Two and a half years ago we sent out the initial version of this letter. Lots has
happened since then – in our world, our country and of course even locally.
Much of what we said in that November 2021 letter has come to pass, and
much of what we noted as problematic has intensified. Here is an updated
version of that letter. It is a long letter, so you may need to set aside a good
chunk of time, or read it in smaller bites.

In 2022, we began our NextGen campaign, challenging the Integrity family
members to contribute beyond their regular giving toward specific capital
initiatives that benefit our Integrity young people, and of course, young people
who aren’t even yet a part of our church family. The issues that are covered in
this letter are most impactful on those young people – our children, teenagers
and young adults. They are the primary targets of this aggressive movement
driving ever-increasing levels of sexual and gender confusion.

An even more important part of our church ministry is our helping our young
people deal with this sexual and gender confusion. With the advances that we
see in technology (and it’s been this way for many years), it is almost impossible
for parents to keep up with all the ways that children are exposed through their
phones, computers, etc. Children and teenagers may be acting out aberrant
sexual behaviors, with their parents having no way of knowing anything about
those behaviors.

An important point of this communication is to encourage the parents of children
and teens in the Integrity family to come together and to work to combat the
influences of this sexual / gender confusion movement. The reality is that our
parents must be connected – sharing encouragement, technological information
and plain old wisdom and common sense, with the goal of equipping ourselves
to protect our Integrity young people.

Truth, Morality and the Integrity Family Member Profile

When we started Integrity church over 27 years ago, we determined that God’s
mission for our church would be to ‘develop fully devoted followers of Jesus
Christ.’ We have expanded that mission statement to read, ‘Integrity exists to
advance God’s Kingdom by developing fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ’.
We see this as the Biblical mandate from Jesus Christ, for the church age
(now), until Christ returns (Matthew 28:19-20).

Integrity’s mission can only be accomplished by our adhering to God’s Word
and the counsel and leadership of the Holy Spirit (John 14-16), engaging in the
teaching, hearing, learning and application of God’s word (making disciples).
This is God’s sole design that facilitates transformation through faith in Jesus
(Romans 10). We can accomplish Christ’s mandate (our Mission) in the
community and around the world ONLY if we stay true to God’s Word. This
requires that we resist social and cultural norms that clearly contradict God’s
Word. We’ve mentioned on numerous occasions that the rise of secular
humanism has moved God to the ‘margins’ in our society – and this move has
been going on for decades, and even for centuries. This movement has had
success in supplanting God with human government (which by nature will be
secular humanism unless there is a firm grounding in Scripture), and thus also
in ‘redefining’ what is morally, socially and legally acceptable.

In order to help the Integrity family member push back against this movement
away from traditional standards of morality toward ‘liberal’ and/or ‘progressive’
ideology, in 2020, we defined the ‘Individual Profile of an Integrity Family
Member’. This profile is intended to establish a preferred aspirational picture of
the Christ follower who has chosen Integrity as her / his home church.

The Integrity Family Member…….
a. Embraces the core values of Integrity Church.
b. Develops and nurtures healthy family relationships – parenting, marriage, and
c. Belongs to a Bible Study/Small group to develop lasting, quality relationships.
d. Serves the Integrity church family in a ministry capacity.
e. Participates regularly in mission initiative opportunities that reach beyond the
Integrity Campus.
f. Sees her/himself as a workplace missionary.
g. Positively influences his/her own residential community.
h. Pursues the discovery of his/her life vision and mission, and is intentional in
living into that vision and mission.

With this profile, we simply want to give Integrity family members a picture of
what a holistic life lived for Jesus might look like. In order for Integrity family
members to fully live out this profile, they must be aware of, and conversant in,
the moral ‘issues’ that are predominant in our world and in our society. We
want the Integrity family members to a) become advocates for the truth of God’s
Word, b) be able to apply Biblical truths to any and all issues in order to make
good decisions on how they live their lives, and c) know how they can relate to
those whose sources of morality might NOT be the Bible.

To help to make this profile more actionable, we discuss in this article how the
dual issues of gender and sexuality are viewed in our world today. We also
provide Biblical insight in an effort to clear the confusion around these issues.
Be sure to watch our 12:2 Podcast, as we try to navigate through the confusion
to land on the TRUTH of God’s Word. Our goal with 12:2 is to help you with
using logical thinking based on principles in God’s Word in order to make the
best decisions you can.

