Responding to the Critics: IHOP Testimony on Deliverance From Same-Sex Attraction

Filed under News, The Kingdom of God on February 6th, 2010 by M. French

Editor’s Note: After this article was published, the video in question was removed from YouTube by IHOP:KC

The video below is from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO. It shows a young man named Jacob sharing his story of being set free from addictions to cocaine and heroine, as well as same-sex attractions:


[Link to Video]

In response to this, the gay activist organization Truth Wins Out said the following:

Behold the power of Fundamentalist Christian delusion.

Jacob, I don’t know who you are, but these people are predators. Your sexuality is part of you, and it has nothing to do with your drug addictions. And you don’t beat addiction to drugs by exchanging it for a dependency on profit-based faux-spiritual experiences proffered by people who use your life as a way to get rich.

The gay activist website Ex-Gay Watch declared the following in their post on the video:

As a former charismatic, the type of religious experience shown in this video is very familiar to me. In this kind of heady, charged atmosphere, it is very easy to suppress one’s “sin” issues and live on a “victorious” spiritual plane – that is until the trappings of revivalist, Pentecostal worship aren’t there or just don’t work any more, and the subject is brought down to earth with a bump.

In this video from IHOP (International House of Prayer, not to be confused with the restaurant chain International House of Pancakes), a young man claims to have been delivered from homosexual attractions he has experienced since childhood. The odd behaviour and spasmodic movements (as well as the wailing, sobbing, shouting and laughter from the congregation) have been especially common in Pentecostal and charismatic churches since the mid-1990s, and are usually attributed directly to the Holy Spirit.

To sum up the gay activist response to this video:

  1. No one can be set free from addictions to drugs (or, by implication, same-sex attraction) via a spiritual experience.
  2. Once the “trappings of revivalist, Pentecostal worship” have worn off, this young man will find himself in the same state he was in previously.
  3. The spiritual experiences this young man claims to have had are not genuine, but instead faked by the IHOP leaders to gain profit from him.
  4. The IHOP leaders are only using this young man to “get rich” and are “predators.”

Let’s look at these arguments one by one:

1. No one can be set free from addictions to drugs (or, by implication, same-sex attraction) via a spiritual experience.

This all depends on the starting point. If we come to the table believing God exists (and is more than an intellectual concept), then why would this not be entirely within the realm of possibility? If we already “know” that either there is no God or that He has nothing to do with humanity, then we will end up dismissing this out of hand. It is not clear which of these starting points the gay activist authors mentioned are coming from, but suffice it to say that if there is indeed no God, then we all have much more to worry about than this young man’s story, IHOP, or indeed the whole subject of morality and truth altogether!

If we do come with the presupposition that it is indeed possible that God exists, then is it not entirely possible that what this young man said is true? It is true that there are plenty of reports of people who claimed to have changed but really did not, but then there are plenty of reports of people who really did change. Is anything too hard for the Lord?

2. Once the “trappings of revivalist, Pentecostal worship” have worn off, this young man will find himself in the same state he was in previously.

It is true that one can become “hyped” up in an emotional experience that fades quickly and has no bearing on reality, but if someone genuinely has an encounter with the living God, why would we dismiss out of hand the possibility of someone really changing? (Whether it be from addictions to drugs, same-sex attraction, or whatever.) Again this comes down to the presuppositions one has. Did the blind man not walk away from Jesus truly able to see [John 9]? Did Cornelius and his house not have a genuine spiritual experience when the Spirit fell on them[Acts 10]? It is no different today.

As to whether this young man’s experience was genuine and what it will mean long-term for him, I cannot say (though I have no reason to doubt what he had to say), and we ought not judge the whole of IHOP or the charismatic movement by the way any one person’s life ends up (or in the case of John Paulk, one night of falling to temptation), but there is absolutely no reason to dismiss out of hand the possibility that someone can be changed from the inside out in a moment, if we do indeed believe that God exists and interacts with people.

3. The spiritual experiences this young man claims to have had are not genuine, but instead faked by the IHOP leaders to gain profit from him.

What Mr. Rattigan dismisses as a new fad in religious circles from the mid-1990′s, “odd behaviour, … spasmodic movements, … wailing, sobbing, shouting and laughter,” actually have been present with followers of Jesus since the birth of the church. Who have “proffered” these “faux-spiritual experiences” through the centuries? Only the likes of Jonathan Edwards (called “America’s most important and original philosophical theologian”) who so despised emotionalism that he was known to speak in complete monotone so as not to arouse one’s emotions while he preached, while his puritanical congregations swooned, cried, and convulsed under the power of the Holy Spirit. More examples could be added here such as John Wesley, George Whitfield, Charles Finney, etc… but the point is clearly made that while these manifestations are not proof of God moving in someone’s life, there is no reason to be afraid of or dismiss the possibility of these types of things happening when someone has an experience with the living God.

Must one believe that this young man was really having an experience with God? Not necessarily. But to dismiss these as “faux-spiritual experiences” is unfounded and presumptuous.

4. The IHOP leaders are only using this young man to “get rich” and are “predators.”

This accusation would be laughable if people did not really believe it. Are there some people that really get rich off unsuspecting Christians? Yes. Do they distort the gospel of Jesus for their own monetary gain? Yes. (Points which we at this ministry decry continuously). But why does this mean that everyone that’s preaching the gospel is in it to get rich? What’s the reality of the situation at IHOP (a multi-million dollar ministry)? The following was published in 2001 by News World Communications concerning the head and founder of IHOP, Mike Bickle:

“I have lived in simplicity all my adult life and love it,” he says, adding he gives away hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual income from his books and tapes. He and his wife live in a nearby duplex, and he raises about $35,000 as an annual salary from friends and supporters. Those earnings, he says, are supplemented by his wife’s earnings as a real estate agent. “I want to live as minimally as possible” he says, “to give more away.”

Does this sound like someone getting rich of this young man? The idea is laughable! And I have personal knowledge that Mr. Bickle lives the same kind of lifestyle today, even with the ministry growing exponentially since 2001 (I wonder if Wayne Besen, head of Truth Wins Out, draws this kind of salary?). This same example could be multiplied throughout the IHOP leadership team, and well into most of the charismatic movement today (again, with a few exceptions).

Rather than IHOP using this young man, they’ve simply set up an environment where people like him can come and experience the power of the living God through the gospel of Jesus Christ 24 hours a day (they have facilities open to the public around the clock with people praying continuously for America and the world). I pray that this young man builds on this experience in prayer and devotion to Jesus, yielding a life that is full of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.



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52 comments
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  1. So IHOP is the International House of Prayer? I think it’s more like the International House of Phruitcakes.

  2. You’ve erected a bit of a straw man as far as my comments are concerned, Marcus.

    I didn’t say that (1) no one can be set free from addictions to drugs (or, by implication, same-sex attraction) via a spiritual experience. I don’t doubt that sometimes “spiritual experiences” (making no judgment on whether it is really “God”) can have positive effects on people. Personally, I doubt it in this case, but I’ve never stated that it doesn’t happen.

    I did generalize on (2) regarding whether the effects on this guy would eventually wear off. Frankly, when the exotic effects of this kind of atmosphere are easily explained by psychology, why turn to a supernatural explanation?

    On (3), I made no accusation that anything was faked by IHOP leaders or anyone. Nor did I say the young man was being manipulated so that IHOP leaders could profit from him in any way, and certainly not financially, as you claim in (4).

