“I’m Looking for a Way to Deprogram Homosexuality”

2 men talking

I’m a licensed counselor looking for ways to de-program homosexuality.

I’m afraid we don’t know any formulaic means for de-programming homosexuality. And neither Probe nor Living Hope Ministries (a ministry that helps people with unwanted homosexuality) does “conversion therapy.” In my 20+ years with LHM, the only method I have seen that makes a difference is the time-honored process of Christian discipleship, where we point people to Jesus and walk with them in submitting to Him and His word, cooperating with the Holy Spirit in facing the wounds and hurts of the past and grieving them, forgiving those who hurt us, and obeying God’s commands because they are given to protect and bless us. The fruit of this process is transformation from the inside out (Romans 12:2), because Jesus doesn’t make things better, He makes things new.

What I have personally witnessed over and over is that God helps the person reframe their understanding of their lives, especially the hurts of the past (and there is always pain in the past) and their sinful responses to those hurts. This is true of any believer, not just those dealing with homosexuality. As the person invites Jesus to be Lord over more and more internal real estate, He brings change and understanding. For example, I keep seeing that men reframe their craving to connect with other men sexually as their heart’s cry for healthy attention, affirmation and affection from other men, either (or both) a father figure, or a best-friend kind of relationship. In women, I see that women reframe their craving to intensely connect with another woman, as their heart’s cry for those same 3 As from a mother or a best friend. When those legitimate needs are met in healthy relationships with other believers, the craving subsides. One of my closest friends, who spent 25 years as a lesbian activist before becoming a Christ follower, says that what used to be screaming in front of her face (her same sex attraction), is now white noise in the background of her life. It’s not totally gone, and she can feed it when she’s stressed which means additional temptations, but its control over her life has been replaced by intimacy with Jesus and with healthy relationships with women.

I don’t know how this happens outside of the grace and power of God in a believer’s life and in the context of community, because we need each other. 

I’m glad you asked. And by the way, I see from your email address that you utilize EMDR in your therapy. God bless you for that! I am the beneficiary of its effectiveness as I have seen my husband healed of childhood traumas through EMDR. A number of the people at Living Hope—and friends fro church as well—have found EMDR helpful in their counseling, which makes sense because trauma is part of so many people’s stories who now deal with same-sex attraction. 

Blessing you today,

Sue

Posted Sept. 2022
© 2022 Probe Ministries


“How Would You Respond When Someone Prefers to be Called by Their Opposite Gender?”

My pronouns are

Sue, my friend texted me this:

“How would you respond (or how have you responded) when someone prefers to be called by their opposite gender? I had a man correct my daughter (she’s only two, almost three) today because she referred to him as ‘he.’ I told him out of deep love for him I could not in good conscience refer to him as ‘her’ but how do I explain that to an almost three-year-old?”

I answered, “Oh wow. That hasn’t happened to me yet. My big kids know and we said that sin clouds their judgment and how they see/feel so they think they will be happier living life as a different gender, but then we remind them that God doesn’t make mistakes and He chooses gender. He made us in His image (like Him) and His design is perfect . . . people mess it up, not Him.”

I tried, but would love to learn from your response also!

Sweet friend, LOVE your answer!! I would explain that sometimes people are confused in their thinking. God made that man a boy and so that is what we call him.

How do you lovingly respond to the gender confused person?

It depends on how the conversation goes, but I would remain warm and cordial while not backing down by embracing a delusion.

Think “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Just because everyone appears to be celebrating something that doesn’t make sense, doesn’t make it true. And just as the crowd shushed the little boy who piped up with what everyone could plainly see—the emperor didn’t have any clothes on at all—people are being shushed and canceled when they speak up about the transgender delusion.

One of the reasons the transgender folly continues is people going along with the game of pretend. (And when I say “transgender folly,” I am referring to the ideology, not the people caught up in it who need compassion, not judgment. I believe they are objects of spiritual warfare, being attacked by the enemy of our souls through an insidious lie. Just like in Genesis 3.)

When the man crossed the line to correct a stranger’s little girl, he escalated from confused soul to transgender activist. And activists want the whole world to agree with a delusion. A lie. And we need to push back.

If it were me, I would suggest saying to my child, with a kind voice, “This man is playing a game of pretend, but we’re not playing that game.” This of course would infuriate the man, but he is deliberately pushing an agenda of unreality on the world in general and my child in particular, and that’s not okay. It’s my responsibility to teach and defend truth to my children, and here’s a guy lying to my child and instructing her to participate in that lie.

It’s one thing to present oneself as the other sex, and quite another to cross the line into “incorrecting” a child who could see for herself that he was male! I would let my Mama Bear come out—with gentleness and respect, as 1 Peter 3:15 says—but firmly stating the truth in the face of an egregious lie.

Blessing you,
Sue Bohlin

Posted Sep. 2022
© 2022 Probe Ministries


“Our Granddaughter is Severely Confused About Her Gender Identity”

LGBT ribbon

I just read an article by Sue Bohlin on transgender and God’s view on it. We completely believe our granddaughter is severely confused and we believe her gender identity is being greatly influenced by the people she is hanging out with. She is almost 22, we have told we love her unconditionally but do not support her lifestyle as it goes against God’s Word. She understands that we will not compromise our faith and what the Word of God says. But we have been reaching out to pastors and they have offered zero spiritual guidance. In fact they really do not want to discuss it. Our pastor told me to buy a secular book on homosexuality from Amazon. I told him I do not need or want the world’s view on it, I need spiritual guidance. He had nothing. I’m reaching out because I agreed 100% with what Sue said and we still need spiritual guidance. We love our granddaughter and pray for her all the time but we are struggling with how to deal with it.

I am so very, very sorry for the pain you are experiencing in this spiritual battle. The enemy has gone after your beloved granddaughter, deceiving her with lies and demonic schemes about her true identity. You are undoubtedly right about the influence of the people she’s hanging out with, and that would extend to (and may even entirely consist of) the voices she is listening to on social media.

