Guest columnist misrepresented purpose of seminar on homosexuality

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This is a response to the inaccurate remarks made by Rev. Jeff Pullium, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer, in the June 26 Your Faith section of The Augusta Chronicle. In his guest column ("Love of Christ can be seen in gay pride"), he criticized the South Augusta Pastors' Alliance -- not "Association" -- and the recent mini-seminar that was hosted by the pastors on the topic of homosexuality.

THE REV. PULLIUM stated that he feared the seminar "was gathered to present one-sided interpretations of Scripture and reparative therapy." It did no such thing. In fact, the reparative therapy that he bashes several times in his article was never discussed nor promoted at the seminar.

Let me describe the "dangerous" and "hateful" seminar that the Rev. Pullium disliked so much, even though he wasn't there. It was open to the public and was well attended by pastors, news media and other interested parties.

The presenters at the Truth Ministry Seminar were individuals, male and female, who honestly and powerfully shared their very real and long-term struggles with same-sex attraction and how they have dealt with it. They also described their personal victories, with the help of Jesus Christ, over a variety of uncontrollable circumstances that had a profound impact on them.

Since the seminar was an ecumenical event with a variety of supporting churches, both Catholic and Protestant, there was no specific "dogma" or church doctrine promoted, especially not one of "hate" as the Rev. Pullium would have us believe. If there were any Christian core beliefs presented, it was that the love of Jesus brings healing, blessing and forgiveness -- and a new life.

All of the presenters had experienced this healing, blessing and forgiveness and now are living new lives -- and they obviously love the results. This is pretty dangerous stuff, especially if someone is promoting the active homosexual lifestyle.

ONE OF THE CORE Christian beliefs that was presented was that homosexual sin is no more or less grievous to God than is heterosexual sin. Problems arise when someone tries to justify any kind of a sinful behavior, as defined by Scripture, by declaring that the behavior really isn't sinful any more.

Note:

- Being homosexual isn't sinful, but performing homosexual acts is, just as unmarried sex (a heterosexual act sometimes called fornication) is sinful.

- By "sin," I mean acts that are displeasing to God and somehow contrary to His will and plan as revealed in the Bible. In the end, all guilt for sinful behavior is determined by God and not by us.

Jesus really is about love, just as the Rev. Pullium asserts, but telling someone that it is OK to live or act in a way that opposes God's standards as revealed in Scripture, and in nature, is not love.

The seminar presenters made it clear that when homosexual acts (or sinful heterosexual acts) are somehow redefined as to now be OK with God and therefore not sinful, there is some real spiritual danger. Before anyone can repent and turn away from their wrong actions, they must first be able to know that what they did is an offense to God and therefore sinful.

Lots of political energy and money have gone into this redefining process. I suppose this is because we now live in a politically correct world and have to deal with the consequences. The Truth Ministry Seminar helps make sense out of what is, for many, a very confusing subject.

Finally, at the seminar I learned that in April 2010 the American College of Pediatrics sent a letter to every American public school supervisor warning of the clear evidence that homosexual practice runs a significantly higher mental health and physical health risk.

THEY WARNED that, in light of the normal gender confusion that 25 percent or more of all adolescents experience, to encourage premature experimentation is putting these children at great risk. The reader may want to draw his or her own conclusions from this, but it could at least be said that homosexual practice jeopardizes both mental and physical health, at least as far as the ACP is concerned.

I highly encourage pastors who want to educate their congregations and parishes on loving ways to reach out to those who experience same-sex attraction and/or homosexuality to contact Mr. McKrae Game at www.truthministry.org. They have a very positive story to tell that is both interesting and informative -- and not judgmental or hateful in any way. A Truth Ministry Seminar is easy to organize, and is a very interesting and informative event -- and, in many ways, is a "game changer." Those who sponsor one will not be disappointed.

I pray we will soon see across the CSRA many more informative seminars like this one and, perhaps, in other areas such as the damaging impact of pornography. Education and prayer are some of the best means of preparation for challenging times. We are in challenging times now, so it is a very appropriate and good time to get educated and start praying.

(The writer is moderator of the South Augusta Pastors' Alliance.)

Comments (23) Add comment
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jiclemens
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jiclemens 07/04/10 - 08:10 am
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I won't even waste my time

I won't even waste my time trying to engage your religious hooha but don't lie and twist science to fight your losing battle. The only recognized and official body in pediatric medicine who has spoken with scientific authority on this subject is THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS and they have spoken out. There is no such thing as The American College of Pediatrics. The group you refer to is The American College of Pediatricians, a "club" formed of about 60 doctors who hold a specific conservative ideology and do not speak for science or medicine or any of the national bodies associated with the practice of medicine. Jeff Pullium was right on the money after reading this. Your group, and this "club" use any means necessary, including lies, to sway an unsuspecting public and promote your narrow, hateful agenda. Shame on you! "What would Jesus do," indeed!

