Homosexuality

In this section we will review Keller’s teachings on homosexuality. By his own admission he avoids the subject whenever possible but when pressed to address the subject he presents an attractive, unoffensive and culturally acceptable version of “truth” and he does it all under the banner of “loving thy neighbor.” This false, worldly compassion is leading many professing Christians into confusion and error but perhaps most devastating is that people are assured they have no need of deliverance from the practice of sin (in this case homosexuality); they just need to “get Jesus”. But Jesus said:

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: now go your way, and sin no more.  John 8:11

46 Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not obey my commands?   Luke 6:46

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My commandments; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and abide with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My commandments; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.   John 14:23-24

If one doesn’t love the law they once resented and hate the sin they once loved they don’t have Christ. This transformation, empowered by the Holy Spirit, results in a deep desire to walk in obedience, as well as an overwhelming grief over sin. Tim Keller methodically and cleverly portrays this Christian pursuit of holiness and grieving of sin as those who “don’t get the gospel.”

In June 2018 Keller was the keynote speaker for an Identity in Christ conference sponsored by LivingOut ministries. The link below is an article I wrote exposing Keller and this movement.

Tim Keller’s Full Endorsement Of Being Gay & Christian | Speaking Out on Living Out

Keller has redefined everything from sin to salvation and it will be helpful at this point to briefly review his “re-definition” of sin, as it is one of his core theological teachings. He refers to his version as a “better” definition. A lengthy explanation of his “better” definition can be found in many of his sermons, articles and most notably his bestselling book “The Prodigal God” in which he devotes an entire chapter to the subject, appropriately titled “Redefining Sin”.  He rejects the biblical definition of sin and prefers to avoid “the law” altogether. Below is an excerpt from an article written by Cathy Lynn Grossman published by USA Today where he explained his position:

When Keller, author of The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, speaks about “sin” to his audiences, which are 70% single and younger than 40, “I use it with lots and lots of explanation, because the word is essentially obsolete. They do get the idea of branding,-of taking a word or term and filling it with your own content,, so I have to rebrand the word ‘sin,’ ” Keller says.”Around here [in his Redeemer Network churches] it means self-centeredness, the acorn from which it all grows. Individually, that means ‘I live for myself, for my own glory and happiness, and I’ll work for your happiness if it helps me.’ Communally, self-centeredness is destroying peace and justice in the world, tearing the net of interwovenness and the fabric of humanity.”

Can it get any more man-centered that the above revelation from Dr. Tim Keller? He has decided that the word “sin” is obsolete therefore it is necessary for him to rebrand the word, which is to ignore the biblical definition and fill it with “HIS OWN CONTENT”. Wow….what can you say to that? The complete disregard for the authority of Holy Scripture is staggering here and it epitomizes the very low view of scripture that has invaded the professing church. The straightforward, clear biblical definition of sin is any lack of conformity to, or transgression of the law of God.  Sin has nothing to do with the “net interwovenness of humanity”; as any true believer knows well, the “net interwovenness and fabric of humanity” is CORRUPT and DEPRAVED! This professing pastor has absolutely no concept of this! Please note that Keller’s “better” definition bears no mention of God’s law or man’s deeply depraved state. His “better” definition is void of any mention of sin as a rebellious offense against a Holy God, the lawgiver himself.

“All heresies that have afflicted the church have their origins in a defective understanding of sin.”    J.C. Ryle  (1816-1900)

What would compel a professing pastor to decide that it is necessary (or even possible) to redefine anything God has already clearly defined?

 


 

Below is an excerpt from the written transcript of David Eisenbach interviewing Tim Keller at the Veritas Forum, Columbia University:

EISENBACH: ……I wrote a book about the gay rights movement because I was appalled by the oppression and the discrimination against homosexuals in my America [KELLER: uhhmm..]. And this questioner asks, ‘What do so many of the churches have against homosexuals? And what about your church’s approach to homosexuality, is it a sin? Are they going to Hell?

KELLER: uhhh…let’s talk about my church first which will be a little easier than trying to answer for all the other churches of the world….but I’ll try [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER]. I’m representing all the churches of the world alright, you know? [EISENBACH: but Christianity I mean….you, you…] Yeah, I know but let’s start with mine….

EISENBACH:…. You go to the Bible quite often and there are many evangelicals who would say it is listed as a sin in the Bible [KELLER: sin in the Bible, right.]…and these people are going to Hell.

KELLER: Right. Now…What you..first…ughhhh…Let’s talk about my church again [nervous laughter]. Let’s go back here. What we would say is…I think it’s unavoidable. I think most Protestant and Catholic and Orthodox Christians over the years have said, you read the Bible and the Bible has reservations. The Bible says homosexuality is not God’s original design for sexuality. Ok? There we are…you have it. The Bible also says, ‘Love your neighbor’. The Bible…in fact, The Good Samaritan parable which is how Jesus tells us to love our neighbor…you put a Jew and a Samaritan there. So, what Jesus is trying to say is everybody is your neighbor. Gay people are your neighbors. Uhhh…people who are of other faiths are your neighbors. People of other….. other…uhhhh….uhhh…races are your neighbors. And it’s the job of a Christian to do what Jesus did on the cross which was to give himself for people who were opposing Him and people who were diff….believe….didn’t believe in Him even. And so, a Christian is supposed to say, ‘I serve the needs and interests of all of my neighbors in the city, whether gay or straight, whether Hindu or Muslim. I mean Hindus, for example, don’t believe in the Trinity. It’s a different view than what the Bible says. Gay people have a different view of sexuality than generally what you see in the NT. I’m supposed to love my neighbors. So, what I don’t see is…at this point, I see some churches that are…basically, ignoring the places in the Bible that talk about homosexuality in order to love their gay neighbor. And I see other Christian churches taking very seriously what the Bible says about homosexuality but in a very self-righteous way. So, they actually do single out gay people. I mean, there are a number of conservative churches that will love their Hindu neighbors and will love their Muslim neighbors, and not their gay neighbors. And I really don’t think there is any excuse for that. So…that’s what [EISENBACH: Is…is] I mean, I…I….Therefore, I have to take some responsibility for being a member of the Christian Church for the oppression of homosexuals.