In terms of how to deal with it, let me encourage you that you are already doing the two most important things: loving her and praying for her. Your love will be a beacon for her to find her way out of spiritual darkness back to truth, and your prayers are powerful for the pulling down of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). This is a battle that has to be fought on your knees, using the supernatural weapon of prayer. Trying to convince her out of her delusion won’t work; it has to be God’s power.

You will need encouragement from others who are also in the battle for their children and grandchildren. Let me suggest two places to find that. One is the Friends and Family forum at Living Hope Ministries. www.livehope.org. The other is to request access to the private group “CHANGED Movement” on Facebook, where you will find very encouraging testimonies from those who have come out of the LGBTQ community.

Let me close with a story I hope encourages you.

A couple were heartbroken that their daughter had jumped into the LGBT community and identity, and needed to know what to do about it. On the recommendation of a mutual friend the husband called me; as we talked, the Lord dropped an idea into my head, which he followed.

He took her out for a meal and said to her, “Sweetheart, I want to tell you something, and I’m only going to say this once, so pay attention.

“Your mom and I see that because of your choices, it’s like you’re on the Titanic, and we know that eventually it’s going down. But we’re out here in a lifeboat, rowing around the ship, and we will never stop rowing. We’ll be here to love you and pray for you, and we’ll be here to help you when you realize you’ve got to get off a sinking ship.” They were so faithful in daily praying for her.

Ten years later, their daughter showed up on their doorstep. When Dad opened the door, the daughter asked, “Are you still in the rowboat?”

That was ten years later.

And many many prayers later, they just celebrated the one-year anniversary of her repentance . . . of her recognizing the ship was sinking and she got in the lifeboat with her parents. This man said that in all his many years, he has never seen such a full and beautiful repentance as what his daughter exhibited.

Recently, in fact, he and his wife and their daughter stood in front of his Sunday School class to tell their story. For the first time, the daughter told her side; can you imagine what it was like for the parents to watch their beloved daughter give testimony to God’s goodness and her parents’ faithfulness in praying for her? In fact, she had sent an email at one point that said, “Mom and Dad, thanks for never giving up rowing.”

The dad had also told his story to a men’s conference, sharing the rowboat part, and said the other men, all fathers who would do anything for their children, were in tears. They all understand how hard it is, especially as men designed to “fix” things, not to be able to fix their children’s hurt or destructive choices or the consequences of those choices. But the power of a praying parent can redeem the pain and the choices and the consequences.

So. . . don’t give up rowing!

And [please hear my voice being very very gentle here] let go of your expectations for God’s timetable. He knows how long it will take for her to see the light, in a way that will bring the most glory to Him and the greatest benefit to your granddaughter.

I’m sending this with a prayer that God does amazing things in your family. Please remember—if it’s not good yet, God’s not done yet!

Warmly,
Sue Bohlin

Posted Sept. 2022
© 2022 Probe Ministries


The Lies You Hear About Transgender

transgender lies

Sue Bohlin exposes some of the lies being told about the transgender deception in our culture.

I am deeply concerned about how the cultural narrative about transgender keeps ratcheting up. I believe this is a massive display of spiritual warfare, where the enemy of our souls is screaming lies about gender and identity—especially to teens and younger and younger children. Jesus warned us that the devil’s agenda is to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10), and this deception about gender is, I believe, one of the most wicked and insidious deceptions he’s ever come up with.

Consider some of the lies that have become commonplace:

“People can be born into the wrong body.”

This represents a thinking disorder, not a biological problem. There is no such thing as being born into the wrong body; God creates each person’s body exactly as He wants us (Ps. 139:13-16). There is a false dichotomy between the body and the person, as if they could be separated. But God makes us spirit/soul/body, a unified whole.

Studies have reliably demonstrated that the vast majority of children allowed to go through puberty resolved their discomfort with their bodies. There is something about going through puberty, with the massive hormonal changes that bring a child’s body into adulthood, that resets the vast majority of discomfort-which is a normal part of adolescence. Change is uncomfortable for most people, but it’s an essential part of being human. The best solution to gender dysphoria is “watchful waiting.”

The idea of being born into the wrong body is as nonsensical as being born into the wrong species.

“If you are uncomfortable with your body, it probably means you’re transgender.”

Traversing the path from child body to adult body can be hard and confusing. There is a massive influx of sex hormones on top of significant body changes that can happen relatively quickly. No wonder there can be discomfort in the adolescent body!

Particularly in our highly sexualized culture, many girls are dismayed by the attention they receive from their developing breasts. One teenage boy told me that he hated the internal storm that higher levels of testosterone caused in his brain. These are normal degrees of discomfort. The solution to this kind of discomfort is to grow in resilience, not to embrace the magical thinking that being the other gender will solve the problem.

One parent made this insightful comment on the online Substack “Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans”:

“I know we did it from love, but we raised a generation of children who have NEVER been uncomfortable. We’ve loved them and sheltered them and kept them from all harm, and then they hit puberty, which is inherently a time of uncomfortableness. Then we tell them that if they are uneasy about these changes they are trans. It’s like we wrote a script for this to all happen.” (pitt.substack.com/p/an-unremarkable-story-from-the-age/comments)

Kids who are uncomfortable with their bodies need compassion and understanding. They need to be reassured that “this too shall pass.” They do not need to be given an untrue label.

“People are the gender they prefer to be.”

Feelings do not determine reality. If someone feels like they want to be a cat or iguana or peacock, that doesn’t make it so. Feelings need to be submitted to the reality of the world God created.

Transgender ideology elevates feelings above what is objectively true. That doesn’t work with gravity; it isn’t going to work with gender issues either.

Social contagion (especially those on Tumblr) results in massive numbers of teen girls identifying as trans. The same social pressures that have resulted in anorexia and cutting in the past are now producing huge numbers of girls declaring they are trans.