Political Issues vs. Moral Issues

A quick timeout here: Often I’ve heard people speak to their perception that we
at Integrity talk quite a bit about issues facing our contemporary society. I’m
happy to hear this, as one of Core Values from when Integrity was birthed is
RELEVANCE – we as a church must always be relevant to society. This means
we must address what is going on in our world in real-time. Of course, some
people think we SHOULD be addressing these issues, while others may feel we
OVERSTEP our boundaries on this.

Usually folks who think we may overstep cite the reasoning that we shouldn’t be
discussing politics as a church. While we never discuss specific candidates or
political parties, we do point to philosophical movements that we see in society.
For example, we see the ‘conservative movement’ as promoting and adhering
to values that are more traditional, and well-imbedded in the history of our
country. Obviously, many of these traditional values do have root in the Bible.
Of course, we are not so naïve to fail to recognize that not all Biblical values are
translated perfectly into societal norms.

As a corollary, we note that philosophies labeled as ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’
constitute movement away from those traditional values that may have more of
a Biblical rooting. These philosophies point toward more of a secular, ‘man
made’ morality in which standards are situational or even variable.                                                           In such a setting, standards of morality may change to fit the convenience                                             or trends of whatever the current society looks like, or collectively desires.

So – when we discuss ‘issues’ that are confronting our society, we don’t see
addressing them as ‘political issues’. The real fact of the matter is this: Just
about every issue we face as a society was a MORAL issue long before it
‘became’ a POLITICAL issue. As a church, we must address issues of morality,
and we must do it courageously. However, if we shy away from a moral issue
just because it is being discussed in a political realm (whatever that is) by mass
media, then we forego a key element of the mission of the church – to stand for
and promote Biblical standards of morality. If we fail to speak to these issues,
which are inherently of a moral nature, then we forfeit the game without even
playing it.

The logic (illogic) of our considering a moral issue as ‘off limits’ once it becomes
a subject of governmental regulation is severely flawed. By doing this, we are
subject to abdicating the authority of Scripture to a secular, humanistic
philosophy that may not at all respect or resemble the Biblical standards around
an issue.

To ‘bottom line’ it, Integrity Church will always address moral issues – even if
they are seen as political issues. These issues were moral issues long before
they became political issues, and so as moral issues – that is how we see them.

Attacking Creation

Before we get into specifics of how we deal with the issues of gender and
sexuality, it’s important to define the real problem. Stated very simplistically, we
believe that the problem is expressed like this…. In order to further marginalize
Jehovah God, Jesus Christ and the Bible, we are seeing opponents of
Christianity directly attack the major tenets of the Creation story itself.
While there are numerous points of attack on the Creation story in today’s
‘woke’ society, let’s focus on just a couple. First, MARRIAGE itself: Genesis
2:22 & 24 says, ‘Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he
brought her to the man…. 24  This explains why a man leaves his father and
mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ As we well
know, it was only a few years ago that in America – yes, AMERICA – that we
have legalized same sex marriage, and now in many states, marriage between
a same sex couple is viewed similarly as marriage between a woman and a

Second, the even more fundamental issue of GENDER is under attack. In the
above referenced Scripture, it is clear that God created man and woman at
different times, and they are to be seen as distinct and separate. Unique, even.
God created man (Adam) first, but noted Adam’s incompleteness, as God said
in Genesis 2:18 ‘   Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be
alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” So it is clear that God’s
creation of the woman is in response to the incompleteness of the man – Adam.
Adam needed a partner – one who would balance him, one who God would use
alongside the man to build society upon. Yet today, we are living in an age
when liberal/progressives are encouraging people to ‘explore’ their gender
identity. If your gender preference differs from biological gender, then you
should claim that gender preference. As a result, society, led in many ways by
our government, has created ways to recognize over 60 (and rising) different
genders that may be claimed by individuals.

We have seen even a rush to provide gender transitional ‘services’ to those
wishing’ to actually physically change their biological gender. This ‘transitioning’
is the focus of many in the liberal / progressive movement, with the targeting of
children and teenagers, and with movements toward legislation that keeps
parents from knowing about their children’s (most often manipulated) desire to
‘transition’. The reality is that providing ‘gender transition’ services is a very
lucrative industry, as people lay out exorbitant amounts of money for these ‘sex
change surgeries’. A compounding effect of these surgeries – and one that
adds to the monetary intake of medical providers – is that these gender
changes require medicines that must be taken in perpetuity by those who have
had these operations. There is even a good chance that hospitals associated
with some of the universities whose athletic teams you may ‘root for’ are
providing this type of ‘gender transition medical services’.