EISENBACH: Are committing homosexual acts sin….against God?

KELLER: uhhhh….What do you mean by ‘sin’? The answer is ‘yes’.

EISENBACH: Yes?

KELLER: Now see. Here’s the problem with that. You don’t go to Hell for being a homosexual…..

EISENBACH: …..but committing homosexual acts will get you to go to Hell?

KELLER: Noooo. Wait a minute. Wait, wait [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER].

EISENBACH: well, you know. Some people say, ‘Well, it’s not the homosexuality or being gay. It’s being/doing gay stuff that’s the problem’.

KELLER: No, no. First of all, heterosexuality does not get you to heaven. I happen to know this [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER/CLAPPING]. So, how in the world could homosexuality send you to Hell? And actually…uhhh…The Bible…Listen…..This is…this is true. Jesus talks about greed 10x more than he talks about adultery, for example. Now, one of the problems Christians have here is partly…let’s be nice to Christians. You know when you’re committing adultery. I mean you don’t say, ‘Ohhh, you’re not my wife’ [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER]. I mean you know when you are committing adultery. But, almost nobody knows when they’re greedy. Nobody admits…thinks they’re greedy. You know cause everybody is comparing yourself to other people and so, it’s a frog in the kettle kind of thing. Ahhh….however, the fact of the matter is…the Bible is much harder on greed/materialism. It’s a horrible sin, terrible sin. Will greed send you to Hell? No! What sends you to Hell is self-righteousness – thinking that you can be your own savior and lord. What sends you to heaven is getting a connection with Christ because you realize you’re a sinner and you need intervention from outside. That’s why it is very misleading actually to say, even to say, ‘Homosexuality is a sin’ because most people…Yes, of course homosexuality is a sin because greed is a sin, because all kinds of things are sins. But what most Christians mean when they say that and certainly what non-Christians think they hear when they hear that is ‘If you’re gay, you are going to Hell for being gay’. It’s just not true. Absolutely not true.

EISENBACH: So then, what’s….then how is homosexuality a ‘sin’. I’m not….

KELLER: ….Well, homo…[sigh]..Greed is a sin. In other words, it doesn’t help human flourishing. Basically, Christianity has an account of what we think human beings were built to do and what will therefore, help human flourishing. So, we would say if you spend all of your money on yourself, that’s bad….not only for your own soul, but for everybody elses. We would say homosexuality is not the original design for sexuality. Therefore, it’s not good for human flourishing. We want people to do things that are good for human flourishing.  But that’s not what sends you to heaven or Hell. Now, there…maybe we ought to talk about that [NERVOUS LAUGHTER]. What sends you to heaven or Hell really has to do with your faith in the Gospel which is that you can’t….uhhh…be your own savior through your performance and your good works. Now here, I’m coming at this like a protestant now. You know…ummm…everybody’s gotta be a particular kind of Christian and there’s differences of opinion within Christianity about this. But uhhhh…no. being gay doesn’t send you to hell and sin doesn’t send you to Hell like that. The sin underneath the sin is, ‘I am my own savior and my lord’. And that’s the reason why pharisaism, moralism, Bible-believing people who are proud and think God is going to take people to heaven because they’re good…that’s sending them to Hell. I mean, I know that this is a lot to take in at once.

EISENBACH: It’s a lot.

KELLER: I’m…well…yeah…I mean…[EISENBACH: I want to go back to……]but inside our church…[EISENBACH: right.] There’s just not going to be this disdain of homosexuals [EISENBACH: right.] There just can’t be…not when I’m teaching the gospel like that.

EISENBACH: right.

Link to video of the above excerpt:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZFCB9sduxQ 

Keller misrepresents God’s truth and withholds it from all who are present by assuring them that unregenerate, unrepentant sinners (in this case homosexuals) are not condemned by their sin:

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 homosexuals, 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.    (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) 

Equally as troubling is his complete rebuke of Christians who believe, and pastors who teach the biblical truth. It is imperative at this point to take note of how Keller defines “Bible-believing Christians” in this discussion to a largely secular audience:

“And that’s the reason why pharisaism, moralism, Bible-believing people who are proud and think God is going to take people to heaven because they’re good”…….

“Bible believing people” Keller tells us, are proud moralists who think they are earning their way. Keller pushes the widely popular, secular view that historical Christianity is oppressive and obedient Christians are self-righteous moralists; you will find this view in nearly all of his books and speeches, as he tirelessly works to cast the “Bible believers” in pursuit of holiness as legalistic pharisees.  The same grace that saves us also equips us to walk in obedience (Phil 2:12-13)- Keller seems to have no concept of this, or of becoming a new creature in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), as he persistently and consistently rejects the pursuit of holiness and Christ-like obedience that are a direct result of regeneration (1 John 5:18). Keller makes an obvious attempt to evade the questions, always quick to point out that “the scripture is much harder on greed than homosexuality.”  He tells us that “homosexuality isn’t God’s original design” and that “the Bible has some reservations about it”. There are no passages of scripture that support the idea that homosexuality isn’t “the ideal” or that God simply has some “reservations” about it; homosexuality is condemned and repeatedly declared an unnatural abomination against the one Holy God. This is deeply troubling rhetoric from a professing pastor. Even David Eisenbach (an atheist) knows better and repeatedly reminds Keller of exactly what the Bible clearly proclaims regarding homosexual behavior at which point Keller must respond and his answers are void of any biblical truth, as we review below what Keller tells us from the interview:

He cautions us that “it is very misleading to say homosexuality is a sin”, immediately contradicting that statement by saying “of course it’s a sin” ??