The very wise Abigail Shrier, author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Crazy Seducing Our Daughters, writes, “The teen girls susceptible to this social contagion are the same high-anxiety, depressive girls who struggle socially in adolescence and tend to hate their bodies.” [Gender Ideology Run Amok | Imprimis (imprimis.hillsdale.edu/gender-ideology-run-amok/)]

“Transwomen are women.”

No. People with XY chromosomes are male.

Only people who possess female biology are female.

Males who possess larger lung capacity, longer and stronger bones, higher metabolism, greater strength and speed than females, have an advantage over females.

People born male, who can only father babies and never give birth to them, are not women.

Men declaring they are women are trying to erase the boundaries of femaleness, which is a form of bullying and disrespect.

“Mental health issues and autism have nothing to do with transgender.”

There is a very high prevalence of depression, anxiety, self-harm, and in those identifying as trans. Instead of referring to a gender clinic, it would be wiser and more loving to investigate the mental health pressures experienced by those who say they are trans.

Many people embracing a transgender identity are on the autism spectrum; they already feel a lack of connection with others. It’s not surprising they also feel a lack of connection with their own bodies.

“For those therapists (gender idealogues), the parents are the problem. Not the child’s social anxiety, autism, irrational thinking, or social media addiction. No, the issue is mom and dad’s refusal to embrace their teen’s two-week-old identity and allow a kid to run the show.” -Dr. Miriam Grossman, psychiatrist and therapist (thefederalist.com/2021/11/11/therapists-have-betrayed-the-parents-of-gender-confused-kids-and-therell-be-hell-to-pay/)]

“Social transitioning and medical transitioning (puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones) are reversible.”

Pretending to be the other sex (social transitioning) can’t be undone because it creates personal history. For example, a boy identifying as and pretending to be a girl lives a childhood of practicing lying about reality. He will never experience getting his first period as girls do because he will never menstruate. He cannot enter the world of females because he’s not a female.

Medical transitioning—administering cross-sex hormones and puberty-blockers— results in:
•  Deepened voice and hair loss in females
•  Decreased bone and muscle growth
•  Infertility
•  Vaginal and uterine atrophy
•  Preventing the body from maturing sexually (ending up with a child’s genitals), which also prevents the possibility of normal sexual experience or pleasure
•  Greater risk of: heart attack, endometrial cancer, testicular cancer, obesity

There are no longitudinal studies on use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in children. It is wrong and evil to make this promise when we just don’t know the long-term effects of unnatural chemicals in the body.

Adults taking hormone replacement therapy, such as menopausal women and rare medical conditions, are warned of the health risks. Going on hormones that are natural to one’s sex can make one a permanent medical patient. Going on hormones of the opposite sex will make one a permanent medical patient. (Which also means a vast, reliable stream of income to the pharmaceutical industry and the hormone-prescribing physicians.)

Amputating healthy body parts does not create the opposite sex, it mutilates one’s body. Surgeries cannot be reversed. This is a particularly evil and heartbreaking lie.

“Not allowing someone to transition will make them commit suicide.”

There is little evidence of this in children/teens. The few studies that exist were poorly constructed and poorly analyzed.

Kids are instructed via social media on what to say to get their way. Playing the suicide card is breathtakingly effective to get parents to give in.

In reality? A Swedish study discovered that those who transitioned were 19 times more likely to attempt or commit suicide than the general population.

We are called to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), not cooperate with a delusion or fantasy. The pro-transgender idealogues are lying, whether they know it or not. At the very least, they are being used as puppets by demonic forces that are out to hurt and destroy people loved by God, made in His image, and created with His good choice of either male or female.

 

This blog post originally appeared at blogs.bible.org/the-lies-you-hear-about-transgender/ on July 19, 2022.


Grace and Truth About LGBT

pride flags

Sue Bohlin provides a compassionate, biblically based look at what is happening as LGBT ideology has taken root in the culture.

What Does God Think About LGBT?

This article is about grace and truth in the context of LGBT, those who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender. What does God think about people for whom this is their primary (or even secret) identity?

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After 20-plus years of walking with dear friends dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction, the very first thing that comes to my mind is the deep compassion and tenderness of our God toward wounded and deceived people that He loves very much. I am reminded of Isaiah’s words (42:3), “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”

People discover attractions toward those of the same sex. They don’t initially choose them. These disordered feelings are like the warning lights on the dashboard of a car. They are saying, “Something’s wrong under the hood; check it out!” So in the beginning, same-sex attractions constitute temptation rather than sin, but it easily crosses over to sin when people choose to feed and nurture thought patterns that God’s word says are sin.

And God’s word has always called sexual behavior outside of marriage between a man and woman, sin. That’s because sex is deeply spiritual as well as physical, and He wants to protect us from the harmful consequences of sexual sin. His word will last forever, and it doesn’t change. So I believe God is grieved when people reject His clear biblical statements about sexual sin, as is now happening in many churches and individuals.

God’s word calls us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. An important part of the Kingdom message is that God changes believers more and more into the likeness of Jesus. That means that God endorses change, which makes sense since growth and change are an intrinsic part of life.

But the cultural narrative says that your sexuality can’t be changed. If people don’t want their broken same-sex attractions, and seek help recovering God’s intended design for them, it is becoming illegal to do that. It’s labeled as “conversion therapy.” But if someone says they’re transgender and seeks to inject their healthy body with artificial hormones and mutilate it with surgery to pretend they are something they’re not, that’s called “gender affirmation.” Yes, it’s backward.

God addressed this backward thinking in Isaiah 5:20—“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

Back to the cultural narrative says that your sexuality can’t be changed. That’s not what some social scientists have found, which is that sexuality can be quite fluid and changeable.{1} There is no magic switch to flip from homosexual to heterosexual; but when people invite God into the woundings and deficits of their earlier life and receive healing in their souls, some can develop attractions to the opposite sex. I have personally seen this happen multiple times. The problem is
that people aren’t telling their stories, or when they try, they aren’t believed.

Disordered thinking and unnatural desires are not too hard for God to handle. Remember, He can raise the dead!

