God Speaks About The Homosexual Issue

BRF Witness
May/June 2010
Volume 45, Number 3

1. Priming the Brotherhood
2. Examining Bible Teachings
3. Dealing with Objections
4. Concluding Observations

May 1, 2010

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the NRSV.

God Speaks about the Homosexual Issue

The major mainline denominations, including the Church of the Brethren, are deeply divided on the matter of how to address the issues of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Brethren Revival Fellowship has had little interest in encouraging an ongoing debate in the church. We sense that many Brethren are weary of dealing with the issue. The Bible is clear on the matter, and our position over the years has been stated, and so we have not published many recent articles on the subject. However in light of the current encouragement to engage in discussions about homosexuality, BRF has pre-pared this summary study.

There are tendencies for the church to follow the patterns of the culture, and in recent decades sexual issues have dominated the world moral scene. Nearly 90 percent of all movies shown in theaters and on television programs feature some kind of sexual content. Pay-per-view pornography is commonly available in motel rooms; strip clubs have sprung up almost everywhere; college art departments are offering courses on pornography; a large percentage of internet viewing focuses on pornographic material. Outrageous sexual perversions are slithering out of the closet and are seeking to become socially acceptable. Homosexual conduct in the past was a private vice, and was sometimes viewed as a mental disorder—but today, being against homosexuality, is considered a homophobic mental disorder.

Public schools are under increasing pressure to accept curriculum materials which promote homosexuality as a normal (and even desirable) alternative lifestyle. The sexual abuse of children is still generally frowned upon, but new books like the one entitled Pedophilia Reconsidered boldly declare that not all sex between adults and minors is really an unacceptable thing.

1. Priming the Brotherhood

During the past 30 years various forces within the Church of the Brethren have been attempting to prime the denomination for the acceptance of homosexuality as a valid lifestyle.

In 1978, an article in the June Messenger said that the commandments against homosexual relationships in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 speak about homosexuality as an act that was unacceptable “in that community.” The writer concluded that the Bible stands against “antisocial, promiscuous acts of homosexuality,” but that, for homosexuals who function within the framework of a self-giving, loving covenant, there is no condemnation.

In 1979, the Friday night speaker at the Seattle Annual Conference equated homosexuals with Gentiles, and declared that just as the early church had to learn to accept the Gentiles, so we today must learn to accept the homosexuals. The speaker, Virginia Mollenkott, a lesbian activist, expressed her appreciation for what “the Holy Spirit is doing through homosexual Christians.” Her book, Sensuous Spirituality, speaks about her lesbianism and her belief in a female god.

In 1980, the August Messenger informed readers that the General Board Committee studying the topic of human sexuality would report to the Annual Conference in 1981. The 1981 Conference rejected their report and selected an enlarged committee which then reported to the assembled Conference at Baltimore in 1983.

In 1983, the enlarged committee reported by presenting a paper covering the whole range of sexuality, but with a relatively long section on homosexuality. The paper distinguished between crude homosexual rape, and loving covenantal relationships. The report also encouraged intensified efforts by Brethren to try and understand how genetic makeup and childhood experiences may have influenced sexual orientation and behavior.

Brethren were called upon to engage in open and forthright dialogue with homosexuals. The Conference Report also acknowledged that all humans have desires and drives that need to be channeled properly, in order to avoid sin and to build right relationships. Conference finally passed the paper at Baltimore in 1983 when an amendment was added which clearly said that even loving and covenanted homosexual relationships are not acceptable.

At Annual Conference during the later 1980s and early 1990s attempts were made at dialogue with homosexuals. During some years BMC was granted a room where those who held various views about homosexuality could gather for discussion. At a few of the Annual Conferences, structured presentations were given from opposing points of view.

In 1991, the June Messenger reported that there is a Church of the Brethren “Supportive Congregations Network,” a movement among a number of Mennonite and Brethren churches that seek to further explore the issue of homosexuality in the church, and to support gay, lesbian, and bisexual members. Their goal is “public advocacy in support of homosexual and bisexual people.” Currently, there are a number of Church of the Brethren congregations that are listed as part of the Supportive Congregations Network.