The reality is that the human race is a race of sinful people (that’s the ONLY
kind of people there are…). That all started with Adam and Eve as well, when
Satan deceived them. The first sin led to a tendency to think ‘me first’. But this
is what is happening: As man decides what he WANTS to do in that sinful
nature, absent any restraints (such as an absolute standard of truth that puts
definition around what is truly right and wrong), man will choose to do that which
he wants to do. As this tendency grows, man will naturally try to discredit any
system that might stand in opposition to that which he wants to do. That is
precisely what is happening today – a ‘character assassination’ directed at God
and His Word, the Bible – and Ground Zero happens to be the Creation account,
where so many of the fundamentals of God’s planned society are defined.

Love First

As we address the confusion around homosexuality & gender issues that have
become so pervasive in our culture, and even within the church, we have to
recognize that God’s Word encourages the church to take a proactive posture in
furthering the Biblical principles around these, and other social issues. The first
part of that posture is to adopt the ‘love the sinner / hate the sin’ position that
God has taken toward us. 1 John 4:9–10 says, ‘ 9  God showed how much he
loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have
eternal life through him. 10  This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he
loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. So, in spite of
our sins, God loves us. Not only does He love us – He loved us first! God
pursues a love relationship with you that is real and personal.

We have to remember that as we deal with the confusion of these very basic
issues of homosexuality and gender neutrality, that we must first LOVE those
who are caught up in this confusion, whether they are practicing the sin, or they
are simply advocating for the lifestyle and the practices that come with that
lifestyle. How do we love them? As Christ loves us, separating the person from
the deeds of the person. Remember – God loves that person caught up in the
homosexuality/gender neutrality confusion just as much as He loves you.

God’s Boundaries

As we deal with the confusion around gender and sexuality, we must consider
the question of the boundaries of what is right and what is wrong as it relates to
sexuality. The Bible is pretty clear on what constitutes ‘sexual sin’. That is –
MARRIAGE BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN is sexual sin. Here are just a
couple of the Scriptures that give examples….

Proverbs 5:15–17 (NLT) 15  Drink water from your own well—share your love
only with your wife. 16  Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having
sex with just anyone? 17  You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with

1 Corinthians 7:1–3 (NLT) Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter.
Yes, it is good to abstain from sexual relations. 2  But because there is so much
sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should                                  have her own husband. 3  The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and
the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.

So the answer to the question of ‘what is sexual sin?’ is not arbitrary. It is
actually pretty well-defined. While the Bible does give plenty of examples of
behaviors that constitute sexual sin, the Bible more prominently gives the
boundaries of what is acceptable. Therefore, we can know that anything that
falls outside that boundary is off limits to us (after all, an itemized listing of
specific sexual sins would be far too lengthy to list…). At the close of this
paper, there are numerous references to Scriptures that speak directly to the
issue of sexual sin, with homosexuality being primary in that listing of passages.
Unfortunately, however, there are many well-known churches moving to affirm
activities and lifestyles that fall outside these Biblical boundaries presented by
God Himself.

Gender Identity Confusion: Where Does it Fall??

As the Scriptures at the close of this letter will clearly indicate, the issue of
homosexuality is addressed specifically in the Bible. But some may ask, ‘What
about the gender identity issues we face today? Where does the Bible address
the tendency of one to claim their own gender, independent of biology?’
Another question might be ‘Where does the Bible address one attempting to
change their biological gender through surgical procedures?’ We believe that
there is a clear twofold answer to this question. First, the creation story itself,
with God making Adam and Eve as man and woman specifically, sets the
boundary for gender. In other words, as we cited passages above that set the
boundaries for sexual activity, we believe that Genesis 2:22-24 (cited above)
sets the boundary for ‘gender identification’. The boundary is simply BIOLOGY.
Therefore anything outside this boundary goes against God’s plan for humanity.
By the way, this is such an important passage in defining God’s ‘gender plan’
that Jesus quoted it in Matthew 19, and Paul quoted it in Ephesians 6.

The second point of this matter is that to claim a gender other than the one God
created as a part of your being is, in itself, an act of homosexuality. Let me
explain – an individual ‘assumes’ a gender different from their natural biological
gender. Under such circumstances, we would presume that the person
assuming the different gender would be attracted to persons of their own
original biological gender. For example, would a biological male assuming the                                       gender of a woman likely be attracted to a male? That seems to be the natural
order of logic. As a result, the passages that apply to homosexuality apply equally                                 to the act of claiming a gender different from one’s biological gender.

