I have written quite extensively about my home church and I suppose that you would just have to be there sometime to really understand why. In writing about Bethany Holiness Church in Sand Springs, OK, my intentions are not just to brag on and show my thankfulness and admiration for these people, but also to hopefully inspire others to strive to be ever more like them.
The amount of ministry that is done on and from this place is exhaustive...and exhausting. HaHa! But it is not just the activity and action in and of itself that is so impressive. It is often the hidden talents of so many people that only a true need will sometimes bring out.
Incredible cleaners, amazing organizers, those that are great with children and problem solvers, cooks, meal planners, handymen. Ask any Pastor or leader and they will tell you that these are the things that they need most! And these seem to be the types of people that we are overwhelmingly blessed with.
I thought that I realized this completely until very recently. I am of course the President of HMA and we put on an annual Outreach Conference. This year, for the first time, we held the conference at Bethany. The 4 previous years we had it at Revival Tabernacle in Richmond, KY and Pastor David Lamb's staff did outstanding. I always made my phone calls, sent my money and showed up for the conference like everyone else. It was so incredibly easy for me because Revival Tabernacle did almost all of the heavy lifting.
This year I prepared for a much different experience. My local Oklahoma staff and I (many of which already attend Bethany) were geared up for putting on this conference without the hands on help of many of the Revival Tabernacle people that we had grown so accustomed to. We had a meeting about a month out from conference and I asked for volunteers and took down names.....THAT WAS IT! The next thing that I knew, it was as if the conference was putting itself on.
Our Bethany family has worked events, prepared meals for homeless people, hosted funerals, weddings and showers, put on fellowship meetings and done outreach and Vacation Bible School to the point that everyone knows who is good at what, who does what, where each other's strengths are and where the weak spots are AND.....THEY KNOW HOW TO "JUST DO IT". They do not have to be seen, heard, told or given the credit. It is an amazing testimony to the leadership, the leadership style and the type of people that are willing (and not willing) to attend church here.
I will give you an example: As soon as the meeting was over and everyone had their subsequent jobs to do, a young lady approached me and said, "Pastor Todd, I am just making a suggestion, but I noticed that people will be coming form all around the country and there will be day and evening services and you do not have a specific plan for children. Is there a need for something for the children to do while the parents are in these intense study sessions?"
I immediately realized that there could be such a need and I just didn't think about it. I told here that something for the children to do could become an issue and I would get back to her. THE NEXT WEEK, a couple called from Kentucky and said that they intended to come for conference but they ended up not having anything to do with their three children and were just checking for options. I called the lady that I had spoken with and asked her if she could put something together. She then informed me that a children's church plan had been put in place, there were activities that were built around Bible stories that had been planned and that there were young workers for each activity as well as adults to oversee the whole thing already prepared to be there.
These people are just does, that's all there is to it! They help, they work, they plan, they are flexible and they do not have to be micro-managed.
After conference was over, the parents of the children came to me and bragged and bragged on the children's group and thanked me for it being possible. I tried to explain to them the entire situation and they just kept thanking me. I was embarrassed for getting any kind of credit for it. I later found out that there had been 24 to 29 children in the kid's activities almost every session.
This is just one of many examples that I could use to show how it was just GETTING DONE in the background almost literally while I slept. All week long people were fueling vehicles, preparing food, cleaning up until 1 and 2 in the morning. Coming in early before morning sessions and picking up after us all, praying in the sanctuary between services and on and on and on.....
Listen closely, THIS DOESN'T JUST HAPPEN! This environment is developed...over time...on purpose...with great effort and great intent.
God has been so good to my family and our ministry and one of the best things that He ever did for us was guide to a real home church. A church full of people that love, work, strive for unity, solutions and Godly behavior. God bless Bethany Holiness Church!
Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
This is another response to a Pastor that we are working with that has asked questions about working with homeless people in Arkansas and running into a lot a mental instability/suicidal stuff:
Finally getting around to your question. Sorry! I have to admit that this is such a broad question that there is no complete and right answer to it. Every situation is different. There are many general rules to use as guide lines but none of them work every time. Except the ones that you already know.
