who claim there is no God, or live like He is not real.

I pray the Lord opens the eyes of one person, at least one person with Pastor Steve’s tracts and witnessing at the Pride Parades. Of course you all have the “Right” to live any way you want, that’s not the issue. The issue is whether that will get you into Heaven or not. Better find the answer to that question – and hurry. You may not have much time left. None of us knows the day or the time. This very day, my life may be demanded of me, and I may have to account for my actions. I’ve made tons of mistakes and hurt plenty of people too. Even us Christians. We all make mistakes. But, in the long run, Christians haven’t made as many as other folks. People like Hitler, like the Supreme Court justices who voted to allow abortion on demand in our Country. There just are a lot of evil people out there. I don’t think that Christians “Sin” intentionally trying to harm others as your posts suggests, I think that Churches are made of people and people make mistakes. I wish it weren’t so, but none of us will be perfect this side of Heaven. Only Jesus was perfect, that’s why He is the only one we can trust. Just Jesus. Just give me Jesus. That’s all I want.

Soap box off.

[Reply]

Hi Kathy,

I just posted your post at my blog. Thanks for the write up. Here it is: http://wp.me/p1GZWy-3yG

[Reply]

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for the article. I wish more people would read it. You covered my perspective well, except for the wielding the knife comment. Also you took out the “Stinger” at the end of my blog post. It should end like this:

“I will attempt to shake their hand, even give them a hug. I will ask them if they have ever met a Christian like me. Someone friendly, concerned, and gracious.

I suspect the answer will be no.

And that’s a sin.”

Other than that, it was well-written and, from your perspective, I understand.

Again, my intention is to tell the truth, the truth that there can be no gay Christians. There can be no adulterer Christians. No lying Christians, etc. Sin can not be identified with a born again believer. A changed life, a life conscious of sin but walking in holiness is the mark of a true follower of Christ. You can’t have it both ways. Now someone struggling with their sin of homosexuality is different. They understand that it is sin, repent, and may even go back to it, but they trust Christ to deliver them, and attempt to walk in holiness.

I know we disagree, and that’s okay with me. My job is to deliver the message so that you will understand, because ultimately, salvation is of the Lord.

Thank you,

Steve

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Thank you for your comment. I think if yo look more closely, you will see the words you think are omitted.
The knives comment it from one friend in particular whose parents are preachers and “love” as you do. I did not attribute that comment to you.
I would suggest you pick up a copy of Dr. James Brownson’s “Bible, Gender and Sexuality” and reconsider you comment about the non-existance of gay Christians.
PLEASE go visit: Christ Chapel of the Valley, Pastor JerrelL Walls, Open Door Ministries, Pastor Dan Burchett or Glory Tabernacle, Pastor Sandra Turnbull and tell me what the people are in those congregations is they are not gay Christians.
Be brave pastor. Rather than deny their existence, go visit those churches and listen to the Holy Spirit because sir, you are WRONG. The Spirit of God indeed does indwell His LGBT children and apparently without your approval.
Go see, and tell me.
We will talk. Your heart is good, but your flesh is VERY much in the way of seeing this move of God. Don’t miss it — it is quite amazing.

[Reply]

Steve Sanchez Reply:

I’d love to have the opportunity to meet these pastors. The one big question before I would meet them would be this (and I would ask the same of you and your readers):

Do you believe the Bible to be the inerrant, infallible, inspired and authoritative Word of God?

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

I do believe the Bible to be the Word of God and I do know:
Some books were added AFTER the last author died and were not written by the author as we think it commonly to be
There are often no English words to translate the sense/meaning/intent of the original language
Translations, especially on the word we now read as ‘homosexual’ did NOT have that meaning of what we now know as a homosexual today
People often try to impose a 21st century view on 1st century and before mind and culture
People read with their own filters (we ALL do– A L L ) and inject our experiences with God, the Holy Spirit, others, traditions, teachings, and translations we use.
People have radically different abilities to reason thru Scripture

If this were not so — there would not be 33 K denominations of Christianity world wide.

I use the Bible as my book in conjunction with all of the above and arrive at what resonates with the Spirit in me. To call that invalid b/c it does not agree with you or another is not only arrogant, but blasphemous. I INDEED have the Spirit of God in me.

I would GLADLY introduce you to those pastors. you let me know when. I would suggest you go unannounced so that you can see an “everyday” service and ask your Spirit– “is God here?”

If you spend one day, one afternoon with me, I think you would know how I feel about and interact with God.

I use Bible and Spirit. And they use me.

