This interaction took place on my AskDrBrown Facebook page over the weekend of July 7-8, 2012. Rev-Gerald posted the comment that began our interaction.
Rev-Gerald: Dr. Brown what is your motivation for the work you do?
Rev-Gerald: Dr. Brown what is your motivation for the work you do?
MLB: Love for God and love for people; a burning call from the Lord; the clear mandate of Scripture -- just for starters.
Rev-Gerald: I am sorry but I don't see the love for people. Is that love for all people or just straight? Love does no harm.
MLB: Rev-Gerald, wow, you seem to be judging me without knowing me, and that doesn't sound like love at all. Of course I love all people. Jesus does! And I constantly hear from students at our ministry school and folks who listen to my radio show that they now have a tremendous love for LGBT people, a love that they never had before, and we have had many times of prayer, often with tears of compassion, for the LGBT community. Love does no harm because love tells the truth and then love says, "I'm here to give my life to help you know God and walk with Him." By His grace, that's what we do. So, dear brother, where is the love in your statement towards me? And aren't you guilty of violating Matt 7:1? If you really want to hear my heart and you're not just here to post judgmental statements, please watch this.
Rev-Gerald: Dr. Brown I am very aware of your work and very aware of your words and deeds toward the lgbt community. You are not on SPLC's radar for love in truth.
MLB: Rev-Gerald, tell me about our missionaries serving in more than 20 nations around the world, sir. Tell me about our outreach to the lost sheep of the house of Israel for more than 40 years. Tell me about our message to the Church of America to return to its first love, and the list goes on and on. You obviously have no idea who I am and I wonder if you even took the time to watch the link I sent you. As for the SPLC, please, Gerald. They have disqualified themselves from being taken seriously for a long time now, and even the quotes of mine they use have not a syllable of hate in them. So, I ask you three simple questions: 1) Did you watch the link I sent? 2) Are you demonstrating the kind of love that "does no harm" in your accusations against me? 3) Is the Bible your final authority on how we should live? I look forward to your answers and I do hope that you will not avoid these simple and direct questions. And may you truly be touched by the radical, life-transforming love of Jesus!
Rev-Gerald: 1. I watched the link and kudos to Harry Knox. I didn't miss you brag about the same thing you bragged about here (support of missionary work). Again, it is not what we say but what we do to back up what we say. You do double talk. You say what would Jesus do but yet you self publish "A Queer Thing” which is full of misinformation and has been used by some in the anti-gay crowd to hurt the gay community. You say no to homophobia and yet your work is used to fuel homophobia.
2. Why play the victim card? My accusations are not pulled out of thin air sir. They are not without substance. You call out the so-called gay activists and agenda for what you consider to be their wrongs, I and others do the same to you. Repent from your false and misinformation about the lgbt community. Your work in this area, divides families. You may have the best of intentions but the product is a tool of harm. You are seen by some as an expert on the issue of sexual orientation, sexuality and the Bible. Your words are taken as gold and used to verify and excuse hate. There is no room to argue that your words on this issue are misused by others, your words and information on this issue are twisted and skewed from the start.
3. The final authority of how we should live our lives is the Holy Spirit. The Bible as we see in many cases has been used to oppress others. Does that mean to throw it out? No. That means we need to examine ourselves. That is why I asked my question about what motivates you to do this work. If one is motivated by love the end product would be love. When it comes to the LGBT community, especially the transgender community, love is not seen.
I don't know you personally, and do not have a heaven or hell to put you in. What I do have is grave concern for the damage that you are causing in the lives of many.
MLB: Rev-Gerald: 1) You make many false and judgmental statements here, but let's make things simple: Name for me one statement in A Queer Thing Happened to America that is not accurate. Just one. And does the fact that your work is used to deceive people into hell concern you?
2) I'm not playing the victim card. I'm exposing hypocrisy, judgmentalism, and bigotry, and when I speak of missionaries we support, those are spiritual sons and daughters, precious believers who have sat under our ministry and graduated from our school and been sent out, and they are doing an amazing work for the Lord around the world -- with great love for LGBT people too. That is some of the fruit that we see, and it is because it is the Lord's work we are doing. As for people misusing what I have written, they misuse the Bible too -- along with many other books. But I made every effort to present my arguments with clarity, careful documentation, and compassion so that someone would have to misuse the book to hurt people with it. So again, tell me one thing in the book that "is twisted and skewed." Just one.