In 1993, the issue was festering again—especially because the Annual Conference Moderator approved more openness to homosexuals. Standing Committee that year issued a paper called “Words of Guidance from the Standing Committee to the Delegates of the 1993 Annual Conference” (held at Indianapolis). The opening words of the statement from Standing Committee were these: “The 1993 Standing Committee affirms the 1983 Annual Conference Statement on Human Sexuality, which says that a homosexual lifestyle is unacceptable as a Christian option, and believes that the tone of the 1983 Statement should be preserved.” Standing Committee then called for, and was granted, a period of informational sharing during one of the business sessions. The block of time included a one hour forum during which attendees were allowed to share their concerns; each speaker was limited to just two minutes at the microphone.

The issue of homosexuality continued to be very divisive, and during the latter half of the 1990s there was a moratorium on the issue. It was agreed that the Conference would not receive queries on the topic for a period of five years. In the meantime more latitude was granted to the Brethren Mennonite Gay Council. The homosexual caucus now prefers to be labeled the glbt—the Council for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered concerns.

In 2001, the Manchester Church of the Brethren (South-Central Indiana District) voted “to permit same sex covenant services as part of the congregation’s stance of treating same sex couples the same way it treats others” (Newsline, March 8, 2002). The congregation formally voted on a policy that clearly goes against the 1983 Annual Conference paper on human sexuality.

The majority of the grass roots members of the Church of the Brethren have been satisfied with the conclusions of the 1983 decision. But a vocal minority within the denomination has been saying that the conclusions of that Paper are too narrow.

Articles and letters and editorials have continued to appear in the Messenger. The BMC (Brethren/Mennonite [Gay] Caucus) has been granted the privilege of having luncheons at Annual Conference during the last several years. The 2002 Annual Conference held at Louisville, Kentucky clarified the matter of licensing and ordaining homosexual persons to the ministry in the Church of the Brethren. After a few more turbulent years, the 2009 Annual Conference held at San Diego, California discussed queries which called for changing the wording of the 1983 Human Sexuality Paper. An Annual Conference Committee has been appointed to prepare some resource materials for studying the issue.

2. Examining Bible Teachings

Conclusions on human sexuality depend largely on views held regarding core Christian doctrines.

Creation—Evangelical Christians believe that the Genesis account of creation explains God’s purpose for marriage and the sexual relationship. Some modern theologians consider Genesis to be a myth which is not relevant to the sexuality debate.

The Fall—Evangelical Christians believe that human beings (made in God’s image) are fallen creatures (since Genesis 3), but despite the human bent toward sin, Christians are called to live lives that exemplify holiness. Some modern theologians claim that humans are inherently good (though sometimes misguided), and that God calls for self-acceptance instead of following behavior codes.

Redemption—Evangelical Christians believe that Jesus by His death on the Cross reconciled sinners to God, and that because of the Cross we can claim the forgiveness of sin. Some modern theologians teach that Jesus was put on the Cross because he was a threat to the Pharisees, and that His execution was an example of God’s all-inclusive love which calls us merely to be our best selves.

The Authority of Scripture—Evangelical Christians believe that the Bible is inerrant in its original writings, and that the New Testament is the final authority for all moral and theological decisions. Believers are those who take the Bible message seriously and when the Bible is clear on a point—that settles the matter. Some modern theologians hold that the Bible is not without error, and that when the Scriptures conflict with human experience, Christians must interpret them in light of that experience.

The Purposes for Marriage—Scripture recognizes heterosexual marital intimacy as a normal sexual experience which fulfills at least three purposes—procreation (Genesis 1:27-28), prevention (1 Corinthians 7:1-2), and enjoyment (1  Corinthians 7:3-5).

For evangelical Anabaptist Christians, the Bible is the supreme standard by which all human conduct and religious opinions should be tried—and the Bible everywhere classifies homosexual activity as a violation of the will of God. The biblical passages found in Genesis, Leviticus, Matthew, Romans, First Corinthians, and First Timothy are clear prohibitions against homosexual activity.

(Genesis 2:24) Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

In Genesis 2:24, the creation account establishes heterosexual monogamy as the marriage norm. The obvious teaching of the text is that the only one-flesh experience which God approves is a monogamous, permanent, heterosexual marriage.