    Also in (3), you say I “dismissed” this kind of phenomenon as a “new fad.” I actually said the phenomena were “especially common in Pentecostal and charismatic churches since the mid-1990s,” not that they were unheard of before. I was myself a Pentecostal at that time, and can attest that these things became very common. I’m more than familiar with the historical evidence (Edwards etc) you mention.

    All told, you rebutted things I never actually said.

  3. You didn’t rebut anything I said either.

    But let’s knock through your points real quick:

    1.  No one can be “healed” from drug addiction or “same-sex attractions” through a spiritual experience.

    TRUE.  We understand, from studying biology and anatomy and the workings of the human body, that substance dependency involves a melange of chemical reactions working through the brain and the body.  It requires detox, and it requires medical treatment.  You cannot go “poof” and have God “save you” from it.

    Likewise, no matter what kind of denial fundamentalist Christians want to live in, we also know, from studying biology, that same-sex attraction is called “homosexuality” and it’s a perfectly natural state for some people.  This is acknowledged and affirmed by EVERY reputable medical and psychological association that’s weighed in on the subject, and like it or not (you don’t, because they rarely confirm your biases), they are the experts.  They have also stated in many cases that so-called “reparative therapy” is ineffective at best, harmful at worst.  Since we understand, from studying biology, that sexuality is a characteristic just like blue eyes or brown hair, it’s absurd to suggest that you can pray to Jesus for a new sexuality.  And really, you can’t prove that Jacob has changed!  But we know, from scientific evidence, and from the track records of so-called “ex-gays,” that Jacob’s same sex attractions have not gone away. You’ve simply helped him lie to himself and to others, because you don’t value the ninth commandment.

    “It is not clear which of these starting points the gay activist authors mentioned are coming from, but suffice it to say that if there is indeed no God, then we all have much more to worry about than this young man’s story, IHOP, or indeed the whole subject of morality and truth altogether!”

    I don’t know about Dave.  I’m an atheist, and I respect reason and rational thinking, based on evidence, based on reality, rather than myths and fairy tales.  I don’t know what we would possibly have to worry about if God doesn’t exist, though.  It’s much more comforting to free oneself from having to apologize for God’s bad behavior, or trying to square God’s so-called “love” with the immense suffering in the world.  This is how fundamentalists end up embracing obvious mythology like the garden of eden story as real, because they need an answer for why the world sucks so much of the time.  They came up with “original sin” and absolved God of responsibility.  For an atheist, though…I don’t have to apologize.  I simply understand that the world is a beautiful and grotesque place, and that the very beauty in the universe is also very capable of killing us.  I don’t have to do spiritual gymnastics to explain why awful earthquakes happen in Haiti.  We have plate tectonics for that.

    “Did the blind man not walk away from Jesus truly able to see [John 9]? Did Cornelius and his house not have a genuine spiritual experience when the Spirit fell on them[Acts 10]? It is no different today.”

    These are assertions and teachings for which you have no proof.  But all mythology has this kind of miracle-working.  It doesn’t happen in the real world.

    “Must one believe that this young man was really having an experience with God? Not necessarily. But to dismiss these as “faux-spiritual experiences” is unfounded and presumptuous.”

    No, but it’s fairly easy to see from observation that these things only happen at certain kinds of meetings, never in public, and it’s most likely that people get caught up in the moment and collectively agree to believe that the spirit of god is making them convulse like morons.  Those who are really deep in the movement probably aren’t even conscious of the fact that it isn’t real anymore.

  4. Marcus, you came verbally unarmed. Evan and David will break you down without even breaking a sweat.

  5. Any bets on how quickly they’ll disable commenting on this story?  That seems to be the favored tactic of these “people” when confronted with those pesky facts and logic and stuff.

  6. Dave,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  Regarding your points 1 and 3, I was generalizing and combining the arguments from you and Evan.

    Regarding your second point, I can certainly understand taking the stance that an event should be assumed to be from natural causes before jumping to a supernatural one, but having been in those very meetings at IHOP (I was there for a week in mid-January), and hearing of some tremendous testimonies both one-on-one and from the stage that one would have to go to tremendous lengths to explain by natural means, I don’t find it a stretch at all to consider this young man’s story to be birthed from an authentic supernatural experience.  My exhortation to you is to not assume God’s not at work when someone shares a testimony like this, but rather to weigh all things and hold onto that which is true.

    Regarding your last point, what was the purpose of stating that these phenomona were “especially common in Pentecostal and charismatic churches since the mid-1990s”? I interpreted it as a slight at the roots of these types of manifestations, as if it’s a new fad.  Was this not your point?

  7. Hey folks,

    You’re all quite welcome here and comments never get disabled unless people violate the guidelines. I do have to chuckle, though, at some of the “strong arm” comments — like those from Alvin (#4). How ironic, given the name of his website. So, this is a macho challenge of some sort? I thought comments were supposed to foster intelligent interaction!

    And just for the record: I was instantly and completely delivered from heavy drug use (and real addiction to the needle) Dec. 17, 1971, by God’s grace and power, and I never went back to my old ways for a day or a moment. And my late brother-in-law was homosexual when he became a believer in Jesus, but he surrendered his entire life, including his sexuality to Jesus, then met my sister-in-law, was attracted to her, and they had a normal, heterosexual marriage for about fifteen years before he died of cancer. We knew him well, and I have questioned my sister-in-law about this to ask about the depth of change in his life — and it was real and dramatic and lasting. No therapy, no special counseling, just a real transformation in Jesus.

    Now, will you respond to these reports with voices of tolerance, recognizing this kind of diversity too and being happy for my late brother-in-law, because he was quite happy, or with howls of intolerance and scorn?

  8. Regarding your last point, what was the purpose of stating that these phenomona were “especially common in Pentecostal and charismatic churches since the mid-1990s”? I interpreted it as a slight at the the roots of these types of manifestations, as if it’s a new fad.  Was this not your point?

    Far from it. I was putting the content of the video in some context, partly to forestall precisely the conclusions that someone made on the XGW thread, namely that it was some unusual neurological thing going on, rather than a standard feature of Pentecostal and charismatic worship. Most people who’ve never been to a service of that type wouldn’t realize that it’s fairly commonplace.

  9. So Brown, you’re asking us to be gentle because your brother-in-law died?

    No.

    And here’s the thing.  You have no proof that your brother-in-law was “instantly delivered” from homosexuality.  All you have is the fact that he was able to have sex with your sister, and that he was guilted into repressing his sexuality.  Lots of gay men have sex with women, usually because they’re taught that that’s what they have to do.  It doesn’t take much work to lie back, close your eyes, and imagine men.

    The other thing is that, according to scientific study of men’s sexuality, your story is implausible, because men don’t process sexual stimulus before bodily reaction.  Men see what they are attracted to, and our bodies react accordingly, before a full sexual thought is formed.  Instantaneous.  So unless we’re going to pretend that by the “power of prayer,” God snaps his fingers and changes the fundamental biological make-up of people’s brains (preposterous), your story is hollow.  It is also hearsay, as the individual in question is dead.

    And don’t whine to me about “tolerance.”  You people believe that most of the world’s population is going to hell because they haven’t sent a telepathic message to a deity, and you use that belief to hurt people.  Gay people never tried and never will try to take anything away from you people.  We want no part of your churches, your ministries, or your lives, but we DO want you to stop hurting gay kids and driving them to depression and suicide.

