Finley’s “Speaking Up” about LGBTQ Adventists Is Not New

Most Adventists are not aware that their denomination funded and widely promoted one of the first so-called “change therapy” programs in the 1980s. Colin Cook (no relation), an Adventist pastor who had been fired for sexual misconduct with a male acquaintance made through his evangelistic work, was by all accounts very charismatic and engaging. He began promoting his own “success” story, claiming that he had “overcome” his sexual orientation, and he convinced the General Conference and President Neal C. Wilson to sponsor his “therapy” program at Quest Learning Center in Reading, Pennsylvania, as well as later to help underwrite Homosexuals Anonymous, which he co-founded. Cook taught that homosexuality was caused by bad parenting—either an absentee or emotionally unavailable father or an overbearing mother. He felt that everyone was created heterosexual by God and that with therapy people could return to their innate, heterosexual nature.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The Adventist Church took a wrong turn when it abandoned the view that the Bible was written by inspired men (and women ?) who lived in different cultures and used the language and the knowledge at their disposal to communicate their understanding of the will of God. That way of understanding the inspiration of the Bible, which is the one that Ellen G. White writes about in the Introduction to The Great Controversy, has been shelved and the 1st of the Fundamental Beliefs, which should endorse the belief in God as the Creator, affirms instead that the Bible is the “written word of God.” In other words, the Church has become a fundamentalist institution that affirms verbal inspiration and inerrancy, As a result, the Adventist Church finds itself proclaiming a totally irrelevant gospel which is recognized as such by the well educated young people and is causing many mature members to have little hope for its future. When the cosmologies and the anthropologies of ancient cultures are given divine authority by fiat, nothing good can be expected. Making belief in a verbally inspired Bible the condition for belief in God is placing the wrong stumbling block in front of those who wish to believe in God. As Paul insisted, the stumbling block can only be the Christ that God raised from the dead.


The issue of homosexuality and the Bible is essentially about whether the writers are inspired by God or if they are writing from their own moral perspective. That’s why this issue is so important. Paul is very clear in Romans that men “burned in lust for other men”. That is what we would call today as a homosexual attraction. They listed after men because they were attracted sexually to them. They were not raping them, they weren’t having sex with boys, and it makes absolutely no difference that Paul’s understanding is not the same as someone in 2023. If anyone says that Paul didn’t understand that someone could be born gay and that’s why he condemned homosexuality. They are actually saying the Bible is not inspired. God didn’t guide Paul, God didn’t illuminate Paul and actually God had nothing to do with Paul writing Romans because of God did inspire Romans, then we couldn’t dismiss the verses condemning homosexuality as being a result of Paul’s limited perception. We’d have to accept that it was actually the product of an all-knowing God.

That’s why we cannot have any compromise on this issue. I believe Romans 1 condemns lgbtq sexual behavior because I belive God inspired Romans 1. To argue that passage isn’t talking about someone born gay, or that it’s limited by Paul’s understanding is to actually discredit the Bible as inspired by God.

A war has been brewing on this issue and it’ll eventually come to a head. God help our churches thru this time…but this is an issue that I believe is worth splitting the church if needed because it would actually destroy the entire Bible amd so there can be no compromise or middle ground.

I read the author’s claim that Sodom was not condemned for homosexuality in Ezekiel 16! Sorry, friend but it’s in the text. Re-read verse 50 without pro-LGBTQ lenses and you will see it there! It’s simply called “abomination” (cf Lev 18:22).

The preceding verses (Ezek 16:48 - 50) are only a summary of Sodom’s sins not a detailed statement. There was no need for that as their sordid history would have been well known to those of Ezekiel’s time. Rather the focus in these verses is on where that sin (and indeed all sin) began - with pride and how it develops! As with Lucifer, pride ultimately leads us to place ourself above God and thus make is law of none effect in our lives. Then anything and everything will be permissible no matter how plainly the Bible condemns it!

And by the way I don’t hear anyone arguing for adultery, bestiality and incest to be affirmed within the Church because those verses that speak against such in Leviticus are part of an holiness code! God call us to be holy as he is Holy. Holiness is the hallmark of God’s true people! (1 Pet 2:9).

Beloved brethren It’s time for the church to wake up to the wiles of the devil and see how he is working amongst us through this LGBTQ confusion.

1 Timothy 4:1 - Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

This article is truly a doctrine of devils! It deserves only repudiation not affirmation!

1 Like

Ok, let’s look at Ezekiel 16 then shall we…without your cultural lens.
49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen." Their is no confusion here just the fiction you are writing about LGBTQ+.

Where does it say LGBTQ+ in here? It doesn’t does it, so why are you writing a narrative that doesn’t exist? Why is it that you are haughty on this subject? You misquote the Bible in a way not dissimilar to the Serpent when speaking to Eve. Are you not doing the work of the devil by creating confusion where none is and what’s more actually misrepresenting scripture and taking the name of God in vain?


Today, in our Adult Zoom SS class, we are studying Ephesians; the eloquent and miraculous “Mystery” of how God created unity in the church, as a result of His love for us and the remarkable plan of salvation which, when fully recognized and understood, would result in our overflowing love for God and each other. Against that backdrop, it is almost incomprehensible that we are having that discussion in the context of the institutional SDA church’s egregious and divisive actions against the LGBTQ+ community.


I don’t find these discussions incomprehensible.

I’m convinced they are axiomatic and are indicative of a much larger issue.

Adventism, just like many self-proclaimed Christians, is not just homophobic, it suffers from what some have suggested should be called “homoinvidia”-that is, a hatred of homosexuals-and uses scripture in an an attempt to validate that predilection.

Just as Satan supposedly used scripture in an effort to convince Jesus not to go through with his mission from god.



Having seen your frequent comments over the years, I know you don’t pull punches…proven once again by your post today. But it really is ‘incomprehensible’ to me, that people who profess to be Christians can have so much unrecognized hatred.


I will grant that either being afraid of, or hating anyone based on gender issues seems incongruous and incompatible with one of Christianity’s purported basic tenets.

But that’s been going on for two millennia, as well, so while I understand being disappointed with churches-specifically or in general-I’m no longer surprised by anything anyone supposedly does “in the name of the lord”.



When was it ever acknowledged that the Bible was written within ancient cultural norms. Was it an abandonment or a doubling down.

Adventist teaching makes little distinction even between the “Testaments”, much less the cultural context of any of the books, in order to preserve its involvement in the actual “gospel”. In Adventism, there can be no distinction in order to make the distinct narrative flow from the Old Testament to the New, leaving both on equal footing, while creating a theology that is oxymoronic - “We are saved by grace, not by works, (except for the fourth commandment).”

To wiggle out of the conundrum, we have created a system of two laws - the “moral” law and the “ceremonial” law. We have placed most of the Hebrew civil laws under the “ceremonial”, but not dietary laws and probably a few others. Under which one does the LGBTQ issue fall?

It’s unfortunate that society has decided to make sexuality everybody else’s business to the point of requiring your sexual preference on arbitrary paperwork as an added pronoun to your signature… Why should we care if you’re a male female or some combination there of except on a medical report. That’s nobody’s business; and neither is it the churches business. You would think that most of the earth’s population has been suffering in silence from wrong signage on airport bathrooms to the design of swim wear; and only now, are we waking up to that fact. The church has jumped on the same band wagon to its own detriment. It can’t control everything - some things are personal and need not be categorized by a “Synod”.


@yoyoto, I cannot comment the words in Leviticus on the matter … i simpl do nit understand one word of Hebrew. I just have quite some experience - about homosexuals and a girl (not knowing their “orientation” ) approaching them - and some experience with cruelty / violence - The broken Cola - botte driven into the vagina of a newcomer into the womens justice penitentary simply is cruel, violence, humilation, - - (but a practice quite common !) - -but rarely “lesbian” .

Three teens on this June 27 had their first trial for repeatedly kicking a homeless shelterless woman on head, chest, abdomen - and urinating on her and taking a video. Their comment : “it was fun, really !” Well, I just see Gen 19 and Judges 19 a little different.

And see , in “Gymnasium” I had to read and traslate ancient Greek and Roman authors - four years and six classes the week. And I continued with ongoing inforamtions of this ancient world. Well in Romans 1 Paul addresses the life of very rich,oversaturated Romans in an - I would say - Roman swingers club. "something new, a new thrill, not more the wife and husband at home, but the - - in Caraclla Therme ", see Martial . “Epigrammata”- - - - - But “we” aply this to everey “H”, the Bible / Paul saying this is the ones - everyones - free decision - they all just do not want to change - - -And in 1 Cor 6 the ARSNEOKOITAI and the MALAKOI are - as I lerned after decades of searching - a special scenery of prostitution with the effeminated teenie boys, with hairdo and broidered hair and fancy fashion dressing - having their patrions,wealthy elderly gentlemen - - harshly an elderly SDA from the US stated : I do not need a pagan philosopher for explaining Paul to me ! - well, my source is the contemorary Jewish theologian Philo alexandrinus in his Spec Leg III - -

1 Like

Conversion therapy is an oxymoron. Therapy is given to people facing mental challenges but not for them to over come and be rid of them, but for them to “function” and cope in life better. Folks with mental issues are flat out told that the major disorders are life long diseases that have no cure. Conversion through Christ Jesus is not for “functioning” or for coping but it is for eternal life, a new creature, old things have passed away, the soul no longer faces separation from the creator but will live on equal to the angels. This new life is not about therapy. When after Peter was converted He knew that “the self” was a betrayer, he new that the self was not to be trusted over the words of Christ, and he new that the self must give up the throne if Peter was to live forever. We must stop offering sinners a home in Seventh Day Adventism and start offering them a home in glory. But we can not offer what we ourselves have not understood. The talk between Ted Wilson and Mark Finley speaks against conversion therapy and emphasizes spiritual conversion instead. This is an improvement. The self is the issue. It must choose whether to call sin by its rightful name. Only Love, the love of God, can convict a wicked heart that that choice needs to be made.

1 Like

Would it be fair to say that all biblical laws need to be factored down to principles that come under the two "great commandments" spoken of by Jesus, when asked which was the most important one. Cultures change but human nature and our biblical relationship to God remains the same.


Yes, but you can’t change genetics by willpower. It might be better to label LGBTQ as a birth anomaly rather than a life choice. Behaviour can be modified - genetics can not.


@ClivefF - how can you explain the cruelty /violence /humilation / death (to be expected - see Judges 19) with two short texts of Leviticus ?

And : Did you ever imagine “Homosexual” crowd to be really satisfied - with Lots daughters ? - What I have seen ( ! ) this should make them the more angry ! But Lot tried it - -

1 Like

Here is a different interpretation on the passage of Romans 1 from

8. Romans addresses unrestrained lust, not sexual orientation.


Paul condemns same-sex behavior as shameful and unnatural in Romans 1, so the church must reject all same-sex relationships.


Romans addresses unrestrained lust, not sexual orientation.

In Romans 1:26-27, Paul condemns lustful same-sex behavior between men, and likely between women as well.

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” -Rom 1:26-27

  • In Romans 1-3, Paul argues that all people—Jewish and Gentile— are in need of salvation. In Romans 2, he speaks to his fellow Jews, saying that even one violation of the Law renders them in need of reconciliation to God.
  • In Romans 1, Paul says that Gentiles, too, need salvation, because while they do not have a written law to break, they have violated what they know to be true about God through his creation. Rather than worshiping God, they worshiped idols, and as a result, God gave them over to their own devices.
  • God also “gave them over to the lusts of their hearts,” and they became “inflamed with lust” and engaged in sexual behavior with people of the same sex.

In the ancient world, it was assumed that all people could be satisfied with heterosexual sex, but that some people went beyond it due to their insatiable lust—leading them to engage in same-sex behavior.

  • In his commentary on Romans 1:26-27, John Chrysostom wrote, “You see that the whole of desire comes from an excess which cannot contain itself within its proper limits.”
  • Paul isn’t condemning being gay as opposed to being straight. He is condemning self-seeking excess as opposed to moderation—a concern made clear by his repeated use of the term “lustful,” and by his description of people “exchanging” or “abandoning” heterosexual sex.
  • Committed same-sex relationships simply aren’t in view in Romans 1.

Q. Even if Paul describes only lustful behavior and not loving relationships, he uses the terms “natural,” “unnatural,” and “shameful” to describe same-sex couplings. Wouldn’t that imply that all same-sex relationships are sinful, regardless of how loving and committed the partners are?

  • Paul uses the exact same Greek words in 1 Corinthians 11 as he does in Romans 1. But most Christians today believe the terms “nature” (physis) and “disgrace” (atimia) in 1 Corinthians 11 describe what was customary in the first century, not what should be a universal rule for Christians about hair length.
  • In fact, we know that long hair in men isn’t always shameful, because the Nazirite vow forbade men from cutting their hair (Numbers 6:5). Samson’s decision to cut his hair was shameful in his context, while his long hair was actually a source of strength (Jg 16:17-19). What is honorable and shameful varies across times and cultures.

· If the terms “nature” and “disgrace” are culturally specific in 1 Corinthians 11, then we must ask whether they are also culturally specific in Romans 1. In the ancient world, same-sex behavior between men was regarded as shameful and unnatural because it reduced the status of the passive male to the lower cultural status of a female. But for Christians who believe that men and women should have equal value in Christ, that logic doesn’t apply.

Q. What is the “due penalty for their error” that Paul describes in Romans 1:27?

  • The idol worshipers failed * to give God the honor he was due, so God allowed them to dishonor themselves as the penalty for their idolatrous error. Their shameful behavior was the penalty.
  • Male passivity, female dominance, and a lack of self-control made same-sex behavior emblematic of excess and dishonor. These factors also made same-sex relations an apt illustration of what happens when we fail to honor God: we ourselves are given over to dishonor.
  • But the problems Paul focuses on in Romans 1 do not characterize same-sex unions today that are based on love, commitment, and self-giving.

Christians should agree with Paul that sexual behavior that is motivated by lustful self-seeking is wrong, but same-sex relationships based on long-term commitment and love must be assessed differently.


That is absolutely correct. “We” can not change genetics. The Bible clearly tells us that “the life is in the blood.” I am born with genetics handed down to me all the way from fallen Adam. There is no way for me to rid myself of his blood, his epigenetics, his genetics mutations, his encoded choices made before I was born. But the blood of Jesus!!!..Hallelujah, shed before the foundations of the world. Before the foundations! The key word is before. Human builders build starting with installing a foundation but Christ gave His blood before gender, before sexual orientation, before humans could bleed, and before snakes could talk. ( Not the blood of Seventh Day Adventism. )


Regarding the sins of Sodom listed in Ezekiel 16:50.

“Those who regard the sin of Sodom as nonsexual argue that the word abomination” (tôēbâ) in verse Ezek. 16:50 simply refers to the social injustice described in verse 49. Gagnon, however, demonstrates that the term tôʻebâ, “abomination," in verse 50 speaks of an additional offense beyond the social injustice of verse 49, and the reference to
tôʻtbôt “abominations,” in verse 51 is a summary statement of all four
sins of Sodom described in verses 49- 50. The parallel passage that confirms this interpretation is a similar list of vices in Ezekiel 18:10-13, where Ezekiel again uses tôēbâ (singular) followed by tôtbột (plural).
In the latter passage, it is unmistakable that the use of tôebâ refers to an additional act separate and distinct from the oppression of the poor and the needy and tôabột is a summary referring to “all these abomi-
nable things” (v. 13) of the previous list. Gagnon then shows that this usage of tôtbâ in Ezekiel 18 provides a strong intertextual linkage with Leviticus 18 in general and the practice of homosexuality in particular:" - Homosexuality, Marriage, and the Church, p27.

The word translated abomination in verse 50 is the same word that is singularly used to describe homosexual practice in Lev 18:22; 20:13.

Now also note that in verse Ezek 16:50 it is this sin above all the others which is identified as the reason that God “took them away” (KJV).

@sirie,the “straight” should quetsion their “orientation” - an try to imagine how - if ever possible - to get rid of it !

But there is one problem : A Chistian attitude. Religion being a matter of intelect. Denial and disavoval as the means of sanctification - - - - -


More on these 2 Greek terms from

9. 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy address exploitation.


These texts say that “homosexuals” will not inherit the kingdom of God. Hence, the church cannot affirm same-sex relationships without abandoning the gospel.


1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy address exploitation.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul warns that those who persist in sin will not inherit the kingdom of God. In his list of wrongdoers, he includes two Greek words that connect to some forms of same-sex behavior.

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (malakoi), nor abusers of themselves with mankind (arsenokoitai), nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." -1 Corinthians 6:9-11 KJV

1 Timothy 1:10 also uses the term arsenokoitai in a similar “vice list.” Given that many Bible translations since 1946 have rendered malakoi and arsenokoitai as “homosexuals” or “men who have sex with men,” it’s worth taking a close look at these two Greek terms.

The term malakoi literally means “soft,” and it was widely used to describe a lack of self-control, weakness, cowardice, and laziness.

  • Given that those negative characteristics were unfortunately (and unfairly) attributed to women in the ancient world, the term was also long translated as “effeminate.”
  • Although most uses of the term in ancient literature were not related to sexual behavior, men who took the passive role in same-sex relations were sometimes called malakoi, which is why many non-affirming Christians argue that it represents a condemnation of same-sex relationships.
  • But even in sexual contexts, malakos was most frequently used to describe men who were seen as lacking self-control in their love for women.
  • It’s only in the past century that many Bible translators have connected the word specifically to same-sex relationships. More common English translations in past centuries were terms such as “weaklings,” “wantons,” and “debauchers.”

Q. Even if malakoi doesn’t necessarily refer to same-sex behavior, doesn’t the fact that Paul places it next to the term arsenokoitai make that meaning more likely?

  • The term arsenokoites (the singular form) comes from two Greek words: arsen, meaning “male,” and koites, meaning “bed.” Those words appear together in the Greek translation of Leviticus 20:13, leading some to speculate that Paul coined the term arsenokoites in order to condemn same-sex behavior.
  • But as New Testament scholar Dale Martin has written, “The only reliable way to define a word is to analyze its use in as many different contexts as possible.”
  • After Paul’s apparent coinage of the term, most subsequent uses of it in ancient literature appear only in lists of vices. As Martin has shown, those contexts indicate that the word likely relates to sexual or economic exploitation. So while that may involve same-sex behavior, it would be exploitative forms of it, not loving relationships.

Q. But isn’t it possible that Paul used malakoi and arsenokoitai together to condemn both the active and passive partners in male same-sex relations?

  • There were many word pairs in common use in ancient literature to describe both the active and passive partners in male same-sex relations—words like erastes and eromenos, for example. Malakoi and arsenokoitai, however, were not used as a pair by other ancient writers.
  • Moreover, even if Paul had intended to condemn both partners in male same-sex relations, it’s critical to remember the major gap between same-sex behavior as it was practiced in ancient societies—where it was based on status, power, and lust—and committed same-sex unions today.
  • Some Bible translations render malakoi and arsenokoitai as “homosexuals,” but that term wasn’t even coined until 1869 in German and 1892 in English. Not only that, the concept that the term describes didn’t exist in the ancient world either.

In order to be faithful to Scripture, we must recognize a distinction between the same-sex behavior the Bible condemns and the desires of LGBTQ Christians for love, companionship, and family today.