Sunday, August 24, 2014

Warning: Steer Clear of North Star

"Be constant as the north star," says a beloved Primary song. Some have asked us about North Star, a website and organization run by Mormons (totally unofficially) that purports to offer help and support for gay Mormons, including (quite presumptuously) education for Church leaders. Is the name by which the founders call this organization accurate? Does North Star intend to lead people troubled with sinful tendencies in the right direction? Is it constant and consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ? The unequivocal answer is no.

North Star must be exposed for its blatant inconstancy, harmful sophistries, and pro-gay agenda.With its long history of following such trends, SoL has found North Star full of cleverly-worded, watered-down, but ultimately false and anti-Christ teachings, just another wolf dressed in sheep's clothing, one more attempt to excuse homosexuality and get it accepted, bit by bit, into mainstream LDS culture, policy, and practice.

We cannot find that North Star anywhere in its writings, books, conferences, or associations encourages repentance in thought or deed. As in the writings of Ty Ray Mansfield, a founder of North Star, we do not see that it focuses anywhere on the mighty change of heart, but rather seeks to emphasize acceptance of the sexual gay identity as a permanent part of one's God-given make-up, even as heroic. In Mansfield's book In Quiet Desperation, an apologetic for Mormon same-sex sexual attraction, the author sets himself up as the gay Mormon Moses, describing a personal revelation, "as if the Lord were saying to me, 'Ancient Israel was called to build a tabernacle . . . they heeded my call. You my son have likewise been called to build a kingdom.'" That kingdom, North Star, despite its frequent use of the name of Christ, craftily treats the homosexual identity as a virtue and a blessing and proclaims that one can be fulfilled and happy while openly proclaiming this identity, which obviously includes enjoying lawless sexual lust (otherwise why self-identify?). As for homosexual behaviors, although North Star insists that these are out of bounds, these behaviors are not clearly defined and all sorts of acting out is portrayed by North Star itself.

One example is on North Star's blog where there is a post entitled "Man Crushes, Man Dates, Bromances, and Buddymoons" in which Mansfield,  a self-proclaimed homosexual, obsesses publicly about his  "intense infatuation" in a  "non-romantic or non-sexual way" with not one but several attractive males. This is at best extremely adolescent and at worst, a sick lie. (These trendy terms are used in a joking way by heterosexuals, not homosexuals.) Contrary to his misguided or pretended insistence that these attractions are "big brother"-like (did this grown man never grow out of puberty?), the words crush, date, romance, and honeymoon are not about friendship or masculine idealization, as he insists, but about romance and sexuality. When actual homosexuals, as in same-sex sexual attraction, use these terms, what else can be meant but sexuality? Ty was featured in LDS magazine being applauded for his temple marriage to a woman;according to his insistence that he is continuing to be homosexual he obviously can never love her as a wife. Why is this man the poster child for "faithful" gay Mormons? It's like having a chain smoker be the go-to man for people who need to quit smoking.

David Pruden, associated with NARTH (which we have supported in the past) who used to run Evergreen (an organization perceived by many to be an arm of the official Church on homosexuality although it maintained that it was not) on Jan. 1, 2014 said,"Over the years more and more of the activities of Evergreen and North Star have become redundant as both organizations seek to help members of the Church . . . and their families who are experiencing homosexual attraction. In a world that is increasingly hostile to the message of the gospel and the standards of the Church it is important that those who seek to serve this subset of Church members be united in our shared message of faithfulness. This merger will allow us to consolidate valuable resources and focus the efforts of volunteers . . . under the direction of a single volunteer-led organizational effort. We are excited about the expanded possibilities that this united effort can provide."

Subset? Faithfulness? Again, these are sophistries. When it comes to Christ's gospel of repentance, there are no special subsets or minorities. This is a trendy, worldly view used to promote and excuse homosexuality as something special and exempt, unlike other lustful sexual sins. The truth is we're all  sinners and we're all in this together. People publicly embracing (read: flaunting) sinful tendencies as an identity are not faithful to Christ.