He tells us that as a Christian “he has to take some responsibility for the oppression of gays.”  Note that for liberal progressives any condemnation of homosexual behavior is oppression.

He tells us that we are commanded to love our neighbor and that he “sees many churches ignoring the biblical teaching on homosexuality in order to do that.”  So the only way to really show love here is to ignore the biblical teaching??

He tells us that “homosexuality absolutely does not send anyone to hell.” Note that unrepentant homosexuality is the topic of this discussion.

He cleverly portrays bible believers who oppose sinfulness (in this case homosexuality) as moralists who “disdain homosexuals”.

When the interviewer asked again if homosexuality is a sin Keller responds “what do you mean by sin?… the answer is yes”…  ? To which Eisenbach responds: “Yes?” to which Keller responds: Now see, here’s the problem with that”…..   ?????????

And don’t miss these excerpts from the conversation:

Christianity has an account of what we think”……
So, we would say”……
and we would say”……
we want people to”……
You know…ummm…everybody’s gotta be a particular kind of Christian and there’s differences of opinion within Christianity about this”……

Time Out…..Thus saith the Lord! That is what Eisenbach is patiently waiting for Dr. Tim Keller to proclaim…Thus Saith the Lord! Never happens. And for the record, there are no “differences of opinion” within the true church of Christ regarding homosexual relations.

Keller repeatedly makes head-scratching comments such as “let’s be nice to Christians here” and “I’m coming at it like a protestant now”…?? The third and final time Eisenbach attempts to get a straight answer from Keller on whether or not homosexuality is a sin the frazzled pastor responds: “uuuuh, homo…(sigh), greed is a sin!”

I will rely on a voice from the past to put this in the proper perspective:

“I know of no surer way of a people’s perishing than by being led by one who does not speak out straight, and honestly denounce sin. If the minister halts between two opinions, do you wonder that the congregation is undecided? If the preacher trims and twists to please all parties, can you expect his people to be honest? If I wink at your inconsistencies will you not soon be hardened in them? A cowardly preacher suits hardened sinners. Those who are afraid to rebuke sin, or to probe the conscience, will have much to answer for. May God save you from being led into the ditch by a blind guide. “    Charles Haddon Spurgeon  (1834-1892) 


 

Below is a link to Chris Arnzen’s interview with Phil Johnson (Grace Community Church, John MacArthur) regarding this troubling interview between Eisenbach and Keller.

http://www.ironsharpensironradio.com/podcast/august-3-2017-show-with-phil-johnson-on-tim-keller-the-pressure-against-christian-leaders-in-the-public-eye-to-cave-in-to-the-leftist-agenda/

(note:  Though I believe this discussion is well worth a listen I do not agree with the assessment of Keller as one who is “caving to the pressure of the culture and liberalism”- Keller is not a victim of pressure but rather a perpetrator who himself applies this “pressure” of compromise to his readers and hearers, as he works tirelessly but cleverly to remake the church and redefine truth. Chris makes clear from the outset that neither he nor Phil Johnson have researched Keller’s theology, they are only assessing this discussion with Eisenbach, which does offer some explanation for their assessment, which (after hundreds of hours of research) I believe to be inaccurate.


While speaking at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in March 2013, Keller took center stage to discuss the future of Christianity, taking questions from many high profile journalists who were in attendance. Below are excerpts from this forum including exchanges with Amy Sullivan (National Journal) and Kirsten Powers (Fox News, USA Today).  Forum title:  “The Future of Christianity after the Christian Right”:

  1. SULLIVAN : I think it’s possible to say that I support gay marriage because of my evangelical faith, and that you can take the specific number of instances when something is mentioned in the Bible against kind of the totality of my common sense reading of the Bible is the poor are mentioned hundreds of times, and so that seems to me to be a larger theme of the scripture .I don’t want to go back and forth about that, because I don’t want to call you a Christian who is not actually an evangelical because of your position on that. I would just protest against having my evangelicalism questioned because of my faith reading of this. And maybe that is being Baptist, where we have the priesthood of the believer, and so I get to decide what the Bible means for me. But that’s my take.
  2. KELLER: First of all, this is a good spot to point out something — which is that you could believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal. You know that. Those are not the same issues. They overlap. And I do think it would be fair to say, like people more in an Anabaptist tradition, like Duke University and Stanley Hauerwas and those folks would be saying, “If you try to make the world like the church, you end up making the church like the world.” As Christians, we think you shouldn’t bow down and worship little statues, but we wouldn’t want a law out there in America to say it’s illegal to worship statues. So that view is to say, look, for Christians we believe this, but for same-sex marriage it shouldn’t be a problem, because it’s not our position to try to legislate Christian morality.
  3. POWERS: I just wanted to clarify, too, when you were saying you can be an evangelical and support gay marriage. You mean secular gay marriage, civil gay marriage.
  4. KELLER: Yes, that’s what I —
  5. POWERS: You don’t mean in the church.
  6. KELLER: No. See, in other words, I was trying to say that those are two different issues. And hopefully every Christian knows that, because there are all sorts of things the Bible forbids that we would be forbidding to Christians that we would never want to be legislated. Like I gave the perfect example — idol worship is the worst sin in the Bible, bowing down to little statues and worshipping them and asking them to give you favors and all that. But I think it would be quite un-American to make that illegal. So anyway, yes, that’s what I meant.