Steve Sanchez Reply:

Hi Kathy,

Well, then, we will never agree. Not until you repent and put your trust in Jesus, too. (I don’t think I have to offer an explanation, you know where I stand.) But I’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

I would love to meet your “advocate pastors, though, even you. I understand that in some things we may not ever agree, but both of us certainly can’t be right. I do appreciate these conversations.

Stay tuned for some more commentary from the Pride Parade and videos, too.

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

You HAVE to be kidding! You actually believe that because I hold a different theology on this than do you, that I do not trust in Jesus and need to repent?
I thought the Bible was pretty clear in what it means to be saved and I THINK you may have added on a burden. Sorry, not picking it up. Don’t have to.

Joyfully His Reply:

To Sanchez:
That is sooooo scary that you trust the bible more than God. Jesus says My sheep know My voice so if you knew Him, you would ask Him DIRECTLY to tell you the truth instead of relying on your fallable understanding of the bible. You are not smart enough to know what it means. None of us are. Only God can reveal truth to us by His Holy Spirit when you seek, ask and knock in humility. You are in idolatry for putting the bible before God Himself. God must be first and you must ask Him and be able to hear Him. He will then show you how to correctly interpret His written word. First go to the Living Word, Jesus Himself. It’s just like he says in the scriptures…”you think u know me thru the bible but u dont because you don’t come to Me”..these are the words of Jesus. Go look it up. You sir, need to repent and change, not gays.

Mark Gueffroy Reply:

Pearls before swine, Kathy, pearls before swine.

We may as well call him Alexander the coppersmith (see 2 Timothy 4).

[Reply]

Pastor steve Sanchez Reply:

To joyfully his: I know God through His Word. He’s spoken once through His Son, then through His Word (Read Hebrews 1). I certainly cannot trust what I “hear” only His Word. I know we disagree on this.

Melanie Reply:

From Steve: “Again, my intention is to tell the truth, the truth that there can be no gay Christians. There can be no adulterer Christians. No lying Christians, etc.”

Then you may want to explain all of the Christians in the church that are divorced for non-biblical reasons. What about the ones that are divorced for non-biblical reasons and then remarried? Why aren’t you out telling THOSE people that they are not right with God. Why arent you out passing out tracts at the courthouse. An extremely high percentage of people in the US identify as Christians. Why are you not passing out tracts to those people? Why are you focusing on gays?

[Reply]

Pastor steve Sanchez Reply:

Melanie,

Our team goes to two Pride events a year. We go everywhere else, up to three times a week to places that aren’t “gay.”

We are equal opportunity evangelists. But now I see your point: The gay community is under served by our efforts. Perhaps we should schedule more events? :)

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

I don’t think you are “hearing” Steve. I hope you read both Chris’ comment who did go to Hope and the link of comments of how people feel when you do your “ministry” work at http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/responses-to-god-has-a-better-way-action-planned-for-charlotte-gay-pride-august-27th/

Next time I am LA, I will invite you to a meal or church — you are not correct in thinking that there are no gay believers.

Christopher Reply:

There is so much I could say in reply to Pastor Sanchez, I don’t know where to begin.

I actually attended Hope Chapel for about half a year back in 1995 not long after I moved to California. My first service was led by Greg Koukl, who gave one of the best sermons on situational ethics I’ve ever heard, so much so, that I still have the cassette tape from the service and listen to it at least twice a year. And their worship team is one of the best I’ve ever experienced. Eventually, the drive from Burbank became too much, and because I was beginning to come to grips with my sexual orientation, I knew that Hope Chapel, for all its positives, would not be a safe space for me to be honest. Disillusioned with church in general, I ended up walking away from fellowship for two years until I was led to Christ Chapel of the Valley, where I was finally able to integrate my faith and sexual orientation in a healthy way. So, yes, Pastor, I’m one of those gay Christians you claim don’t exist.

I imagine you make this claim because you choose to see homosexuality as solely an external behavior rather than an internal state of identification, which has nothing to do with any kind of external expression. The fact that you can’t even accept such basic, commonly accepted understanding about human sexuality demonstrates a willful level of ignorance on your part. You’re smart enough to understand this, but you’ve simply chosen not to. As a result, you redefine actual human beings out of existence and dehumanize us in the process, since you boil self-identification down to mere sex acts.

I challenge you to stop worshiping your Theology with a capital T and spend extended time with actual gay Christians. Come visit one of the three churches Kathy mentioned. I know all three pastors, have spent time in all three congregations and know the sincerity and passion for Christ that is evident in each. Unless, of course, you’re just too scared to discover something you really don’t want to know because it might blow apart your worldview and leave you in the uncomfortable position of openly denying the work of the Holy Spirit. And you know how God feels about that.