    Because, see, we deal with the aftermath of kids like Jacob.  Oh, right now, he’s on the greatest crack available, the spiritual high, and he believes that things are hunky-dory.  But in a year?  When he still turns his head at the sight of a hot guy, and the shame has been deepened evermore in him, and because he believes the BS you people sold him, and he starts to think that no matter what he does, he can never find true favor with God? That’s where things get dicey, and that’s where he’s at risk of becoming a statistic, as you people have done to so many.

    So yeah, spare me the sanctimonious “tolerance” [censored by the Editor].  

  10. Hi, Michael. Unfortunately, in Christian circles, stories of “change” (whatever is meant by that) rarely come without accompanying attacks on those who are quite comfortable with their sexual orientation and relationships as they are.

    As for your brother-in-law, the fact he had an apparently successful heterosexual marriage doesn’t really speak to me one way or the other. I view the claim that it was a dramatic encounter with Jesus that transformed him exactly as I would if you said the reason were Buddhist meditation, a meeting with a psychic, a homeopathic remedy or electric shock therapy.

  11. Evan,

    Your post completely lines up with my article! You are an atheist, and thus for you this young man’s story (or my story, or the apostle Paul’s story) of having an experience with God is impossible.  Ought you not make clear to your readers that ultimately, it is your non-belief in God that brings you to the conclusions you do regarding stories of spirituality like this?  Is that not really the bigger issue?

    I’m amazed to see that after making the fuss you did about IHOP leaders using this young man to “get rich,” you do not respond in the slightest to my rebuttal. 

    Finally, you said: “I don’t know what we would possibly have to worry about if God doesn’t exist, though.”  This is of course a vast subject, but below is an article I did last year that will hopefully get you started on the subject.

    Marcus French

    ——————-

    What if the atheists are right? What if our Universe, the Earth, mankind, and you and I all exist by mere chance? What if, as Carl Sagan put it, “the Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be,” and with nothing beyond the physical universe, Richard Dawkins was correct in stating “we are on our own in the universe…. humanity can expect no help from outside”?

    Point 1: If the Cosmos is all there is, then all that is will die.

    “Earth has been habitable for 4.5 billion years and only has a half billion years left.” That’s the conclusion of Pennsylvania State University professor James Kasting. According to Professor Kasting, “Astronomers always knew that the oceans would evaporate, but they typically thought it would occur only when the Sun left the main sequence – that will be in five billion years. However, my calculations show the oceans may evaporate much earlier.”

    What will happen after our planet can no longer support life? Professors Peter Schröder and Robert Smith predict that “In a few billion years, the Sun will fuse the last of its hydrogen into helium, turn into a red giant and expand to 250 times its current size.” Initially, there will appear to be hope for the now lifeless planet we call home, as the gravitational pull from the Sun will be loosened, enabling the Earth to widen its orbit and escape being enveloped by the Sun. However, this widening orbit will cause a “tidal bulge” on the Sun’s surface. This bulge will “lag just behind the Earth in its orbit, slowing it down enough to drag it to a fiery demise.”

    Tens of billions of years later, according to astrophysicists, “the sun will have shrunk to a white dwarf, giving little light and even less heat to whatever is left of Earth, and entered a long, lingering death that could last 100 trillion years—or a thousand times longer than the cosmos has existed to date. The same will happen to most other stars, although a few will end their lives as blazing supernovas. Finally, though, all that will be left in the cosmos will be black holes, the burnt-out cinders of stars and the dead husks of planets. The universe will be cold and black.”

    “By the time the final chapter of cosmic history is written—further in the future than our minds can grasp—humanity, and perhaps even biology, will long since have vanished. Yet it’s conceivable that consciousness will survive, perhaps in the form of a disembodied digital intelligence. If so, then someone may still be around to note that the universe, once ablaze with the light of uncountable stars, has become an unimaginably vast, cold, dark and profoundly lonely place.”

    Is this really our great hope? That all that we know, all that we love, all that we are… may live on one day as nothing more than a faint and distant memory, drifting aimlessly through a cold, dead nothingness? If “the Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be,” then what else IS there to hope for? Since there is no God, there is no outside force to intervene. We, the Earth, and the Universe will ultimately share the same fate… death.

    Point 2: If atheism is true, then man’s search for meaning is in vain.

    Psychoanalyst and  Nazi concentration camp survivor Victor Frankl spent the later part of his life developing a psychological technique he termed logotherapy, which he developed by studying his and his fellow prisoners’ psyches during his years in concentration camps. His work was focused on “the meaning of human existence as well as on man’s search for such a meaning,” which he detailed in his book Man’s Search For Meaning

    How essential is this search of meaning to man? Frankl summed up his findings by saying that “this striving to find a meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force in man,” and yet if, as William Lane Craig points out in his book Reasonable Faith, “mankind is a doomed race in a dying universe,” what ultimate meaning could there be in the existence of anything or anyone? Perhaps one could say that they have “influenced others or affected the course of history,” but while their life “may be important relative to certain other events… what is the ultimate significance of any of these events? If all these events are meaningless, then what can be the ultimate significance of influencing any of them?” If there is no God, there can be no meaning.

    This is why many atheists compare man’s search for meaning to questions like “what is the meaning of a cup of coffee?” To distinguish ourselves in any ultimate sense from an inanimate object is nonsensical, we both simply exist, neither one having any ultimate reason for existing, and neither holding any more inherent value than the other, which brings me to my next point.

    Point 3: If there is no immortality and no ultimate moral authority, then all things are permitted.
    Humanist philosopher Richard Taylor points out in his book Ethics, Faith, and Reason that “to say that something is wrong because . . . it is forbidden by God, is . . . perfectly understandable to anyone who believes in a law-giving God. But to say that something is wrong . . . even though no God exists to forbid it, is not understandable. . . . The concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain but their meaning is gone.” The only way that something can be wrong in any real and objective sense, is if a God exists to declare it to be so.

    If there is no God, and we have no ultimate moral authority to turn to, then what possible right could any of us have to declare anyone or anything wrong? We simply exist, and prefer one thing or the other. Truly, there exists a more or less consistent set of moral laws that we all subscribe to (a point we will explore later), but with no binding moral authority, choosing to acknowledge and behave according to these rules is nothing more than a valueless fact. Ghandi chose to follow these rules, Hitler didn’t. Is Ghandi a better person for doing so? Only in the sense that the majority of our species have decided it to be so. Was Hitler wrong for killing six million Jews? Most would say yes, but what of the minority of people that would say no? If God does not exist, then moral judgment is nothing more than opinion.

    And what of injustice? If there is no God, the only punishment that can be given to someone that desires to do evil is in this life. There is no ultimate justice, only the hope that to some extent evil will be punished and good will be rewarded through government, society, etc… As insufficient as these entities are in combating and punishing evil, what happens when even they are taken away as a hindrance to evil? Consider the story of Christian missionary Richard Wurmbrand, who was tortured for his faith in the prisons of communist Romania, as he reflects on the beliefs and actions of his atheistic torturers:

    I often asked my torturers, “Don’t you have pity in your hearts?” They usually answered with quotations from Lenin: “You cannot make omelets without breaking the shells of eggs,” and “You cannot cut wood without making chips fly.”

    I said again, “I know these quotations from Lenin. But there is a difference. When you cut a piece of wood it feels nothing. But here you are dealing with human beings. Every beating produces pain and there are mothers who weep.” It was in vain. They are materialists. For them nothing besides matter exists and to them a man is like wood, like an eggshell. With this belief they sink to unthinkable depths of cruelty.

