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October 11, 2022 6:00 am
Before God fully captured his heart, Joe Dallas identified as a homosexual and tried to integrate his sexuality with his Christian beliefs, actively promoting a pro-gay theology. In this broadcast, Dallas addresses major controversies in today’s increasingly hostile cancel culture, helping believers to cultivate respectful discussions and share Christ’s love and truth with others who don’t share our faith. (Part 1 of 2)
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Jim Daly or Focus on the Family and thank you so much for turning in before we get started I want to make you aware of a great event that's coming up October 20 and 21st in Jacksonville, Florida. It's the legacy grandparenting summit and we have the man behind it all. Right with us today. Larry Fowler, Larry, thanks for joining us good to be with you. Jim okay, what's the legacy grandparenting summit all about. Well, it's the only national conference on Christian grandparenting, and it's meant to be and to equip Christian grandparents to become more potential of passing on passing on their fate. It is live in the Jacksonville Florida area, but his life streamed to about 110 churches across North America. That's fantastic. Why should grandparents participate in the summit and what are they gonna learn well they're going to learn a lot about how to fulfill their biblical responsibility to be faint storytellers to pass on the legacy to the grandchildren and deceived faith perpetuated and their families. You I think it's all kind of capsule waited in a wonderful and heartwarming story about someone named Tom what is Tom's story yeah yeah Tom says that he came to the conference is very first conference kicking and screaming his wife and Nancy had the had been given a registration by her church because she was on staff that she didn't want to go alone so she said Tom I want you to go with me. He couldn't imagine Jim going to a conference and spending two days talking about grandparenting company, but he was already a really good grandfather but that he would tell you that his whole perception of grandparenting was absolutely transformed in the first hour of the conference he saw kinda good site to grandparenting that he had never considered their wonderful godly people they'd never thought about grandparents and their biblical responsibility to be intentional pass on site. He would say it's absolutely transformed his perception of grandparenting and Jim wheezing that happened with thousands of grandparents as they have participated in the conference and we want to encourage even more to be transformed by the message of intentional Christian grand jury. Now that's terrific. I'm not a grandparent yet, but my boys are in their early 20s and I'm sure it's around the corner at some point. Grandfather one of the mall want to be but if I were grandfather.
I hope Jean were enacted to can pull and cajole me there. But she might someday and I just want to encourage you to consider participating.
You can get more information at our website that's Focus on the Family.com/broadcast so I get registered and become a better grandparent.
Thank you Larry for being with us. You're welcome.
Glad to be with you. I think that we need to get back to the basics of realizing the word of God is still living and powerful. If we will preach it faithfully. We preach evangelism to be unsafe. They need to be born again to somebody's transgender homosexual or whatever they are. If they have not been born again that secondary.
If you've ever spoken up about your Christian faith.
Chances are someone is tried to cancel you either online or in the workplace.
Our culture today can be hostile. It is hostile to biblical values and we need to lean on a strong spiritual foundation as we navigate some rough waters.
This is Focus on the Family with your host focus president and Dr. Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller and Jeni had a great conversation with Joe Dallas recently about cancel culture. It's everywhere and it's amazing how God changed Joe's heart after he identified as homosexual in his teens and now for many years Joe has been sharing his faith in reaching others for Christ, and I think he really has a handle on how to do that with truth and grace. That's not easy to do in this culture were people are choosing their own path apart from God and where anything goes and there's a lot we can learn from Joe, and I hope you'll stay with us for some thoughtful dialogue. Joe Dallas is an author, conference speaker and pastoral counselor. He is the founder of cloud fire ministries in Tustin, California.
That's a counseling ministry for men dealing with sexual addiction and other sexual and relational problem. A Joe's written a book called Christians in a cancel culture and you find the link in the program notes here now is Jim Daly with Joe Dallas on Focus on the Family Joe welcome to Focus on the Family. Hey, thank you for having a good break. The men I've watched you from afar. We haven't had a chance to really sit down and talk before, so I'm looking forward to our discussion and kinda getting into some of the things that are going on in the culture and was to get into. Yeah, there's a lot to get into and helping people better understand where you've come from. I think everyone probably knows what cancel culture is. Let's start there. When you look at it. How would you define what cancel culture is all about Jim. The term was kind of morphed. Cancel culture a few years ago meant more specifically, the attempts to erase the history of figures that were now deemed unacceptable if they owned a slave, for example, are they held the wrong position on different issues we would cancel their memory or or tear down the statue, or remove them from the history books. Now the concept is broad and so really you, you can lump cancel culture. The woke movement social justice movement, all of them are part of what I call the crusade basically cancel culture that is part of the crusade to revise our understanding of some basic concepts that that have always bound us together. The definition of family the definition of marriage, the definition of social justice of the definition of patriotism definition of faith and religious freedom.