I also have to take issue with your claim to us allegedly unrepentant gays that “homosexuality is no worse than any other sin.” Your very presence at gay pride actually disproves this. When was the last time you spent time in front of the Erotic Expo in downtown LA imploring attendees about the dangers of porn addiction? When was the last time you spent time in front of Citibank, demanding they be brought to justice for financially abusing the poor with shady home loans and demanding that they repent for their greed and avarice? When was the last time you spent time in front of Walmart on the day after Christmas, telling crazed shoppers that God hates mammon and unbridled lust for material things? When was the last time you took a group to picket a local contractor and tell them that God hates the fact that they steal wages from their undocumented employees, simply because they can? Jesus had plenty to say about all these sins, which are practiced all the time by many Christians. And don’t get me started on divorced pastors and church leaders.

What finally set me free–other than God’s grace, of course–was the realization that I wasn’t a “Christian struggling with homosexuality.” I was a homosexual struggling with Christianity–a particular kind of evangelical “my way or the highway” Christianity. However, after much study of Scripture, it became evident that much of what has been broadcast from pulpits like yours was a lot of proof texting, often driven by fear of the different and the unknown.

Because of fear, the church throughout history has gotten it wrong on SO many issues, it’s easy to lose count. They got it wrong with the Gentiles. They got it wrong with Galileo. They got it wrong with the role of women in the church. They got it wrong with slavery. They got it wrong with interracial marriage. And now they’re getting it wrong with the role of GLBT people in society and the church.

In all these cases, the Bible still remained the Word of God. Nothing in it changed. The only difference is that humble Christians recognized that their understanding and interpretation of the Word was faulty and needed correction. And then they got it right.

All it takes to understand us, Pastor Sanchez, is a willingness to be humble and be open and to listen. Are you willing to do this?

[Reply]

Jim Diver Reply:

“Again, my intention is to tell the truth, the truth that there can be no gay Christians. There can be no adulterer Christians. No lying Christians, etc. ”

Then you expect us to believe that you have never lied since becoming a “christian”? That you have never lusted since becoming a christian? That you have never sinned at all since becoming a christian??

BULL.

If there are no lying christians, then *YOU*, Steve Sanchez, are not a christian.

Why? Because I know for a fact that you are a liar Steve. Or should we bring up how you have the dishonest habit of editing the words of people who post comments on your blog to make them appear that they support your claims instead of criticism they actually posted?? That’s called lying, Steven.

[Reply]

BathTub Reply:

“No lying Christians, etc.”

Which is why we call out your dishonesty so often. You know at the drop of a hat I can start listing your dishonesty and Ray’s.

I’ll remind you that I have an open bet on your blog against Righteous Richard, Richard won’t defend his lies after a particularly huge whopper, of course Richards response was to run away.

I stand by that bet Steve, if Richard took it up, I would send you the money tomorrow. I stand behind my words.

[Reply]

Melanie says:

Just a little backstory on me before I comment:

First, I’m a straight Christian ally. I wasn’t raised as a Christian, and I came to a committed relationship with Christ later in life. I was similar to you Kathy in that I was taught that the bible taught that being gay was wrong. I never questioned, just accepted.

It was through an atheist friend of mine (also an attorney) who showed me that I had absolutely no right to deny the rights of others through initiatives like Prop 8 here in California. It all snowballed from there in questioning MANY of my other more dogmatic beliefs. He was the one, though, that showed me how Christians have characteristically denied the rights of others trying to cloak it in a secular purpose. From there I could look back and see how Christians were wrong time and time again on issues like slavery and interracial marriage.

I too believe that the tide is turning very quickly on this particular issue, and pastor Sanchez is simply another Christian that wants to still cling to his interpretation of the bible, but wants to somehow gain acceptance from the gay community while dodging the criticisms of staunch conservatives.

He won’t be able to much longer without being relegated to the same category as the Westboro Baptist Church, simply because his position is equally offensive.

I dont believe that these people can be convinced. I think they will simply change their tune when the bulk of society considers his views deplorable. He will probably be one of those people that, as my attorney friend says, will claim “Oh, I’ve always supported gay rights… I’ve NEVER thought that being gay was a sin…” because he’ll be too ashamed to admit that he ever held the position that he does now.

[Reply]

Melanie says:

I think its different in that my understanding is that this is addressing conservative evangelicals and our path (at least mine) says “Jesus is the only way”.

I realize that not everyone agrees with that, but converting/convincing isnt my job. Its the job of the holy spirit.

So… to me this is a separate issue entirely.