Cultural Lies vs. God’s Truth

There is a massive clash between the lies of our sex-saturated culture, and the eternal truth of God’s word.

CULTURE’S LIE: Who I am is a sexual being. Whether it’s a culture or an individual, when God is left out of the equation, sex is elevated to the #1 most important spot because it’s so powerful and a source of such intense pleasure (or can be). So people define themselves by their sexuality.
GOD’S TRUTH: Who I am is God’s beloved creation. Made in the image of God, created for intimacy and fellowship with Him, my worth proven by what the Son was willing to pay for me: His very life.

CULTURE’S LIE: Sex is a need and a right for everyone to experience. Many people believe it is on the same level of necessity as food, water and sleep.
GOD’S TRUTH: Sex is so powerful it is to be contained only within marriage between one man and one woman. The mingling of bodies and souls through sex is deeply spiritual as well as physical. God’s prohibitions against sex outside of marriage are His gift to us, meant for our protection from the painful consequences of sexual sin. They are like guard rails on a treacherous mountain road, intended to keep us from going off the cliff to pain and destruction.

CULTURE’S LIE: I create my own identity depending on what I feel. Untethered from a connection to God as Creator, people live out the sad, repeated description of Israel in the book of Judges, where “all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17:6, for one).
GOD’S TRUTH: My identity is who my Creator says I am. All of us exist because God wanted us and hand-crafted each of us (Psalm 139). Feelings are real but they’re not reliable. Jeremiah 17:9 instructs us on why our feelings can’t be trusted: “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?”

CULTURE’S LIE: Gender is whatever we want it to be. Biological sex has been separated from gender (how one feels about maleness and femaleness). (Personally, this strikes me as illegitimate as proclaiming that the white keys on a piano are bad and the black keys are good.)
GOD’S TRUTH: God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27) The first words in the room when a baby is born are still, “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!” Gender is still binary because God still creates only male and female.

 6-year-old transgender manCULTURE’S LIE: I can create my own reality. For example, recently a man abandoned his wife and seven children, announcing his chosen identity of a 6-year-old girl.{2}

dragon transgenderAnother man, deciding his identity is a female dragon, cut off his ears and nose, dyed his eyes, and inserted horns in his forehead.{3}

GOD’S TRUTH: There is objective truth and objective reality because God is real and true. We do not have the freedom to dismiss what is objectively true and real; 2 + 2 will always be 4, not 7 or 200, and gravity will always be operational on the planet. These things are real and true because a real and true God rooted His creation in His own nature.

CULTURE’S LIE: “Born this way.” This lie has so much traction because it’s repeated so often
people assume it to be true.
GOD’S TRUTH: No Evidence. There is actually no scientific evidence of a gay gene or any other determiner of same-sex attraction. And in identical twins (who share the same DNA), when one identifies as gay or lesbian, the other one only identifies as gay or lesbian about 11% of the time. If homosexuality were a genetic issue, the correspondence would be 100%.

American culture continues to pump out the illusion—the fantasy, the myth—that sexuality is the most important thing about life and about us, and that sexual identity and expression is where life is found.

Life is found in Jesus, and nowhere else.

Transgender: The Emperor’s New Clothes

In the old story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, scam artists appeal to the pride of a conceited emperor, claiming they can create a magical outfit for him that is invisible to anyone who is unfit for their position, stupid, or incompetent. He parades his new suit of clothes before his subjects, which of course no one can see because it’s a scam. But no one will say they don’t see it lest they be seen as stupid. Finally a little boy pipes up and blurts out the truth: “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”{4}

The transgender narrative is the equivalent of the Emperor’s New Clothes. The objective truth is that there is no such thing as magical clothes, and there’s no such thing as changing genders. People can only deceive themselves (and others), damage their bodies, and mutilate themselves—but our God-ordained maleness and femaleness, our biological sex, is stamped into every cell of our bodies.

It’s especially alarming when parents, educators and other authorities feed a child’s fantasy that they are the other gender. We would never do that if a child declared herself to be a cat or a unicorn; we would gently and lovingly correct her wrong thinking by speaking the truth to her. But if a boy insists he’s a girl or vice versa, many progressive-minded adults are so proud of their “wokeness” that they rush to board the child on the transgender train.

Most often, children who reject their gender are reacting to gender stereotypes. Girls can think that boys get to do cooler stuff than girls, and sensitive boys who love pink and purple sparkly things can think it’s better to be a girl. Both sexes who experience abuse can believe that it would be safer to be the opposite sex.

Children never see the big picture—that’s why God gives them parents to help them see their world more accurately. One little boy told his parents he wanted to be a girl but no one inquired why, they just jumped on the transgender bandwagon. Turns out that when his baby sister was born and consumed a lot of attention because she was very sick, he concluded that if he were a girl, he would get the same attention.

Transgender – Part 2

When a person experiences a conflict between their biological sex and their internal sense of whether they are male or female, that’s called gender dysphoria. Various studies have shown that this very painful emotional state resolves itself about 85% of the time simply by going through puberty. It appears to reset things. So the best and wisest treatment is no treatment at all, but of course wise parents and other adults will continue to speak truth about a child’s identity—especially the truth that God who is good, loving and wise chose their gender for them, so we need to receive it as His gift.

This whole transgender phenomenon has ignited where children have access to the internet on their smart phones. The illusion of transgender is easily spread by social contagion. Children and teens talk about their beliefs that they are transgender on social media, and their impressionable peers are influenced to start thinking and feeling the same way. The popularity of social media has sped up the spread of this fantasy, especially on the Tumblr platform. One academic who studied the reports of parents alarmed by sudden changes in their children coined the term “rapid onset gender dysphoria.”{5}

Anyone who has been around adolescents for any length of time doesn’t need to be surprised by this dynamic. Teens copy each other in all kinds of ways.

Many adolescents who identify as transgender suffer from anxiety, depression, and self-injury.{6} There is a whole constellation of painful mental health struggles all bound up together. We are also finding that a disproportionate number of teens who explore the transgender identity are on the autism spectrum.{7}

They already feel the shame of being different, of being “other than,” and it’s easy for them to mislabel themselves as transgender instead of just different.