The passage states at least three major facts about the marriage relationship, as viewed from the perspective of God’s revealed will:

a) Marriage is to be monogamous. It includes one man and one woman. It speaks of a man and his wife (singular).

b) Marriage is to be permanent. The man is to be joined to [to cling to] the woman. The word “cling” speaks of strong commitment, like epoxy glue.

c) Marriage is to be heterosexual. The statement is given in the context of a male and a female.

These standards make it clear that divorce, polygamy, adultery, and promiscuity are violations of God’s will. Jesus placed the final commentary on the union of a man and his wife, when He quoted the Genesis 2:24 passage in Mark 10:7-9.

God looks with disfavor upon all sexual activity outside an honorable monogamous marriage between a man and a woman.


(Leviticus 18:22) You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

In Leviticus 18:22, homosexual practice is called an “abomination”—and thus speaks of an activity that is detestable to God. Persons who claim that the Leviticus passage is not a prohibition for us, since we live under grace and not under the law, must explain (if God approves homosexual conduct), why He does not also approve incest, adultery, bestiality, and human sacrifice. All those acts are condemned in the very same passage from Leviticus that condemns homosexual activity. If homosexual conduct pleases God, then to be consistent, one must also say that acts of incest, adultery, bestiality, and child sacrifice are also pleasing to God.

The passages in Leviticus were part of a code of laws superseded by New Testament truths. The primary value of the Leviticus passages is to inform present-day readers that Jehovah God (the “true and living” God) never approved homosexual activity.

(Matthew 19:4-6) [Jesus] answered, “Have you not read that [He] who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”

In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus quotes the Genesis 2:24 passage about marriage.

The question which Jesus asked is this: What has God joined together? The answer is: Male and female! Jesus endorsed the male/female union in marriage. Jesus says that a human male shall marry a human female—and they shall be joined together to become one flesh.

The words quoted by Jesus describe the specifics of God’s view regarding marriage. The passage describes God’s plan for the marriage of a man and a woman. God’s ideals are very high. Marriage is designed for the good of the human family. The statement is God’s word about the ongoing close relationship that should exist between the man and the woman who have taken the vows of marriage. Duly married heterosexual couples can celebrate their sexual desires, knowing that God has placed His personal blessing upon their marital intimacy.

(Romans 1:26-27) For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

In Romans 1:26-27, homosexual intercourse is referred to as a “degrading passion.” Homosexual behavior is declared to be not only a violation of the law of God, but it is also clearly said to be unnatural. Even women (like men) were unnaturally consumed with passion for each other! This doesn’t mean that it does not feel natural to the practicing homosexual. Any habit that is repeatedly practiced, whether wholesome or harmful, will come to feel natural to those who are practicing the habit. And any attempt to lay aside the habitual practice will seem unnatural! Ask any cigarette smoker!

In Romans 1, Paul highlights homosexual behavior as an especially obvious indication of the way human beings have turned from the true God. Men and women have been unnaturally consumed with passion for each other.

The frightening thing is that this dark scene in Romans describes more than ancient paganism. The passage is also a precise indictment of the present evil “post-Christian” world. We almost seem to be reading, in Romans 1, a documentary of the present age. What a picture it draws of modern evolutionary humanism in practice. Yet the gospel Paul preached was, and still is, “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16/NKJV).


(1 Corinthians 6:9-10) Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, readers are informed that people who engage in ongoing sin will not inherit the kingdom of God. They include fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, and sodomites.

Fornicators (Greek, pornia) refer to unmarried persons who practice illicit sexual intercourse. When the words fornication and adultery are used in the same context, then fornication usually broadens to refer to pre-marital sexual immorality.

Adulterers (Greek, moichia) are married persons who indulge in sexual acts outside of the covenanted marriage bond, and by such conduct violate the seventh commandment.

Homosexuals (Greek, malakoi), Thayer says literally means “soft to the touch; a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness.” The word describes those males who seek to transform their maleness into female-like characteristics, so as to make them more attractive as the passive sexual partners of other men.