The Authority of God’s Word

Having established the position that Integrity Church takes on the issues of
sexuality, it is important to go for a deeper dive into the Biblical truths around
sexuality. It is important that we cite God’s truth on the specific issue(s), while
also pointing out the comprehensive authority of Scripture that we hold so dear.
A relevant point here is that we must be careful never to omit part of God’s
Word in order to accommodate a cultural norm that contradicts the principles of
God’s Word. Second, we must not twist God’s Word as a means to an end
that God might somehow conform to our standard or preference of living. The
reality is that no matter how good a case we make to change God’s mind on
something, He will not change His truth to accommodate our thoughts and
desires. (Deuteronomy 12:32).

A disappointing reality is that there are many churches and denominations
giving into false interpretations and teachings regarding the issues of sexuality.
Proponents within the church who have advocated in this manner have done so
under the false guises of acceptance, tolerance, and an unbiblical (false)
understanding of God’s love. They desire to make these particular sins “ok”
and “acceptable” and mistakenly (whether purposefully or through deception)
have equated Christian love with affirmation of a person living a lifestyle
opposed to the truth. This arises when churches and denominations fail to
address homosexuality and alternate gender identification as serious sins. The
fact is that love can never be separated from the truth (1 Corinthians 13). When
it is, that is known as false teaching and/or false doctrine. The Bible is clear that
as we draw near to the Lord’s return that the love of many will grow cold and
that Satan will deceive even many who claim to follow Jesus (Matthew
24:12,24). In addition, it is clear that many will follow ‘teachers’ of the Scriptures
who will tell them what they want to hear in ways that “tickle their ears” (2
Timothy 4:3). At Integrity Church we want to stay faithful to the truth of God’s
Word and not allow it to be trampled or traded for lies that our culture has
established to make abnormal things to seem normal. We also are called to
love, restore and correct individuals who have been overcome by sexual sin (Galatians 6:1).           God’s Word is very clear in terms of how He thinks and feels
about sexual sin, and how we should deal with it as a body of believers.

All Scripture is inspired (God-breathed), infallible and inerrant. (2 Timothy 3:16,
2 Peter 1:20-21). God’s Word is morally objective truth, without error in its
original manuscripts. At the same time it is actively powerful to transform the
hearts and minds of people (Hebrews 4:12). It is the means of God’s grace for
salvation, sanctification and a continuing love relationship with God.

The Application of Scripture

The Scriptures are clear (see list below) that homosexuality and alternate
gender identification are seen as sin in God’s eyes, and as such must be dealt
with according to the Scriptures. These things should not be given a pass and
be made “ok” or “an acceptable practice” within the church any more so than the
sin of murder, gossip, slander, drug abuse, alcoholism, etc. We understand that
people can struggle with a particular sin, but there is a clear distinction between
struggling with a particular sin and a continual willful everyday practice of that
sin. Any sin not addressed according to God’s standard (His Word) can lead to
the destruction of the individual by hindering them from being receptive to God’s
gift of salvation (Proverbs 14:12; See also 1 John). For example, if a child were
running toward the edge of a cliff, any responsible parent would warn them and
attempt to stop them from their ultimate demise. Why? Because the parent
loves the child and has their best interest at heart. The parent warning them of
the danger and attempting to correct their behavior and trajectory isn’t being
unaccepting, intolerant or unloving. They are simply a loving parent who wants
to intervene in order to save and protect the child. Therefore, to be unloving in
that example would be to stand by and do nothing as the child perishes.
Likewise, in the Integrity family we do not want to stand by and say or do
nothing. In this example, the loving and restorative approach would be to show
love in a correctional and disciplinary fashion in hopes that the child’s life is
saved. We know that God thinks this way as well and does not wish for any to
die, but rather for all to come to repentance. He is also patient, slow to anger
and abounding in loving kindness (2 Peter 3:9).

Therefore, the goal of our instruction on this subject here at Integrity is love from
a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith that seeks to correct false
teaching and restore any individual tangled up in this particular sin. Biblical
instruction should also lead to the education of Christ followers, helping them to                          become established in the Scriptures and equipped to aid in the restoration of
anyone caught up in sexual sin. The goal is always to restore and turn people
toward God, from the error of their way, always in love with gentleness and
respect (James 5:19-20; 1 Peter 3:15).