Get them to Jesus is first and foremost, BUT how, is another story. If they will come to church great. Have the best JESUS services that you can and let them absorb that over time until they surrender to The Lord and His will.
Constant interaction with saints is another basic but pure response. People that love unconditionally, correct carefully and don’t sin or approve of sin. This is generally a side of God’s humanity that they are not very familiar with. It is refreshing and often life changing for them.
After that, it gets tricky. Be very leery of over medicated people. There are more of them than the ones that are not. Study medications. Not just on google and Facebook and shallow stuff like that. Really study them. Don’t start telling people to flush their meds if you don’t know what you are talking about. Don’t just quote something from the pulpit that you heard on the Drudge Report or something. If you are going to be an expert, the first thing you must do is become one.
Suicide is also very careful business. Most suicide “attempts” are for attention purposes only. But you better know what you are doing because one mistake can cost an eternity.
For example: There are some suicide attempts that are almost never genuine, there are some that are rarely genuine, there are some that are often genuine and there are some that must be assumed to be genuine.
ie. Wrist cutting is the most commonly talked about and “attempted” form of suicide. But I will let you in on a little secret. I have dealt with dozens, probably hundreds of suicide attempts and I do not know of anyone who has “successfully” killed themselves by cutting their wrists. Zero! It is almost always a sign of emotional attention problems and it is almost never a serious attempt at taking ones own life.
Things like overdosing on pills, taking poisons and attempting to drink oneself to death are a little more serious and a little more commonly successful.
Jumping out in front of a train, shooting oneself, jumping off a bridge, etc. these are even more serious and even more commonly successful.
The number one successful form of suicide that must be taken gravely serious is hanging.
You must also remember that when dealing with American homeless people, almost every one of them is homeless because of an addiction. They will talk about their job problems, family problems, society, government, etc. but they are homeless because they have an addiction and can’t obey rules.
The ones that do not fit this category are the ones that you suggested in your question. The mentally unstable.
This category is broken up into 3 groups. Those that are clinical, which is most likely the smallest group. (Though the doctors and the government treat them as the largest group). Those that are mentally unstable because of the medications that they take, abuse or are mis-prescribed to them (This probably being far and away the largest group). And those that are possessed. And of course do not forget the possibility of many of them being a combination of these groups.
If they are addicts. Then you deal with them based on our addiction teachings that are on our website, in our teachings, all over the web, etc. Addicts are the most selfish amongst us and the selfish cycle must be broken by helping them get to rock bottom as soon as possible. This of course is done by removing all of the enabling. When they hit their real rock bottom, then they have a choice that has to be made and hopefully they choose Christ. Also, hopefully, you have been Christ like enough and around them enough that when they need help being discipled on HOW to serve Him, they contact you.
If they are possessed, and you continue to follow the Biblical rules of engagement and you and your ministry are filled with the Holy Spirit of God, they will manifest and it is a matter of taking authority over them and casting them out, thus freeing the individual to choose a new master. Again, Christ, with your help.
If they are truly mentally unstable, with a retardation or brain damage or something, all you can do sometimes is love them, befriend them and make sure that they get the needed services. They are God’s special children and they should not be homeless and they are generally very abused when they are. God will bless you for caring for them.
If they are temporarily mentally unfit due primarily to abuse and over prescribing of medications….this is the hard one. Primarily you can love them, befriend them and gain some trust. Next you want to advise about and possibly even call into question certain aspects of their medical and medication history. Informing them with the best and most accurate facts that you can. Knowing that at some point you are going to cross their doctor, case worker, etc. (So you better be right). All the while trying to love them and continue to gain their confidence because if they are coming around saints, services, etc there are always chances for them to get saved and or delivered from their prescription abuse. Then you have a whole new person on your hands to work with.
Warning: Many will get saved and still be addicted to their prescriptions. This is a very delicate balance. You need to seek to be in contact and even know personally the doctors, clinical nurses, EMT’s, parole officers, judges, etc in your area. This is something that we always teach here at HMA for reasons just like this. You don’t want to send them to any doctor, therapist, etc. Most of them are the type of person that helped get your new convert hooked in the first place.
