“I recently became gay affirming after a 15-year journey,” said Danny Cortez, a preacher for the New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, California.
In a letter to blogger John Shore, founder of “Unfundamentalist Christians,” Cortez said he “realized I no longer believed in the traditional teachings regarding homosexuality.” The Baptist trained preacher said after reading many of Shore’s posts his “eyes became open to the injustice that the church had wrought.”
Cortez, a graduate of Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology, revealed his Biblical change of position to the church in February, and informed the church’s elders that he now embraced same-sex relationships.
In his hour-long sermon that day, “Why I’ve Changed My Mind on Homosexuality,” Cortez focused on Romans 1 and his new belief. He said, “[Romans 1] wasn’t so that we could judge everyone else. Paul, in this magnificent, brilliant, writing style was saying, ‘I’m writing all of this, but really I’m getting you to agree with how evil it is and then telling you, guess what? You’re just the same way,'” he said. “And therefore, Paul says, ‘Don’t judge anyone.’ And yet we use this Romans 1 as the passage most often to judge all sorts of people.”
Sadly, Danny Cotez is not the first preacher, nor will he be the last, to go on a journey that ends in justifying homosexual relationships. His new interpretation of Romans is flawed. It contradicts the serious, scholarly exegesis of every Biblical commentator on Romans. More importantly it contradicts the plain teaching the apostle Paul himself.
Romans is book dealing with justification. Righteousness. And God’s plan through Jesus Christ to redeem the human race from sin. Chapter one traces the apostasy of the Gentile world. Through willful ignorance they rejected the Divine nature of God. This led them down the path to ignorance. Ingratitude. Idolatry. And finally the decent into gross immorality. Here’s what Paul says in Romans 1:24-28.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
This passage is clear! Homosexuality is sinful behavior. It is degrading. Depraved. Shameful. Unnatural. Indecent. And perverted. I can understand that it might take a 15 year journey to twist this to mean something different.
However, Paul turns to the Jewish people and says they too are guilty. What he condemned was not the righteous judgment of sin, but judging others in sin when you too are guilty of the same sins! As a nation Israel had rejected God. Stoned the prophets. Engaged in idolatry. Fell into immorality. And perverted the law. The Jews, too, were guilty. Their heritage and the Abrahamic covenant did not give them a pass from obeying God. In fact, it should have given them an advantage. But they rejected Jesus as the Messiah.
So in chapter three Paul’s conclusion is simple “there is none righteous, no, not one…All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:11, 23). The following chapters demonstrate there is only one way to be justified from sin, find forgiveness and enjoy peace with God–and that is through Jesus Christ! (Rom 5:1-2; 8:1).
Indeed the Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation. For both Jews and Gentiles! (Rom. 1:16-17).
Paul is not teaching that the Jew’s sins justify the Gentiles homosexual behavior! Both are guilty! Both need cleaning from sin! Both need Jesus!
There is much to lament from Danny Cortez’s heresy. But this may be the most pitiful. Soon after Cortez’s public admission of his Scriptural shift, his 15-year old son, Drew, revealed that he was a homosexual. Cortez said that he was glad that he changed his theology because, “I may have destroyed my son through reparative therapy.”
Sadly, I fear the opposite is true for the Cortez family.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
18 responses to “Why I Haven’t Changed My Mind on Homosexuality”
Thanks Brother for your boldness to proclaim the purity of God’s Word. Sadly, such clear and simply stated Scriptures are so often twisted in the attempt to justify one’s choice to continue in sin and appease the conscience.
Thanks, Nancy! I appreciate your encouragement. Ken Weliever 400 NW Highcliffe Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 Home Phone: 816-600-5001 Cell Phone: 813-507-1726 Church Office: 816-761-2659 email@example.com web site: http://www.weliever.net/ blog: http://www.thepreachersword.com/ Church web site: http://hickmanchurch.com/
Hi Ken — In reading today’s blog, my impression was that your lesson was solid Biblical teaching — until the last 2 sentences where alarm bells starting going off in my head.
