Response to inquiries concerning the Sam Allberry post...

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Last week I wrote Gay priest Sam Allberry is LivingOut... warning against the errors bound up with Rev. Sam Allberry and his movement now quite popular here Stateside. Since that post, men who read the post through FB links have been quite angry. 

I understand the frustration these men feel at criticisms leveled against a pastor who is committed to foregoing sexual intimacy outside heterosexual marriage, and to speaking against such sin to his liberal synod’s bishops, most of whom are themselves full-blown homosexualists. At this point in Western culture’s normalization of sodomy,  it seems wacko to get technical about our witness against the movement. Something like the enemy of my enemy can’t be anything other than my friend, right?

Trouble is, we can witness to Biblical sexuality in a way that undercuts Biblical sexuality. Which is to say winning isn’t everything; how we fight is an integral part of our witness. Yes, I get it: we’re very weary of the battle. We see the growing marginalization of Christian sexuality and it would be very helpful right now to have...

a bunch of gay Christians come alongside us and fight alongside us against the normalization of sodomitic intercourse.

So we are excited when a Christian takes a stand against sodomitic intercourse publicly. Who cares what words he uses and how he does it? That he does it is all that matters, and don’t get all perfectionist on me!

But no, that he does it is not all that matters. If we fight for God’s truth by repudiating God’s Word and words (sodomy, abomination, unnatural, etc.), this repudiation—whether unintentional or intentional—ends up helping along the sodomitic revolution. The law of unintended consequences and all that.

With that preface, here’s a summary of what I wrote to one of the critics when he contacted me privately. I reproduce what I wrote and not what he wrote because I don’t want to take his words public, whereas there’s no problem with doing so with my own words.

Do remember that I’m about finished with a book on this subject. The book will more fully open up the points made here, as well as many others. 

* * *

Dear Mr. (Doe),

Thank you for the kindness of this e-mail. Here’s my response.

You mention that, on another website than the one where this video appears, Pastor Allberry rejects the label “gay” saying he prefers the label “same-sex attracted.” What you fail to see is that Pastor Allberry uses “gay” and “same-sex attracted” in parallel construction as he refers to himself in the video I’m responding to in this post. In other words, when I use the label “gay” in the title of this post, I’m simply quoting Pastor Allberry. And no, I don’t fault him for choosing one label for more conservative Christians and another for the mainly liberal and homosexualist Anglican bishops he’s addressing at synod in the video. Certainly, the Anglican bishops had no trouble understanding what Pastor Allberry was taking as his identity.

There’s a large body of publications on the web now identifying “gay Christians” as those who identify themselves publicly as same-sex attracted, but celibate, Christians. In English usage, now, what people often mean when Christians say they are “gay” is precisely what Pastor Allberry means when he says "same-sex attracted.” For the purposes of Scripture and historic Christian witness, Mr. Allberry’s preference is meaningless until he owns that taking a public identity as a gay or same-sex attracted man is itself sin. Beyond the physical intercourse, the identity itself is sin. He has chosen publicly to identify himself as erotically attracted to his own sex and promoting that identity as well as that condition is condemned by Scripture as sinful and shameful. I would add the texts, but I think it would be good to have you think about it and see if you can come up with them yourself. (But yes, they will be in the book I’m writing.)

Still, a couple hints in the direction. First, check out these words in a concordance: “profane,” “abomination,” “defiled,” “perversion,” “bloodguiltiness,” and “detestable.” Second, note that men lying with men and the effeminate will not inherit the kingdom of God. “Effeminate” is the way the NASB, in line with centuries of Bible translations both Roman Catholic and Protestant, translates the Greek word “malakoi” (lit. “soft men”):

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10)

Note that Pastor Allberry is a founding editor of the website promoting the gay Christian movement. Which is to say, Pastor Allberry wants gay men and lesbian women to come to Christ and publicly identify (livingout) as gay/SSA. It seems evident the only reason Pastor Allberry objects to the “gay” nomenclature is because, decades past, it was used by those who celebrate gay copulation. Common usage changes, though, and now there is a large body of usage of this term that has nothing to do with gay copulation. Take the men’s locker room, for instance; also comedy clubs. Maybe the primary usage of the term in English today has no reference to copulation.