Sodomites (Greek, arsenokoitai) literally refers to those who corrupt normal male-female sexual roles, by seeking sexual gratification as the active sex partner with those designated by malakoi. Sodomites are those who practice acts of sexual intercourse (genital/oral or genital/anal) with men.

Some of the people in the church at Corinth were at one time caught up in many of the sins named in verses 9 and 10. They used to live that way, but now by the grace of God they had said farewell to such vices (verse 11). The tremendous revolution brought about by the early preaching of the gospel is implied in the words of verse 11. It takes the mighty power of the Spirit of God to turn people away from their sins and make them members of Christ’s church.

(1 Timothy 1:8-10) Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. This means under-standing that the law is laid down not for the innocent, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for…fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.

In 1 Timothy 1:8-10, the proper function of the law is explained. The law may be used rightly or wrongly. The Jews used the law to oppose the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul says that its real purpose is to make sinners aware of their sinfulness.

Three pairs of violations are listed—including the lawless and disobedient, the godless and sinful, and the unholy and profane—persons who have no desire to conform to the mind of God, and no respect for God’s name. Then eight specific violations of God’s law are listed, including those involved in fornication and sodomy.

Fornicators” (Greek, pornia) is a general term describing those involved in illicit sexual immorality, and sometimes speaks of pre-marital illicit sex.

Sodomites” (Greek, arsenokoitai) are male homosexuals, especially of the dominant male partners.

The teaching in 1 Timothy reinforces the teaching found in 1 Corinthians 6:9. Even the term “slave traders” (in its context of sexual terms) implies that (Greek, andropodistai) refers to a particular type of slave trader—those who sell boys or girls to be slaves for the brothel houses. The activities listed in the passage are “contrary to sound teaching.”

Other Bible passages that deal with homosexual conduct include the Genesis 19:4-11 account connected with the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. However, since the homosexual acts in that account refer to homosexual rape, and do not refer to consensual homosexual relationships, it is not an ideal text to use when seeking to establish God’s will regarding much of the homosexual activity which takes place in our day. Yet, the punishment which fell on those cities, tells readers something about the gravity of their sins, and God’s view regarding the practice of “sexual immorality” and the pursuit of “unnatural lust.” In Jude 7, God says that such sins called for the punishment of “eternal fire.”

It is true that the New Testament Gospels have no record that Jesus ever directly addressed homosexuality in His teachings—but to argue that homo-sexuality is acceptable to God because we have no direct words from Christ—is to say by the same logic, that we must approve such activities as child pornographers, cocaine traffickers, and wife beaters, because Jesus never addressed those matters either!

God created the sexual relationship. The pattern is clear in the Genesis creation account—one man cleaving to one woman, bearing children, raising them up to serve the Lord. Homosexuality, by way of contrast, mocks God’s loving design for propagating the race. It is a radical rebellion against God and rudely rejects God’s authority.

There is no question in our minds that the Bible clearly and specifically condemns male and female homosexual behavior. Wherever they are mentioned in Scripture, lesbianism and homosexual practices are uniformly condemned.

3. Dealing with Objections

One commonly heard objection leveled against those who oppose homosexual activity is related to the concept of love. There are those who say, “If you don’t agree that the homosexual lifestyle is good, then you don’t love us.” But when God declares certain acts to be sinful, is it loving for us to tell such persons that their active sexual conduct is not sinful? That indeed would be a shallow kind of love. We should love homosexual persons enough not to bless them in a style of living which the Bible teaches is a perversion that will eventually destroy them! Brethren Revival Fellowship believes that it is a loving act to call to repentance those who openly practice what the Bible designates as sinful ways of living.

Another objection given to those who oppose practicing homosexual lifestyles, is that there is a difference between homosexual rape, and what is called a loving covenanted homosexual relationship. Some homosexual activists condemn homosexual lust and rape, but say that a loving covenanted same-sex relationship surely must be acceptable. They declare that homosexual expression is acceptable, but should only occur within a loyal lifelong partnership. But the Scriptures make no distinction between gay lust and gay love.

Homosexual “love” is never explicitly approved in the Bible. Whenever homosexual activity is mentioned, it is strictly condemned.

