Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lakewood Church Endorsed as SAFE SPACE!



In this video, Brian Anthony Bowen reveals Scriptures the Church never talks about which prove that Jesus taught that LGBT people are born this way...and that prove the Apostle Paul ordained Gay Marriage...IN THE BIBLE!

This changes EVERYTHING!
More info:
http://BrianBowenMinistries.com

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Dear Brothers and Sisters of the World Wide LGBT Community,

Greetings in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

I knew in my spirit this day would come!  I am writing today to share that I am proud to officially give my full support to Lakewood Church as a Safe Space for LGBT people to worship!   I am writing today to share my reasons for doing so with the World Wide LGBT Community.

As you may know, on November 6, 2011, Ms. Oprah Winfrey and Mr. Tyler Perry attended Worship Services as guests of Lakewood Church.  You can review a video of Pastor Joel Osteen introducing and welcoming them here.

Paying close attention to the beautiful outfit Ms. Winfrey was wearing, notice it is the same as in the most recent interview she did with Pastors Joel and Victoria Osteen in their home, which you can review an excerpt of here.

Although the video was posted and aired in January 2012, we see that it indeed was conducted in November 2011.

Let's now examine some excerpts from their conversation:

Ms. Winfrey:  How would you explain God to a non believer?

Pastor Joel:  I would explain God as the Creator, a Heavenly Father of someone that wants to be in relationship with you; as Somebody who's for you as a Friend.

Ms. Winfrey:  Okay, so here's the big question:  Are there many paths to get to the One God?

Pastor Joel:  Well, I believe, Oprah, that Jesus is The Way to the One God, but I believe there are many paths to Jesus.  You don't know how Jesus would reveal Himself to somebody, so I'm not into excluding people.  Jesus can reveal Himself to anybody.

Ms. Winfrey:  Does that mean that all people, all races (obviously, in your church we see all people, all races).  I can't imagine that you would have 60,000 people in there and none of them would be gay.  So are gay people also included?

Pastor Joel:  ABSOLUTELY!  Anybody is!  You know, Oprah, we (the Christian community) sometimes make a bigger deal out of being gay.

Ms. Winfrey:  Will a gay person be accepted into Heaven?

Pastor Joel:  Well, I believe they WILL!  Because I believe that you have to have forgiveness for your sins, but sometimes we look at gay being a bigger sin than being proud, or not telling the truth.  I don't think God categorizes sins.  I think we're all changing and to think that we're all going to be without one sin (I hope that's true) but I don't think any of us would make it to Heaven!  Now, I would encourage people to be willing to change and grow, and if you've got a problem with your temper, let's keep growing, but I think it's going to be open for ALL of us, or we wouldn't have a chance.

Ms. Winfrey:  But does that mean that you're saying (because I want to be clear and I don't want to interpret anything that isn't)...does that mean that you're saying that you believe that being gay is a sin?

Pastor Joel:  I believe that being...I believe that homosexuality is shown as a sin in the Scriptures, I do.  I do.  That's just the way...you know, Oprah it's a hard thing in a sense because I'm for everybody.  I'm not against anybody.  I don't think anybody's second class, but when I read the Scripture I just with good faith, I can't see that it doesn't show that it is a sin.

(END OF INTERVIEW CLIP TRANSCRIPT)

Many LGBT people may be asking, "Brother Brian, how can you believe Lakewood is a "Safe Space" when Pastor Joel just said being gay is a sin?"

Because of two things.  One is because I've been a member of Lakewood Church for 7 years now, and I know who Pastor Joel is as a person and as a minister of the Gospel.  I know him to be a man of integrity and honesty.  I also know that this interview was conducted prior to the Open Letter I sent him November 24, 2011 in response to the re-airing of the Piers Morgan interview he did back in January 2011, which can be reviewed here. 

In short, one of the reasons I am endorsing them as a "Safe Space" for LGBT people to worship is because the letter I sent him was published 2 1/2 weeks after the interview with Oprah.  That means he formulated his responses in the Oprah interview without having yet reviewed the information I shared with him therein.  That marks his responses with an added level of integrity and honesty that nobody had to "coax" out of him. 

The second reason is because when we examine the conversation more closely, we find that Pastor Joel indeed does NOT say "being gay is a sin."  He says, "homosexuality is shown as sin in the Scriptures."  There is a difference.  To review, first we see Oprah asks:

Ms. Winfrey: But does that mean that you're saying (because I want to be clear and I don't want to interpret anything that isn't)...does that mean that you're saying that you believe that being gay is a sin?