One final note on transgender: we must not go along with the Emperor’s New Clothes story that athletes can compete as the opposite sex just by declaring themselves so. It’s not just heartbreaking, it’s wrong for teenage boys to rob girl athletes of scholarships{8}, not to mention dignity, by unfairly competing against them and demanding to use their restrooms and locker rooms.{9}

Why Have So Many Christians and Entire Churches Become Pro-Gay?

More and more individuals and churches have come out in support of homosexuality and gay marriage. Why is that?

I think there are two big reasons so many confessing believers in Christ have allowed themselves to be more shaped by the culture than by the truth of God’s word, drifting into spiritual compromise and even into apostasy, which means abandoning the truth of one’s faith.

Reason One: Rejecting the Authority of God’s Word

The first reason is that millions of people are rejecting the authority of God’s word.

The bitter fruit of several decades of shallow preaching, teaching and discipleship is that many believers have been especially vulnerable to Satan’s deceptive question to Eve in the Garden of Eden: “Did God really say . . .?” When Christians ignore or flat-out reject the unmistakably clear biblical statements condemning homosexual behavior, they are playing into the enemy’s temptation to justify disobedience by making feelings and perceptions more important than God’s design and standards.

There are now two streams of thought on same-sex relationships and behavior: the Traditional, Biblical View and the Revisionist View.{10} The Revisionist View basically says, “It doesn’t matter what the Bible actually says, it doesn’t mean what 2000 years of church history has said it means, it means what we want it to say.” And we want it to say that God endorses all relationships that invoke love.”

Reason Two: Snagged by the Gay Agenda

When people don’t submit themselves to the truth of the Word of God, they are easily shaped and swayed by the six points of a brilliantly designed “Gay Manifesto” spelled out in a book called After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s.{11} This gay agenda has been executed perfectly in the United States. (Note: these are the authors’ words, not mine.)

1. Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and often as possible.

2. Portray members of the LGBTQ community as victims. Indoctrinate mainstream America that members of the LGBTQ community were “born this way.”

3. Give protectors a just cause: anti-discrimination.

4. The use of TV, music, film and social media to desensitize mainstream Americans to their plight as gay people.

5. Portray Gays and Lesbians as pillars in society. Make gays look good.

6. Once homosexuals have begun to gain acceptance, anti-gay opponents must be vilified, causing them to be viewed as repulsive outcasts of society.

This is how I see how we got to this place where so many people have been deceived. They didn’t anchor themselves to the Truth of the Word of God, and they opened themselves to the cultural brine of Kirk and Madsen’s plan to overhaul straight America.

I will close with four personal observations about this situation:

1. Christians have bought into the culture’s worship of feelings over God’s unchanging revelation

2. People love how making themselves an ally and protector of the underdog makes them feel, despite God’s design and standards for sexuality and marriage.

3. Not enough of us Christ-followers are living lives that demonstrate the beauty and satisfaction of abiding in Christ.

4. The church has been dismal at loving those who struggle with their sexuality and showing them the grace that is in God’s heart toward them. It’s essential to both speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), and seek to show love filled with truth.

Notes

1. www.sciencealert.com/sexual-orientation-continues-to-change-right-through-our-teens-and-into-adulthood
2. www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3356084/I-ve-gone-child-Husband-father-seven-52-leaves-wife-kids-live-transgender-SIX-YEAR-OLD-girl-named-Stefonknee.html
3. unbelievable-facts.com/2016/04/transgender-dragon-lady.html
4. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor%27s_New_Clothes
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_onset_gender_dysphoria_controversy
6. www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-04-10/transgender-teens-have-high-rates-of-depression-suicidal-thoughts
7. www.com/science/article/pii/S1750946719301540
8. www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/06/19/transgender-athletes-robbing-girls-chance-win-sports-column/4856486002/
9. www.dailysignal.com/2015/12/21/why-these-high-school-girls-dont-want-transgender-student-a-in-their-locker-room/
10. bible.org/article/reformation-church-doesn-t-need-answering-revisionist-pro-gay-theology-part-i
11. Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s (New York: Doubleday, 1989).

©2020 Probe Ministries


Probe Live – Thinking Clearly About Gender Confusion

Probe Live Gender Confusion

Probe Live — November 18, 2021

God’s good gift of gender—male and female—has never been more broken or confused. Sue Bohlin brings the clarity of biblical worldview thinking to this issue with grace and truth.

 

There was a problem with part of the audio recording on the video, but here is the back-up audio recording:

www.ministeriosprobe.org/mp3s/GenderConfusion_11-18-21.mp3

Powerpoint Slides:

PDF form: app.box.com/s/iv7z9j1ao9thnn2syfwrajh94pjrxxxm

PPT form: app.box.com/s/iv7z9j1ao9thnn2syfwrajh94pjrxxxm

 


How Should We Think About Pride Month?

How should Christ-followers think about Pride Month?

Well, first, in case you are not aware, Pride Month is a time of highlighting and celebrating everything LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). You might have seen a few more letters tacked on—QQIAA (queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally).

It’s hard NOT to notice it’s Pride Month when rainbows suddenly appear on all kinds of products and logos. Many cities have Pride marches, much of which is not safe to broadcast on the evening news because the behavior in these parades is definitely not family-friendly.

How should believers think about it all?

We need to pass our thoughts and judgments through the filter of God’s word. What does God think about Pride Month?

First, every single person who is part of the LGBT community is a precious soul that He made in His image, for whom Christ died. And very few who identify as LGBT have not sustained some sort of soul wound, which makes this promise in Isaiah 42:3 even dearer: “A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice.” So in terms of the individuals who participate in Pride Month, God knows each of them by name and He loves them, tenderly and great compassion.

God understands the heart cry of those in the LGBT community to belong, to be included and not excluded, to be visible and heard and understood and cared for, to hear that they matter. These are the heart desires of those who align under the Pride flag.