At no place in Holy Scripture are homosexual relationships commended, and while sexuality includes the concept of personal satisfaction, the primary aim for sexual relationships is to provide interpersonal completeness (Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:8). Homosexuality, whether defined in terms of lust or love, is not a valid model of sexuality because it affirms incompleteness.

Another objection is the argument that the word “know” (in passages such as Genesis 19) refers to “hospitality” rather than to “sexual intercourse.” When the wicked men of Sodom surrounded Lot’s house and demanded that Lot was to “bring [the visiting men] out to us, so that we may know them” (Genesis 19:5), some have argued that the word “know” meant “to get acquainted with,” not “to have sexual intercourse with.” It is true that the Hebrew word yada is used in a sexual sense only sixteen times out of the more than nine hundred times that it appears in the Old Testament, but the context in Genesis 19 obviously refers to the sexual sense in the use of the word.

Perhaps the most often named objection given to those who oppose accepting homosexuality is this: They say that homosexuals “are born to be so.” The argument is that homosexuality is built into some persons’ constitutions, and that homosexuals are not responsible for their same-sex tendencies any more than they are responsible for small ears, a large nose, blue eyes, or creeping old age. There is disagreement about whether homosexuality is a result of genetic makeup, or whether it is a learned be-havior. But many geneticists are slow to believe that homosexuals are “born to be so,” because any gene clustering (in an embryo stage of a new life), that cannot lead to reproduction and the perpetuation of a species gene pool, is by definition “maladaptive.” Such a clustering would be counter-productive to the fundamental purpose of genetic behavior. Homosexuality, if indeed it is genetic in origin, cannot be reproductive of the human race, and therefore it violates the genetic purpose.

It is not our purpose to condemn the people who have embraced the homosexual lifestyle. It is the sinful practice that brings on the wrath of God. Those who commit homosexual acts are not to be feared, ridiculed, or hated. Their sins can be forgiven, and their lives can be transformed. In New Testament times there were those who had been delivered from the sins of adultery, homosexuality, sodomy, covetousness, and thievery—and they were cleansed and freed from those sins (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Persons who have been practicing homosexuals, but are eager to repent and do God’s will in the area of sexual morality, we believe, can make use of the resources of grace, and can receive God’s power to transform their desires and arrest their illicit active expression of sexual desire. The old life of bondage to sin can be transformed into a new life of freedom in Christ. The stubbornness of homosexual orientation may be slow to lose its grip, but one can be lifted by the Holy Spirit’s power so as to become free from homosexual activity. Acts 3:19 says, “Repent therefore and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”

Making a complete break from homosexual practice will undoubtedly bring pain and frustration and loneliness. But just because it hurts, does not mean that it is unloving. Radical surgery is often painful. However, apart from true repentance, there is no promise of pardon and forgiveness. The church should say to practicing homosexuals what it says to all others who are violating God’s laws: “Those who have sinned do indeed inherit the kingdom of God, but only after they have turned to the Lord in genuine repentance, and have been justified by faith in the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.”

Committed Christians look with compassion toward homosexuals, and see their struggles, sympathize with their rejection, and are saddened by their personal agony. It is not easy for gay or lesbian persons to lose a job or to be rejected by their own families. We remember too that all humans have tendencies and drives which can be just as wicked as homosexual conduct. The one basic difference is that most homosexuals are saying, “My gayness is good. My sodomy is not sinful. God made me this way. God accepts my style of living as good. It is natural to me, and it’s time for you folks to accept me as I am, and to join me in saying that a homosexual style of living is acceptable.” Most other sinners are not saying that; we are not seeking to have anyone tell us that our sins are okay.

The avowed, practicing, and unrepentant homosexual is engaged in a great wickedness, just as the practicing unrepentant adulterer or robber or idolater is engaging in very great wickedness. All, who by the grace of God will repent of their evil behavior, and turn to Jesus Christ, seeking God’s grace for salvation, and for a new type of living, may be assured of God’s forgiveness and of acceptance by the vast majority of Christians everywhere.