So while I appreciate Pastor Allberrry’s attempts to make clear he doesn’t believe it’s right to commit physical sodomy; and yes, it is a hard thing to do in today’s world;  I repudiate his public identity as a man given to sodomy who wants to love and have sex with other men. This is shameful and does a couple of harmful things.

First, it normalizes same-sex attraction as an identity—something which is entirely unbiblical. Jesus said from the beginning God made them male and female, not male and female and animal-attracted or male and female and little boy-attracted or male and female and rape-attracted or male and female and incest-attracted or male and female and sodomy-attracted. The logic of Pastor Allberry and his is that every Christian should come out of the closet, finally, and identify himself publicly by whatever sin or sexual perversion he is susceptible to. Sadly, despite Pastor Allberrry being a Christian and pastor, he doesn’t see what he’s doing because he doesn’t see what he’s undoing. So there will be terrible repercussions in the church and world, to the shame of Pastor Allberry and everyone excitedly promoting his compromises and errors.

Then you write: "Furthermore, Allberry clearly and repeatedly states that homosexuality is a sin, of which repentance is required.”

Again, in his word usage Pastor Allberry is equivocating. What does he mean when he says “homosexuality is a sin?” By homosexuality, he only means same-sex copulation—gay intercourse. He doesn’t mean gay/SSA/homosexual identity, because that’s what is all about. Their goal is to get men and women to identify as a gay/same-sex attracted person AND a Christian. But the identity itself is sin and using it to oppose sodomitic or lesbian copulation is no justification. In our fights against sin, halfway points don’t always lead us forward to righteousness. Sometimes they lead us back to sin. The end result of everyone livingout as “gay” or “same-sex attracted” or “romantically" and erotically attracted to members of the same sex (or whatever phrase is current, now, or will be proposed, tomorrow) is that sinners, both non-Christian and Christian, will become inured to sodomitic temptations and identity.

This is precisely what Alexander Pope meant when, in his "Essay on Man,” he wrote:

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

Both taking a public identity as SSA/gay/homosexual and the temptation from which a man or woman derives that sinful identity are themselves sins. And thus, as I said already, we may expect soon to have for incest-attracted and little-boy attracted Christians, which is to add horror to horror.

Then you write: "Sam is no more sinful due to his same-sex attraction as I am of finding women other than my wife attractive would be,” I’m sorry to say you are wrong. Actually, Sam is more sinful. Your temptation (which is itself sin) is not as sinful because your sin is not against nature. Your temptation is shameful, but less so, although I’m happy you aren’t a moralist dissing Pastor Allberry by pointing this out to him.

But another thing: if the sins really are equivalent, as you say; if what Pastor Allberry and his SSA fellows are doing is true and faithful Christian witness; then sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and I exhort you to write Pastor Allberry requesting he allow you to add an “other-woman-than-one’s-wife attracted” addendum to their site. Then you can be a participant, and I’m betting your part of the site will be so popular that you will soon have the lion’s share of the visits to Think of what you can do to alleviate the shame of all the men who look at pornography and undress women on the street while being married Christians. It would be a monumentally huge success.

Yes, I’m being facetious.

As this example shows, the entire premise is wrong and sinful. Why everyone just loves Pastor Allberry’s compromise is because we just love compromises of God’s truth when we are in the pressure cooker, culturally, and will be accused of being haters if we don’t adjust God’s Word and words. That’s the reason everyone is fawning over the gay Christian/SSA/LivingOut movement right now, but soon we’ll rue the day.

Hope this is helpful to provide you a more Biblical understanding of the damage all the Livingout/SSA/spiritual friendship/gay Christian men and women are doing inside and outside the church today.

Again, thank you for the courtesy of writing to tell me your disagreements.

Warmly in Christ,

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!