And God gets it, because those are legitimate desires that we all have because we’re born that way. God made us that way, all of us, to long to be loved, accepted, and affirmed.

It means the world to those who have found community under the LGBT banner because they were “different,” they were “other,” so they often felt marginalized and ostracized from their families or school communities or religious communities.

So Pride Month is a call to love the people who celebrate it.

But that’s not all.

God has also revealed His design and intention for human sexuality and gender identity, both in the Old Testament and, in the words of Jesus Himself, in the New Testament: “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4-5)

God made human beings male and female. It really is that simple, regardless of how complicated people’s feelings can be about gender.

And He intended sexual expression to be limited to husband and wife within marriage, which we see by the Bible’s 44 references to sexual immorality (sex outside of marriage) as sin.

In view of the LGBT community’s desire for not just legitimacy but commendation in any and all sexual expression, we need to remember that God specifically forbade same-sex behavior in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” In the New Testament, the apostle Paul expands this prohibition to include lesbianism in Romans 1:24-27:

Therefore, God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. . . . 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 . . .

So how should Christians think about Pride Month? With discernment.

  • Remembering that the people involved are precious to God, but the identity they are choosing falls short of the glory of God (the Bible’s definition of sin, Romans 3:23) because it does not submit to and align with God’s intention for human sexuality.
  • Not being fooled by the slogan “Love is love,” which is a slick gloss over the false declaration that calling something “love” automatically validates it. How about brother-sister incestuous “love”? How about adulterous “love”? How about polyamory (multiple partners in a relationship) “love”? And, especially since we have already started down the slippery slope, how long before there is a call to extend the sexual underpinnings of “love is love” to children and animals?
  • Comparing one’s view of all things LGBT to God’s word. Those who identify as an Ally should ask themselves why they want to support behavior and an identity God calls sin.
  • Taking seriously the sin of pride, holding two important ideas as equally important: Philippians 3:19 says those who “are proud of what they should be ashamed of” (such as those exhibiting their broken sexuality in Pride parades) are “enemies of the cross of Christ.” But Proverbs 16:5 warns, “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD.” So every single one of us needs to confess our sin of pride, of comparing ourselves to anyone else so we feel we are better than others. In fact, seeing the Pride flag during Pride Month would make a great reminder to examine ourselves to look for a prideful, judge-y heart, to confess it as sin and repent.

Many of those who have come out of homosexuality are deeply grieved by Pride Month because they know it encourages hurting, lonely, wounded people to try to find life where it can never be found. They know the truth of Jeremiah 2:13, where God says,

“For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me— the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!”

How should a Christian think about Pride Month? With compassion and prayer for those caught in it, that they will turn to Jesus as the fountain of living water. And with humility for ourselves, to repent of any pride that comes from comparing ourselves to those waving rainbow flags. As Billy Graham said, “Never take credit for not falling into a temptation that never tempted you in the first place.”

This blog post originally appeared at

blogs.bible.org/how-should-we-think-about-pride-month/ on June 15, 2021.


The Thought Police Are Here

The Thought Police Are Here

Recently, in the same week, I watched two strikingly polar opposite events unfold on my Facebook feed. One was the long-awaited, long-prayed-for birth of a precious baby girl whose daddy had left homosexuality and repented of a gay identity as he pursued intimacy with Christ. After several years of sexual sobriety and spiritual growth, he was actually quite surprised to find himself starting to be attracted to girls. I remember him saying, “If you think puberty is rough the first time, you should try it at 28!” I was privileged to watch him weep with gratitude through his wedding to a beautiful lady, and pray for him as he became a pastor of an inner city church. And finally, after a failed pregnancy and several failed adoptions, God gave him and his wife the desires of their heart when their little one was born.

This happened the same week that Amazon banned a number of books offering hope for people struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion, people like my friend. A gay activist convinced Amazon that the books by a clinical psychologist who had successfully treated hundreds of men who did not want to be gay, and other books presenting a biblical view of sexuality, are dangerous. He said they cause LGBT people to hate themselves and inflict grave psychological damage. Because no one should be able to say there’s anything wrong with same-sex relationships and behavior.

It’s really not any different than if a coalition of distilleries, vintners and brewing companies went after Alcoholics Anonymous to shut them down, proclaiming that it’s dangerous and even wrong to support people who want to stop drinking. And there’s something wrong with people not wanting alcohol to control or even destroy their lives, because drinkers are who they are and they need to embrace this reality.

Critics use the pejorative labels “gay cure” or “conversion therapy” to shut down the voices of those offering help to those who want it. No reputable therapist, counselor, or pastoral care person will attempt to force change on someone who doesn’t want it, but what about those who do want help? What about another friend of mine, who sought help when he was deep in the weeds of his gay life? When I asked what made him reach out for help over 20 years ago, he answered, “God-induced misery. If the Holy Spirit truly lives within, there is no peace, there is no stability, there is no hiding. As James says, The double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

But technology has allowed “the Thought Police” to shut down the voices they don’t like, like those of my friends. The stewards of high tech hold the power to decide what they want people to hear and see.

• John Stonestreet’s recent Breakpoint commentary{1} relates how Facebook deleted a pro-lifer’s post quoting Saint Augustine, about focusing on the sins of others to avoid examining our own. Facebook says St. Augustine’s comment violated community standards.

• YouTube has restricted a quarter of Dennis Prager’s conservative videos, including one on the Ten Commandments (because it mentions murder).

• Smarter Every Day’s resident engineer (and winsomely outspoken Christ-follower) Destin Sandlin created three powerful videos explaining how YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are being manipulated to control what we see.{2}

• A single pro-LGBT activist convinced Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google to remove the Living Hope Ministries app, grossly misrepresenting LHM’s mission and activity as dangerous and even “life-threatening.” The app was filled with expository teachings of various books of the Bible, weekly devotions, and personal testimonies of God’s transformational work. The app had happily resided on all platforms for more than three years.