I cannot stress this enough. YOU NEED TO KNOW YOUR STUFF! If you want to be in the ministry in 2017, not just have a pulpit and belong to a fellowship or a denomination, Pastor a church, preach some meetings…..But be involved in real new testament Biblical ministry. You need to apply effort to learn the tools of the trade. Bible, Bible application, counseling, relationship studies, drugs, addictions, and on and on and on.
Too often I hear, “I don’t know about these things Brother Sloggett, can you take care of this for us? We just don’t understand.” It is one thing to BE ignorant of something, it is another thing to STAY ignorant of it. The information is available but you have to want it more that you want to play video games, have parties and attend events. This is no reflection of you personally. You are actually doing the right thing. But I am answering in general of course.
I hope this is helpful my friend. If you have anything more specific, I can probably get a little more detailed. God bless you!
Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
I have, once again, been asked to attempt some Biblical clarification and perspective on an EXREMELY sensitive and volatile topic. I hope everyone that reads this prays as much about it as I did while writing it.
The question this time came from a young couple in Tulsa, a Bible college student and an elderly Pastor in North Carolina. All of them basically confused about the Church’s stance on so called “Interracial Marriage”.
I am willing to admit this much right now. I haven’t seen where the Church has much of any kind of a credible doctrine on this issue. I have traveled the country over, preached in many churches and held meetings and conferences for two decades and in most cases: The leadership is against it about 70/30 and the masses of the people are for it about 70/30. The people that are against it often twist and misquote scriptures and it is usually fairly obvious that they have more of a Knee jerk reaction/Social prejudice/Emotional response to it than they do most other doctrines. The people that are for it generally use social injustices and hypocrisies in the doctrines of those that are against it, as their main points and arguments.
I have some reservations myself but they are NON-Biblical in nature. There is NOTHING in the Bible that would cause me to question that type of a relationship based on nothing but color of skin or origin of birth. This is one of my big problems with it as a doctrine. It is EXTREMELY inconsistent. Almost ALL men that I have ever spoken to are not really against interRACIAL marriage. They are against interCOLOR marriage. As a matter of fact, they are not just against two different colors. They are more against it if the two colors are further apart in shade than if they were closer together in shade. For example if a “white” person married an “Asian” person, that is not as radical “bad” as if a “white” person married a “black” person. The same is true, that if a “black” person married an “Asian” person, that is no where near as “bad” as if a “black” person married a “white” person. This gives an extraordinary appearance of a doctrine based on social behaviors and learned prejudices.
If the argument is about the old testament and God not wanting the Israelites to marry the Canaanites, etc, there are some issues there. First of all, if you want to use that and have pure doctrine that is consistent and not hypocritical then: It is “unbiblical” for Germans to marry the French and Spaniards to marry the Ecuadorians and so on. But that is not a problem for almost all people that are against so called “interracial marriage”. But those are interracial. It is almost always acceptable…..because the colors match.
Something else, according to the letter of the law in the Old Testament, Israelites were not supposed to allow Canaanites to marry into their lineages. But in the New Testament it is revealed that Rahab (a Canaanite woman) is in the lineage, not just of AN ISRAELITE, but THE ISRAELITE, JESUS. It’s ok though, because it is actually consistent with ALL scripture if it is all taken in context. Most Bible scholars say that the reason Rahab was allowed into the family of Israelites is because she was “converted” at Jericho in Joshua chapter 2. Her conversion was signified by her faith in Jehovah, her covenant with the two spies and the saving of her and her household during the battle. This agrees also with the New Testament where 2 Corinthians 14 says “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?”
This verse is about Christians not binding together (marriage, business, etc) with non-Christians. And Rahab was of the “race” that wasn’t allowed into the “Christian” lineage UNTIL she was converted and then it was allowed. That was a type and shadow of the spiritual understanding that would later come in 2 Corinthians.
My reservations are bases on peer pressure, societal discrimination and the mental and emotional welfare of children that would be born into such marriages. I think if a couple that were of different “colors” were considering marriage, they should seek wise and Godly counsel about the social issues and peer pressures that they could face. They should also think well ahead and prepare a plan for raising children in such an environment. But I would say the same thing about a young person from a very affluent family marrying a mate from very meager means. I would say the same thing about a person from a very strict and rigorous religious family marrying a person from a conservative but less rigid religious family.