Boy, on Christian blogs a gazillion horror stories on Reparative therapy have surfaced in the past year or so.
This is a fundamental question in Straight Christians trying to understand the homosexuality issue. Is it a choice, or always a choice? What does our Bible say about this?
Growing up, I knew a couple of boys who were effeminate (where their brothers were “normal”). As an adult, it sure didn’t surprise me when I found out they were gay.
Science is a big part of my life, has been since I was a kid with curiosity. In undergrad, I majored in micro-biology. One thing I remember (for some reason) from a biology class was that homosexuality is present in all higher primates.
Before you go ballistic on me that we are not apes or dolphins, bear with me for a second. The Bible does talk about “natural laws” and laws in nature.
In the culture of +2K years ago, I know things like boys (I believe slaves) being “cut”, we have the horrible culture of Caligula in Roman times (forced rape and prostitution), we have stories of boys being disfigured at birth (non fully formed sex organs). But in today’s society, homosexuality isn’t this way from the “norms” present +2K years ago.
Does our Bible have stories/examples of people “being born with homosexual attraction?”
We are all children of God. What is your Biblical interpretation of the statements “God made some people this way. In making some people this way, God didn’t eliminate their sexual desires.”
If God did make some people this way, Boy! he sure gives them a big mountain to climb that straight people don’t have — to never “ACT” on sexual desires.
I know this is a difficult subject. Thanks!
Hey Stephen, don’t worry I’m not going ballistic!
I admit that I’m not so much in the science aspect, as the Biblical aspect. With no medical training or degree in Biology, I’m not qualified to discuss all the finer points of homosexual desires and feelings.
But here is what I do know. God made us accountable for our actions. While we all have different personalities, interests, feelings and urges, the tone of the Bible is self control. When God calls something a sin, I don’t know any other way to define it, regardless of the circumstances. For instance, what about someone says they have sexual feelings for children? We expect them to suppress their urges. Control them. Or get some help to overcome them.
If you have a 14 year old daughter, I don’t think you want to hear a 17 year old boy say, “I can’t help myself. I just want to have sex with her!” Or if another man has strong feelings for your wife and commits adultery with her, you don’t accept that is ok! The argument, “Yes, but I can’t control my feelings for her! God just made me that way!” is not going to be an acceptable rationale for an immoral sexual relationship with your loved one.
Yet, when it comes to homosexuality, society has changed in the last 50 years to regard it is acceptable. “They can’t help it.” I believe they can help it.
Now, I know there is controversy over the success rate of reparative therapy. But there are stories of people who have overcome their homosexual desires to live a godly life. In fact, I know of one young man who did. And now he is a gospel preacher!
I don’t pretend to know their struggle. Their pain. Or their problems. But I have faith in the promise of God that he will help us overcome any temptation. (1 Cor 10:10-13)
Ultimately, all sin is a choice. My work and role as a gospel preacher is to encourage people to make the right choices. I’m not the judge! Just the Messenger I will leave all judgment to the Almighty!
As always, thanks for reading. And thanks for your questions. I agree with Marty, questions are good. But it’s even better to search, believe and accept the answers. Especially answers from the Bible!
Ken Weliever 400 NW Highcliffe Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 Home Phone: 816-600-5001 Cell Phone: 813-507-1726 Church Office: 816-761-2659 firstname.lastname@example.org web site: http://www.weliever.net/ blog: http://www.thepreachersword.com/ Church web site: http://hickmanchurch.com/
Thanks for taking this difficult issue on and willing to talk as a teacher with a heart of Agape as some of your students struggle.
I was reading Rachel Held Evans blog, where she quoted a Christian medical doctor that 1 in 6 babies are born with homosexual characteristics. Of course, I have no idea whether this is true or not. But another statement is one that hit home. When you add the parents of these babies who grow up, add their straight brothers, sisters, and other close relatives (uncles, aunts), around 50% of the population is being forced to deal with this issue in a very personal way.