Link to the complete transcript of the above interview: http://eppc.org/publications/dr-timothy-keller-at-the-march-2013-faith-angle-forum/

Keller makes it clear that he believes Christians can support legalizing homosexual marriage; as he clearly states in the transcript above: “those are two different issues – hopefully every Christian knows that””those are not the same issues, they overlap”.  The above exchange caused a bit of a stir prompting Keller to quickly release a statement telling us what he “really meant”- he posted the below clarification statement on the Gospel Coalition website:

“A recent article on the Huffington Post reported on a discussion among journalists about how younger evangelicals view the issue of same-sex marriage. I was present, and I said that I have noted many younger evangelicals are taking an Anabaptist-like position; that is, that while they still believe homosexuality to be a sin, they don’t think the government should put that belief into law for the nation.”
“In explaining the Anabaptist tradition, I was quoted saying, “You can believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal.” I did say that—but it was purely a statement of fact. It is possible to hold that position, though it isn’t my position, nor was I promoting or endorsing the position. I was simply reporting on the growth of that view. I can see how some readers might be confused at these points in the article and think that I support the legalization of same-sex marriage. I do not. I hope that clarifies things for those of you who asked about this article”.

As the official transcript from the EPPC website clearly shows, Keller’s comments were not misrepresented or misunderstood, on the contrary, he makes it clear that he thinks Christians should support legalizing homosexual marriage, even using his “little statues” analogy to make his case. So, why the double speak? Why the denial of what he clearly believes? Why the deception?  On an interesting side note and for the record, Tim Keller is a regular on the political circuit though he firmly warns other pastors and Christians to avoid any such public discourse. According to interviewer, Michael Cromartie, Keller had been scheduled a year in advance to discuss his views and take questions from these journalists regarding public policy- yet he represented the event quite differently in his clarification statement above, suggesting instead that “there was a discussion among journalists …. I was present…”   There was no “discussion among journalists”, as all questions were directed only to him, nor was he merely “present” but rather the long scheduled speaker that drew the crowd there in the first place. This may seem insignificant on its face but I believe it clearly exhibits a disingenuous nature and “under the radar” political agenda.

 


The Ballet Comes To Redeemer!

Chris Rice's photo.

The video excerpt below (5.03 mins) was recorded during a communion service at Redeemer’s downtown campus in New York City in November 2016- the dance is titled “Life Together”.    https://vimeo.com/200056401  Shortly after posting this link I noticed that the video had been removed from the Vimeo public forum and a password was required in order to view. This has become the norm for Keller’s Redeemer Network- to remove or disable any controversial material from the public forum when necessary. What do they have to hide?

 

Tim Keller’s Redeemer Church Puts on Effeminate Worship Service

http://pulpitandpen.org/2017/07/10/tim-kellers-redeemer-church-puts-on-effeminate-worship-service/

The below link is a Q&A session with Dr. Joseph Pipa. Though I am not familiar with Dr. Pipa’s overall ministry, I recommend taking the time to listen to his appropriate and much needed response to this video; it is the first question addressed after the standard opening statements and runs through the 13 minutes mark. http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?m=t&s=71117163425

 


Below is an excerpt from an interesting article regarding a staff member at Keller’s church:

A staff member at New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, led by popular megachurch pastor and author Tim Keller, who handles sermon orders for Keller, identifies as a progressive who doesn’t believe homosexuality is sinful and is part of a so-called church plant whose leader recently made recommendations to do away with male/female-separated restrooms nationwide. Casey Fulgenzi was first involved with Forefront Church, which has dual locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and remains an active supporter. The congregation is affiliated with the Convergence Initiative, a collective Post-Evangelical, Progressive Evangelical, Non-Denominational and Free-Church tradition of churches, organizations, leaders and networks, as well as the Open Network, both of which are homosexual-affirming and have hosted conferences featuring Rob Bell.

Casey Fulgenzi, formerly of Tennessee, serves as the manager of social media for Redeemer Presbyterian Church, as well as the assistant manager for Keller’s resource site Gospel in Life, where he handles the orders for Keller’s sermons. His name is included on the staff page of the Redeemer website. Fulgenzi has served in Keller’s church since 2014.

(link to article, click on title to activate link)

Redeemer NYC Staff Member Says Homosexuality Isn’t Sin, Part of Homosexual-Affirming ‘Church Plant’

 


Below are two links- the first to an article posted January 31, 2018 at Keller’s Gospel Coalition website informing the Lord’s church of how very crucial it is that we be a “safe space” for homosexuals (“How to Be a Safe Space for the Same-Sex Attracted”). The author cleverly posits the sin of homosexuality as “same sex-attracted”, perhaps to soften the blow of her demand for special treatment and sympathies regarding this sin.  Should we be on the lookout for forthcoming articles to be posted at The Gospel Coalition on how the Lord’s church should be a safe space for adulterers, pedophiles and the like? Probably not.

The author, Rachel Gilson, is the director of theological development at Campus Crusades for Christ (CRU) and identifies as a lesbian. The second link is another article she wrote for Christianity Today (“I Never Became Straight. Perhaps That Was Never God’s Goal”) where Gilson admits:

Slowly, I came to understand that ‘making me straight’ wasn’t the answer. There is no biblical command to be heterosexual.”