FaceTheMusic
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FaceTheMusic 07/04/10 - 08:45 am
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Mr. Garrett, this is one of

Mr. Garrett, this is one of the most dishonest letters I have ever read. jiclemens is exactly right! You quote the American College of Pediatricians (not Pediatrics), which is a right-wing organization just founded in 2002, primarily as an anti-gay organization; they have fewer than 100 members. The organization is run out of someone's house in Gainesville, FL. The official pediatrics association is the American Academy of Pediatrics, founded in 1930 with over 60,000 members. Shame on you for trying to perpetuate this lie! I'd say Rev. Pulliam had your number pretty well!

corgimom
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corgimom 07/04/10 - 09:02 am
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Who encourages schoolchildren

Who encourages schoolchildren to engage in ANY sexual practices, heterosexual or homosexual? How bizarre to think that anyone would.

I'm sure all those public school supervisors (um, supervisors?) were pleased to receive the letter.

chascush
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chascush 07/04/10 - 09:09 am
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The school board in

The school board in Providence, RI voted to give 1st grades condoms. They changed their vote after a lot of the parents raised hell.

soldout
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soldout 07/04/10 - 09:21 am
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Excellent letter. Those who

Excellent letter. Those who discourage sin are blessed. Why would anyone want to encourage sin when the wages of sin is death. Sin never brings freedom but brings bondage. Another by product of sin is anger and emotional and physical sickness. Sin is just dumb and when we choose to go against the Word we also are going against our own body and mind. Sowing and reaping works everytime it is tried so why not turn away from sin and have peace, joy and relationship with Christ that beats anything this world has to offer. Life is so simple and so good with Christ leading your path. You wonder why the world is in such a mess until you see reactions to truth and then it becomes very clear.

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 07/04/10 - 09:26 am
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One's sexual preference
Unpublished

One's sexual preference SHOULD NOT be national pity parades. Gay pride should be "enjoyed" in the confines of one's bedroom. Not a national PITY PLATFORM. period.

soldout
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soldout 07/04/10 - 09:41 am
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Mr. Garrett; you being

Mr. Garrett; you being attacked because you promote the truth of Christ is a good thing. Some believe that the majority always has the truth but time and science hasn't proved that to be the case. Lies have to be told loudly and over and over while the truth can be quiet because it has time on it's side. Keep speaking out as you will save many from hell and misery while on the way there. The devil's job is to kill and destroy and he has many under his influence and many willing helpers. He is like the ones doing the gay sin; they can't reproduce so they have to recuit so they have that in common.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/04/10 - 10:39 am
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Talk about twisting things

Talk about twisting things out of recognition, Mssrs. Clemems and Face are true masters. You just want to do what you want to do and not have anyone suggest you are making a big mistake. And you want to be able to teach children and impressionable young people that there's nothing wrong in pursuing acts that virtually every world religion holds taboo.

But you have lots and lots of company in wanting to remake Western civilization over into a pagan, appetite-driven, self-centered society of the most morally primitive smart people ever to have existed. You must be so proud.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/04/10 - 10:45 am
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BTW, Bob Garrett is a lot

BTW, Bob Garrett is a lot nicer than I am. Pulliam is a bald-faced liar. He has exchanged the truth of the Gospel for a sexual agenda, which could hardly be more sickening. And he didn't even bother to find out what the Truth Ministry Seminar was presenting before spreading his nonsense. I doubt he would know our Redeemer if he fell over Him.

jiclemens
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jiclemens 07/04/10 - 12:21 pm
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You can say what you want

You can say what you want about religion. Just don't bring science into it to try to justify your fundamentalist zeal.

grouse
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grouse 07/04/10 - 12:45 pm
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I wonder if Mr. Garrett eats
Unpublished

I wonder if Mr. Garrett eats pork...

scott-hudson
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scott-hudson 07/04/10 - 01:11 pm
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My comments on this are at my

My comments on this are at my blog. wgac.com

scoopdedoop64
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scoopdedoop64 07/04/10 - 03:34 pm
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this is an excellent letter

this is an excellent letter that I whole heartedly agree with and support. I also disagree with jiclemens and facethemusic. You know its ok to disagree and have different opinions but wrong to start ridiculing this man's facts as he has presented them just because you don't like his conclusions. Its very obvious that you are only trying to advance your own agenda for gay rights. Just say you dissagree and why. Plain and simple rather than get so nasty

jiclemens
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jiclemens 07/04/10 - 03:44 pm
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Scott Hudson, finally! A

Scott Hudson, finally! A voice of reason in the wilderness! Outstanding blog. If the folks here refuse to read your blog it is just evidence that they "choose" to be ignorant.

scoopdedoop64
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scoopdedoop64 07/04/10 - 03:51 pm
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Scott, I read your blog and

Scott, I read your blog and was deeply touched by your story. I also respect the way in which you approached the subject and wish that everyone on this site would choose to do the same.

With that said I also agree that the choice of a homosexual lifestyle is not one that should limit a person to the same basic rights that anyone of us have. This is why I believe in civil unions. But when a couple want to engage in "marriage" which is of a biblical origin and value that has been a part of our country since its very beginning then we can't follow your advice. You stated in part,

"To understand where I am going, you have to, for a moment, set your interpretation of the Holy Bible aside and instead focus on the United States Constitution."

