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Kansas pastor: God is wiser than man about homosexuality

WICHITA, Kansas (BP)–Homosexuality is a key front in “a war that is being waged across the nation,” Terry Fox, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Wichita, Kan., said in the Sunday sermon in which he called for opposition to a Big Brothers Big Sisters national policy embracing homosexual and lesbian mentors to children and youth.

The practice of homosexuality in America, Fox said, “has an agenda, and there are those behind it who are marching this agenda through Hollywood, through every means they can, through our public school systems, through our corporations, through groups like the United Way,” which has, as he put it, been “going with the gay agenda for a long time.”

The homosexual agenda, Fox said in the Aug. 18 sermon, “has legs on it; … [in] the last few years its influence has continued to grow and grow and grow.”

Fox said he believes homosexuality is harmful, and homosexuals should not teach in public schools, and homosexual and lesbian Big Brothers and Big Sisters should not be “mentoring” children because “homosexuality is not compatible to this book,” the Bible.

“God is much wiser than any of us,” Fox said. “God knows what will hurt us and what will hinder us.

“The teaching against homosexuality is all through the Word of God — and there is no preacher out there anywhere in America who can be honest with the Word of God and say that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is alright. … [Y]ou have to be honest to say, ‘I’m opposing what Jesus has to say and what the Word of God has to say.’

“I know they’ll try,” Fox said. “I know you can take Scripture and twist it around, but you’ve got to be good to twist it around that much to make the Bible say it. It doesn’t teach it.”

A stance against homosexuality must be done in love, Fox said.

“Remember this: It is issues that we’re battling, not people.”

Fox said he has developed friendships with people who are involved in the homosexual lifestyle. “They like me. They pray for me. They disagree with me,” he said.

“I don’t hate anyone. In fact, you can’t really be tied onto Jesus and hate anyone … That’s a whole lot different than many other religions in the world,” he said. “Ours is not a religion of hate. It is a religion of love.

“But I have to say to [homosexual friends], ‘What you’re doing is wrong.'”

A reporter once asked him what he would say if one of his children were caught up in homosexuality. “Thank God, they’re not,” he said he replied. “I would love them no matter what they did. But I would sit down with them every opportunity I had and I would take this book and tell them that that lifestyle is a wrong lifestyle and they need to stop it. …

“The liberal media is going to try to tell you that you’re just born that way,” he acknowledged, countering, “It is a choice. No man is born that way.

“I know what the studies say. It goes both ways. I’ve read both views,” Fox said, noting that the Bible moreover teaches, “We’re all wired to be sinners. And Jesus is who rewires us.”

Of particular concern to Fox: Homosexuality opens the door to pedophilia.

“Not in every case,” he said, “but if it just happens once, it’s one too many times.”

Organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters — or Immanuel Baptist Church — “or any organization that deals with children ought to be held to a much higher standard than other organizations. …

“I believe it is a terrible, terrible mistake to put a mentor who is openly gay with a child.”

Fox urged church members to “use your influence to stop it,” to press the companies where they work to exclude Big Brothers Big Sisters from corporate grants or United Way funding.

“Don’t you praise God for the Boy Scouts, who took a stand on this?” Fox asked in an aside. “Thank the Lord for those kind of organizations who have said we’re not going to be pushed … into something we don’t want to go into and we’re not going to be politically correct just to be politically correct.”

Fox predicted there will be an exodus of good people from Big Brothers Big Sisters and other volunteer organizations which buckle to the homosexual agenda. “When you lose the Christian influence in this society,” he lamented, “you’ve lost something.”

And, he said, “Other Christian organizations are going to have to step to the plate [to offer] more options for this kind of mentoring and ministry.”

Fox said he had not been overly excited about President Bush’s push for faith-based initiatives — “until now.”

“Maybe it’s going to come to this. Maybe our president is on target.”

Fox’s sermon was titled, “Now Is the Time to Stand,” and based on Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

“You are the salt of the earth,” Jesus continued in Matthew 5. “… You are the light of the world.” When his followers are salt and light for righteousness, Jesus said, others “may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

“Your values, your morals — the influences that have been given to you through your church, the Word of God and your walk with God — ought to be seen and felt by others around you,” Fox said.