On its home page is this statement: "North Star is a community for Latter-day Saints dealing with issues surrounding homosexual attraction who desire to live in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the values and doctrines of the Church . . . "

Here we point out that the wording "dealing with issues surrounding homosexual attraction" (emphasis ours) shows that North Star is not about individuals overcoming homosexuality or repentance. It's about "issues" related to it, as in changing existing perceptions and norms concerning wholesomeness and sexual purity to include homosexuality. Unrepentant homosexuals are definitely not living in harmony with God's standards for sexual morality.

North Star continues, "The purpose of North Star is to be a spiritually uplifting resource for individuals and families dealing with this complex issue. It is also to empower individuals to help educate themselves, their family, friends, and Church leaders as they strive to become integrated more fully and lovingly into the Church . . . You are not alone . . ."

We at SoL have seen how North Star and others insist that this issue is so complex it cannot be rooted out.  This is glaringly false. Reorientation therapy has proved to be unprecedentedly successful for those who truly desire to overcome homosexual tendencies. As for North Star's claim to provide spiritual guidance, this version of "spirituality" is not really about our relationship to the Godhead at all. It's about focusing on temporal comfort and self-satisfaction (all is well in Zion), in other words refitting the Church to one's sins rather than the other way around. This narrow, self-centered mindset is portrayed in Mansfield's Voices of Hope which emphasizes "positive and healthy alternative responses to same-sex sexuality." Along with prideful and rebellious narcissism posing as self-worth, North Star emphasizes sociology (human relations), and piosity (outward performances) rather than any true relationship with God or change of heart. In an obvious effort to sit on the fence (let's not forget that the Lord spews fence-sitters out of his mouth), Mansfield discourages choosing "between extremes." This is relativist, humanist, anti-Christ rhetoric, ancient to modern. Sorry, you're either serving God or you're not. There's no middle ground on certainties. Homosexuality is certainly wrong in any form. 

The mission statement of North Star is: "The mission of North Star is to provide a place of community for Latter-day Saints who experience homosexual attraction or gender identity incongruence, as well as their family, friends, and ecclesiastical leaders. North Star serves those who desire the spiritual and social support that strengthens faith, builds character, and empowers men and women to live in joy and harmony within their covenants, values, and beliefs as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."  A three paragraph values statement includes: " . . . North Star takes no official position on the origin or mutability of homosexual attractions or gender identity incongruence but supports all efforts consistent with the gospel that help individuals live in more full harmony with their covenants and attain greater peace, fulfillment, and sense of individual worth, while affirming that the most essential and eternal growth and progress come through the power of the Savior and adherence to the teachings of his prophets. . . . .North Star holds that the power and grace of Christ enables each individual to renounce behavior and manage thoughts that will prevent him or her from returning into his presence."

There are so many goofy things about this smarmy mission statement, we hardly know where to begin. At SoL we believe that anyone who refers to the gay "community" has bought into the PC mindset that the vice of homosexuality is a permanent and respectable identity. North Star is presuming to educate us all, including ecclesiastical leaders, and yet it is noticeably lacking on scripture in true context and responsible science. Serious references to real experts on the topic and Church leaders denouncing homosexuality are few and far between, seemingly only for show. What manner of education can this be? We say it's the philosophies of men mingled with bits of truth. North Star uses the word transform but, we repeat, not in the context of reorientation therapy or repentance, rather as a mode of bringing people to accept their current perverse sexual obsessions as perfectly fine. This tactic, although camouflaged in churchy language and even perhaps done unwittingly by some, is exactly in line with the worldly gay agenda, that is, to slowly and systematically bring individuals, families, churches, schools, government, businesses, and the general public around to accepting and celebrating homosexuality. Case in point: See "Reconciling Faith and Feelings" conferences in which Mansfield and others associated with North Star have participated.

Again, don't be distracted by "faithful gay Mormons'" claims of celibacy. This is never defined. Sexual impurity, which includes homosexual lust, takes many forms which include the use of pornography, phone sex, chat rooms, and the list goes on. And the sin of lust has to be constantly fed to thrive. Sex addiction is such that increasing excitement is sought after. Immersion in the homosexual identity includes thoughts and feelings that lead to acting out. We've never heard of anyone whose sin was embraced and who was encouraged in sinfulness (by those who should know better), who then somehow decided to repent. Much as people would wish this expedient method to work, it is false and the antithesis of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

If you learn anything from this article, please note: North Star does not emphasize or explore repentance or reorientation therapy. In fact, North Star publishes articles dismissing reorientation therapy as inappropriate, ineffective, harmful, and even sinful. We quote from a North Star post by Sven Sambunjak," I believe homosexuality is spiritual in its origin and nature, so I argue it is a sin to try to hammer it out of existence." This is the type of material North Star is publishing. Evil being called good and good called evil. 

