Forcing Scripture To Fit

Woman Asking FramedAgain, this series focuses, not on my disagreements with Love In Action, but primarily on my disobedience to the Lord during my time of working there. Although some of my actions conformed to the leadership’s philosophy, I must only judge myself.

Most of the leaders genuinely love the Lord, and neither their acceptance of psychology nor their embrace of Charismatic theology calls their salvation into question. Indeed, I was a Charismatic during the first six years I served with the ministry, and I agreed with many of the ideas they adapted from psychology. Yet my doctrinal flaws, though serious, didn’t negate my salvation. The only former colleagues I don’t respect are those who now live openly gay lifestyles while  claiming to be Christian and those who no longer believe that  salvation comes exclusively through Jesus Christ.

Leadership influenced some of my compromises, but (and please pay attention to this point) they never insisted that I incorporate psychological theories into my counseling letters. Hear me on this matter. They gave me wide latitude in how I wrote those letters. I chose to employ ideas that I learned from conferences, books, staff meetings and interactions with various people in their residential program.

So yes, I taught my  counselees that homosexuality resulted from childhood traumas such as alienation from their  same sex parent. Yes, I told them that examining their pasts and forgiving those who “wounded” them would eventually cause their homosexual inclinations to diminish. And yes (God forgive me), I sometimes even encouraged them to find “Christian” psychologists.

But worst of all, I’d often use God’s Holy Word to proof-text my points rather than developing points from prayerful study of Scripture. Routinely, I’d type a paragraph and then search through the Bible for a verse or passage to legitimize what I’d written. Sometimes I’d take a verse completely out of context, knowing full well that I handled God’s Word dishonestly. Sure, Bible verses saturated each letter, but not all those verses were used properly.

My deliberate mishandling  of Scripture grieves me more than anything else about my 12 years of working for Love In Action. I know that God has forgiven me, so please don’t interpret this article as me wallowing in self-condemnation.

Instead, I implore you, no matter how you serve the Lord, to begin by understanding Scripture first, and then formulating your ministry around its principles. Feel free to distort psychology so that it conforms to the Bible, but be absolutely certain to use God’s Word reverently and accurately. I believe, had I ignored psychological precepts in favor of  faithful ministry from Scripture, I would have pleased the Lord much more…and maybe He would have helped more people submit their homosexuality to Him.

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