She “identifies” as a homosexual who forcibly abstains from the true desires of her heart (which is sexual relations with women), even going so far as to marry a man; of whom she admits:

“I reminded him that I’d slept with more women than he ever would and I wrestled. I was not sexually attracted to him, but I did admire his goodness, his warmth, and our shared priorities. I saw that he loved me and felt we could experience genuine physical love, albeit more learned than natural.”

TIME OUT, Rachel…Wrong!

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature!”   Romans 1:26

Rachel has a blog/webpage with the heading:   Rachel Gilson Born Again This Way

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/safe-space-for-ssa/ (link to TGC article)

(https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/october/i-never-became-straight-perhaps-that-was-never-gods-goal.html (link to CT article)

The truth is:

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.   Luke 6:45

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  Ezekiel 36:26

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away, all things have become new.  2 Cor 5:17

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.  1 Cor 6:9-11

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  John 3:6

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not hear me”  Psalm 66:18

Gilson is just one of many casualties of the powerless, false gospel that pervades the professing church, and is regularly on display in the teachings of Dr. Tim Keller- especially through his “Gospel” Coalition. This is a travesty, and all who grieve for self-deceived, false converts should mourn this.


 

Tim Keller’s church (Redeemer NYC) believes the church “cannot flourish without the arts” and annually selects three artists in residence to work within their network for gospel renewal in the city providing these artists with resources, financing and support. Redeemer member Kenyon Adams writes on the church’s website: “The rapidly growing number of artists in New York City churches and the lay leaders equipped to serve them gives hope to the vision of gospel renewal in and through the arts in New York City.” Adams writes that the church must “help to build a bridge theologically and relationally for artists to find a home among Protestant, evangelical churches” and adds that “Artists, like all people, want their lives to matter. Their work is an expression of their life.

Below is the Redeemer Report from Keller’s church website showcasing the three artists chosen for 2015.

CFW chooses three Artists-in-Residence

December 2014

The Center for Faith & Work has chosen three Artists-In-Residence: photographer Sasha Arutyunova, writer Kamiliah Aisha Moon and writer Carey Wallace.

The three artists were chosen from invited proposals that explored the idea of “Nascency.” Each resident artist is now in the process of creating a brand new work on that theme, as it is uniquely expressed through their respective forms of photography and writing.

nas·cent (nascency)

[ˈnāsənt ]

ADJECTIVE
(especially of a process or organization) just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential.

In practicing patronage of the arts, the Center for Faith & Work’s artist-in-residence program has a two-pronged purpose: to support emerging and established local artists through the commissioning of new work, and to celebrate and contribute to the intrinsic value of the arts as a vital fabric of the city. Being devoted to the flourishing of all New York City, the Center for Faith & Work is proud to offer selected resident artists the opportunity, resources, financing, and support to create works of art that contribute to the excellency of New York’s rich and creative culture.

Take note from the excerpt of exactly what Keller’s Center For Faith and Work is entirely devoted to:
“….the flourishing of all New York”

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”   Jesus from Luke 16:13

Listed below are the three artists chosen by Redeemer NYC from the website article. (The notes in parentheses are a brief description of what I found when I plugged their names into a google search)

Sasha Arutyunova  is a Moscow-born, Brooklyn-based freelance photographer. The primary focus of her work is the exploration of personal narratives through intimate detail, by way of photography and short form video. Sasha is a co-founder of documentary production company and artist collective Nomadique,  for which she serves as a producer, curator and community organizer.       (Nomadique works with the LGBTQ “community” to bring awareness to their cause and produced two documentaries last year as detailed on their website: “Crossing Over” the intimate story of the struggle for acceptance of three transgender women from Mexico and “United by Love, Divided by Law” the inspiring story of the first gay couple to marry in Brazil, Ali and Michelle.)

Kamilah Aisha Moon  is a recipient of fellowships to Cave Canem, the Prague Summer Writing Institute and the Vermont Studio Center. A Pushcart Prize winner and finalist for the Lambda Literary Award (exclusively for LGBTQ artists) and the Audre Lorde Award (exclusively for lesbians) from the Publishing Triangle,  Moon is the author of “She Has a Name” and holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.      (Moon is a lesbian poet who was invited to read her poetry at the Library of Congress. She partnered with the Washington DC based LGBT community organization “Capital Pride” to launch its Inaugural LGBT Poetry celebration in 2014.) 

  Corey Wallace is a writer and authored “ The Blind Contessa’s New Machine” and “The Ghost in the Glass House”. She lives and works in Brooklyn. Corey is a poet, novelist and founder of the Society of Friends.    (The Society of Friends in Corey’s words: “John 15:15 is the foundational verse of the Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers, whose social justice and fiery mysticism were rooted in the idea that Jesus didn’t consider his followers servants, but friends.  I was raised Quaker, and the early training I received to listen for the “still small voice of God” laid the foundation of my creative life, which I also see as a practice of radical listening and obedience to the voice from beyond”)

Keller’s website assures us that “gospel renewal through the arts” is crucial to the church, but this is nothing more than a façade, as the artists above chosen by Redeemer to assist them in “gospel work” do not appear to be grounded in any biblical truth. In December 2013 when they chose their first ever artist in residence (Rebecca Locke) the church website posted the following: “CFW hopes to extend the artist residency program into 2014, providing opportunity, resources, financing, and support to established artists of all mediums and faiths working in New York City.”  (Excerpt from December 2013 Redeemer Report)

Did he say all mediums and faiths?

14Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership hath righteousness with lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?   2 Corinthians 6:14-15

(Link to the above Redeemer Report from Keller’s church website)http://www.redeemer.com/redeemer-report/article/cfw_chooses_three_artists_in_residence

(In the event that this link and others throughout this site have been disabled please note that during this research project I noticed often times that various articles and postings from Redeemer’s website would disappear without a trace.  ?)