4. Concluding Observations

The Church of the Brethren has spoken out clearly on some of the prominent social issues. Matters such as war, nuclear energy, racism, and environmental issues have been the subject of many Annual Conference resolutions—and the decisions clearly state that Brethren call such enterprises sin. Should not the Church of the Brethren speak out just as clearly on the matter of homosexual practice? Brethren Revival Fellowship calls upon the Annual Conference to state its objection to homosexual activity in a few clear sentences, stating that we do not consider homosexuality to be compatible with Christian teaching.

Furthermore, the church should condemn moves to legalize same-sex “marriages.” We should denounce efforts to compel the church to accept unrepentant homosexuals as members (let alone as ordained ministers). We should decry attempts to indoctrinate children by means of curricula that portray homosexual activity as normal. At the same time, we need to remember that Romans 1:30-31 cautions against becoming “arrogant” and “boastful” and “heartless” and “ruthless” (NIV). All of us must guard our attitudes, lest in the heat of our hatred for sin, we lose our compassion for the welfare of our fellow human beings.

There does not seem to be a way to resolve this issue in the Church of the Brethren. Some are asking if there is not a way we can compromise on the matter of homosexuality. Brethren Revival Fellowship has been patient in dealing with matters of concern in the Church. We are reconcilers, not fighters—but on the matter of homosexual intercourse, the Bible is so clear that there is no room for compromise.

On the matter of homosexual conduct, the Bible is so clear that there is no room for compromise.

The question of approving homosexual conduct has been forced on the church by the gay community. In 1983 those who approve the homosexual lifestyle did not get the answer they had hoped to achieve—and so they have been seeking to promote arguments favoring their way of life since that time! Many of their attempts to gain acceptance have to do with technical matters related to the Greek words in the Bible text. But as Dr. Thomas Gillespie, former president of Princeton Theological Seminary says: “I happen to be trained in New Testament studies in the Greek language, and I can tell you that…the text says what it means and means what it says. The Leviticus texts mean what they say. The Romans text means what it says, and the First Corinthians text means what it says.”

Brethren Revival Fellowship identifies with the words of Wolfhart Pannenberg (the German theologian who certainly cannot be labeled as a conservative by any means)—when he says in an essay published in the 1990s in the British Times, “Here lies the boundary of a Christian Church that knows itself to be bound by the authority of the Scripture. Those who urge the church to change the norm of its teaching on this matter must know that they are promoting schism. If the church were to let itself be pushed to the point where it ceased to treat homosexual activity as a departure from the biblical norm, and recognize homosexual unions as a personal partnership of love equivalent to marriage, such a church would stand no longer on biblical ground, but against the clear and repeated witness of Scripture.”

Does the Church of the Brethren really want to take an official stand “against the clear and repeated witness of Scripture”?

When those who support the homosexual way of life, seek to make the biblical account of Jonathan and David examples of homosexual intercourse, they are demonstrating how desperate they are, in their attempt to find the slightest shred of support for their point-of-view. There is no indication anywhere in Scripture that the writer of 1 & 2 Samuel ever referred to any hint of sexual intercourse between Jonathan and David.


















Dr. Robert Spitzer, a researcher and psychiatrist at Columbia University, though skeptical at first, is now convinced that many homosexuals have made substantial changes toward becoming heterosexual.

The view of many modern medical and psychological specialists is that persons cannot be held responsible for their sexual orientation—and that seeking to change it, is not only futile, but can be harmful. But Mansell Pattison, chairman of the psychiatry and health behavior department at the Medical College in Augusta, Georgia, along with his wife, Myrna Loy Pattison, have described religiously mediated change in the lives of homosexuals. In the American Journal of Psychiatry (December, 1980) they documented eleven cases of men who claimed not only to have resisted successfully their homosexual drives, but most of them changed their basic homosexual orientation to the point where they have developed satisfactory sexual attraction to females. In other words, they were cured—something which gay activists often claim is impossible.

A writer named Rick Grant has written a chapter in a book on moral issues edited by Sara Anderson, in which he shares a testimony about a young male acquaintance who had a struggle with early signs of sexual desire that was geared toward men. The account tells about a man named Samuel McComb (not his real name).

Samuel remembered being different from the other little boys in his neighborhood, and sensed his early gravitation to “feminine” things. He remembered that the onset of puberty brought with it the realization that his sexual desires were tending toward males.