These will open basic Caterpillar concepts that we've always held onto cancel culture has basically moved in over the past decade, especially in said we want to revise this and we will revise this and if you will not go along with the revision, then you are one of the infidels. Every crusade has infidels brightening the crusade to good guys and the bad guys you got it were the bad guys and I don't care how nice we are.
I don't care how reasonable we are, how loving we are.
If we hold to biblically-based values we hold to a biblically-based worldview cancel culture as a movement will not accept us as anything but infidels not on want to make everybody involved in it out to be some lethal enemy because every movement is made up of individuals just like you know you got the Pharisees. They were obviously hostile to Jesus.
But you know then you got a Nicodemus, you get reasonable people and you have reasonable people in any movement sure, but the movement itself basically views anyone holding to traditional viewpoints as needing to be converted, and if they will not be converted. They need to be site site that's that's my blog. I don't know that's really good and cancel culture to me.
When you look at it always tilts to the progressive left I'm it's not a cancel culture toward the right in any way to those traditional positions. I think one of the difficulties we have Joe be more conservative is it's even hard to have a dialogue with these people because there's no definition of anything, you know what you talk about a moment ago those traditional values of family, nuclear family, and it always drives me nuts when they say nuclear family is a Western European construct are going with Jesus talked about and he said a man shall leave his mother and father and clean to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. So it's kind of interesting that they lay that at the feet of Western European Enlightenment. I think that somehow makes it look more like it's a human construct. There is no divine authority attached to it.
It's just cultural and as such it needs to be revised to move ahead with the times. Yeah. And again it just always tilts the left and working it weave in and out of all these themes so I'm coming back to some of the things you talk about, but I want to get a little laser focused on the LGBT movement and if you look at that effort. You know, they gain some incredible ground in this culture, you know, one of things I I try to make contact with people in that community. And I you know.
Thankfully, I have been able to develop some friendships and you before people say wow you know how can you do that, I believe the Lord does call you to do that. The key is, don't give up your biblical position right in that relationship, but it's important to develop relationships with people who think differently. I don't. I'm not afraid of that. I think the gospel will do its work regardless. But in that construct that the thing that I found is the gains again that they've made.
I mean, they were able to make those gains in a democracy, they got to the table of power. You might say, and I think one of the biggest challenges they have is how do they change from being a more militant group into a pluralistic element within a culture that believes a lot of different things. You Christians have a place at the table. I think it's fair to say they built the table you know Judeo-Christian values in this country and in and that construct know how do we recognize what where the LGBT Q community has come from and where they're at today Jillian I was part of that right knee and I from 1978 to 1984 I was a very committed member of the gay community and for years served on the staff of the pro-gay church and very actively promoted the idea that homosexuality and the Bible were compatible in the my last few years when I was with the gay community had become much more of an activist so I been on that side of the issue now. I won't legitimize at any of what I stood for when I was a part of that.
But I will tell you this, Jim. It was a more reasonable movement at that time and I have to say all I look at it now I don't even recognize this I mean in my day, which was a long time ago. Admittedly, but in my time.
I don't know anyone who wanted to impose an ideology on churches I did. I didn't know anyone who wanted to silence the church or silence conservatives for that matter what we were fighting for the time was decent treatment, but please don't beat us up. Don't call us ridiculous names don't outlaw us, you know, let us at least be able to live in peace. Now there may have been some in the leadership at that time. Late 70s early 80s who had something a little more sinister in mind and thought will will get our foot in the door and then once were and will take over but I sure didn't see that I mean that at halftime I was a part of that. I think most of the things we were asking for were at least reasonable. I was wrong. We were wrong, and in a lot of areas but the movement did not have the same complexion today. What is become now is basically a demand for the normalization of homosexuality and transgender and normalization includes acceptance old by all. Yet, that this is not tolerance when talking about this. This is basically approval. I mean there was a time G-remember a few years ago.
Did you remember all those nice bumper stickers that said coexist and you had a different religious yellow freight had other family that so that veterans gone but you know in that regard, it's interesting to me that great old saying, you know, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
And I think whether it's in the hands of the church or in the hands of people that don't believe in God, like cancel culture LGBT leadership.