The Spiritual Battle Beyond the Physical Realm

To be successful in the battle to restore individuals caught in sexual sin we must
also prepare by learning to think spiritually and by learning to appropriate the
weapons of spiritual warfare that God has given us. We can be guilty of
attempting to deal with a spiritual problem in a worldly way because of never
having learned to pause and consider whether a particular issue is of a spiritual
nature. The reality is that all issues are at least in part spiritual issues because
of the age old battle of God advancing His Kingdom, while Satan tries to stall
God’s Kingdom. Satan is the ultimate deceiver (father of lies) and he has been
at work since the very beginning – twisting and omitting God’s Words (John
8:44; Genesis 3:1-6; Matthew 4:1-11) We must think spiritually about issues
such as these. We must also learn to appropriate the promises of God’s grace
– a grace that is directed for purposes of ‘tearing down such spiritual
strongholds of deceit’. The Bible describes these means of grace as “weapons”
that are not like the world’s weapons, but are rather described as “divinely
powerful” for destroying Satan’s false narrative (2 Corinthians 10:4). God’s
Word is described as the “Sword of the Spirit” and is our primary weapon of
offense that we must master in order to expose and destroy Satan’s deception
and confusion in the lives of so many young people today (see Ephesians 6:10-

We must also learn to pray. Prayer is a spiritual practice that includes many
facets such as confession, petition, meditation, intercession, thanksgiving and
praise. The word of God encourages us to pray without ceasing, on all
occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests (1 Thessalonians 5:17;
Ephesians 6:18). Practically speaking, learning to pray God’s Word will play the
most vital role in restoring anyone currently caught up in sin.
True victory can be obtained in this area, but it is certain that our thinking must
align with God’s Word, and our living must align with that aligned thinking. We
must be resolute, in both our thinking and living, to follow God’s Word and His
instruction. We cannot vacillate between worldly thinking and Christian living,
as these two directions are incompatible. That will only lead those struggling
with these sins to a lifestyle of defeat. (1 John 2:15,17). Further, we can no                                   longer look to man and the world for solutions that only God Himself can provide
(and has already provided). We must actively choose victorious Christian
thinking and living rather than settling for less than God’s best (John 10:30)!
We can do that by standing together on God’s Word as it is the recipe for the
full, abundant life for all who are willing to take hold of it. May you be
challenged as Elijah the prophet challenged the nation of Israel at Mt. Carmel in
1 Kings 18:21, “How long will you go on wavering between two opinions? If the
Lord is God and His word is true then follow Him”.

What Do We Do Next?

In the Integrity church family, we must commit to come together on this. We
must be unified so that we can provide proper support for each other. This
particularly holds true for our parents of our young people. We must pray for
these young parents and their children, and we must provide encouragement for
them as they battle a stiff opponent – the deception that originates with Satan

In the coming months, we will begin to create some forums for sharing of ideas
and encouragement in fighting this battle. 2 Corinthians 13:11 says, ‘Dear
brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to
maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of
love and peace will be with you.

Passages on God’s thoughts & intention regarding human sexuality:
Genesis 1:27-28 – So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of
God he created them; male and female he created them. 28  God blessed them
and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue
it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living
creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 9:1  Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful
and increase in number and fill the earth.

Genesis 19:5,24  They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you
tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
24  Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from
the LORD out of the heavens.

Leviticus 18:22 22  You shall not sleep with a male as  [a] one sleeps with a
female; it is an abomination.

Psalm 12:8 The wicked wander [a]  everywhere,
and what is worthless is exalted by the human race.

Romans 1:24-32 24  Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to
impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,  25  because they
exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature
rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26  For this reason God
gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural
relations for those that are contrary to nature;  27  and the men likewise gave up
natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one
another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves
the due penalty for their error. 28  And since they did not see fit to acknowledge
God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be
done.  29  They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness,
malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are
gossips,  30  slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of
evil, disobedient to parents,  31  foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32  Though
they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve
to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 9  Or do you not know that the unrighteous [a]  will not inherit
the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor
idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, [b]   10  nor thieves,
nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the
kingdom of God.  11  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 Timothy 1:8-11 – 8  But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it
lawfully,  9  realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person but for
those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the
unholy and worldly, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for
murderers,  10  for the  [a] sexually immoral, homosexuals,  [b] slave
traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound
teaching,  11  according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I
have been entrusted.
*notice homosexuality is listed next to slavery.

Jude 1:5-8 5  Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the
Lord [a]  at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those
who did not believe.  6  And the angels who did not keep their positions of
authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness,
bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.  7  In a similar way,
Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual
immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the
punishment of eternal fire. 8  In the very same way, on the strength of their
dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap
abuse on celestial beings.