“If there’s ever been a time in our nation that you and I need to be the salt and the light of the world, it’s the day in which we live. … In this politically correct society, everybody is saying that we need tolerance … and you can believe what you want to believe. … Many people in America are saying, ‘It’s alright to believe what you want to believe but don’t you dare stand up and share those beliefs. Don’t you try to influence someone else with your beliefs.'”

Even among professing Christians, Fox said, “A lot people have the attitude, ‘Well, I’ve become a Christian, I’m saved, so I’m going to heaven, so I don’t have to worry about anything on this earth.” Some churchgoers, he continued, will contend that the main responsibility of the church is “to preach the gospel, stay with Jesus, stay off these social issues, don’t get involved in the world.”

Fox’s response: “Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us not to be involved in politics. Nowhere. Don’t let anybody lie to you. In fact, the very opposite is taught. You’re responsible. You have a responsibility to God and to this book and to the body of Christ to take a stand for righteousness.”

He also noted that a day of judgment awaits every person.

“Those people out in America who laugh at God and make fun of God and the Hollywood crowd who curse God … and those who have done everything in their power to deemphasize the influence of the church — there’s coming a day of reckoning.

“Every pagan, every person who has never been saved, every person who is anti-God, anti-the Scriptures, anti-the church — one of these days the Bible says every knee will bow and every tongue is going to confess the Lord Jesus Christ. And someday it won’t be nearly as easy to shake your fist in the face of an awesome, holy God.”

Among ministers, Fox lamented, “There’s a lot of misunderstanding in many pulpits today … about our responsibility. … Many prophets and many pastors and many shepherds, according to the Word of God, are not standing on their posts.

“I’m calling on the pastors of this city and I’m calling on the pastors of the state of Kansas and I’m calling on the pastors of the Southern Baptist Convention — some 41,000 Southern Baptist preachers — and I’m calling on pastors of all denominations who would call themselves men on God, I’m calling on them … not to be a shepherd who’s asleep, but to stand up and be the man of God you ought to be and start preaching all the counsel of God’s Word.”

Ezekiel 3 in the Old Testament, for example, states that the blood of the wicked will be required at the hands of those pastors who have not told the truth, those who have not warned of sin’s onslaught, Fox said.

“Southern Baptists,” he noted, “have been willing to take this book and stand on its truth. Southern Baptists have engaged cultural issues probably more than any other denomination in the world, and I’m proud to be a Southern Baptist today.”

Fox told of watching a panel discussion in which one of the participants said in exasperation, “Boy, what are we going to do with these Christians?”

“She talking about you and me,” Fox said.

“There’s a move out there and it’s going to get stronger and stronger and stronger to move away from the Word of God and to literally attack those of us who believe this book and what it stands for. …

“If we keep losing these battles and we don’t take a stand,” Fox said, “pretty soon you’re going to see the government literally start telling preachers what they can say and what they can’t say from the pulpit,” Fox predicted. In the home, he said, “[T]hey’re going to come against … a parent’s right and responsibility to raise your kids the way you feel fit to according to the Bible.”

Fox told of an older preacher who admitted to having little concern for what happens after he passes on.

“I thought, what a tragedy. I thought, What about your children? What about your grandchildren? Don’t you want your grandchildren and great-children to grow up in an America where there’s been freedom of religion, where a man of God has the right to stand in his pulpit and to preach all of the Word of God?

“Now is the time to stand up or we’re going to lose these freedoms,” Fox said. “The day is going to come if the church of Jesus Christ doesn’t wake up — and that’s you, sitting in that pew — and start using your influence and start taking a stand, … when they’re going to turn these lights out and you’re going to be controlled by the government and you’re going to be held back from standing and preaching the Word of God. It’s coming.

“What they’re going to say is, ‘That’s too divisive.’ And they’re going to hand out a list of things to tell you what you can preach on.”

In spending a month in China, Fox said, he visited numerous churches. “They’ve got some freedom and there are some things they can say,” he noted, “but there are some things they can never preach about.

“If you don’t start becoming the light and salt that Jesus said, it’s just around the corner.”

Fox said he is not advocating civil disobedience in the current cultural battle.

But, he said, “There is a time and place for civil disobedience. When the day comes that they tell us we can’t stand here and preach all of this book, I’m going to jail and I imagine a whole lot of other people will go to, because I’m going to violate it the very first minute they tell you not to do it.”