And let's now look very carefully at what Pastor Joel actually says in response:

Pastor Joel: I believe that being...I believe that homosexuality is shown as a sin in the Scriptures, I do. I do. That's just the way...you know, Oprah it's a hard thing in a sense because I'm for everybody. I'm not against anybody. I don't think anybody's second class, but when I read the Scripture I just with good faith, I can't see that it doesn't show that it is a sin.

Notice that Pastor reframes the question in order to answer in a Scripturally sound manner.  At no time does he say, "being gay is a sin."  He only says that "homosexuality is shown as sin in the Scriptures."  I believe this is true, and that Scripture backs it up.  Please review, Chapter 19:  Go, And Sin No More of The Bed Keeper for a detailed explanation of the differences between "being gay" and "homosexuality." 

Homosexuality can take on different forms.  For instance:  A married heterosexual man who cheats on his wife by seeking the entertainments of gay men.   Clearly this is homosexual in nature, and is in fact what Leviticus 18, Leviticus 20, 1 Timothy 1:10, Romans 1, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 addresses.  Please see the following links for specific examinations of these Scriptures as explored in The Bed Keeper:

Chapter 16:  Leviticus 18 and 20
Chapter 17:  1 Timothy 1:10
Chapter 18:  Romans 1
Chapter   2:  1 Corinthians 6:9-10

As we see, in each case homosexuality is shown to be sin because they are couched in the context of heterosexual married men engaged in various forms of adultery, (Leviticus 18 and Romans 1), idol worship (Romans 1), gay-for-pay prostitution (1 Timothy 1:10), or heterosexual married preachers whoring the Church for money, keeping boys on the side, and metaphorically sodomizing Jesus Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).  However, these passages are not set within the context (nor addressed to) anyone as being gay.

Instead, the homosexuality is shown in Scripture as sin because of the adultery and idol worship involved (two violations of the Ten Commandments), but not because of same gender expressions or being gay, (neither of which is a violation of the Ten Commandments).

Further, a heterosexual man raping another heterosexual man in prison is indeed a sinful form of homosexuality, and it is equally true that in such a case, neither man is actually gay.

While I believe Pastor Joel (and public interviewers) should make these distinctions as specifically as Scripture does, indeed both of Pastor Joel's answers prove to be Scriptural, and truthful....but they are addressing 2 different things:  "Gay people going to heaven," and "homosexuality being shown as sin in Scriptures."

My point is that not only has Pastor Joel been honest and Scripturally truthful in the Oprah interview (even if lacking the specificity discussed in The Bed Keeper), it remains possible for even gay people to see the difference between "gay people going to heaven," and clearly sinful homosexual acts being committed by heterosexual people (the same acts being condemned in Scripture).

Do I believe "being gay" is a sin?   No.  And Pastor Joel doesn't say that either.

Do I believe "homosexuality" is a sin?   Yes, I think we can all see now that in some cases it clearly is.   And Pastor Joel does say that.

Let us pray that the open letter will create an opportunity for him to further explore the differences as illustrated through Scripture.

In the meantime, just as I cautioned in my previous open letter to the World Wide LGBT Community, since November 1, 2011, God has been opening the door to His House of Prayer for All People wide enough to include ALL people, as the Church becomes aware of additional information from the Word of God regarding LGBT people that has simply not been recognized before.   As they do, obviously there is going to be a period of exploration and examination of these findings from Scripture as shared throughout The Bed Keeper.   As you know, there's a LOT of Scriptural territory to cover, and this process will not happen overnight.

However, as Lakewood Church begins to take up the mantle to lead Christianity toward embracing us, I believe we should give prayerful consideration to responding to their efforts.   While many in the LGBT community may remain as rightfully skeptical as many Christians will be of the new findings from Scripture, it is important that we do not lose momentum toward identifying and securing (as well as financially supporting) those brave few Shepherds who are now beginning to step up and take Jesus up on His challenge to find ALL the lost sheep.

Since this is something new for all of us, it is important to recognize that missteps from the Church AND the LGBT community will most likely continue to be a part of life as we move toward each other on this journey, but that should never be a reason for us to lose ground, retreat from the challenge, and give up hope of mainstream Christianity at long last embracing the LGBT community as full participants in God's Kingdom as Brothers and Sisters.   If we don't do it for ourselves, we must at least do it for generations of LGBT youth who come after us.   Having found another Church willing to begin the process, it would be a great travesty for us to fail to respond.