3) This is the root of our issue. I embrace the Scriptures as God's Word and the Holy Spirit as God's Spirit, and they are in total harmony all the time, and it is the Holy Spirit who led me to "reach out and resist" -- in fact, it was a very clear word from the Lord, confirmed by Him many ways -- and the word meant, "reach out to LGBT people with compassion and resist gay activism with courage." And by God's grace, we see excellent fruit, the fruit of love. On the flip side, I have been met with nothing but hate and judgmentalism from those claiming to be "gay Christians" or from those claiming to be their straight allies. In fact, some of the ugliest comments come those very camps. Where is the love? Where is the love in your posts, sir? And do you know about the the positive fruit we see? Do you know about the people who have struggled with gender identity issues or same-sex attraction who come to me with joy on their faces, thanking me for not backing down and caving in to worldly pressure? That is the fruit of love. And, using your own words, you are not motivated by love, as seen in your false and accusatory posts here -- even though you admit that you don't know me personally.
The real problem, though, with your last comment is that you deny the absolute authority of God's Word -- because people have misused it -- and instead claim the final authority of the Holy Spirit, which becomes absolutely arbitrary. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psa 119:105). "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account" (Heb 4:12-13).
I do hope that you will not deceive people with empty words that unrepentant sinners can make it into God's kingdom. Love would never do that.
Rev-Gerald: 1.and 2. For starters the idea that sexual orientation can be changed, your research on this is flawed from the source. NARTH? Nobody has to misuse your book to hurt those in the lgbt community. I have ssen your book applauded by such men as DL Foster, Scott Lively and Peter LaBarbera; not a good crowd for an instrument of God's love. These men are no strangers to misinformation and bold hate. All three like you are public figures whose products or "fruit" can be seen by all.
3. The ugly words and treatment that you have received from the words of fellow Christians is not acceptable. I do not agree with the name calling from both sides. I know how it feels to be treated as you have. I have been treated that way by Christians who have the same beliefs on this issue as you do. Death threats and such, and yet I don't lump all straight Christians in the same category.
We are on two different planes. Hmm
MLB: Rev-Gerald, 1.and 2. The research in my book is quite accurate, and where I cite NARTH sources, they are 100% sound. Please provide me with one bogus reference, OK? I spent years working on the book, vetting every reference as carefully as possible. And for stories of change, I believe the people themselves -- like my late brother-in-law -- whom Jesus changed to the core of their being. Didn't Paul write that love believes all things? I personally know people whom Jesus changed from gay to straight, and they have been happily married for many years now. Why call them liars? Where is the love? And why deny the power of the gospel? I believe the stories of those who told me they tried to change and could not -- I have wept for them in private because of the pain they have endured -- and I believe the stories of those who told me Jesus changed them, and they have lived this out with proven fruit for many years now. So, do you deny their stories and call them liars? Where is the love? And do you deny Paul's words in 1 Cor. 6, after mentioning adulterers and fornicators and those engaging in homosexual sex, "And that is what some of you were. 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." (1Cor 6:11) Honestly, Rev-Gerald, how can you call yourself a minister and deny the life-changing power of the gospel?
3. I applaud you for renouncing the ugly words and treatment I have received -- which, by the way, just moves me to pray for the people who attack me; the more they attack me, the more I desire to pray for them and see them blessed -- but you engage in attacks here too, speaking of other men and saying they are "no strangers to misinformation and bold hate." (BTW, this violates our policies of no attacks on individuals, so please be more careful next time, OK?) Do you know them personally? I'm not here to defend them (even though I differ with your accusations on many levels), but do you see how you can freely attack them with strong accusations, because you feel the accusations are accurate? That's why people attack me and that's why they attack you. Instead, we need to engage in civil dialog in the midst of our differences, and my hope is to call you to the Word of God and Spirit of God so that you can express an even deeper love to the LGBT community, one that is more in harmony with God's heart.