Now, I am not going to make a shadowy demi-doctrine to cause people to believe that I don’t think God would approve of rich people marrying poor people or a more conservative individual marrying a less conservative person. I would just point out the difficulties. If said type of people did marry said type of people, it wouldn’t bring a stigma with it……would it? Or is that just somehow reserved for color?
From a STRICLTY BIBLICAL perspective, all humans are descendants of one man and one woman-Adam and Eve (1 Corinthians 15:45; Genesis 3:20). Thus, if the Bible’s history is accurate, biologically, only one race of human beings exists. Christians need to examine such matters from a Biblical perspective, instead of blindly following their cultural programming or geographical prejudices. From a spiritual perspective, the only two “races” are those who are of the kingdom of light and those who are of the kingdom of darkness. The Bible emphatically declares this by stating that a Christian should never knowingly marry a non-Christian in 2 Corinthians 6:14. It is also implied in Ephesians 5:21-33 and Matthew 19:4-7.
So the only “interracial” marriage that I can find that the Bible warns humans against is between 2 opposing spiritual races, a believer and a non-believer. This again is best shown in the story of Rahab.
It is important that Christians think about marriage as God thinks about each one of us. When the prophet Samuel went to anoint the next king of Israel, he thought the oldest of Jesse’s sons was the obvious choice due to his outward appearance. However, we read in 1 Samuel 16:7, “But the Lord said unto Samuel, look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
There is so much to teach each generation about God and his ways and the Church is losing more of each generation, I don’t understand why we are not spending more time spiritualizing every day life for them and teaching and preaching about morality, prayer life, giving, forgiving, Godly duties of parents to children and spouses to each other and the jobs that the Holy Ghost empowers people to do and…………But I do understand one reason why we are not doing all of that. It is because it is so difficult and so time consuming to teach and preach indoctrinations that are not provable or not plainly stated in scripture and then even more difficult and even more time consuming to try to keep people convinced to believe what they have been taught in a world full of mass communication. So there isn’t enough time to teach all the true Bible basics if you have to indoctrinate also.
This article, of course, is not exhaustive for several reasons. First and foremost, I do not like to pit one scripture against another as some do. Secondly, this is one of the few subjects that is almost always purely emotionally charged and lastly, it is one of the last standing emotionally charged doctrines, as such, that really has no pure argument for it. I cannot believe that it is even still around.
To be fair to this article, I asked 3 prominent Pastors in our movement, that I know are against interracial marriage, to give me 5 minutes of their time on why it was Biblically inappropriate. When they misquoted scriptures, I pointed it out. When they twisted meanings, I pointed it out. I asked a question or two or three and they tried to answer them. ALL THREE OF THEM CONCLUDED THE SAME THING WITH ME! “We do not really have a “biblical” stance against it but it just causes confusion, hurt and there will be problems that are not being considered.”
In turn, I agreed with them that, there are cultural, local, regional and emotional issues that should be considered. But GOD should not be used as a tool to dissuade. That is disingenuous.
Cultures, barriers, presuppositions, philosophies, prejudices, beliefs and religions, form vast chasms between the message of Christ and the mind of man.
Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
When ministers bash, trash and blast things it should raise a red flag. A minister is sent by God to love, help, spread truth, defend truth, preach and proclaim. And in all of that comes a lot of standing against evil. But standing against evil and “bashing things and people”, are two different things.
To be fair, some good preaching is called bashing by haters of good preaching. And some bashing is called good preaching by haters of whatever is being bashed. But if ministers are not careful they will fall more into the category of cult leader than preacher.
When we preach and people do not respond as well as we want them to then we feel pressure to “do more about it”. Then we try to get it a little tighter and tell it a little more plain. If they still don’t respond well enough we can choose to single them out or even run them off to “clean up” the atmosphere of our ministry.
Listen friend, you cannot choose for an individual, you can only love them, tell them the truth and live a good example before them. If you live good and preach truth and stand against evil, you will not have to worry too much about being surrounded with those that love evil.