I recognize many in the LGBT community have been Christians all their lives, and have felt sentenced to politely knocking outside the Church door instead of being welcomed with open arms, just as we are. As the Church begins to recognize that Jesus taught we are born this way from our mother's wombs, and have a significant, and prophetically critical role to play in God's House of Prayer, the walls are indeed coming down, eyes are being opened, and hearts are being filled with the love of God and His people; all of His people.   That is not however a reason to expect that every Christian has fully embraced these findings from Scripture, but it instead presents an opportunity for all LGBT people and our families to help facilitate their understanding.   I believe The Bed Keeper will help.

As this process rolls out across America, and indeed throughout Christendom around the world, I write today to especially encourage your patience, your prayers, and your persistent study of the findings in The Bed Keeper, so that you are empowered to share the Good News the Gospel has for LGBT people with those in the Christian faith who have traditionally been taught it was silent.

Patience is key!

Prayer is power!

Persistence is vital! 

Some may be asking, "Well, Brother Brian, in your last letter, you said Eagle Mountain International Church was supposed to be some kind of 'world headquarters' for the LGBT community because of Brother Justus Du Plessis' prophecy from 1996 designating EMIC as the 'home base' for this new move of God." 

I would share with folks that although Pastor Joel is at the helm of Lakewood Church right now, it was his father, John Osteen, who originally founded and pastored there, and he was a long time friend and associate minister of Brother Kenneth Copeland.  Not only is Eagle Mountain International Church part of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, but is also pastored by his daughter, Pastor Terri Copeland Pearsons, and her husband, Pastor George Pearsons.  And we recall Pastor George's sermon (also from November 6, 2011--the same day Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry visited Lakewood Church), entitled:


While this message was being shared at Eagle Mountain International Church, Ms. Winfrey and Mr. Tyler were in attendance at Lakewood Church on the very same day!  While this is a happy coincidence, it's important to recognize that the relationship between the founding families of Eagle Mountain International Church and Lakewood Church stretches back more than 50 years. 

While I continue to recognize EMIC as the epicenter of the world wide awakening for LGBT people to the renewed call of the Good Shepherd into His Kingdom, Lakewood Church is a ministry that is vitally connected and deeply rooted in the EMIC family as well, even as each ministry continues to maintain complete and independent autonomy.  In short, what this means to the LGBT community is we have now doubled the number of churches on the "Safe Space" list currently being compiled.  While they may not be considered by all LGBT people as the only "Safe Spaces," they are indeed the only two I've personally endorsed (so far!), as they have demonstrated both an unswerving stand on the Word of God, and an undying compassion for reaching ALL God's people as they strive to do their part in ensuring the fulfillment of God's prophecy to LGBT people found in Isaiah 55:11-56:12, promising to include us in His House of Prayer, to give us a memorial (Holy Communion), and to accept our offerings on His altar as already blessed!  (See Chapter 1: Born This Way for a more detailed understanding).

I am praying that a multitude of ministries associated (and not associated) with Lakewood Church and Eagle Mountain International Church will be added as time moves on.  I hope that all LGBT people are blessed by both these far reaching, world wide ministries, and that you will continue to hold their leaders up in prayer to God, even as we hold them accountable to teaching what Scripture does (and doesn't) say in regards to LGBT people.  (See Chapter 4:  Messengers of The King for more details).

When it comes to the role LGBT people play in God's Kingdom, we are dealing with prophecy, not philosophy.   We are dealing with truth, not traditions.   We are dealing with revelation, not rights.   These are spiritually discerned, and can be cumbersome to convey with mere human language.   It is my hope that The Bed Keeper will help all Christians come to a fuller understanding through further study; line upon line, precept upon precept, just as God teaches all other principles pertaining to the Kingdom of God throughout His Word.

Nobody is perfect, and that's just as true of individual Christians as it is of each Christian ministry (and each LGBT person).   While we will not remain silent if issues arise, I am encouraging us all to handle each instance with sincerity, respect, truthfulness, and professionalism.   It is also important to recognize November 11, 2011 as the "line of demarcation" between the Old days in the Church and this new Day in Church, marked distinctively through a prophecy led by Brother Kenneth Copeland himself which you can read here, or listen to here.