    The cruelty of atheism is hard to believe. When a man has no faith in the reward for good or the punishment of evil, there is no reason to be human. There is no restraint from the depths of evil that is in man. The Communist torturers often said, “There is no God, no hereafter, no punishment for evil. We can do what we wish.” I heard one torturer say, “I thank God, in whom I don’t believe, that I have lived to this hour when I can express all the evil in my heart.” He expressed it in unbelievable brutality and torture inflicted on prisoners.

    – Richard Wurmbrand: Tortured for Christ

    19th Century Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyovski explored the impact of atheism in his work The Brothers Karamazov.  At one point, a character recounts the statements of one of the brothers:

    “Let me …. tell you another little story, this one about Mr. Ivan Karamazov himself, an interesting and characteristic story, I think. Well, not more than five days ago, in a company consisting mostly of ladies of our town, he solemnly declared, in the course of a discussion, that there was nothing on earth to force men to love their fellow men, that there was no law of nature that a man should love mankind, and that if there was love on earth it did not stem from any natural law but rather from man’s belief in immortality. And here he added parenthetically that if there was any natural law, it was precisely this: Destroy a man’s belief in immortality and not only will his ability to love wither away within him but, along with it, the force that impels him to continue his existence on earth. Moreover, nothing would be immoral then, everything would be permitted, even cannibalism. He went even further, finally asserting that, for every individual — people like us now, for instance — who does not believe in God or immortality, the natural moral law immediately becomes the opposite of religious law and that absolute egotism, even carried to the extent of crime, must not only be tolerated but even recognized as the wisest and perhaps the noblest course…”

    “Just a minute!” Dmitry shouted unexpectedly. “I want to get it straight: crime must be considered not only as admissible but even as the logical and inevitable consequence of an atheist’s position. Did I get it right?”

    “You’ve got it right,” Father Paissi said.

    In her essay Existentialism and Dostoevsky, Katharena Eiermann summarized Ivan Karamazov’s contention as, “if there is no God, everything is permitted.” Wurmbrand’s atheistic torturers understood this tie between God, immortality, and morality, and with no outside entity to stop them in this life, they were left without any fear of punishment, and the result was seen in the 18 wounds to Wurmbrand’s neck, back and chest he showed to the U.S. Senate upon his return to America. If atheistic evangelist Richard Dawkins was right in declaring that belief in immortality was “dangerous nonsense,” and thus that there is no immortality and no supernatural creator, then are not all things (including the acts performed by these Communist torturers) permitted?

  12. Your article is preposterous tripe.  The idea that morality cannot exist with a great daddy in the sky is silly, as we observe varying evolution of moral sense in the animal kingdom every single day.  Humans simply have evolved the greatest sense of morality, and religious morality is indeed often quite immoral.  The Biblical commands of the Old Testament, and indeed, the actions of the Old Testament God himself are often quite immoral by more evolved human standards of “first, do no harm.”

    Secondly, my readers are quite aware that I’m an atheist…I’m not sure quite what you’re getting at.  The readers at TWO run the gamut in faith traditions and lack thereof, but we’re not burdened by an obnoxious need to convince each other to pursue each others’ spiritual paths.

    But it’s not my non-belief in God that makes the supposed conversion preposterous.  It’s that your side has NEVER offered a shred of evidence that your god even exists, and the weight of science and reason is against all of your contentions that somehow by the power of “miracles” a deity has intervened to change a man’s biology!  YOU all have the burden of proof here, and I’m quite aware, having been raised in an evangelical environment, that you all see believing things without evidence as a virtue, but rational people don’t see it that way.

    As Dave said, it’s no different than if you all claimed that Zeus had changed him, that a medium had changed him, or that the Flying Spaghetti Monster had come down from on high and touched him.

    The first part of your piece, about the fact that our universe is hurtling toward a certain death, may be uncomfortable for you, but it’s true.  We see galaxies growing and dying with telescopes.  There is no rational reason to believe that our galaxy is any different, especially when astronomers can observe the exact same things happening in ours!  So yes, everything that is now, will die.  I’m sorry.  Deal with it.  ”I don’t like to think about things like that” is not a good argument for concocting fantasies that make you feel better.

    The contention that our lives are meaningless without God is also premised on nothing except that you people tell yourselves that over and over again.  I happen to think that a life that is solely created to massage a deity’s ego and need for constant attention is meaningless.  The fact is that life is, for better or for worse, an accident.  The universe doesn’t care that we’re here.  So what we have is this:  We are here, regardless.  We have a few years to make an impact, to live beautiful lives, and then we die.  Others will go on.  Many have gone before.  So we find individual meaning, rather than having it proscribed for us by a made-up deity.

    The third section, which argues that there can be no morality without God is, as I said, silly.  Our human minds are perfectly capable of using reason to construct codes of ethics.  The Golden Rule predates the Jewish God, who supposedly created the Earth around the time the Sumerians were domesticating dogs.  And as I said before, many of the Biblical moral proscriptions are absolutely silly, and some of them are evil.

    The fact that you need the idea of a deity ultimately punishing or rewarding people says more about your mental state than it says about reality.  It merely reflects the worst, basest human feelings of vengeance onto a manufactured deity, who then reflects them back to us to justify our own need for revenge.  It also leads religious people to dehumanize entire groups of people they believe are damned, to see them only as pawns for their religious Ponzi schemes (money need not change hands…you people are out to steal souls).

    Anyway, I could go on, but this is decidedly NOT the subject at hand, which is Jacob, this poor kid who has been sold a bill of goods and encouraged to blame his poor choices with drugs, and his subsequent addiction, on a core part of his being.  It’s no better than telling a black woman in 1820 that she doesn’t deserve to be free because of the color of her skin.

    I’m sorry you people can’t see that, but we will continue to say it, and history is on our side.

  13. [...] here and on Ev’s site, please join the WAR and visit the criminal abuserers directly at:-http://voiceofrevolution.askdrbrown.org/2010/02/06/responding-to-the-critics-ihop-testimony-on-deliv…  We are not victims of these sick and depraved bigot who clothe themselves in hate and [...]

  14. Evan,

    A terrific post that serves as an eloquent example of intolerance!

  15. Dave,

    Please be kind enough to show me the attack in my post on those who say they are happy with their same-sex attractions, OK?

    And do you then accept that, be it by Buddhist meditation or an encounter with Jesus or self-hypnosis or whatever, that some homosexuals genuinely become heterosexuals? Or are you saying the opposite, that regardless of what someone says, and regardless of the alleged source, genuine change is impossible — even by God? What exactly is your position?

  16. Uh huh.

    You people…

    I just explained to you why “tolerance” doesn’t include tolerance for bigotry.  You all are bigots.

    It’s not intolerant for me to refuse to tolerate the KKK.  They’re bigots.

    The essence of tolerance is that you support peoples’ rights to live THEIR lives as they please, as long as they’re not hurting anyone.  WE are not hurting anyone.  YOU ARE.

    The blood is on your hands.

  17. Evan,

    You totally missed my point! You said “I don’t know what we would possibly have to worry about if God doesn’t exist, though” and I just shared an article on what you have to worry about if God doesn’t exist!  I was not trying to prove that God exists! Though I think understanding the reality of the situation we’re all in if God does NOT exist puts us all in the right frame of mind (namely, soberness) to discuss the subject so we do not come into it with a haughty attitude as if it’s all a theoretical intellectual game.  The stakes are quite high.