But I’ll tell you what is bothering me. The idea that if you bash, you are deep and spiritual because “you don’t care what anybody thinks” OR if you say anything about anything that is evil or wrong then you are automatically a basher. Since we are on facebook let me use it as an example:
If you get up in your pulpit and say, “everyone that is on facebook is going to hell”, then you my friend are an idiot. That is the most broad and blanket ignorant statement that you can make. But if you are a spiritual leader and you do not constantly remind your people of the pitfalls and evils that lurk on facebook, you are foolish.
The predators, curse words, lewd conversations and pictures that are on some people’s facebook pages are appalling. If you have a minister that does not warn parents to have an age limit or ask parents to consider not letting children get on it until they are of age or give examples of problems with it, then I would question that minister’s sincerity.
But if you have a minister that blasts any and all who would be on it as non-christians or people that should not be a member of his congregation then I would question his allegiance. Is it to God, the lover of the soul, or himself, the Icon of the local church, or the fellowship, the controllers of the people, or.....???
Look at it this way, I am no great defender of facebook, that is not my point, but I can easily see why it is one of the hottest topics to “bash”. I have been in and out of cultic leaning ministries and movements all my saved life and one thing that you must have in order to have a cult is control of the conversation. The last thing in the world you would want is people openly talking to other people outside of where you have any ultimate say so about it.
In a cult, control is the key, in Christianity free will is the key. Those that “do right” in a cult are well controlled by their leaders. Those that “do right” in Christianity are well submitted to their faith. I know many great and Godly men that don’t believe in facebook at all but I don’t know any that would just bash and slam everyone that has it, as if they are more shallow, more worldly or more ignorant than themselves. Those just aren’t the attributes of a Godly man.
I love the “Holiness Way” and I am a very conservative minister but when a preacher’s preaching starts “telling” you what you are and are not allowed to do in your house, on your job, with your loved ones. I get concerned. Even when it is a good thing.
Why can’t they take the time to TEACH the people and EXPLAIN their reasoning and USE SCRIPTURES, If they have any, instead of just saying things like, “If you have a television in your home, you are going to HELL.” Believe it or not, I heard that again last summer at a big campmeeting by one of the most used preachers in a particular part of our movement.
I don’t have a TV and I wouldn’t have one and I have some very sane and challenging arguments against them but how do I know who is going to hell? It’s like the mayor of New York city banning all soda drinks over 16 ounces.
“When some debated him he said, “Your are for cancer and early death and children with rotting teeth. You hate children and you want the people to die.” Then you had the knuckleheads on the other side saying, “If I want to drink 10 gallons of mountain dew while bathing in a tub full of red bull I should be able to." Yes, you should have that choice but you are an imbecile if you take it.
Don’t be silly people. Of course we are drinking too many sugary drinks and of course it is causing problems and the City of New York should have had a huge advertising and educational campaign to “help” the people that want to be helped, but nooo, they wanted to just force their control over the people by “outlawing” pop? Get a grip. So, some of the same “great conservatives” that want the mayor of New York to be impeached for imposing “his will” on the people, also want to “make” their congregation members do or don’t do certain things instead of educating and filling with doctrine and flooding with prayer, thus helping the people that want help.
And if anyone debates them they might just say, “You are for sin and you hate Jesus and you want all of our children to die and go to hell.” And then they put you, the reasonable saint, in the category of rank evil. Why? Normally it is either a greed for power and you are in the way of it or a laziness of study and they can’t answer you clearly, logically and biblically.
I hate to say it but most preachers that I hear anymore are just repeating things that they heard “popular” preachers say or they are just saying things that they know will gain them influence in certain groups.
I do not like TV, I think we drink, (and eat), way too much garbage, I am for standing against evil, I don’t want the government being my big brother, I believe in submitting to Godly leadership and I see no reason what so ever to not stand up to cultic indoctrination. In my humble opinion one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between sound doctrine, that should be submitted to, and cultic practices, that should be ran from, is this test.....
Are they sincerely trying to teach “us” for our own good and God’s glory or are they bashing “things” for their own power and influence? Am I a soul that they shepherd over for Christ and His kingdom or am I cattle that has their “brand” on it and makes them look like a big shot if I “do right”?