When people get power is a movement they usually wield it in very negative and even evil ways and again I put even the church know slavery is an evil, it's a scourge people did not catch up to that quickly enough and and America didn't make its correction as soon as it could have. Now I do get the founding fathers great credit for creating a document that gave a 90 year offramp to slavery. They just needed Abe Lincoln and Nino the American psyche to kinda move and so it did provide a way for everyone to be seen as equal and created in the eyes of God. Right. Let me take you back to your story because I think people need to hear that you've referred to it being part of the LGBT Q community. Let's talk about that and where were you at what was going on in your life, what, what do you think in that self-analysis kind of moved you in that direction and let's talk about both the pain and then the aspiration of coming out yet.
You might I think term accidental activism would apply real well to my life because I never intended to be actively defending principles that I've been utilizing just to serve people, but I think the trajectory of my life took me in that direction. I became a Christian at age 16 1971.
I'm 67 now and by that time I had already begun identifying myself as gay, which in 1971 that gets killed right really, but I had had a number of relationships with adult men and I had known for years that I was attracted to the same sex tonight.
Let me eliminate pull this out in that regard. Where where that sexual confusion and people can erupt on that effect on using that term. But where did that sexual confusion start for you as you had plenty of time and you're on all sides of this should date when you do your self-analysis what you think it will lead you in that direction. I know a part of it was my upbringing I felt from early on and I don't know who's the blessing who's to blame for this. I'm not point for gas. I will only say that from the time I was conscious of who I was. I was also conscious of my awkwardness I felt unwanted I felt that I was viewed as being stupid as being the way does not not of much value and that set me up for a horrible encounter when I was eight years old with an adult man in the theater in the downtown area of my city where I was raised in California.
He approached me when I was waiting to watch a movie. I was alone I was, so I spent a lot of my time alone. I was in the lobby. He chatted me up. He was very friendly and the idea that an adult man a father figure. If you will found me interesting and liked me, I wanted to hear what I had to say Jim followed him off a cliff right I just drink that in. So he asked me if I needed to use the restroom and he followed me into the men's room and then waited till everyone was gone and grant me an sexually molested me know what was a turning point about that was not just the pain. And in the bewilderment of it because I didn't even know what sex was. I sure didn't know Riley's station was but it was the line. This is something I feel strongly. Anytime you have either physical abuse of the child or sexual abuse of a child you're going to get confusion. It's it's like this evil catechism in a catechism is very didactic. This is what life is. This is what you are. This is your purpose will that's what molestation teaches a kit. This is what love is. This is what your body is for you have no boundaries. This is all your good for go along with it and then lodged deeply in that little eight-year-old boy so I know it did, and that set me up in a couple of ways. It left me with a deep conviction that I was not like other boys or else this would never happen to me while kids when their victims. They tend to blend them. So after I got it figured out. The adults will go to Mimi Hogan the weather something obviously terrible about me that this man would've felt free to do this to me and that kept me away from peer relationships.
It made me very insecure. It left me feeling that I could not relate to boys and men. The way boys and men normally relate. I was there to be sexualized and right worsen your isolation all absolutely accurate set me up for years and years of of living in a fantasy world where I would steal pornography from a liquor store and go off by myself and just view it and get lost in the imagery so I was right for sexual confusion you into going out with a girl I think in high school that was kind of the spiritual element of that, that she that was us.
Yeah, you know, think that iced I still dated girls and I was still interested in girls with this this one particular, she asked me to a dance. It was a backwards dance the girls were asked Nigel if she was a Christian. I kissed her good night that I love to see you again. She said I like to take you to church. I couldn't believe that church right but she did that Sunday we went to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.
This was at the height of the Jesus movement, Chuck Smith, Chuck Smith and places bursting at the seams.
HIPPIES that just got saved right. That's when I first heard the gospel and when I heard the gospel.
What confronted me was my own stubborn hanging on to something that I knew I was going to have to relinquish and finally got one.
That battle so that was all well and good but here's the problem. When I was born again. Jim 1971 nobody was doing what you and I are doing right. Nobody was talking openly about this stuff. From a biblical perspective. Few people were even talking about it at all but certainly not within the church and because of that I thought okay have repented this and got that cleaned my act up got that I'm in Bible studies every night in my prayer life is thriving in my mind I'm doing all the right things and I really was thriving spiritually, but I still had homosexual temptations and I got something's wrong here. I'm supposed to be a new creature everything supposed to be new.
I should be relieved of this. No true Christian could ever feel the desires I am still feeling there must be something wrong with me but I was scared to death to tell anybody. And this is something I harp on with my clients and I'm working with us for heaven sake, don't ever think you can do this alone. If you got a deeply ingrained sexual sin pornography homosexuality.