    Regarding the rest of your post, it again serves my point, that your philosophical presuppositions completely cloud your thinking on this issue.  These IHOP leaders are hoping to help this young man into a life of freedom from homosexuality, yes, but more importantly they are hoping to lead him into a life devoted to Jesus the Messiah where he loves God with all his heart, and loves others as himself.  To you wasting a young life in fasting and prayer to an unseen God is foolish (and perhaps, if I’m reading you correctly, evil?)  This young man’s sexuality is really only a secondary issue that until you become open to the reality of God existing, becomes a mere by-product of the bigger point that there is no spiritual world!

  18. No, Marcus, you’re missing MY point.  I personally don’t care if the kid is a born-again Christian or not.  If that fulfills him, FINE.

    I DO care that you’re adding to that the idea, supported by NOTHING except your interpretation of that book, and against all expert evidence, medical, scientific, and psychological, that in order to BE a born-again Christian, he must deny who he is.  Why?  Because you’re setting up for a life of spiritual torture, which he probably won’t share with you.  Again.  We see these people on the other side.  Most people who go through “ex-gay” conversions end up acknowledging that they’re still gay.  Even the ex-gay businesses now have taken the idea of “change” out of their literature.  They’re moved the goalposts, because they know, based on their track record, that no one who is gay truly “becomes heterosexual.”  Seriously.  Read through Exodus’ literature sometime.  They no longer suggest that you can “become straight.”

    But this is why there are recovery groups for people who have gone through reparative therapy.  This is why so many of them end up committing suicide.  You all are selling something that doesn’t exist, and I say that apart from my disagreement about whether or not GOD exists.  That’s totally secondary.  As I said, at TWO we have readers and friends who run the gamut of spirituality.  We have many born-again Christians who are readers.  (I would note, though, that none of them have raised concerns with my contention that what is depicted in this video is a brutal lie, at best.)  We have Jewish readers, spiritual and non-spiritual.  We have atheists.  It’s a very welcoming place for all who respect all people’s inherent dignity.

    The fact of the matter is that the “miracles” depicted in this video and in Brown’s comments don’t exist.  All miracles are eventually explained by science.  Yesterday’s sign from God is now called a “shooting star.”  Yesterday’s judgment from God is now called an “earthquake caused by plate tectonics.”  I know, from experience, that it’s perfectly possible to be a rational human being AND a religious believer.  My problem is when people take things that ARE known and then substitute lies.  The idea that homosexuality is an affliction or addiction that needs to change is a lie.  There is no argument on this.  All you have is a few verses, GROSSLY misinterpreted and willfully ignorant of the culture to which they were written, against the weight of everything we’ve learned since then.  We have science.  We have evolutionary biology.  We have study upon study upon study that shows that homosexuality is a normal variant, not only in humans, but throughout nature!  We have study after study after study that shows that gay people are as successful and happy as anyone else, and that the only variables in that equation are how well they’re supported by family and community networks.

    So yes, these IHOP leaders may be sincere in “trying to help” but they’re hurting him, and so many others.

  19. Evan, did it ever occur to you that you could be bigoted? Did it ever occur to you that when you spout hatred and scorn against people who gently differ with you that it makes you look bigoted?

    In any case, you eloquently prove the very point I was making and certainly harm your cause far more than you help it.

    So then, for the record: Are you tolerant towards someone who is not at home with his or her same-sex attraction and wants to seek change? They are not hurting anyone, they are certainly not attacking you. Are you tolerant towards them? After all, it’s their own life and they’re not hurting anyone.

  20. Yep, I’m bigoted against bigots.  Guilty as charged.  I don’t have much time for David Duke either.

    Because I’ve lived in your world.  I see it from the inside and the outside.

    I see the blood you spill through your actions.

    But keep repeating it like an Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer if that makes you feel better.

    And don’t you get it?  The only reason gay people ever sincerely “seek change,” is because you people have brainwashed into thinking they’re evil.

    But please, Brown.  I know they kind of doublespeak you engage in.  You wax poetically about “tolerance” and “peacefully disagreeing,” and then you advocate for violence out of the other side of your mouth.

  21. Evan,

    I have nothing to prove here; you’re doing a great job of it.

    As for people wanting to change, actually, plenty of people are not at home with SSA and simply want to marry and have kids as a direct result of their relationship with their spouse — and some of them are 100% non-religious. But your extreme intolerance refuses to accept that or to show them any respect or grace.

    As for me advocating violence, you are completely delusional. Cite me one example of any kind where I ever advocated physical or verbal violence against another human being — gay or straight — for any reason under any circumstance. You are fighting phantoms here, Evan.

  22. Your spiritual warfare rhetoric, in itself, is violent.

    Sorry.  You may not see it that way, but it is.

    The good news is that fewer and fewer people are uncomfortable with their sexuality every year.  When I came out, I was the first in my high school class to do so, and I came out a year after high school, having known I was gay for at least seven years before that.  This year’s graduating class from my Christian high school had about 8 kids who were already out, and at schools in the South, kids are coming out in middle school and early high school more and more, when they first realize they’re gay.

    The homophobic culture created by your worldview is, thankfully, losing ground every day.

    Watch the LGBT teen suicide rate plummet.

  23. Evan,

    Got it. So you don’t have a single example of the alleged violence that you claim I espouse. But we all knew that before you posted your answer, since the claim is 100% bogus. In fact, I could easily say that your insulting and angry posts could potentially stir up far more violence than anything I’ve ever said or done.

    As for the ridiculous argument that “spiritual warfare” is advocating violence, you might as well say that the war on hunger or the war on poverty espouses violence.

    And I take it, then, by your non-response, that even a secular, non-religious person who is not at home with being gay and wants to change deserves nothing but scorn from your side. I do hope that you will see how bigotry and intolerance actually blinds you and provides a foil for your hatred.

  24. “Got it. So you don’t have a single example of the alleged violence that you claim I espouse”

    Sweetheart, you don’t have to say “go kill gays” in order to perpetuate that type of environment.

    “And I take it, then, by your non-response, that even a secular, non-religious person who is not at home with being gay and wants to change deserves nothing but scorn from your side. ”

    No.  Not scorn.  Honest counsel.  As opposed to what you all do, which is lie.  You are supported by no one with any credibility.  You have no statistics.  You have nothing to back up what you say but a bunch of sanctimonious drivel about “THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE have left the gay lifestyle!”

    No.  They haven’t.  Every single time you all say that, we say, “Show us your numbers and your methodology of computing them,” and it’s met with petulant silence.  Because you have nothing.

    “In fact, I could easily say that your insulting and angry posts could potentially stir up far more violence than anything I’ve ever said or done.”

    You could, but it would be asinine, since I’ve never said your kind shouldn’t be able to live peacefully.  I just said stop hurting people.

    But go ahead, puddin’.  Play the victim.  It’s what you all do.  Let me know if you’d like musical accompaniment, because I could suggest some songs.

  25. Evan,

    No need to play the victim on my end. I’m just exposing the empty nature of what you’ve said so far.

    So, to summarize:

    1) You make a ridiculous charge about me espousing violence and can’t back it up with a single, factual syllable, so you simply heap more scorn.

    2) You have no clue what I say to someone who genuinely wants to change, but you’re sure it’s a lie, and you somehow know more about my late brother-in-law than his wife and I did.

    3) Your posts, which are full of venom and anger, could not possibly stir up violence. Such a notion is asinine. Whereas my reaching out the GLBT community with grace and respect and seeking to educate the church about how it has often mistreated GLBT people is a source of violence.