LISTEN TO THE PREACHER, BE LEARY OF THE BASHER. This is merely my own humble opinion.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
I have spent the last several days praying and contemplating this article. It is one of the few that I have written lately that I was not exited about doing. As a matter of fact I would just as soon leave this alone. But, it is too important and too devastating to not attempt to tackle. I also am not that enthusiastic at the fact that I have less Biblical facts than usual and I’m sure there will be lots of controversy. (Contrary to what many believe, I do not thrive on controversy)
Never the less, here we go. The topic this time that I have received a couple dozen calls and emails on already just this year, it is now March 1st, is: What do Christian parents do about a homosexual son or daughter’s “partner”? Most Christian parents that I am working with do not let their child’s “partner” over to the house and they won’t meet with them and some of them won’t even meet with their own child as long as they are in that type of a relationship. They feel that there must be a line drawn and their child must know, at any cost, that they 100% disapprove of such a sinful relationship, etc.
The only alternative answer that has come out of some of our groups lately is a much more merciful and liberal point of view from the “outtreachers” camp (full disclosure: I am supposedly considered one of the leaders of the “outreachers”) This “doctrine” says that you cannot single the homosexuals out like that. You will never reach them that way. A sin is a sin and you wouldn’t treat an alcoholic that way or even a fornicator that way, etc. etc.
Once again, I kind of agree with some points on both sides and kind of disagree with some points on both sides. (No surprise, huh?) Now, to be fair, this is more of a thought process than a doctrine. But I am trying to help. I’m trying to plug this scenario into the life of Christ. It is what I always do when I don’t have a clear answer on something.
One thing is for sure clear to me. Sodomy, the biblical term for homosexuality, is a far worse sin than most other sins of humanity. Yes, I said that. Read it again if you must. There are different sins. Many of you that have read my writing for years will think I am contradicting myself because some of my past teachings on homelessness and drug addiction. I am not. Church society has tried to categorized people like drug addicts into some far out there, crazy strange category that no body can understand or help or deal with and it has made a mess and I have taught that an addict is the same as a liar or a thief, etc. and if you can deal with one of them, then you can deal with an addict. But this is different.
God has basic rules of creation. Rules that He balances the universe on. Rules that regulate the existence of man and the principals of society and the structure of the building blocks of the world. Thus the structure of the building blocks of relations with Him. And a two sex society is one of them. If you know nothing of God or eternity or religion or anything and you learn how to read and read the Bible all the way through for the first time, you can see certain patterns of truth. One would be God’s emphasis on relationships. God to man. Man to women. Parents to children. Family to church, etc. When you sin the sin of sodomy, you pervert, disrupt and exasperate the whole plan.
God’s ways are not acceptable to you. You have burnt the bridge to mercy, to faith, to morality, to……….Sure you can have your own kind of mercy and be a merciful person. You can have your own kind of faith and be a faithful person. You can even have your own kind of morality and be a “moral person”. But you cannot have the faith, mercy and morality the Bible speaks of. You cannot because you rejected the basic pattern of how it all works.
You are not saying, “I see where we should meet on Saturday instead of Sunday.” You are not saying, “I think the 3 are 1 or the one are 3”. You are not saying, “He said we can have a little wine but not get drunk.” You are saying, “God, your master plan that allows me to even be in existence, that is the foundational blueprint that lets me be me and you be God…I REJECT THAT IN THE MOST PERVERSE OF TERMS.” That, my friends, is very different.
So in that sense, I agree with the hardliners that say that a line must be drawn on this issue. AND it is not the same as everything else. ON THE OTHER HAND, I cannot reconcile scripture, the life of Christ, mercy, grace and or holiness to the idea of “boxing them out”. So far in most of our fellowships the answer is normally, “You can come around but they can’t.” Which almost always leads to hardly ever seeing your child again.