Whatever the thing is if you don't bring it out into the light. Forget about doing it in isolation. That's not going to happen. I tried to do it in isolation.
I prayed harder I fasted I did all the right things, the temptations were still there. I did not understand the fact that you know we've got an ongoing struggle between the flesh and spirit now. Around that time, the gay rights movement was starting to gain visibility and I started thinking what am I doing this. Why am I saying no to something that is so deeply ingrained. If God didn't take it away from me and you know I'm just spit in the wind and I am tired of this and I think I'm going to give myself permission to say yes to its old age 23.
I left the church. I said amount. This is who I am your identify will gain the other. And you know what it was pretty exhilarating. I mean I understand national coming out Day why so many people say oh I never felt so freaked I get I get it because you start keeping a secret and you feel like you now have something solid you can cling to.
By way of community built-in relationships even celebration your seen as heroic for making that declaration, and for a while there is a real high that goes with it, but I missed my fellowship with the church. I missed my relationship with God, but I wasn't really willing to submit my sexuality to God. That's when I heard about the gay church and that's when I visited a pro-gay church.
That's when I realized there were not only plenty of people who were gay like me. There were people who were Christians who identified as gay in this to me is an important point, Jim. Every person I met in the gay church had belonged to another church, been born again in another church and had wrestled silently and that of the church and I'm talking people who had been Southern Baptist Calvary Chapel foursquare Assembly of God, Episcopal, Catholic, you name it they had come to Christ and those other churches left those churches to embrace their sexuality. Missed their spiritual relationship with God, but they found the answer in the pro-gay church which basically said you can began Christian. We got a better understanding of the Bible. Now it does not condemn that it does not call it a sin.
And here's how you can embrace that belief into a lot of us that look like an answer to prayer. Yeah Joe, I want to tread into some deep waters here because I think it's important to have this discussion. I member I read a book called refocus and a local bookstore owner who leans liberal asked me to come and do author talk in the signing. I think I'll do it and I went down this car 5060 people there right here in Colorado Springs and there was a gay activist.
I remember at the end of my talk, which really just meant how do we stay true to the principles but love the world that is hurting the general principle of what I talked about and he put his hand up and he said you know when you Christians going to get out of the archaic sexual arena that you have lived in for thousands of years and kinda get caught up to the 21st century and yet he had that will smirk on his face and I got it and I'm standing there smiling actual and I said you know what it's very kind of you to want to make me the editor of the book but not only am I not the editor or not the author and I'm trying to contort my life to the Scripture which is what I think God calls me to do. I don't contort Scripture to my life right in my wishes and my desires. I even said you and I said and when it says when you look at a woman have lust in your heart. I'd like to erase that right is that happens it happens if men are honest about it and you know but but we don't have that luxury. That is not what God calls us to do is not us bending into our well rights are will been doing to his right and I think that the deep waters of that is the acceptance of LGBT ideology in the church right now.
More more churches are opening that up there being accommodating and it's dangerous.
It's great danger. It's great danger that might look.
There are some things we can agree to disagree on right. There are some doctrinal issues, the rapture of the church pretrip metric right through my mind a break fellowship of that. Can you drink alcoholic and unite me the these are secondary issues, but when you see sexual condition. Sin condemned, named and condemned specifically in virtually every book of the New Testament that tells me right off the bat.
If something is a sexual sin that serious, if homosexuality is listed as a sexual sin, among many others, not more than others not less than others but among many others as it is in both Testaments than that tells me homosexual behavior constitute sexual sin, sexual sin is a primary moral doctrinal issues and know there's no room to just say we agree to disagree within the church and the culture we got to go along with Paul.
He told the Corinthian church is not my job to sit there and judge those around the outside. Okay and he said if you want to quit hanging around the fornicators you have to leave the planet but within the church. You have to recognize we answer to a different authority and just like you were saying God has spoken. God has spoken in and through a document this divinely inspired so that we don't have to sit around and guess what his will is now. What I realized when I repented in 1984 was along the lines what he was the engine I wasn't reading the Bible and was reading into the Bible. I knew what I wanted it to say, and you know how if you choke the Bible hard enough you can make it say anything you wanted to say I like what people are doing the Constitution when people say it's it's a living breathing document right is always morphine or whatever that tells me.
Okay, so whatever you wanted to say you can impose that meaning onto it and I think that's what I did.
I know that's what yeah and I think again for the person just joining us your testimony, which is terrific.