    4) I am the bigot, because of which your bigotry towards me — without knowing me at all — is completely justified.

    As I said, you’re doing a great job of hurting your cause far more than helping it.

  26. PRAISE THE LORD! GOD’S GONNA RANSACK HELL !!!!!!!!!

  27. Your words would have value if you weren’t lying right now.

    Dude. I’ve read about you.  I’ve seen your tactics.  I’ve seen the reports of your people going after the children of gay and lesbian couples and telling them their parents are going to hell.

    You’re not fooling ANYONE on the side of fairness and equality.

    And as I said, your advocacy of spiritual warfare IS violent.  And don’t try to reduce it to some moronic thing about the word “war.”  The idea of spiritual religious warfare over the souls of unbelievers is violent.  Period.

    Oh, and I didn’t say I knew more about your brother-in-law than you did, I simply said that your assertions about him are unprovable, and that they’re unsupported by science, and that no matter how hard you might believe it, you have no proof that your brother-in-law’s homosexuality went away, because you don’t really know what mental images were sexual stimulus for him.  I also said that your need to bring him up was a cheap effort to elicit sympathy.  I stand by that.

    Other than that, all you have to say is that I’m mean on the internet.

    You’re right.  I have a sharp tongue, and I’m not nice to people who hurt other people.  I don’t owe you “nice.”  You’re fringe, dude.  We don’t have “disagreements.”  I’m not here to “understand” you.  I’m here to be one more voice pointing and saying “Hey, that guy?  Lying.”

    But my daily life and work does not hurt people.  Yours does.  So you play all “I’m just a sweet old man who wants to give you some candy, I mean Jesus” all you want, but it’s falling on ears who have heard it all before.  I used to be an Evangelical Christian.  I speak your language.  I know the double-meanings that you don’t acknowledge and may be so brainwashed that you don’t realize they exist.

  28. Evan, most of the folks reading the posts here know me quite well, which means they know you’re either making things up or repeating lies that others passed on (like my “people going after the children of gay and lesbian couples and telling them their parents are going to hell” — a completely fictional report that surfaced for the first time about four years after the alleged event, and it came from an anonymous source at that).

    As for my brother-in-law, read your first post in response to me and then let me know if you want to retract the comments, which made definite claims (which, again, I know to be false). As for sympathy — what are you talking about? I simply mentioned that he’s deceased so that you would know that I’m here telling his story now as opposed to him sharing it.

    You wrote, “I used to be an Evangelical Christian. I speak your language. I know the double-meanings that you don’t acknowledge and may be so brainwashed that you don’t realize they exist.” Actually, from everything you’ve written here, you have little or no clue of what I believe, you are making up double-meanings (with the absolutely laughable charge that I might be too brainwashed to see it!), and you neither speak nor understand my language.

    You might be speaking out of past hurt. You are certainly speaking out of present anger. And perhaps for those reasons, you neither speak nor hear truth in your interaction with me. That’s the saddest part to see. You who claim that others are the brainwashed bigots can’t even have a civil dialog here based on facts and truth. How in the world can that possibly advance your cause?

    As for me being fringe or mainstream, that is hardly relevant. If am I honoring God and doing what is right and good, that’s all that matters. And surely you can’t believe that when gays were totally ostracized, that must have meant that they were wrong, but now that they are widely accepted, they must be right. Is public opinion the arbiter of what is right and fair and good?

  29. “Please be kind enough to show me the attack in my post on those who say they are happy with their same-sex attractions, OK?”

    Michael, I never alleged that you had attacked anyone. I was responding to the observation that ex-gay stories are often met with intolerance by pointing out that such stories are rarely told without accompanying attacks on LGBT people; oftentimes that is why they are met with anger.

    “And do you then accept that, be it by Buddhist meditation or an encounter with Jesus or self-hypnosis or whatever, that some homosexuals genuinely become heterosexuals? Or are you saying the opposite, that regardless of what someone says, and regardless of the alleged source, genuine change is impossible — even by God? What exactly is your position?”

    My position on whether a person’s orientation can be made to change is that it is unlikely, and therefore I am skeptical of claims. I base that position on my own experience, the experiences of ex-gays and former ex-gays, and the scientific evidence, or rather lack of it.

    The most pertinent is the scientific evidence. Simply put, none has been produced to suggest that sexual orientation can be made to change. The most successful study (in terms of providing evidence for the ex-gay case) is the Jones-Yarhouse study, whose methodology was very questionable, relying heavily on the subjective testimony of ex-gays themselves, and excluding the early “failures” in advance from the findings. Even interpreted as generously as possible, the results of the study were highly negligible.

    As regards the source, what I meant was that I’m no more inclined to believe someone who says Jesus healed them of same-sex attraction than I am to believe anyone who attributes the same to anything. You would like me and others to believe testimonies (whether of a healing from homosexuality, a physical healing, an emotional healing, a miracle, a supernatural experience) that invoke Jesus as an explanation. I don’t think there’s any particular reason why I should accept a Jesus explanation for a supposed supernatural occurrence, yet be skeptical of similar claims attributed to other religions, other gods, psychic experiences, new age therapies or any other non-proven source. They’re all the same to me.

  30. If the report on your people existed in a vacuum, that would be one thing, but it isn’t.  You live to disrupt gay people’s lives.

    It’s so funny.  Every time a conservative is called on anything by a liberal, they run into the arms of “you’re so angry!” No, you’re just not used to being spoken to without deference.  And no, I don’t retract anything I said.  I said you have no proof of anything other than the fact that he had sex with your sister.  That’s true.  You couldn’t possibly have proof, because you were never inside his brain.

    And I’ve spoken the truth, from start to finish.  You’ve said essentially nothing.  And we can’t have a real dialogue, because at the end of the day, you’ll still believe I’m going to hell, and as that is an inhuman viewpoint, you’re not to be reasoned with.

    Don’t worry about my past pains, Michael.  It’s not what pains we’ve suffered, but what we choose to do with them.  Part of what I do is speak up for those who are currently being hurt by your worldview.

    Your thing about public opinion is a non sequitur, so I won’t address it.  Obviously public opinion is not always the arbiter of what’s right.  My point in saying that you’re fringe is that we don’t want to dialogue with you.  Again, at the end of the day, you’ll still believe that we’re going to hell, whereas we’ll wish you no personal harm.  There is no dialogue in such a situation.

  31. Dave,

    Thanks for your post.

    All clear on the “attack” language, which, however, would best not have been used in this context, since the article and video and post in question made no such attack. But again, all clear, and I do understand the other contexts you have encountered where this is not the case.

    Re: the possibility of change, I understand your skepticism based on your experience, and I don’t doubt that you have consistently seen the same pattern of alleged change proving not to be real. My experience over the years has been the exact opposite, having met lots of men (just speaking of them for the moment) who were happily married, well-adjusted, and having not the slightest desire to be in the limelight with any kind of “testimony.” As for the scientific evidence, what do you say to someone like Dr. Nicholas Cummings, a former president of the APA, who is a die hard liberal in favor of gay rights but claims to have treated and counseled thousands of gays who struggled with their SSA with positive change coming to many, if not most of them?

    Re: the issue of source, thanks for the clarification of your position. (You were probably clear from the start but I wanted to be sure I was hearing you correctly.) I’m honestly not wanting you to believe anything just because someone makes a claim, and, in fact, Marcus only wrote this article in response to your post on XGW, as opposed to our desiring to highlight a testimony. (Generally speaking, if someone claims to have a dramatic lifestyle change, we do our best to disciple them quietly and behind the scenes, letting their changed life speak for itself at the appropriate time.)