Now what I am about to say is obviously going to begin the feather ruffling process. Somehow I am working on a well thought through response that isn’t cookie cutter but has basic principles that can be adjusted here and there to fit most of all of the diverse situations that they will be applied to. Something like. “Of course you can come over. We love you and you know that we do. But don’t do this in a off the cuff kind of way. Don’t show up over here acting like everything is “worked out now”. You may want to let him or her know what they are walking into. That is only fair. We love you, we love them, we stand firmly that your relationship is in open and perverse rebellion to God and we pray and beg the Lord for your souls everyday. We are not going to try to force a “church service” or “Bible study” every time we see you two but you know that if there was an opening we would try to take it. You also know that if you or your “partner” attempted to “enlighten us” or “justify yourselves” at any given point, that we would constitute that to a challenge to our faith and an attack on God’s Holy Word.
That being said, if you guys came over for chicken salad sandwiches and a few games of bad mitten, there is no reason why that couldn’t work as long as you respected us, your parents. If you are holding hands under the table, patting each other on the backside or giggling in the bathroom together we would take that as a sign that you did not just want to “be around our family” but that you were trying to normalize homosexual relations in a household that does not believe that there is anything normal about homosexuality.
Once again, I could write a book on all of the different scenarios that I have been asked and been involved in lately. Allow me to address a few of them.
MY DAUGHTER WANTS TO BRING HER PARTNER TO CHRISTMAS. WE ALWAYS HAVE THE ENTIRE FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS AT OUR HOME FOR BREAKFAST AND GIFTS. I ALWAYS GET ALL OF THE KIDS AND THEIR MATES MATCHING CLOTHING ITEMS, ETC. I REFUSE TO BUY THAT PERSON A GIFT AND INCLUDE THEM SO NOW MY DAUGHTER IS NOT EVEN COMING. IT WILL BE THE FIRST YEAR THAT WE EVER HAD CHRISTMAS WITHOUT ALL THE FAMILY. EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE HAD BACKSLIDDEN CHILDREN BEFORE, WE HAVE NEVER HAD ANYTHING LIKE THIS. MY WIFE SAYS THAT IT IS PROBABLY FOR THE BEST THAT THEY JUST STAY AWAY.
This was part of a real question that I received last year and here is some of my real response.:
It is your right to have whomsoever into your home that you desire. And to keep whomsoever out. But it is also you who must deal with all of the ramifications thereof. This action taken by your child and then reacted to by yourselves has ended in a Christmas without an intact family. I think it was a horrific decision by her, a “not so great” reaction by you and a terrible outcome. Just what if: You asked her to please come to Christmas and don’t skip it and she said that she was only coming if she brings her ‘partner”. And you explained that her “partner” was a person and a soul and you knew that it would be uncomfortable and awkward but you wanted her (your daughter) at Christmas regardless. If bringing here “partner” was the only way she would come, you would do your best to accommodate that but that you were only willing to accommodate the person and not the relationship and you think that is only fair.
We acknowledge her coming. We will have enough food for her. We will talk to her about what she does for a living, who her family is, where she was raised, etc. But I ask that you both respect the parenting and the beliefs that have always ruled this house and refrain from acting out your relationship, especially in from of the younger generation, etc.
Get all of your children and their legitimate mates matching clothing and things for Christmas AND have a nice card with a scripture on it and a gift card inside it or something for your daughter’s “partner”.
Now, this is VERY COMPLEX. The complexity of it as well as the vulgar aspects of the sin is why most people end up resorting to “no coming over while you are with that person”! But raising kids isn’t easy and there are other things that people are dealing with in child rearing that are just as complicated. Catching your child with pornography, finding out that the “wrong person” is pregnant, etc. When these things happen we find out who the adults in the room are. We find out who the spiritual ones are and we find out how much people really love, because they will take on the grueling process of WORKING through things.
Lines must be drawn, communication must be made and conversations must be had, in order for this to work. But it is my humble opinion that it is the best possible solution for several reasons. Will it be easy? Of course not. Will it be harder than just making them stay away? Maybe or maybe not but this isn’t about what is hard, it is about what is right. And before you start “laying down the law” on what is right or not (God hates homosexuality, He destroyed Sodom and Gamorah, etc) Let me tell you a couple things. First of all, your job in the Sodom and Gomarah story is not to BE GOD. Your job, is to BE ABRAHAM! He was the one pleading with God to not destroy them. Second of all, the most right thing to do is always to give as many of the people involved in any given situation, as many chances as possible, to get right with The Lord.