The United States Constitution is a wonderful and I believe inspired document. I believe it guarantees the freedom of different groups to the pursuit of happiness and peace. Therefore, the group has the right to march if they wish.

However, as Christians we cannot set the Holy Bible aside just so we can be in step with the U.S. Consititution or with the modern culture we live in. I would say it is a shame that anyone would mistreat or harm a person because of their sexual preference but I would also say it is a shame that homosexuals are prideful enough about their sin to flaunt it in our faces and try to force us to accept their way of life.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/04/10 - 04:00 pm
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In Scott's blog he says, "A

In Scott's blog he says, "A recent letter to the editor in the Augusta Chronicle shows again how well meaning conservatives are freaking out over basically nothing when our economy is in shambles, the Supremes narrowly upheld the application of the 2nd Amendment, illegals are flooding our borders, and the folks in Texas are discussing (well, some of them) secession from the union."

I don't know if that's true. The Libertarians had a tent at the Pride event according to Taylor Bryant.

soldout
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soldout 07/04/10 - 04:29 pm
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What most don't understand is

What most don't understand is the big problems in the world always have sin at the root. Every problem and solution begins in the spiritual realm and that is where the battle is won or lost. You never get rid of big problems without destroying the root and sins like the homosexual sin is just one of the roots. Sin is to be hated because it destroys at every level. Get rid of the root of the largest tree and it dies. Starve out the sin in your life and you thrive and your big problems start going away. If you don't stop the devil when he is just cracking the door to your life it will be too late when he knocks it down.

soldout
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soldout 07/04/10 - 04:33 pm
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By the way the Bible is the

By the way the Bible is the most accurate science book around. It stated that the earth was round when most educated thought it was flat. There are thousands of scientific statements in the Bible that were accurate before science confirmed them.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/04/10 - 07:45 pm
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Mr/s. Clemens, I don't

Mr/s. Clemens, I don't believe you are capable of recognizing the difference between a scientific fact and a strongly held opinion. You clearly are confused as far as this discussion goes.

shamrock
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shamrock 07/04/10 - 11:53 pm
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Scott Hudson is very much

Scott Hudson is very much like Austin Rhodes ... hard to take either one seriously but it seems they think we should! Good luck on that one!

jiclemens
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jiclemens 07/05/10 - 08:08 am
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Well, Fiat, I'm humbly

Well, Fiat, I'm humbly waiting for you to fill me/us in.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 07/05/10 - 10:09 am
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No surprise that jiclemens

No surprise that jiclemens would distort the truth just enough to make him/her appear superior. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Pediatricians, are organizations consisting of Pediatricians that are concerned about the welfare of children, they just have a different approach to the subject of homosexuality. One organization (Academy) appears to have a liberal viewpoint as the other (College) organization takes a more conservative view point.

As was stated earlier, the A of P sent a brochure to 16,000 public school with the purpose to promote the notion that all forms of sexual attraction among students (REGARDLESS OF AGE) are equally and entirely normal. School officials are being pressured by pro-homosexual groups to integrate homosexual education into school curriculum and also condemn any efforts to provide treatment for gender confused students. Instead, they encourage them to create student groups that affirm homosexual attraction and behaviors.

The C of P disagrees with the Academy’s position and presents a different view. This organization bases it’s policies and positions on scientific truth within a framework of ethical absolutes. Important to this organization is the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and the importance of a mother/father family unity in rearing children.

Concerning the statement this “club" is 60 doctors, according to the website, it has membership representation in 47 states in the US and five countries, consisting of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who speicalize in infant, children and adolescent care. Sounds like more than 60 doctors to me but then again this is just my opinion and can not find an exact number of members.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 07/05/10 - 02:12 pm
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grouse, you wonder if Mr.

grouse, you wonder if Mr. Garrett eats pork... Well I'm sure he does. You see according to the new covenant eating pork is no longer a sin. This law was under the old covenant and was abided by for purification reasons. Now that we are under the new covenant, we can eat all the pork we like. If you knew anything about the scriptures you would already know this fact.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/05/10 - 02:12 pm
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@Clemens: ICL did a pretty

@Clemens: ICL did a pretty good job for me. But my point to you was that you blasted the Truth Ministry Seminar for presenting the results of a survey, the teachings on sexuality held in common across Christian denominations, and statements from individuals regarding their own personal experiences with homosexuality.

It was never touted as a forum for scientific inquiry but of personal, spiritual and, tangentially, mental health issues related to homosexuality. You attack these people for not being something they never claimed they were trying to be, even though many are certainly capable of sophisticated, rational discussion with and refutation of the likes of you, even when it comes to "the science" of homosexuality.

I believe you know nothing on that subject yourself. I also believe you spout the opinion of other people whose permissive values allow you to rationalize and justify your own appetites and behaviors.

Now give me some genuine facts to dispute what I say, or acknowledge that you only have an opinion, just like most of the rest of us posting comments.

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