So, aside from the questions I asked you, above, I leave you with a few more (I'll continue the numbering to make things easier; forgive the formality of it): 4. You asked me what motivates me, and I told you it was love for God and love for people, coupled with a clear calling by the Spirit. Do you accept that, or do you feel you have a right to judge me? 5. Did you come to this page with preconceived notions that put you in attack mode from your first response to me, or did you come here honestly wanting to find out who I am and why I do what I do before the Lord?
Rev-Gerald : Hmm. You have a policy on no attack on individuals and yet you attack a whole group of individuals? Those dreaded gay activists whoever they are. As for sexual orientation, it is neither chosen nor changed. I know you have been given what the definition of sexual orientation is. Changing behavior is not changing one's sexual orientation. Those that claim to be ex-gay are not liars, I pray for them and deeply. They have been lied to just like many of us have. We have been told that God will not let them into heaven because they are gay. We were told about Sodom, etc. Back on your policies, doesn't seem hypocritical that you cry foul when I simply question your motives and yet you attack a whole group. Don't you think that the gay community are tired of the lies and misinformation about them?
The truth is Dr. Brown, like it or not, you are a public figure and one whose words are all over the place. Not sure if you are trained in mental health or have extensive training in human sexuality and sexual orientation? Just throwing that in.
Anyway, you and your words are all over sites that have been deemed by many including the SPLC as hate groups and people to watch. There is a reason for that. No matter how you spin it. There is also a reason why NARTH studies are debunked and that organization is debunked as well; and yet you use NARTH as your research source? That is an issue.
Rev-Gerald: Exodus Int. has distanced themselves from NARTH. That should say something.
MLB: Rev-Gerald, I do not engage in attacks against gay activists. I simply state what they do and say, often quoting their own words. You are welcome to do the same here.
As for sexual orientation, may I ask if you are a mental health expert, since you asked me that question? (For my research, I relied on mountains of studies by various experts, many of whom have no affiliation with NARTH. As for the people I have met at NARTH, they are people of real integrity in terms of the work they do.) More importantly, what gives you the right to tell people who have changed to the core of their being that they are not really changed? Cannot Jesus do that? And isn't that exactly what Paul wrote about in 1 Cor 6? So, it appears that you DO deny the life-changing power of the gospel. Also, God does require all of us to modify our behaviors and does require all of us to be born-anew. But if you want to read about gays changing, here's a good place tostart. As for Exodus, there are organizations leaving their covering now because of some of their recent stances, just FYI.
You also claim that people have been lied to when they have been told they cannot get into heaven because they are gay. Rev-Gerald, what God says in His Word is that no one practicing sex outside of male-female marriage gets into the kingdom of heaven, and that's why Jesus came and died for us. To save us from our sins! Do you not accept the witness of Scripture, dear sir?
As for my allegedly crying foul when you question my motives, I didn't cry foul at all. I simply pointed out that you were claiming to walk in love and bear the fruit of love while judging my motivations and engaging in false attacks against me. That's all. Feel free to question me until the cows come home, and feel free to ask me honest questions. I will certainly do my best to reply as time permits. (Actually, the very fact that I'm taking this time to engage you means that I do care about your soul.)
As for the SPLC stuff, there's nothing to spin. They have been debunked time and again and are a radical, leftwing group. If you care to see the misinformation they print -- I am an eyewitness to it -- I will gladly send you the links. As for my material appearing on different websites, what is that supposed to mean? Of course it does. The moment I write an article or do a radio broadcast it goes out to countless thousands of people. I am therefore responsible for every website that quotes me? Surely you can't mean this. Should I have my staff search for your name and see where it comes up?
I am quite sure that people in "the gay community are tired of the lies and misinformation about them," but I am not the one spreading misinformation or lies, which you would know if you actually took the time to read carefully what I have written.
So, this is what I have seen so far: 1) You have accused me of spreading lies and misinformation and yet you have not given one shred of evidence for that. 2) You have made clear that you do not accept the final testimony of Scripture re: homosexual practice and the possibility of change. 3) You have pulled the love card constantly and yet engaged in judgmentalism. 4) Because some people you don't like cite my works, I am therefore guilty of being divisive and harmful.