    I do hope and pray, however, that you will see firsthand some dramatic and real and lasting testimonies through Jesus and God’s Spirit, testimonies that prove to be the real deal.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to interact with candor and civility.

  32. Evan, post one word of truth about my positions or views or actions and I’ll gladly respond. Until then, I’m simply left with highlighting the mendacity of your statements and the bigotry of your position.

    Re: your fringe comment, let me get this right: You come onto our forum to attack our views, but you have no desire to have a dialog, since we’re fringe. All clear! (And I take it that you mean “fringe” in terms of, “Followers of Jesus worldwide are fringe,” or, “Those professing to believe the Bible as God’s Word are fringe in America.” Hmmm. Well, since neither of those statements are true, I guess you mean, “Anyone who dares to differ with gay activists is fringe!”)

  33. I only came here because your writer took issue with our posting of the malevolent video above, and then felt the need to come to our site and drop a link, presumably for blog traffic.  Mission accomplished, I guess.

    I don’t usually debase myself by coming to fundamentalist Christian websites, as I usually have better things to do, like wash my hair.

    And no, stop pretending all Christians are bigots.  It’s an insult to so much of Christendom, the ones who focus on the “Jesus” part and not on the “gays are going to hell” thing.

    Anyway, I’m through.  I’m not the “talky” sort.  I’m quite upfront about that.  One talent I do not have is pretending to like people I don’t.  I fight like hell for equal rights, for people who are suffering, but I don’t actually want to know the people who work to cause that pain.  So if you feel the need to dialogue with somebody, Dave is nice.  Though I have no long idea how long he’ll put up with you.

  34. Evan, My purpose in writing the response and posting my response’s link on your and XGW’s sites should be clear enough by now. I wanted to defend our dear brother in the video and IHOP itself which I have great respect for and have many dear friends that are involved in. I thought your readers and more importantly random visitors that found your story would benefit from hearing a different perspective on it. All clear?

  35. Evan, blog traffic? It’s amazing how you read an ulterior motive into everything. Truly amazing.

    Your next comment, however, is more mind-boggling: “And no, stop pretending all Christians are bigots. It’s an insult to so much of Christendom, the ones who focus on the ‘Jesus’ part and not on the ‘gays are going to hell’ thing.”

    What in the world are you talking about? Who in my organization or circle of ministry associates does not focus on the “Jesus” part?

    Anyway, I wish you well, Evan, and I do hope that in the future, you’ll refrain from making baseless charges and will instead carefully and dispassionately examine the evidence before writing articles or voicing comments. When you spread falsehood against good people — like Mike Bickle and the folks at IHOP — you incite irrational hatred. Is this how you fight for “equal rights”?

  36. Evan, I’ve only skimmed through the posts here, so forgive me if some of these points have already been addressed. They seemed to stand out, though, so I figured I’d give some feedback for future diatribes.

    First, your argument asking for proof of miracles is circular. As you point out, if any natural causes are found for a supposed miracle, they are considered natural. If there is no natural cause, then there is no proof, and we are left with nothing but an anecdote. A miracle, by definition, is the least likely explanation for anything that happens, so asking for scientific proof isn’t really reasonable. You’re attempting to be scientific, but science has it’s limits. It has at best a peripheral place in the metaphysical and the philosophical. Miracles are in the realm of theology, science has no more a voice in this realm than it does with ontology or epistemology.

    Second, I contest your assertion that homosexuality is fixed and unchangeable. As you may be aware, scientists have discovered a way to turn homosexuality on and off in Fruit Flies. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071210094541.htm
    I am well aware that Humans are much more complex than fruit flies, but you appealed to nature and other species in your argument that homosexuality was natural; I think it’s only fair that I can do the same.

    Third, I agree that tolerance is an overrated virtue in this world. When two violently (I am aware of the connotations of that word, considering your accusations, but I still think it is most apt) opposed worldviews meet, it is not necessary to be agreeable. I do not, however, give your prejudice the same pass. You can try and give all the justifications that you like, but we both know that it’s nothing more than sophistry. Your vitriolic hatred does not match up with your rhetoric about “respecting the dignity of all human beings.” In fact, your prejudice is anything but rational and scientific. You attacked the leaders at IHOP for being money-seeking jerks, with no reason to believe it but your own prejudices. I consider it rather ironic that a website called ‘Truth Wins Out’ wrote an article that was basically nothing but handwaving and libel.

    You can, and probably will, dismiss this as simply anecdotal, but I can safely say that none of the leaders at IHOP are in it for the money. I have been to their homes, (not all of them, but enough) I have seen their lifestyles. They live modestly, and many of them left high paying jobs to do something they believe in.

    It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to see that you’re hurt and emotional about this, but still I hope you can see that your prejudice towards “you people” doesn’t really help anyone. And while you may want to take the morale and mental high ground with Dr. Brown, and Christians in general, he’s not the one who libeled a group of great people because of his bigotry. You are.

  37. Evan said: “I fight like hell for equal rights for people who are suffering”

    Did you not cause others to suffer by your degrading responses? Calling those you differ bigots, making baseless charges and spreading falsehood? Based on what you wrote on this site, it sounds like the way you fight for equal rights is to mistreat those who differ with you through your writing.

  38. Evan says “The essence of tolerance is that you support peoples’ rights to live THEIR lives as they please, as long as they’re not hurting anyone.

    This opens a can of worms on defining what is moral. Do you support Frank Kameny’s view on Bestiality when he said “… as long as the animal doesn’t mind (and the animal rarely does), I don’t mind, and I don’t see why anyone else should.”

  39.          
    http://lezgetreal.com/?p=26053
     WE UNCOVER  ……  the truth…………. is simply not so Mr. French your words mean nought  -   report on the indiscretions of Mike Bickle of IHOP.  See Part 1 here. Joanne Panettieri Editor, Kingdom Iconoclast …………. amongst many more such exposures…..   Mr. Bickle you are a Phony and we know it – stop abusing our kids NOW.  You are causing pain to those who would rather be left to live who they are. Further yet it is because of people like you and your inability to accept that G-d has chosen us to be who we are, that cause 100% of the suffering that youn gays and lesbians ought not to be going through.    
    Bickle and IHOP – A CULT and look what they are doing to our kids…. PURE Abuse, and your Mr French are completely taken in by a Sham and a cult… melanie nathan from lezgetreal

  40. I will answer your question…I don’t see it as opening a can of worms, because the system of ethics espoused by most atheists and agnostics is that the starting point of morality is whether it does harm to sentient beings and/or those who can legitimately consent.

    Animals cannot legitimately consent, in the way that we do.

  41. As for the scientific evidence, what do you say to someone like Dr. Nicholas Cummings, a former president of the APA, who is a die hard liberal in favor of gay rights but claims to have treated and counseled thousands of gays who struggled with their SSA with positive change coming to many, if not most of them?

    I just read NARTH’s brief Q&A with Dr Cummings, and he says the majority of his successes were “were able to attain a more happy and sane homosexual life style with stable relationships.” He says “possibly even less than 10 percent” of his gay clients wanted reorientation, then claims that 2,400 of 18,000 were successful in that, so I’m not sure how to interpret that, since 2,400 is clearly more than 10 percent. Also, there are not many clues (in that interview, anyway) to enable us to verify what Cummings says. How was he defining orientation? How did he measure change? What does he mean by “successful”?