[Reply]

Dr Chip says:

I said this on his blog earlier and suspect the Scribes and Pharisees have put a hit on me, but don’t have time to go back and look. His approach is in the right direction and I appreciate his compassion. I think that his heart is in the right place and he has the best of intentions. Sadly, people go to pride to escape from the hate regardless of how sugar coated it is.

My fear is that Sanchez automatically assumes that gays hate Christians, when many of them are themselves Christians. He is free to disagree with their path and I think that we were given a free will so that we can pursue our relationship with God in different ways. But gays are free to choose their own path and allow the spirit to guide them. That is if their faith has not been so badly damaged by these toxic messages, both straightforward, Fred Phelps, or sugar coated.

In gods home there are many rooms. Some Christians pursue their relationship with God, in part, by going to church on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. Others pursue their relationship with God, in part, by refraining from caffeine or television. Some pray to Mary, in addition to God through Christ, and consider her to be a virgin. Others are Baptized at an older age and do not believe that the Pope is infallible. Some don’t eat ham as commanded in Leviticus and celebrate Jewish holidays. Some drive around in horse and buggies and build fire places.

My point is that we are all called to follow our maker in different ways and need to follow our consciences. I think we have all read passages in the bible that’s meanings, or our understanding, have evolved over time. Bashing other peoples faith (even if your using lethal injection instead of cyanide gas) is counter productive.

I am struggling to find the value in seeking out a group of people who have commonly been rejected by their loved ones and mentally, emotionally and spiritually tortured, just so that you can hug them and then cram a spiritual dagger into their guts. There has to be a better way for you to manifest your gifts of the spirit, then interfering with theirs and creating wounds that weaken their faith and confuse them.

I don’t see how this is different than a Catholic going to a Baptist Church and hugging their necks. However, once you gained their trust, telling them that they do not have apostolic succession and need to return to the Church started by St Peter ordained by Christ. Or a Mormon going to a Catholic Church and promoting LDS theology and explaining to the Catholics why they are wrong. I am sure they would be a lot less receptive then the folks who attended pride.

Maybe I am wrong, but my conscience would prevent me from taking your approach. There are Churches that accept the LGBT community the way God Created them, and they know how to provide pastoral care to this group victimized by spiritual violence. They seem to be more appropriate attendees at a Pride event.

[Reply]

Mark Gueffroy Reply:

The only messages on his blog now are his and his supporters. Either your post wasn’t approved, or it was taken down.

I just submitted a post as well, and I doubt it will be approved, primarily because it disagrees with Pastor Sanchez.

[Reply]

Jim Diver Reply:

You are correct. He bans people who don’t support his lock step quite often…

He despises being called out being being shown to be the liar and charlatan he really is.

[Reply]

Kathy | Canyonwalker says:

I hear you, Mark. I want a record to point to. This issue comes up often by those who THINK they are taking the Jesus-way. When they have little or no close LGBT friendships, they just do not know.

[Reply]

Mark Gueffroy Reply:

I just posted this message on Sanchez’ site. I don’t expect it will be approved by the moderator. While writing, I reflected on my intention, and now understand your comment, Kathy, of “wanting a record to point to” (the thought that came to mind was the prophets, and how their assignment was to deliver the message).

“Kathy is called and anointed of God, and it is blasphemous for you to suggest she is not saved simply because her theology is different than yours.

You are both so arrogant that you will not even consider that your interpretation of the Bible could be mistaken (the Bible is infallible, but how you understand it is absolutely not).

Furthermore, violence is “the crossing of a boundary, without permission, with the intent to control or harm,” which is exactly what you are doing under the guise of evangelism. VIOLENCE.

No where in the scripture will you find an example of Jesus trying to force someone to change, or invading their space to convince them they needed to change. Be very careful how you conduct yourselves when you hold yourself out as a “pastor” or “ministry,” because you will be held to account for your actions by God, and He is sending you a rebuke and warning through His prophets. Govern yourself accordingly.”

[Reply]

Mark Gueffroy says:

Well, my first reaction is intense anger with these street preachers for their arrogant assumption that their interpretation of the Bible is correct/couldn’t be mistaken (they couldn’t possibly misunderstand the texts). I will not even have a conversation with such people, pursuant to Matthew 7:6 (so, respectfully Kathy, I will not “relay … the impact of their actions”), and I encourage you to do the same. You have such an incredible ministry, of reaching out with GENUINE love and acceptance, and I think arguing with hate-mongers is a distraction from your true calling- you are casting your pearls before swine.

[Reply]

canyon rider Reply:

Well, my first reaction is intense anger with Mark for his arrogant assumption that his interpretation of the Bible is correct and couldn’t be mistaken (and that he couldn’t possibly misunderstand the texts) which he indeed does!!

[Reply]