 

Below is an excerpt from a Q&A session with Tim Keller at Covenant Theological Seminary- St. Louis where he took questions from young seminary students advising them never to publicly speak the biblical truth regarding homosexuality.

CHAPELL: [CTS student question] How do you think the church is or should be proactive with regard to the issue of homosexuality? I see the prevalence of homosexuality, yet the church seems to be afraid to touch the issue. How do we actively speak to believers about this topic in truth and in love?

KELLER: Uhhhh….well…(sigh)…The church is afraid to touch the topic? I….it may…….it..its possible…that….in the 20 yrs that I’ve seen that this issue has actually not.…ummm. it..uh…it hasn’t gone away its really gotten to be much much more..socially….

CHAPELL: Sure. Rural church, Sparta Illinois, 1985. I can tell the first Sunday I used the word ‘homosexuality’ and my wife wondered if I would have a job the next week. I mean, it was that scary of a subject at the time. So, if…now again, that’s rural Illinois but I’m guessing even now the church questions..now there’s all kinds of reasons for the fear. One, are you going to say something that your people are going to get mad at you about? Second, is the subject going to be so hot that the people who are struggling with an issue of of gender or sexuality, that I can’t even say in a public setting the kind of things I want to say to minister privately to this person. So how do I do this?

KELLER: Well, it’s much, much, much easier to to have private conversations about it. I think…..uh…I can make this short. I…I believe in general that if you preach on why homosexuality is a sin,..uhhh….there are……at least in my…in my..in my..in my church I know there’s lots and lots of folks who have same sex attraction who know that that’s not….as a Christian, I can’t do that. I’m not gonna go there. There’s a good number of them. I’ve got a lot of non-Christians who are present who are friends of gay people but are not gay. Uhhh…and then uhh there’d be a number of people with same sex attraction who…are there. And generally speaking, it’s almost impossible to preach a sermon and hit all 3 or 4 of those constituencies equally well. Ummmm.. it’s just.. it’s just think about..you know..you know…you’re a communicator. You know you need to…well, what’s my goal? Who are my audience and..wow! it’s like a conundrum you can’t solve. So, the best thing has always been for me..[CONSPICUOUS COUGH]…to not do the public teaching as much as segment my audience through…ummm [CONSPICUOUS COUGH]..Books, through classes, through one-on-ones, and so on. I think the time is probably coming in which we’re going to have be more public in how we talk about homosexuality. And I haven’t….I’m actually thinking quite a lot about it. Uhhh.. as to how I will go about it or how we should go about it but I’m not prepared to give you 3 bullet points.

CHAPELL: have you been able to say…again, very different congregations and cultures…Could you would you say from the pulpit at Redeemer, ‘Same-sex attraction, if it leads to activity that is same-sex oriented is a sin’?

KELLER: O yeah..well, you have to because you get to it and you’re preaching and you do. sure. But..what I’m saying is if you go…if you make it the subject of your sermon, uhhhh… it’s uhhhh..uh an entire sermon on it would not be an easy thing to get..you..you…you have to say what the Bible says and nobody at Redeemer doubts where we are. But for me to do teaching in the worship service, I am now going to give you the re…you know….the biblical teaching on homosexuality, that has been a hard thing to do when my audience is so diverse. I would have to say the average church, the audience isn’t nearly that diverse. And…so….I have not…made that the main place in which I’ve taught. But…we…we’ve done a fair amount of teaching inside amongst our leaders, our counselors, our undershepherds, our elders. We talk about it. Nobody doubts where we are. But I think that preaching on a Sunday about it…uhhhh…making public statements is…kind of in the cards because I think it’s gonna be a very, very divisive issue in the future

(Audio link of the above excerpt from the Covenant Theological Seminary Q&A)http://baylyblog.com/sites/baylyblog.com/files/baylyblog/keller-on-homosexuality.mp3

The above excerpt is classic Keller as he works very hard to present himself as “orthodox” (just like us!) all the while hammering his listeners with the one thing he desperately wants them to take away from this meeting, and that is never to preach the biblical truth about homosexuality. The most troubling aspect of this discussion is that Keller has been entrusted to teach young, up and coming pastors. He tells them he cannot teach the biblical truth about homosexuality because there are lots and lots of gay people, and people who know gay people in his congregation and he just would not be able to hit all of those constituencies really well”…..

Keller tirelessly works to convince the students to keep quiet about it from the pulpit: “you’re a communicator. You know you need to…well, what’s my goal? Who are my audience”….. In the end he admits that “wow”, it’s like a “conundrum you just can’t solve!”  There is no account in the whole of scripture of Jesus, Paul or any of the apostles or prophets of God “surveying their audience” so as to discern the scriptures they need to proclaim vs. scriptures they need to withhold from their hearers.

Keller makes it clear that the significant number of homosexuals and homosexual affirming people in his congregation and community prohibit him from preaching the biblical truth: it just would not be a good idea to do so….. this troubling revelation from Keller raises the obvious question: Are there not lots and lots of greedy people in his congregation, and people who know greedy people that are just as offended by his constant, relentless condemnation of greed?? This is illogical nonsense.

He repeatedly reminds the young seminary students that “everyone knows where Redeemer stands on the issue” and that “nobody doubts where his church stands”, even though he intentionally, deliberately and personally ensures that there are no public teachings of any sort…. How can they know?

“For how can they hear without a preacher?”  (Romans 10:14)

The Greek word for boldness is “parrhesia“- it means to speak openly, plainly, boldly confidently, freely all that you have to speak without keeping anything secret or holding anything back, and it appears in the Greek New Testament 31 times.