At its core, whatever they say, North Star proves itself  to be about helping people feel comfortable in their sinful desires. In favor of some hazy "inclusiveness," unreliable human feelings, false notions, and praise of men, North Star is being guided not by any real unchanging north star (such as comprehensive sexual purity and the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ), but by its own constructed set of arbitrary standards.

Sad to say, for many years now SoL has seen that there are members of our Church with great ambition, wrong ideas, and bad intentions who nevertheless gain attention and credibility through flattery and patient cunning. These false teachers have proceeded to win many over, step by step to their evil designs, just as The Book of Mormon Anti-Christs did. Those with good intentions who are deceived by these false teachers need to wake up.

The true views of North Star, given even the the most liberal views of  some LDS leaders, are off the charts. We urge all true and humble followers of Christ to get educated for themselves about North Star and its origins and activities before utilizing or referring this organization or anyone affiliated with it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Three Things Every Gay Should Know Just in Case

You think you're what people today are calling gay or SSA. You've come out to the world. Maybe you use same-sex pornography because it turns you on and thus validates your choices and the decision to come out. You hang out with fellow homosexualists on the internet and in person who praise and flatter you. Most likely, if you've come to this point, you're acting out in many other ways, experimenting with your sexual feelings, with clothes, with entertainment, with alcohol, with drugs, with masturbation, with new relationships, with romance and with sex. You're living it up, thinking life has never been this exciting. Sin is indeed pleasurable, for a time. To validate your decisions further you may even have become an activist, systematically attempting to recruit your family, friends, and church into celebrating homosexuality. Could be you've immersed yourself in the gay culture/lifestyle for years.

If it isn't today, it may be at some future time that you decide this lifestyle---these habits, the homosexual mindset and all the destructive things that go with it (the narcissism, the pride, the deceit, the delusions, the pretending, the porn, the cross-dressing, the sex addiction, the drugs, the promiscuity, the violence, the health risks, the illnesses, the rebelliousness against God)--- is a dead end street. Maybe the sporadic thrills are losing their appeal, maybe you see that you yourself are getting old, and you decide you want a regular, normal, wholesome life after all. Maybe you want to have children and know that they deserve a mom and dad. Maybe you decide it's time to do some maturing. When you reach this point there are three truths you will want to know:

1. You were not born gay. No one is. Your body is biologically heterosexual, that is, made to interact sexually with the opposite sex only. Sex and sexuality are serious business. Anything other than the proper use of sex and sexuality will result in somebody getting hurt. No matter what you have done or what has been done to you, you are not under any obligation or compulsion to self-destruct by way of homosexuality or anything else. For mentally healthy people every thought, feeling, and act is a choice. Getting into homosex was a choice and getting out is a choice, too. 

2. You won't go to heaven unless you repent. Like everyone else, you are going to die and be accountable for your thoughts and deeds. People who willfully rebel against God will not want to be in His presence. This means you won't end up in heaven unless you turn back to God and goodness while in this life.It is only because of Jesus Christ that repentance is possible. His arms are always stretched out to you. True repentance requires a measure of selflessness and humility. You must be willing to give up lawless pleasures and pride in order to progress as a child of God. In reality it's a small price to pay and the smart thing to do.

3. You can change. People repenting of their sins and mistakes comprises a great portion of the history of mankind. All the best stories are about people changing for the better. People change their minds and hearts all the time. We live in a culture where many sins, including sexual immorality of all kinds, are falsely considered brave and cool. Society today is conditioning everyone to accept lies about sexual sin. We have to fight it, in our culture and in our own hearts and minds. You have been equipped with this ability. You have a mind and a heart, and these God-given faculties can be woken up and applied to lead you back to reality, health, goodness, inner peace, and improvement. 

Lord bless and all good wishes!