I mean, it is authentic because you were in that space you were leaning into the ideology of the LGBT community and then God started working on your heart, albeit it took years to do that work. But you know that's what God does so often. I think Joe sinners feel like and by the way, were all sinners yet but when we don't know the Lord, you, you can get the impression that you have to clean your life so that it's acceptable to God. That's not the transaction and look where that got to take you right where you're at and that actually is great comfort to the person who realizes I'm inadequate and when it and in my own strength.
I want to make sure we make that point that you don't have to clean your life up to be good enough for God to take you where you're at and start the great work of renewing your heart and sometimes it can be instantaneous like alcoholics admit that stop drinking right then and others.
It takes months, maybe years to do the cleaning of the heart. That's a good point because this applies across the board just in the kind of work I do.
The change question is always the big controversy of question can homosexual people really change my take on it is similar to what you were just saying the call is the same for everyone.
The outcome is individual. So just for example the end of John's Gospel, Jesus is talking to Peter and he tells them you to be led where you don't want to go.
Peter points at John and says board about him, just as you know what that's really none of your business and you follow me, he'll follow me and the outcomes will be different now. I repented of homosexuality in 1984 I found that within even a year.
The strength of the attractions had hugely changed to the point that I met and fell very deeply in love with a woman who had been married to 35 years now.
Now I know other people who repented and after three for decades. They still are essentially attracted to the same sex. They have no attraction to the opposite sex.
There outcome was different. They and I were both called to follow Jesus, the outcome may be different now, does that mean they did something wrong I did something right.
No, no, I mean they're living godly lives in the living healthy lives. They have temptations that I don't have but I got plenty of temptations that don't so there's this whole idea of narrowing it down to determining success by the absence of temptation is not a very biblical concept were all called to take up our cross deny ourselves and follow him. Some of us may experience this.
This remarkable transformation in some area, some of us will continue to steward our area of temptation and and and then did everything in between. You know, but I guess the point is we have to recognize that all of us are called to the obedient taking up the cross, following him living the disciples life leave the outcome in God's hands. Yeah. And I think that the church's position has got to be one of simplicity and simplicity, meaning this Jim. I think we try to get too fancy and figure okay let's let's start really doing extensive research to see how we can better communicate and finesse all of the things we need to do that the graves of the early church. I thought that way the gospel would've never gotten past Samaria. I mean, I think that we need to get back to the basics of realizing the word of God is still living and powerful. If we will preach it faithfully. We preach evangelism to the unsafe, they need to be born again if somebody's transgender homosexual or whatever they are. If they have not been born again that secondary Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman.
She was in sexual sin. He wasn't so into telling her she was in sin.
He recognized it and he by no means validated.
But he said let's keep the main thing the main thing I want you to know me on what you live is anywhere it starts. That's the point I Shoot. If I had been born again. Why would I ever question my sexuality correctly when I and that's where most of these people are living and got my point yelled to them.
We preach the gospel within the church we disciple to the world. We speak prophetically. I think that what were going to have to abandon is the idea that if the world is telling us were hateful. We should believe our own bad press. Yes, let's not be jerks about it.
We you mentioned pride and I think that's that's what stripped us up from the beginning.
Let's always be humble enough to examine ourselves.
Examine the way we are presenting truth examine the way we relate to people. Let's be aware of who we are. We been forgiven much that's Joe Dallas on focus on and will have to end right there with part one of the conversation and Jim, I so appreciated Joe's testimony and his vulnerability. There's something for all of us to learn from him. Yeah John including that reminder that we been forgiven much we need to remember how much we needed a Savior. All of us no matter who we are.
We were all lost in sin. The Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So we need to realize our own weaknesses and failures and take a humble approach as we reach others for Christ and share his love, which is the good news.
Joe will have more to say next time about how we should respond in a godly way to those in the culture who have a different perspective.
In the meantime, be sure to get his book Christians in a cancel culture.
Talk about a timely recently for gift of any amount will be happy to send it along to you as our way of saying thank you for being part of the ministry joined the support team help us reach families and individuals around the world. Give us a call and donate.
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800 232-645-9800 K and the word family or donate and request a copy of Joe's book Christians in a cancel culture. Details are in the shipments on behalf of Jim Daly and the rest of the team here. Thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once more help you and your family. Thriving Christ, I'm here asking people what happens when you turn 70 and you get free ice cream for life the more senior discounts when you turn 70 1/2 for an IRA charitable rollover and you can give to Focus on the Family find out more focus planned giving.com reduce your taxable income and help families thrive for generations to come. It's a gift that appreciate and we appreciate you for giving