    This brings us back to the most pertinent point: Why are there no scientific studies supporting the claim that sexual orientation can be made to change? The history of ex-gay studies is sparse, and the results produced have usually been fatally flawed or highly negligible at best.

  42. Dave,

    Actually, as you probably know, there were many psychiatrists and psychologists who documented change among their SSA patients prior to 1973, but when the scientific climate changed, studies like this became less prominent. The bottom line is this: Whether you like the stats or not, there are documented cases of people changing — even the ultra-liberal Dr. Robert Epstein recognizes this — coupled with the large amount of anecdotal evidence we have from our own lives and ministries (and this, for me, is the most important).

    So, first, I differ with you that there are no scientific studies supporting the claim that sexual orientation can be made to change; and second, if the same zeal was put into studies like this that is put into trying to find a gay gene, there would be more evidence forthcoming.

  43. Melanie,
    I noted on your website that you refer to me and colleagues of mine as ”sick and depraved bigot[s] who clothe themselves in hate and greed,” also referring to us as “criminal abusers” and calling on people to “join the WAR” by visiting this website.
    Please be kind enough to demonstrate how I or anyone in my organization qualifies as a sick and depraved bigot, clothed in hate and greed, or as a criminal abuser. It’s clear that you’re declaring war, but at the moment, you’re fighting figments of your own imagination rather than actual people.
    As for Mike Bickle, I’ve known Mike for over twenty years now and would be curious to know on what basis you brand him a cult leader. I’d also like to know what “indiscretions” he has personally been guilty of.
    The fact is, talk is cheap and it’s quite easy to slander and libel people these days. But when you make venomous and ugly charges like these, you need to be able to back them with facts.
    I look forward to your factual documentation, documentation that I trust will demonstrate the claims you made, above. And, since this is my ministry’s website here, please be kind enough to start by backing your charges against me. If, however, upon further reflection, you realize that you wrote false words in anger, be assured that I have forgiven you and hold nothing against you in any way.

  44. Evan,

    You state that ”the system of ethics espoused by most atheists and agnostics is that the starting point of morality is whether it does harm to sentient beings and/or those who can legitimately consent.” Where, however, do you get the concept of morality if there is no God and we are merely highly evolved animals? What makes something ultimately right or wrong? What is morality?

    I can also tell you that your words and actions do harm to many ex-gays, not to mention many religious people. Does that therefore make you unethical? Was it moral for one of your co-workers to try to disrupt an ex-gay meeting in Boston with a bull-horn? Was it moral for demonstrators to block the doors and harass those attending?

    This is just the tip of the iceberg, but since you justify your bigotry in the name of tolerance, I imagine you will justify unethical words and deeds in a similar way.

  45. Hi all – I often read the comments on this website but am yet to state anything. However I couldn’t help noticing the outrageous points made in Evan’s post (No. 6) and expected either Evan to leave this thread (as he said he would) or someone else to pick up, but I will comment now on a couple:
    “The other thing is that, according to scientific study of men’s sexuality, your story is implausible, because men don’t process sexual stimulus before bodily reaction.  Men see what they are attracted to, and our bodies react accordingly, before a full sexual thought is formed.”
    This argument has long bewildered me; this notion of ‘instinctive living’ seems to post some serious double standards that stretch far beyond this topic. So what about someone who has sex with a child or an animal – is our argument that it was just a bodily reaction?
    How then do we draw the line between right and wrong and begin to consider punishment? And then how do you distinguish the actions of those from this website between ‘bigotism’ and ‘hate’ from ”bodies reacting accordingly’?

    Because, see, we deal with the aftermath of kids like Jacob.  Oh, right now, he’s on the greatest crack available, the spiritual high, and he believes that things are hunky-dory.
    But in a year?  When he still turns his head at the sight of a hot guy, and the shame has been deepened evermore in him, and because he believes the BS you people sold him, and he starts to think that no matter what he does, he can never find true favor with God? That’s where things get dicey, and that’s where he’s at risk of becoming a statistic, as you people have done to so many.

    I’m sure there are times that you deal with situations of young men after they have had some seemigly spiritual experience. However let’s not lose sight of the fact that these young men have found themselves there in the first place, asking the Lord to change them. And before you say it’s due to pressure or emotional build-up (which I have not seen one believer on this website deny that happens in some places), I have seen countless situations as I’m sure have the writers of this website have where young men have yearned to be set free; even without the mention of sin or anything to do with homosexuality, but even simply during times of worship or prayer. So when you say that you have to deal with kids such as these, remember that we are often asked to deal with it too in the Holy Spirit. I’m not sure that if these young men were merely pressured into making a false change that they would experience ‘the greatest crack available’ for that year.

  46. Dylan T.,

    Thanks for posting!

  47. [...] Responding to the Critics: IHOP Testimony on Deliverance From Same-Sex Attraction | Voice of Revolut… voiceofrevolution.askdrbrown.org/2010/02/06/responding-to-the-critics-ihop-testimony-on-deliverance-from-same-sex-attraction – view page – cached The video below is from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO. It shows a young man named Jacob [...] [...]

  48. [...] [...]

  49. <i>”But keep repeating it like an Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer if that makes you feel better.”</i>
    <p>

    …About as tastefully humorous as our Glorious Leader’s “Special Olympics” gag.

  50. It is true that there are a lot of wolves in sheeps clothes out there who capitalize on peoples’ weaknesses in order to make money. It is becoming apparent who these people are. However, you can be delivered from anything that comes in the way of living, following Christ, and being healthy enough to serve him. There are things that sometimes come our way to make us stronger, however, Christ doesn’t bring affliction on people. He will use affliction to make you stronger in Him. You might have to go through something really hard or have different hardships to bear, but in the end there is healing through faith in Christ. It may happen overnight. It may take a lifetime. But you can get delivered from evil without having to pay out money. No one is supposed to use the gifts of the Holy
    Spirit for monetary gain. The apostles did not charge money when they utilized the gift of healing that had been given to them by the Holy Spirit. That is against the bible.

  51. Jesus predicted in Luke 17 that just before his second coming to earth there will be a worldwide resurgence of the “days of Lot” (see Gen. 19 for details). Apparently same-sex practicers and promoters love the Bible so much they think up new ways to do all they can to help fulfill that prediction and thus make the Bible even more believable. The sooner they fulfill it, the sooner Jesus can return as Judge – their Judge. On the other hand, they can slow down the prediction by doing nothing to help fulfill it – or even try to fight that prediction by abandoning, with Jesus’ help, their same-sex involvement. You see, Jesus does believe in freedom of choice since He’s not a tyrant.  Just my two cents.       Lou

  52. Thanks for taking the time to write a rebuttal. I’ve heard so much bashing of Christians who claim people can be free and make the choice for themselves whether to live a gay lifestyle or not. It’s astounding how society cannot allow this even to be an individual’s decision and mandate it’s inherent to their nature.

    I’ve been at IHOP many times, and used to be on staff. I experienced a powerful deliverance there, myself. It prompted a few years of exposure of sin and lies. I’ve been walking in more and more freedom, recently choosing to blog about the journey:

    http://free-in-christ-from-sex-addiction.blogspot.com/

    I pray many will learn first-hand about the struggles somebody goes through when walking out of homosexuality. There is freedom. There is power. But only through Jesus, and only as we submit our hearts to him, allow him to heal us, repent of our part in sin, break off the power of darkness in our life, and make moment-by-moment choices to obey.

    It’s not a life of repression he seeks, but a life of heart-transformation.

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