In short, if points of contention or disagreement  arise we should first keep in mind that the leadership, staff and people of Lakewood Church are indeed advancing the cause of Christ to the LGBT Community as best they can.   We as an LGBT community must keep in mind this is all brand new and NOBODY has ever done it before in all of human and Church history!   That doesn't mean we shouldn't try, but it does mean I believe we should be patient with each other as the process moves forward, and recognize that as human beings, mistakes are bound to happen.   But we as the LGBT community can no longer afford to simply take offense and shrink back in defeat when issues come up from time to time. Our new relationship with Lakewood Church is just that; a relationship.   All relationships must remain flexible enough to allow room for disagreement from time to time, or they will inevitably become brittle and break.   Remember, even Jesus' Own Disciples disputed amongst themselves here and there.

Our own personal resurrections as well as those of every Christian who has ever lived is on the line, as well as the establishment of safe secure places of worship within mainstream Christianity that we have all so patiently waited for already.   Diligence will be part and parcel to the successful implementation of this process, regardless of the ministry involved.   It will however also require a greater degree of patience from the LGBT community.   To whom much is given, much is required.

If you're not in the Houston, Texas area, you can be part of the online congregation, and watch history unfold before your very eyes, become encouraged in your spirit to be all you were born to be, and be provided with an opportunity to be living prophecy yourself, by bringing your offerings to God's altar, as He promised to accept them in Isaiah 55:11-56:8.   While I understand many people think all churches want is our money, as it pertains to LGBT Christians, our offerings are prophetically linked to an aspect of God's manifestation called "the glory" of the Lord. 

What matters most is that you fully understand it is much more than "giving money." For LGBT people, it's about fulfilling prophecy.   Isaiah 55:11-56:8 doesn't simply depend on the Church including LGBT people for fulfillment.   It also prophetically mandates LGBT people to bring our offerings to His altar.   Without both, the prophecy is still not fulfilled, and Jesus cannot return! (see Luke 24:44).  You can read more about that here, and you can participate in this most holy calling from God toward LGBT people here. 

If you are not in the Houston, Texas area but would prefer to bring your offerings to God's altar in person, Lakewood Church offers a vast, global network of safe spaces to worship near you!   Simply click here to input in your location, and find a safe space to worship in your part of the world!  You can explore the Lakewood Church website to watch various sermons, and learn of other ways to connect with this vibrant, modern ministry.

Finally, if you are a pastor (or anybody else), and are shaking your head asking, "what in the world is going on at Lakewood Church and Eagle Mountain?" you can learn more by reading the Open Letter To Pastors here.

In closing, let me once again encourage everyone to remain patient, and to more closely explore Lakewood Church for yourselves!  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at thebedkeeper@gmail.com

May God bless you and yours richly and always!

God loves you! I love you!  Joel and Victoria Osteen love us! 

And remember: JESUS IS LORD!


Sincerely,
Brian Anthony Bowen
Author, The Bed Keeper

PS: I recommend ministries that have helped "ME" grow in "MY" faith. They may not help you, and that's okay! Keep searching! As Jesus said:

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking reverently, and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

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DISCLAIMER:   Some views expressed in this open letter do not necessarily reflect those of Eagle Mountain International Church, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Pastor Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church, OWN Network, Ms. Oprah Winfrey, Mr. Tyler Perry, Billye Brim Ministries, or any ministry within the Lakewood Church or KCM ministry network.  This is a personal recommendation from Brian Anthony Bowen only!

This message is not to be construed as an approved message from Lakewood Church, Joel Osteen Ministries, Eagle Mountain International Church, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, OWN Network, Ms. Oprah Winfrey, Mr. Tyler Perry, or Billye Brim Ministries.

I have not received (nor will I accept) any financial payment for my endorsement of these or any other ministries, persons, or networks.

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Dear Valued Readers,
This blog continues to be a work in progress. As recent revelations and events throughout Christendom have created an increasingly fluid situation, updates will no longer be published at the end of each post, but rather only at the beginning of the corresponding posts so impacted.  As of August 1, 2013, the only updates to appear at the end of each post will be churches that are personally endorsed by The Bed Keeper as a "SAFE SPACE."

Readers may email thebedkeeper@gmail.com to discuss or comment on any posting.  Please note that while all feedback is highly valued and appreciated, it may not be possible to reply to each email.
 
UPDATE 01.15.12:
Lakewood Church officially endorsed as a SAFE SPACE for LGBT people to worship! Details here.

UPDATE 11.22.11:

Eagle Mountain International Church officially endorsed as a SAFE SPACE for LGBT people to worship! Details here.

THANK YOU for your generous support of this work!
 
Let him who receives instruction in the Word of God share all good things with his teacher, contributing to his support.
Galatians 6:6