Keller’s teaching to future pastors could be summed up as follows:

–Before preaching a particular section of scripture you must first survey your audience to ensure there are none present who might be offended by the message.

–Pastors must view themselves as goal-oriented communicators with great sensitivity to pleasing their audience.

–Pastors with diverse audiences cannot preach that homosexuality is a sin.

–An entire sermon on the biblical teaching on homosexuality just is not a good idea.

–Culturally unacceptable teachings should be kept on the down-low, behind the scenes, so as not to offend anyone.

–Homosexuality is a confusing subject with no solution, which is why it is always best to just avoid it altogether!

–Never preach a sermon that will not equally represent the opinions of all of your constituencies.

Constituencies?

con·stit·u·en·cy   (noun)
a body of voters in a specified area who elect a representative to a legislative body; a body of customers or supporters.

Please contrast Tim Keller’s teaching with that of the Apostle Paul to Timothy:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.    2 Timothy 4:1-5

And please take note of the sharp contrast between Keller and the Apostles of Christ:

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.   Ephesians 6:19-20

Now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness; And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.   Acts 4: 29,31

And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.   Acts 9:29

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.    Acts 4:13

And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and proclaiming the things concerning the kingdom of God.   Acts 19:8


Below is an excerpt from Keller’s church newsletter (The Redeemer Report) from the month of June 2015. He is reviewing two books by a couple of professing Christians who are leading the charge against God and His word with regard to marriage and homosexuality.  I will focus on the book written by Matthew Vines, God and the Gay Christian.  Of course there is no more a “gay” Christian than a “lying” Christian or a “murderous” Christian, which is exactly the narrative Vines sets out to dispel in his book, written to convince the church that homosexuality is not sin. As usual, Keller claims to hold to scripture and certainly appears to be defending an opposing view in some sections of his review but the ever present double-speak is always there to cast doubt and stir up confusion.

The Bible and same sex relationships: A review article

June 2015       Tim Keller

Knowing gay people personally. 

“Vines and Wilson relate stories of people who were sure that the Bible condemned homosexuality. However, they were brought to a change of mind through getting to know gay people personally. It is certainly important for Christians who are not gay to hear the hearts and stories of people who are attracted to the same sex. 

And when I see people discarding their older beliefs that homosexuality is sinful after engaging with loving, wise, gay people, I’m inclined to agree that those earlier views were likely defective. In fact, they must have been essentially a form of bigotry. They could not have been based on theological or ethical principles, or on an understanding of historical biblical teaching. They must have been grounded instead on a stereotype of gay people as worse sinners than others (which is itself a shallow theology of sin.) So I say good riddance to bigotry. However, the reality of bigotry cannot itself prove that the Bible never forbids homosexuality. We have to look to the text to determine that.”

link to complete article    http://www.redeemer.com/redeemer-report/article/the_bible_and_same_sex_relationships_a_review_article

Keller tells us it is essential that believers develop personal relationships with loving, wise homosexuals and that we listen intently to their “heart stories”.  Is not the human heart desperately wicked, and deceitful above all things-who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)  Would Keller also advise the church to listen intently to the “heart stories” of loving, wise adulterers? Or murderers? How about liars? Perhaps we would better understand why the thief steals if we just spent a little time with him, listening and seeking to understand his corrupt feelings?  This dreadfully unbiblical advice lays the groundwork to produce an emotional response from us rather than a biblical response;  after all, we are still in the flesh and can be led astray by our emotions.  For he who trusts in his own heart is a fool. (Proverbs 28:26) Close friendships and emotional attachments of any kind with those in open rebellion against a Holy God will inevitably result in compromise, and if you spend time talking to the average professing Christian you will hear compromise all around you.  I think of the many people who oppose homosexuality until their son or daughter “comes out”…now it’s personal, and suddenly the truth must not really be true after all. Human emotion is the most worn out weapon in the adversary’s arsenal!  Flee your depraved emotions and hold fast and true to scripture, which is never changing and rock solid:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.  (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Keller makes it clear that those who once believed homosexuals were condemned but changed their minds after “getting to know loving, wise gay people” are recovering bigots.  He tells us that these Christians could not possibly have ever been grounded in biblical truth, but instead they “viewed homosexuality as a worse sin than others”- but the student of scripture knows better; it is these “close fellowships filled with heart stories” that Keller so eagerly promotes that have led so many to follow their emotions at the expense of biblical truth. It is not the so-called bigotry of the Christian that is on display here, it is the devastating effect of clever false teachers who manipulate the emotions of undiscerning Christians- leading them to doubt God’s clear revelation of truth. Again, I say to you, satan wreaks more havoc in the spiritual lives of believers through their corrupt, unreliable emotions. Tim Keller’s anecdotal “close fellowships filled with heart stories” is devastatingly unbiblical.

Keller spends the entire article countering Vines’ arguments with the opinions and writings of various scholars and philosophers, as he states in the article, he expounds on the writings of:

“…the great preponderance of the best historical scholarship by the full spectrum of secular, liberal and conservative researchers… I urge readers to familiarize themselves with this research. A good place to start is the Kindle book by William Loader, Sexuality in the New Testament (2010) or his much larger The New Testament on Sexuality (2012). Loader is the most prominent expert on ancient and biblical views of sexuality, having written five large and two small volumes in his lifetime. It is worth noting that Loader himself does not personally see anything wrong with homosexual relationships.”