Instead of seeking help to gain perspective on his sexual confusion, Samuel began to entertain the idea of embracing the gay lifestyle after finishing high school. He was reading the secular literature about homosexuality; it was telling him that being gay was okay, and that, in fact, it would be healthy for him to explore his sexual orientation toward males.

He chose that direction. But after spending some time in the gay lifestyle, he began to re-evaluate his “liberating” move. He realized that accepting the view that he was “born” homosexual had really done nothing to relieve his inner struggle for self-identity.

At a concert where the gospel message was presented, Samuel dedicated his life to Jesus and claimed Him as Savior. His experience led to a new discovery—the healing power of Jesus Christ. After “vowing to live for Jesus,” Samuel slowly but surely came to see himself as a new creature in Christ, and although the tension between the flesh and the Spirit seemed almost unbearable at times, he chose to live by the strength and grace which God provided. In the years that followed, he and his wife became the parents of several children, and began to operate a ministry that helps others who struggle with homo-sexuality. They offer spiritual nurture to homosexual persons who desire to be healed.

The significant number of men and women who seek and receive healing from homosexuality, shows that Samuel’s story is not an isolated experience. For many homosexuals, God’s love and forgiveness breaks through the tangled web of identity confusion and sinful behavior.

Lars Granberg is a noted psychologist who points out (in Christianity Today, February 6, 1981) that successful therapy depends on whether a person really desires to change. Those who believe that their condition is normal and healthy, do not seek healing. Those who believe homosexuality is not sin, but rather a gift of God, do not want conversion. The homosexual community is adamant in its refusal to admit that a homosexual can change

But in her book, The Healing of the Homosexual, psychologist Leanne Payne writes: “As a sexual neur-osis, homosexuality is regarded as one of the most complex. As a condition for God to heal, it is (in spite of the widespread belief to the contrary), remarkably simple.” The complexity of the issue cannot be denied, but a growing consensus among those who minister to homosexuals—is that gays and lesbians need not be permanently bound to their sexual life-style or orientation.













































Anderson, Sara L., ed. Keeping Your Balance in an Immoral Age. Wilmore, KY: Bristol Books, 1988.

Gagnon, Robert A. J. The Bible and Homosexual Practice. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2001.

Kirk, Jerry. The Homosexual Crisis in the Mainline Church. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1978.

McQuilkin, Robertson. An Introduction to Biblical Ethics. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1989.

Moo, Douglas J. The NIV Application Commentary: Romans. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000.

Olasky, Marvin. “Shrinking Discussion” (an article interviewing Jeffrey Satinover and his current status). World

magazine, August 15, 2009.

Payne, Leanne. The Healing of the Homosexual. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1984.

Satinover, Jeffrey. Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1996.

Scudder, C. W. Crisis in Morality: Plain Christian Thinking. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1964.

Stott, John R. W. Guard the Truth: The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Press, 1996.

Thayer, Joseph H. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Edinburgh, Scotland: T & T Clark, 1901.

“The Religious Case for Gay Marriage,” Lisa Miller. Newsweek, December 15, 2008.

Walton, John H. The NIV Application Commentary: Genesis. Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan Publishing House, 2001.

Wink, Walter. Homosexuality and the Bible. Nyack, NY: Fellowship Publications, 1996.

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Captivity… Dreams… Rulers… Fire… Lions… Prayers… Kingdoms. From a dedicated youth to a faithful sage, Daniel’s life stands as an example to follow.  Yet beyond his personal life, God gifted Daniel with a message of future events.  Though difficult to grasp, these events would shape the world for the coming Messiah and the Second Coming of Christ as King.


Luke presents a warmly personal and historically accurate account of Jesus as “the Son of Man.” This course will survey the Third Gospel, with emphasis on the unique events, miracles, and parables of Jesus found in it.


This class will provide a broad overview of general church history. We will then focus on the Anabaptist and Pietist movements, especially as they relate to the formation and development of the Brethren groups. This is a two-part class. Plan to take both parts.


This course is intended to lay down a measure in a world where truth is slippery and often subject to interpretation. Where “Christian Values” become a political slogan, and “good people” are our allies despite their faulty core beliefs. Where Facebook “friends” post memes about the power of God, despite a lifestyle that is anything but Godly. In the process we often fight among ourselves, doing Satan’s work for him. The purpose of this course is to lay the measure of Jesus Christ against the cults, religions, and worship in our contemporary world.


While Protestant translations of the Bible contain 66 books, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches recognize additional canonical books as well.  Where did these books, collectively known as the Apocrypha, come from and why aren’t they part of our Bible?  How reliable are they, and what value is there in studying them?


The goal of this class is to acquire a firm grasp of the teachings and themes of these two general epistles. Peter covers topics from salvation and suffering to spiritual deception and the return of Christ. These letters are packed with warnings and encouragements for Christian living.


A detailed study of Jesus Christ and His relationship to the “I Am” metaphors in John’s gospel. Why did Jesus describe himself in these terms? How do they relate to each other? We will look at spiritual and practical applications to further our Christian growth.


Have you ever been visited by someone who said they wanted to study the Bible with you so that you might discover the truth together?  Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to have much in common with evangelical Christians, and they seem to be well versed in the scriptures.  But what do they really believe and how can we effectively witness to those who have been ensnared by this false religion?


While we may consider Hosea as one of the minor prophets, his message vividly illustrates the major doctrine in all Scriptures.  The theme of God’s unconditional love is magnified and extended beyond those deserving it.  God expresses tender words towards His erring people inviting them to turn from sin to reconciliation with Him.


This course will look at basic principles and polity of leading the local church. We will examine the balance between upholding a spiritually focused organism of ministry and cultivating proper order for effective organization. Practical applications will be emphasized. This is a two-part class. Plan to take both parts.


The Brethren Bible Institute believes in the discipline of the whole person (spirit, soul, and body). We will aim to train students not only about how to study the Bible in a systematic way (2 Timothy 2:15), but also how to live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world (Titus 2:12). God calls Christians to the highest of character when He commands us to be holy (1 Peter 1:15), and holiness requires discipline.

Indulgence in the use of tobacco, alcoholic beverages, drugs, profanity, and gambling are forbidden at BBI. Objectionable literature will be prohibited. Students are asked not to use the college pool during the Institute. Each student must be thoughtful, and respect the rights of others at all times, especially during study and rest periods.

A friendly social group intermingling of students between class periods, and at general school activities is encouraged. Each student should enjoy the friendship of the entire group. At all times, highest standards of social conduct between men and women must be maintained. This means that all forms of unbecoming behavior and unseemly familiarities will be forbidden.

Personal appearance and grooming tell much about one's character. Students are expected to be dressed in good taste. In an attempt to maintain Scriptural expressions of simplicity, modesty, and nonconformity, the following regulations shall be observed while attending BBI.

MEN should be neatly attired and groomed at all times. Fashion extremes and the wearing of jewelry should be avoided on campus. The hair should not fall over the shirt-collar when standing, nor should it cover the ears.

WOMEN should wear skirts cut full enough and of sufficient length to at least come to the knees when standing and sitting. Form-fitting, transparent, low-neckline, or sleeveless clothing will not be acceptable. Slacks and culottes are permitted only for recreation and then only when worn under a skirt of sufficient length. Wearing jewelry should be avoided on campus. Long hair for women is encouraged and all Church of the Brethren girls (and others with like convictions) shall be veiled on campus.

The Institute reserves the right to dismiss any student whose attitude and behavior is not in harmony with the ideals of the School, or whose presence undermines the general welfare of the School, even if there is no specific breach of conduct.

The Brethren Bible Institute is intended to provide sound Bible teaching and wholesome Christian fellowship for all who desire it. The Bible School Committee worked hard and long at the task of arriving at standards, which will be pleasing to the Lord. It is not always easy to know just where the line should be drawn and we do not claim perfection. No doubt certain standards seem too strict for some and too loose for others. If you are one who does not share all these convictions, we hope you will agree to adjust to them for the School period, for the sake of those who do. We are confident that the blessings received will far outweigh any sacrifice you may have to make. If you have a special problem or question, please write to us about it. To be accepted as a student at BBI, you will need to sign a statement indicating that you will cooperate with the standards of the School.