This app was removed for supposedly being life-threatening to LGBTQ youth, yet the same hosts offer more than a dozen pro-gay apps that are designed to encourage sexual exploration and provide a means for individuals to hook-up for anonymous sex—an activity that has proven to be dangerous and even life-threatening.{3}

These are examples of the Thought Police in action.

This is why it is more important than ever before for our thinking to be more shaped, more informed by the truth of the Word of God than by the gatekeepers of Big Tech.

For example, we need to embrace the truth of 1 Corinthians 6, describing the first century church that had former homosexuals in it:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (vv. 9-11, emphasis mine)

I keep thinking about personal friends of mine, and their families, that the Thought Police don’t want the world to know about: men and women who have turned from a gay identity to finding their identity in Christ, who have reconciled their faith and sexuality to honor and glorify God in it. Some have developed an attraction to their now-spouse, and are happily living faithful lives of service in their churches and in the world. Some report that their same-sex attractions haven’t changed, but instead of a blaring, controlling force, they have retreated to white noise in the background of their lives. Their stories are real, and life-giving, and fulfilling.

But you won’t know about it if the Thought Police have their way.

Notes

1. www.breakpoint.org/2019/07/the-point-saintly-censorship/
2. www.smartereveryday.com/
3. www.livehope.org/2019/04/23/lightintodark/

 

This blog post originally appeared at blogs.bible.org/engage/sue_bohlin/the_thought_police_are_here on July 23, 2019.


How Bad is This Conversion Therapy Thing?

Pride Balloons

As pro-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) voices and values grow louder and more insistent in the culture, what about those people of faith who experience same-sex attraction and don’t want it? What are they supposed to do with feelings and desires at odds with their faith? How are they supposed to learn to reconcile their faith and their sexuality?

The cultural narrative has become, “LGBT represents normal, healthy variations in human sexuality, so everyone should support and celebrate all forms of sexual diversity. And if you don’t, we’re going to punish you, shame you, and squelch your voice.”

Part of the punishing and shaming includes outrage over “Conversion Therapy.” A growing number of states outlaw it. What makes it so bad and why are people so angry about it?

What is Conversion Therapy?

Conversion Therapy is usually defined as therapy designed to change a person’s sexual orientation. But is that what it really is? Therapy is a shortened form of the word “psychotherapy,” which means the treatment given by a licensed mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, a social worker, or a licensed counselor. So Conversion Therapy isn’t therapy without a professional counselor of some kind, with the goal of changing someone’s sexual orientation.{1} But do a Google search for organizations being labelled as doing (or even promoting) Conversion Therapy—which will include a number of churches—and you’ll find neither element happening.

Conversion Therapy is the current buzzword that instantly communicates something that smears hate, shame, judgment and probable suicidality in those who undergo it, forced or not. It is not acceptable to say there’s anything wrong or unhealthy about any form of “sexual diversity.” Those that do—for example, anyone who holds to a biblical, traditional view of marriage and sexuality—are labeled as haters, bigots, prudes, outdated . . . and wrong.

Anne Paulk, director of Restored Hope Network, describes it as “an ideological term used by the GLBTQ activist community and their supporters who seek to link compassionate spiritual care and talk therapy with horrible, clearly disreputable practices.”{2}

These “disreputable practices” include stories of some extremists who used torture, pain and punishment to try and exorcise homosexuality from people. Most notably and recently, the movie Boy Erased purports to show the true story of a teenage boy whose parents sent him to a strict camp that left heartbreaking wounds on his soul. (It should also be noted that the producers took a number of creative liberties to produce the most dramatic moments of the film, none of which actually happened per the book.) The cultural narrative lumps extremists with all those engaged in helping those with unwanted homosexuality, painting them all with a broad brush of condemnation.

Helping Those Who Want the Help

A number of ministries and churches actively seek to help those who don’t want their same-sex feelings or their discomfort with their gender. Or, even if they don’t fight against their feelings, they want to live lives honoring to God despite their desires, which means not giving into them. These ministries and organizations neither offer nor promise conversion of homosexual attractions into heterosexual ones. That would be like offering to make someone stop loving chocolate and start loving kale. Not gonna happen, right?

But they can teach what God’s word says about sexuality, discipleship, and living a life pleasing to God. They can help people (note: choose to, not be forced to) submit every area of their lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ, including sexuality. There are many who define and identify themselves by their sexuality; God’s word calls us to define and identify ourselves by our relationship to Him.

Human sexuality is a complex, many-layered issue comprised of a lifetime of experiences, perceptions, habits, and ways of thinking. There’s nothing simple about it. It has also, for every one of us, been impacted by the Fall and the pervading presence of sin.

But Is Change Even Possible?

Ever hear the pejoratively-used phrase “Pray away the gay”? That’s as effective as praying away fat. A prayer like, “Please Jesus make me stop wanting people/things/food I shouldn’t” has never worked because He doesn’t have a magic wand. He says to all those who want to be His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). That means saying no to ourselves and to our flesh, the part of us that operates independently of God. The apostle Paul instructs us in Romans 12:2 to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind. . .” Cooperating with God to renew our mind means submitting our thoughts and habits to Him, “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). The call to surrender every part of us, including our sexuality, as the way to obey and honor God, is a difficult one, and it takes community. It takes the support of other Christ-followers to walk alongside us, pray for us, speak God’s truth to us, encourage us, challenge us, restore us when we stumble and fall, and help us keep going.

Change is not only possible, it is the mark of things that are alive. And it is the fruit of the gospel. Lasting change comes not from human effort but from supernatural transformation as we surrender to the work of God in our lives. We experience change as we are transformed into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Christlikeness produces change in how we think, what we believe, how we see ourselves and others, our behavior, and finally—like the caboose on a train—our feelings. But there’s no point in trying to change the feelings apart from the rest of the process.

Discipleship is often what’s happening in ministries and churches that are smeared with the label of “Conversion Therapy,” being lied about and attacked by people who can’t abide any position other than their own.

Next time you see the term “Conversion Therapy,” know that it’s not about shutting down bad therapists. It’s about shutting up people who agree with God about sexuality.