By personal, I mean that straight parents love their children. Every parent wants their child to be happy. Every straight brother or sister wants their sibling (gay or not) to be happy.
And this is where we struggle. I’d say 99.99% of us with gay children, siblings, or family members don’t view the gay person we love the way you describe above — such as a pedophile or worst. We love them!
The examples you cite above are the circumstances rampant in the culture of Rome at the time of Paul’s writings in Romans — which are clearly a sin where a dominant person was hurting someone who “had” to be submissive in that culture.
As I mentioned, science is a big part in my life. I see things and wonder, hummm? Our Bible talks about drunkenness a whole lot more than homosexuality. I’ve seen alcohol addiction tear my family about. My Grandfather had a wonderful heart, but he could never really conquer this. Advancements in medical science have discovered that acute alcoholism is or can be caused by a genetic disorder, and now can be treated as a disease through medication. So, conquering this sin can be more than just self-control and Faith, it now involves medical science (which I believe God gave us in the Tree of Knowledge that mankind’s scientists are trying to figure out).
What if homosexuality (or some forms of it) is proven to be a genetic disorder (like acute alcoholism)? What if in the future, homosexuality can be addressed in the embryo or by popping a pill?
For us Christians with gay children or family members, what just tears our heart apart is a Biblical interpretation that a gay person (like our child) can not enter Heaven. While I know that there are different interpretations of what St. Paul meant by “a thorn in his side” — I personally believe Paul was talking about sin. Why can’t we think of homosexuality this way as a “thorn” (especially if homosexuality’s cause is truly a genetic abnormality)?
Since I’m Straight, I really can’t get into the mind of how a gay person struggles with this thorn.
Again thanks for talking about this issue.
Ken, thanks for your continued good messages. I guess from Danny’s views, since we are all sinners, then since we should embrace homosexuality, we must embrace all the sins Paul mentions in Romans 1. I suppose you are familiar with the “Queen James Bible?”
As to Stephen’s question, i believe it is true that we are all different, and we all have different weaknesses–whether habitual lying, kleptomania, homosexuality or whatever. But God has provided a way for us to deal with every sin that besets us.
Earlier this year, I took a distance learning course from Harvard on the writings of St. Paul. One thing the course did with every writing was to place it in “context” of what the culture/society was +2K years ago. This really helped in better understanding Paul’s writing.
Below is the sermon by the Baptist pastor that Ken refers to. Its an hour long, I think you can start at the 14 minute point to start getting into the Biblical context of Romans 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqYvkVqVLFo
At the point 22:15 in the video, the pastor brings up an issue of “context” of Romans 1 — specifically, Romans 1 1:27. As often referenced today, this “act” of homosexuality is sinful and will have consequences.
The Baptist Pastor makes a point that it wasn’t simply the “act” or a general belief of homosexuality as a sin that Paul is referencing here in Romans 1:27.
Lets see if this link brings the video directly to our Blog page:
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Food for thought on this subject for all sides. http://bit.ly/1jOqzT3
Interesting, that someone will bring up such a sin and actually speak about it. Most preachers will shy away from talking about this subject,in fact they do on all sin because you are sure it will offend somebody and it will. However,Romans 1&2 makes it clear it is very important both to the Jew and also the Gentile. It is a sin that to us straight folks is against nature, they cannot even reproduce. That is very bad, but so is abortion,envy,greed,gossips.Wow, I may have committed one of those today.If I did then I am guilty of all so I need to check myself and do better and the grace of God will take care of it. But we do need teaching on this and all sin so we can help those who struggle with something we do not.We teach and instruct with love and God can do the judging thank goodness.I am glad he did not give me that job. Thanks, Ken You just say it very well!!
I agree with Dave. Its very comforting to have a teacher we can go to, trust, feel like we are in a safe environment and say “I’m struggling with something”.
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