I feel like the situation that I described does just that. What if being around your family and realizing that your family is willing to suffer and be uncomfortable for them, actually wins your child’s heart back. What if (This will drive some of you crazy) the “partner” is the one that is ultimately affected by your Christ like spirit and the “partner” is won to Christ and gets saved and gives up your child. How well do you think either of these scenarios would play out if they were just told to “don’t come around”?
Another part of the analogy. If you set up rules, such as: You can come over anytime. You shouldn’t plan on spending the night unless you are alone. Do not attempt to indoctrinate any of the other kids. Do not show direct physical touching of each other while around us. (Let me just say that our children were not allowed to do this with their boyfriends and girlfriends around us until they had a wedding date, if you are too lose with your kids already and try this on the homosexual ones, then you will have a hard time overcoming the “hypocrisy” in their eyes) This could work very much in your favor. I have seen it happen where they are not allowed to act as a couple in front of people that they love and respect and it makes them feel uncomfortable (convicted) to then leave and do it elsewhere. Sometimes that is a step in the right direction. Again, something that couldn’t happen if they just couldn’t come around.
When I describe this idea to some, they say, “My son or my daughter, would NEVER go along with that.” I then tell them that is ok. You made some fair rules and bent over backwards to allow them to be a part of the family and home. If they can’t do it, then they chose to stay away as apposed to you not letting them come around. I have spoken to some homosexuals for the family and in counseling and explained to them, when they didn’t like these types of rules, that, Did you really think that you could do something so far out, so anti-culture, so against history, so non-traditional Christian and all of a sudden there would be no consequences what so ever? That is very gullible and quite selfish. Life doesn’t work that way. You can chose anything you want. But there will be ramifications. I have told them that I think that the parents were doing an amazing job trying to accommodate them and if the homosexual child tries to railroad the situation and force the family to accept the relationship and not just the people in it, I will give them advice to the contrary.
I also want you to see one more thing about all of this. Everything that I try to write on, I usually start with The Life of Christ. We don’t see Jesus in direct contact with a homosexual so it is kind of tricky. I actually heard a man use this in his argument against having anything to do with them. He said, Jesus left us examples on how to deal with all kinds of people. His example with homosexually was obviously to not mess with them, because He didn’t. Please don’t fall for this kind of simple ignorance. Jesus didn’t leave us exact direct examples for all kinds of things. I can’t imagine what a religion would look like If we just swept them all under the rug.
As in several other situations, we must take what we do know about Christ and apply it, as best we can, to what we don’t know. This is precisely what I have tried to do in answering this question. Would Jesus just accept them and not have a standard of conduct that they would need to measure up to? I don’t believe He would. Would He just rebuke them and run them off? I don’t believe He would. Would He love them and accept them as human beings but make sure that they understood where the line of truth was and allow them to make up their own minds of how well they will adhere or not adhere and ultimately bless them with the benefits or punish them with the consequences of their actions? I think that is very likely.
So, in doing this there are a million and one scenarios to look at and I cannot possible think of them all, let alone address them all BUT, you can start with the ones that you know and prayerfully and logically and Biblically approach the others without knee jerk religious emotional reactions. I believe that if you do this, the chances of you helping your wayward child to ultimately choose to come back to sanity, back to morality and back to CHRIST are higher than the other options. DO NOT overlook, go along with or condone blatant obscenities. But DO NOT make wild, broad sweeping, self righteous, emotional rules and reactions just based on the fact that you know such obscenities exist. If there is anyway to keep the family unit as close as possible without sinning or condoning sin…….IT MUST BE DONE AT ANY OTHER COST.
This is my humble opinion. I am sure it is not 100% correct and I am sure there will be much scrutiny. I did not write it in hopes of avoiding criticism, nor did I write it attempting to be exhaustive and all encompassingly accurate. I wrote it to try to help some Holiness families that are struggling and don’t feel like they are getting any answers. If this gives them hope, a chance, peace or courage to try again, then I have accomplished my goal. If you have better answers, then please, by all means. Do what I have done and spend the hours and hours of study and prayer and tears and then share you heart!
God bless you!
Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett