Recently, one of our researchers showed me a website that we both found to be very disturbing.
Known as “The Friends and Family Plan” (www.friendsandfamilyplan.org), this site is all about teaching others to accept homosexual behavior as a normal part of life. But who is the target? The website is aimed at a Christian audience. And that’s not even the worst part: this website is run by a seminary.
Auburn Theological Seminary was originally established as a Presbyterian seminary, and—according to its website—is “the second oldest seminary affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA)” and “maintains a covenant agreement with the Presbyterian Church (USA) to promote strong church leadership.” Auburn seminary is on the campus of Union Theological Seminary, and focuses on leadership training and continuing education.
“The Friends and Family Plan” is run by Auburn Media, a part of Auburn Seminary. Now, we at Answers in Genesis have often pointed out compromise on the book of Genesis in supposedly “Christian” colleges, universities, and seminaries. But the effort being made by this seminary flies in the face of everything God’s Word says about marriage and sexuality.
Visitors to “The Friends and Family Plan” website are assumed to be supporters of homosexual behavior. The web visitors are walked through a series of questions about who they know that doesn’t support such behavior, and then they’re given a “plan” tailored to reach the person who has chosen to stand on the authority of God’s Word rather than man’s opinion when it comes to same-sex behavior.
The website’s creators explain why they focus exclusively on reaching Christians:
Approximately three-quarters of Americans identify as Christian. According to research there is a growing number of Americans who know, respect, and even love an LGBT person but do not provide full support for LGBT equality because of their Christian convictions. The Friends & Family Plan has focused on Christians because we believe that if we can help conflicted Christians support the people they know and love who are LGBT without leaving their Christianity behind, we will be well on our way to developing a critical mass in America that stands for equality for LGBT people.These statements reveal a huge flaw in the seminary’s thinking. They actually believe there’s a way to reconcile the homosexual lifestyle with Scripture. But the Bible very clearly does not approve of same-sex relationships. (For more, see Steve Golden’s article “Pro-Gay Theology: Does the Bible Approve of Homosexuality?”)
In the explanation by the program’s creators of why a seminary is pushing Christians to accept homosexual behavior, they reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of Scripture:
Auburn Seminary stands for the full equality of LGBT people and places this struggle for justice alongside other historic struggles for justice, including racial and gender equality. Just as the Bible has been used in the past to support slavery and the oppression of women, it is used today to justify the oppression of LGBT people. Auburn Seminary considers it a Christian and educational duty to teach the Christian ethic of equality in all contexts.Now, people throughout history have tried to use the Bible to justify bad practices. But that doesn’t mean when the Bible discusses the actions of people, that today we can use those accounts to condone certain behaviors (e.g., the Bible recounts the polygamy of certain characters, but it does not support that behavior). Further, at Answers in Genesis, we don’t teach people to “oppress” others—no, we teach what the Bible says. You see, gay “marriage” is not a civil rights issue, as Dr. Al Mohler explains in our Answers magazine article, Gay Marriage as a Civil Right—Are Wrongs Rights? It’s a moral issue—and the Bible presents a clear doctrine of marriage in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 2:24 clearly teaches that God intended sex to be in the confines of marriage, between one man and one woman: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” And in Matthew 19:4–5, Christ reaffirms this doctrine—actually quoting Genesis 2:
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”Our theme at Answers in Genesis this year is “Standing Our Ground, Rescuing Our Kids”—and that includes helping parents and their children choose Christian colleges and seminaries that teach the Word of God (and not man’s fallible ideas and agendas). I urge you to pray for those involved with this website and for those who might be under the teaching of Auburn Seminary, that they would repent and return to the authority of Scripture in every area, including the issue of homosexual behavior.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This blog post was written with the assistance of Steve Golden.