Please, Rev-Gerald, show me where I am being unfair in any of these statements. And for others reading this interaction -- for whom I also write -- I will point out how you avoided responding to my pointed questions about Scripture and about Jesus' ability to change us to the core of our being. May the Lord bring you into that life-changing encounter with Him!
Rev-Gerald: It is not about me not liking someone that is clearly not what I stated and just plain silly. Like you I have a calling from The Holy Spirit as a preacher and a professional social worker. I have studied this issue for several years. I have studied the link between HIV and religious based heterosexism and homophobia.
Rev-Gerald: Yes your scriptural questions are unanswered because they are based on personal interpretation of scripture. As far as outsiders keeping score; yay!
Rev-Gerald: That study proves? Those who seek to change their sexual orientation because they were taught to believe that who they are is wrong. I have heard the stories.
MLB: Rev-Gerald, you are free to ignore the points I'm making, but please don't call that love or godly interaction, OK? Re: your comments, in order: 1) So, you want me to believe the studies you have done and ignore the studies I have done? And you want me to embrace your calling by the Spirit while you reject mine? And you want me to accept that you are called while at the same time you put your own impressions of what is the Holy Spirit above the Word itself?
2) So, there is no such thing as scriptural truth? Everything is a matter of personal interpretation? Then the sky is the limit on this. And what is the meaning of being a minister of the gospel if the gospel is what you interpret it to be? Then Jesus Himself becomes who you want Him to be. As for outsiders, remember, if you are posting in public, you want to minister truth to everyone, skeptics and believers alike. Again, you missed my point.
3) The study demonstrates scientifically that some people experience complete and radical change in their sexual orientation. And did it ever occur to you some people would rather not be gay, even for non-religious reasons? That they want to marry and have children of their own? That they believe male-female marriage and family is what makes the world go round?
But to be truthful, it doesn't seem that facts and scripture and personal testimony matter to you, since you have your mind already made up. Still, I would suggest to you that you get to know some precious believers who have been radically changed by Jesus -- it might just rock your world -- that you spend some serious time alone with the Word of God, and that you actually take the time to read my book before launching false attacks against it. Is this too much to ask for someone who claims to be called by God? And I urge you in the sight of a loving and holy God: When Judgment Day comes and all of us will give account, don't live today so that people can point a finger at you on that Day and say, "Rev-Gerald, you deceived us! You told us God didn't care about who we loved or how many people we loved or with whom we had sex. Why didn't you tell us the truth?"
Rev-Gerald: You do know that you can be gay and still have children of your own. You can be heterosexual and not have children of your own. Basically like you, I have heard all the arguments. No disrespect but your religious talk is white noise to me. I am quite confident that when I meet my Lord Jesus Christ face to face, He will say job well done.
MLB: Rev-Gerald, I wish you were right and that you were in the Lord's favor, truly, with all my heart, I do, but what you call religious talk and white noise, God calls gospel truth, and you cannot deny His Words and misrepresent His Spirit and be accepted in His sight at the same time. Beware of condemning the righteous and justifying those who have not repented, especially since you claim a calling from the Lord Himself -- and I say that with holy reverence before that same Lord and after much soul-searching and self-examination before Him over these years. (Oh, for the record, two men cannot produce their own child, nor can two women, can they?)
Honestly, I'm not sure what brought you to this page, but I did take time to interact with you, which I'm obviously not able to do with everyone who posts here, and to repeat, I did so out of concern for your own soul. It's a shame that your raised so many false charges and couldn't substantiate one of them, that you deny the testimony of the gospel to transform lives, that you refuse to believe precious saints whom Jesus has touched, and you put more trust in the SPLC than the New Testament. Surely that should concern you, no matter how confident you claim to be.
I leave you with the witness of Paul and Jesus, since your issues are really with them and not with me. May the gracious heavenly Father grant you repentance and new life in His Son. He alone is worth living for and dying for.
Paul: "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." (1Cor 6:9-11)
Jesus: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matt 7:21)