An Older, Wiser Ex-Gay Movement | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Source: www.christianitytoda...
Tom Usher wrote or added: This is a solid overview (I'm a tough grader) for all concerning where Christianity stands vis-a-vis homosexuality. The article states the truth. For many people, change takes a long time. Nevertheless, change can come quickly. While the seed quickly shoots out roots, where expectations are unrealistic in terms of temptation returning, roots can dry up and whither. In our patients, we possess our souls.


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According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":

Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.

Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.

Political Campaign Intervention

Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.

Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.

Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:

  • Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
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Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:

  • The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
  • Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
  • We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
  • When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
  • It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
  • We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
  • We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
  • When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
  • We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
  • It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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    • Stephen Deloney

      How does the above reflect the message of love (not just toleration) found in Christ? I understand your anger toward Christians in the military. This does seem rather a hard sell when seen in the life and message of Christ who taught us to turn the other cheek even unto death on a cross.

      I am however rather confused with your connection of the issue of homosexuality in the church and the issue of war.

      So I apologize if I come off as somehow manipulating your words or misunderstanding your message. I just don't ever remember a passage where Jesus took the attitude of "Learn or go away"

      • Stephen Deloney,

        Your comment presupposes anger. You shouldn't do that. I'm not wrathful.

        I don't know what's confusing you about the connection of sin with sin, lust with lust, etc. Whose house do you think those things come from? Are those things to be in your Heaven?

        Do you remember any passages where Jesus said go away or that any will not enter? If so, tell me a few of them.

        Are you defending homosexuality?

        To the best of your knowledge, do you know anyone who has communicated with me on the subject(s) of militarism and/or homosexuality?

        If you have a website, please supply the URL.

        If you are a member of a particular denomination, please state which.

        Please answer each of my questions and requests or don't submit another comment.

        Don't read anything but a matter-of-fact tone of voice into my reply here. Some people can't read here without reading in yelling or the like. I'm very calm and quiet composing this.

        Thank you in advance if you choose to be cooperative.

        • Jesus loved, but he also hated. Why is it that people ignore that? Why is it that you have seemingly ignored it here, or didn't you know Jesus hated? The fact is that he did only tolerate many. He tolerated those he hated. If it comes to your mind to return with "but he said to love your enemies," then think before you simply reply with that. Aren't there things you hate about those you love? Don't you love some things about those you hate?

          If your mind is open to learning, you won't have a negative reaction to what I've written here. You'll be more than merely curious to know more, and you will not assume that I'll lead you into a dead end and not be able to shed real light.

          You wrote, "I apologize if I come off as somehow ... misunderstanding your message." Isn't it true that you don't "just come of as somehow" misunderstanding? Wouldn't it have been better to say, I don't understand?

          Now, I could write a book in reply in anticipation of all twists and turns to answer all your questions, but I already have. Anyway, I'll wait for a reply to my first reply above.