1. I am indebted to the amazing Joe Dallas for his crazy-great analysis and tender compassion concerning this issue, particularly this article: joedallas.com/2018/11/13/dances-with-snakes/
2. www.wnd.com/2019/02/ex-gay-leader-jesus-still-transforms-lives/

This blog post originally appeared at blogs.bible.org/engage/sue_bohlin/how_bad_is_this_conversion_therapy_thing
on February 19, 2019.


Gay Men to Lead Boy Scouts: Gates’ Failure to Render Genuine Leadership

Boy Scouts and Gay Flag

This week the Boy Scouts of America have announced they will welcome transgendered youth into the program. This culture-following trend began when the BSA allowed gay scouts, then gay leaders. This shows a serious leadership gap, according to Eagle Scout, former Scout employee, and volunteer Byron Barlowe.

Boy Scouts will now be subject to gay adult leadership if BSA (Boy Scouts of America) president Robert Gates’ advice is taken. Gates, who once held our military’s top position as Secretary of Defense, declared the inevitability of ending the ban on openly gay Scout leaders while addressing the BSA national annual meeting in Atlanta Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Does anyone really doubt that Gates’ position will be made official, especially given recent advances for gay rights at the states’ level, with the Girl Scouts, in Ireland’s national referendum vote three days later and most likely via the United States Supreme Court this June? I wager it’ll be only a few months before it’s official BSA policy.

The question for Mr. Gates: How does bowing to the rapidly changing poll numbers on this issue constitute leadership? Don’t heroes often have to stand alone? Even if Gates holds convictions that would dictate openness in his personal dealings, his stated premise for lifting the long-time ban on gay Scout leaders that stands to affect tens of thousands of youth is flawed: that the proverbial train has left the station and the organization needs to cover its rear guard, to go with the inevitable flow of gay rights, to kowtow to pressure from within and without. Pure pragmatism on parade. And entirely inappropriate and unrespectable.

Brave New World vs. “A Scout is Brave”

Part of the Scout Law every Boy Scout for 105 years has memorized and recited reads, “A Scout is trustworthy . . . brave . . . reverent. . . .” But the BSA has done a 180-degree flip on the topic of homosexuality, having won a Supreme Court case against a gay membership push as recently as 2000. The Opinion of the Court in Dale v. Boy Scouts of America, written by Chief Justice Rehnquist, reads, “The Boy Scouts asserts that it ‘teach[es] that homosexual conduct is not morally straight’” in its defense of denying avowed homosexual and gay activist James Dale leadership privileges with a Scout troop.

Oh, what a difference fifteen years makes when one bases decisions on the swiveling wind vane of a degrading culture.

To his credit, Dr. Gates called for individual chartering organizations—representing 70 percent of Boy Scout Troops and Cub Packs—to decide for themselves how to implement such a policy. Yet, in the same speech, Gates cites the refusal of a New York Council to abide by current BSA policy in hiring gay leaders as a realistic reason to change the national policy. Which is it? Gay men get the right to lead, or troops and packs get to say no? We see where that is going in the courts and in culture with Christian photographers, bakers and T-shirt makers: inescapable pressure to succumb.

Live Up to High Standards of Scouting

I’m holding President Gates to a high standard here. Sure, he’s been pressured by his own big business (read: big donor) board members like Randall Stephenson of AT&T and James Turley of Ernst & Young to eradicate the BSA’s longstanding policies against gay participation at every level. Though it may not compare to high stakes, national level non-profit boardroom politics, I lost my job as a BSA District Executive by holding to the principles of Scouting (and my biblical faith). When asked to misrepresent the number of Cub Scout Packs in local schools at a BSA Council in North Carolina, I refused. Threats didn’t move me despite my 23-year-old, first-job fears. Call me naïve. Then explain that to a boy. It would be refreshing to see Mr. Gates stand up to power himself.

Even if I agreed with gay rights claims concerning the private youth training organization, I’d object to the hypocrisy of its leader. Gates’ recent declaration, as with the BSA’s 2013 decision to enroll openly gay Scouts, is modeling another dereliction of duty. Yet “duty to God,” others and self has always formed the three-legged stool of values on which Scouting stood. God is not confused on this issue, nor was the Scouting program for a full century.

If This Goes, Scouting Will Forever Be Altered

I write “values on which Scouting stood” in past tense advisedly. As I was quoted via the Los Angeles Times syndicate while demonstrating against the policy change to allow openly gay Scouts in 2013, this is the end of Scouting as we have known it. Another prediction: A sharp decrease in numbers following that decision will be surpassed if the BSA allows admittedly gay leaders. As an Eagle Scout, father of an Eagle Scout, former volunteer Scouting leader and BSA local executive, I can no longer support in any way the Boy Scouts of America. I’ll support other youth programs.

This conviction grieves me, but borrowing from the Christian reformer Martin Luther, here I stand and I can do no other. No, this episode does not rise to the level of religious reformation; however, the gravity of such social slides will change the cultural landscape for as long as our Republic stands. The gay advocacy heavyweight Human Rights Campaign is right when it celebrates Gates’ announcement as a huge victory in its drive for full acceptance of homosexuals across the culture, given that the BSA is “one of America’s most storied institutions.”

As SecDef, Gates ended the ambiguous “Don’t ask, don’t tell” doctrine, a decision that opened doors for openly gay service men and women to serve freely despite fears of sexual chaos. Our former CIA Director and, again, Secretary of Defense Gates now holds the top leadership post among a younger group of Americans. On this issue he has led neither members of the armed forces nor impressionable and sexually vulnerable adolescent Scouts.

Once again, Gates’ ethics reek of pure pragmatism: “We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be. The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained,” he said to the assembled Scouting leaders.

Never mind high ideals. The wind has blown, the ship has sailed and we must get on board or be left behind (or at least sued heavily). Oh, such bravery.

Posted May 2015 | Updated Jan 2017
© 2015 Probe Ministries