I think the real expert on the biblical view of sexuality would be the Holy Spirit, and He recorded everything we need to know in the Bible- why is he pointing people to a man who rejects the biblical teaching on homosexuality?  Keller’s other sources of knowledge in the article are outlined by his own statements below:

But historians such as Mark Noll (America’s God, 2005 and The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, 2006) have shown…..

These narratives have been well analyzed by scholars such as Robert Bellah and Charles Taylor…

Charles Taylor, however, explains….

And besides, if you read Eric Kaufmann’s Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? (2010) and follow the latest demographic research…..

As N.T. Wright points out……..

Keller’s sources of truth regarding homosexuality and marriage range from such “experts” as Robert Bellah (American sociologist, and the Elliott Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and member of the Communist Party USA in 1947–1949 and a chairman of the John Reed Club, a recognized student organization concerned with the study of Marxism)  –  Charles M. Taylor (Roman Catholic philosopher with widespread esteem among philosophers) – Mark Noll (Historian and signatory of Evangelicals and Catholics Together, an ecumenical document that expressed the need for greater cooperation between Evangelicals and Catholics) – William Loader (a minister of the Uniting Church in Australia who supports and promotes the acceptance of homosexuality in the church) – Eric Kauffman (a professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is a specialist on Orangeism in Northern Ireland, nationalism, and political demography) – N.T. Wright (a leading British New Testament scholar and Pauline theologian who advocates for a re-evaluation of scripture and all traditional Christian doctrine).

There are no passages of scripture presented by Dr. Keller and no proclamation of “Thus Saith the Lord”.  As is the norm for him, the Bible is completely absent from the article.

It is important to note that Keller’s article appears to have been written in response to many calls for him and his network to speak out on the issue-   he writes at the beginning of the article: Over the last year or so I (and other pastors at Redeemer) have been regularly asked for responses to their arguments.”  It seems that he feels he has to put something out there and as is the case so often with Keller this pressure produces the double speak.

Matthew Vines responds to Keller’s critique of his book:

I have long appreciated Dr. Keller’s ministry, and as anyone who has read my book knows, I am also grateful for his books and writings, from which I have learned a great deal. I am honored that Dr. Keller chose to review my book, and I hope to meet him in the near future, as I am sure I have much more to learn from him.

I very much appreciate Keller’s rejection of bigotry against gay people at the outset of his review. This is an important area of agreement, and I would like to see more evangelical leaders firmly denounce animus and bigotry against LGBT people, not only in principle but also in practice, whenever LGBT people are harmed based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Although I have outlined why I believe his review of my book represents an insufficient engagement with my arguments, I would love to meet with him in person to continue the conversation, and perhaps even participate in a public dialogue on the subject. We dearly need both the kind of civil dialogue Dr. Keller has initiated here as well as robust engagement of differing theological viewpoints in order for this conversation to advance both the witness and the mission of the church.

Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you!  For so did their fathers to the false prophets.   Luke 6:26 

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.    Romans 16:17-20

This section is a clear illustration of Tim Keller’s dangerously unbiblical teaching regarding homosexuality. He refuses to give the sinner the gospel truth that crushes the chains that bind them in the sin of homosexuality- and he does it all under the guise of “loving thy neighbor;” what kind of love is this?

The below link is an entire sermon on the sin of homosexuality by John MacArthur. It includes the glorious testimony of deliverance of Robert Logerstrum upon hearing God’s redeeming truth, faithfully preached.   https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/90-449/homosexuality-and-the-campaign-for-immorality

 

“In Jude 3, we read, ‘Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.’  Here we are given a stirring call to the defence of the Faith.  Such a call is not popular today.  It is not popular today even in some evangelical circles.  People will tell you that it is all ‘too negative.’  They continually urge that we must keep on giving positive truth.  They will tell us that we must not argue and we must never condemn.  But we must ask, ‘How can you fight if you are ever afraid of wounding an enemy?’  ‘How can you rouse sleeping fellow-warriors with smooth words?’  God forbid that we find ourselves at the bar of judgment and face the charge that we contracted out for love of ease, or for fear of man, or that we failed to do our duty in the great fight of the Faith.  We mustwe must fight for the faith in these momentous times.”

D. Martyn Lloyd Jones (1899-1981)


 

Personal Observation

It must be noted that the professing church is headed in a dangerous direction with regard to the sin of homosexuality, and the manner and method by which the Lord’s people are to engage and bear witness in the world. I have watched as many who profess to love Christ, and the truth, move away from scripture toward a more “culturally acceptable” position, all in the name of “love.” The lost world has elevated this sin to a respectable lifestyle choice and the visible church seems eager to get in line and “set things right” in the “church.” And I am not referring only to the full blown apostate denominations who are performing blasphemous same sex ceremonies and ordaining homosexuals into ministry; many who profess to be “holding the line” are slowly losing their grip as they refuse to teach or preach on the subject- and if they do venture out into a sermon on the latter verses of Romans 1, it is most always prefaced with a lengthy apology for doing so! I have personally witnessed this and it was troubling, to say the least. The professing church has clearly adopted the language and attitude of the world, even going so far as to regularly use the world’s manufactured terminology.  And for the record, there is no more a homosexual “community” than an adulterer’s community; a murderer’s community; a liar’s community or a community of thieves! It exists only in the corrupt minds of sinful men- many of whom line the pews and occupy the pulpits of the professing church. If only they could see the condemned souls that are plunging into the depths of the outer darkness of hell perhaps they would skip the apologies, abandon the man-centered messages, and muster up enough courage to eagerly and joyfully proclaim God’s glorious truth to those trapped in this spiritually destructive snare of the devil. And not only the homosexual, but also the masses who give “hearty approval” (Romans 1:32), whether it be directly, or indirectly.

God have mercy, I pray.