Pastor Shane Idleman Demonstrates How Evangelicals Pick and Choose What to Believe

shane and morgan idleman

Shane and Morgan Idleman

Warning! This post contains snark and cursing. You have been warned. Now ignore this warning and enjoy!

This post could also be titled, Why Pastor Shane Idleman Hates LBGTQ People but Loves Shrimp and Pork Chops.

Evangelicals are fond of saying that they are Bible-believers; that they believe every word of the Protestant Bible is true, straight from the mouth of God. Shane Idleman, pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Leona Valley, California, is one such Evangelical. According to Idleman, the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. As a sold-out, on-fire, sanctified follower of Jesus, Idleman purports to believe and practice all the teachings of the Bible. However, much like ALL Evangelicals, Idleman is a hypocrite, choosing instead to select some verses to believe, while ignoring others. Evangelicals are what I call Buffet Christians®. Buffets offer all sort of food, giving diners an opportunity to eat foods they like and skip those they don’t like. So it is with Idleman and Company. There are hundreds and hundreds of commands, teachings, laws, and precepts in the Bible. I actually set out one time to write down all the commands found in the Bible. I developed paralysis in my left hand from writing, so much so that I had to stop. This exercise taught me that the commands of God can wear a person out, especially if you take each of them literally and diligently attempt to live your life according to what they say.

Recently, Idleman wrote a post for Charisma News titled 10 Things You Need to Know About the LGBT Agenda. Idleman, as most Evangelical pastors are wont, has an obsession with human sexuality — especially unmarried/LGBTQ people. Idleman has frequent compulsive urges to write and preach about sex, so much so that it makes me wonder about what is hiding in the deepest, darkest corners of his closet. Idleman has convinced himself, along with his disciples, that preaching at/against LGBTQ people is an act of LOVE. That’s right, LOVE! Much like child molesters who convince their victims that being sexually violated is an act of love, Idleman has convinced himself that verbally attacking gays is his way of showing them how much he loves them. Imagine for a moment a husband who beats his wife every day, and when he is finished with his physical assault he smiles and says, Honey, I love you. Absurd, right? So it is when Idleman harangues LGBTQ people. When called out on his hateful speech, Idleman is puzzled. Referencing a recent speaking engagement at a local community college that was protested by gay activists, Idleman wrote “My wife and I were perplexed—when did a message of love become a message of hate? We love the LGBT community….”

In Idleman’s aforementioned post, he lists ten things everyone should know about the LGBTQ agenda. None of his ten things, by the way, mentions civil rights and equal protection under the law, except to deny that such arguments are valid. Idleman’s “loving” solution for same-sex attraction is, in this order: Jesus, non-sexual singleness, or heterosexual marriage. Why? Because the B-I-B-L-E — yes, that’s the book for me — says so. Idleman writes:

3. The Creator made His plan obvious. Jesus said that since the beginning of creation, God created them male and female in order that they would be joined together and become one flesh—to be fruitful and to multiply. He adds, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:9). Males and females were created purposely and are complementary by design.

….

5. There is no scriptural support for homosexuality. Some argue, “The Bible is not an ethical textbook—culture changes and so does truth.” Not so. Not one moral law that God gave is obsolete, from adultery to fornication to homosexuality. Things that were harmful then are harmful now. They are never painted in a positive light. They caused deep pain then as they do now. Some have even suggested that Naomi and Ruth and Jonathan and David had same-sex relationships. This gives the phrase “grasping for the wind” new meaning. This is exegesis in its purest form—reading things into the text that are not there.

Some parents change their view when they find their son or daughter in an LGBT lifestyle; confused, they “accept” the lifestyle, but feelings are not a gauge for truth. Instead, offer hope and remind them that we all struggle with something. If a child sins in the area of anger, infidelity or addiction, we don’t change the Scriptures to fit their behavior; we offer hope in the midst of the struggle. Why should homosexuality or transgenderism be any different? No matter how many laws are passed in favor of gay marriage, it will not change God’s mind. Times change; truth does not.

6. The Bible is crystal-clear on the issue of sexual sin. As a famous teacher once said of the Bible, “If the plain sense makes good sense seek no other sense lest it result in nonsense.” I cringe every time I hear misguided statements in an attempt to support homosexuality, such as misinterpreting “abandoning natural relations” in Romans 1:26-28. Or that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was only neglecting the poor. Or that Corinthians is outdated and Leviticus is talking about rape. Indeed, neglecting the poor is/was a sin, but it was not the only sin. In addition to rampant homosexuality, they were drunkards, gluttons, covetous, profane and wicked. The context of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction was much more than neglecting the poor: “they were haughty and committed abominations.” (See Ezekiel 16 and Jude 1:5-8.) Additionally, early church fathers, as well as creeds and confessions and Reformers, all echoed the same truth.

Idleman appeals to the Bible (and history) as his final authority. God has spoken, now shut the hell up and get back to having Evangelical-approved, missionary-position, married heterosexual intercourse that hopefully brings a lot of new potential Christians into the world.  According to Idleman’s bio:

Today, as we continually drift away in a current of moral decline and relativism, many believe that the battle is too advanced and that we cannot make a difference. Shane, however, believes that we can, and offers his books as contributions to that commitment. He stresses: “If we encourage truth, yet fail to relate to our culture, the church can seem formal and dead. This fact fuels the postmodern movement. But when truth is sacrificed for the sake of relating to the culture, as we see today, the very foundation is destroyed. Truth, the foundational beliefs clearly outlined in Scripture, must remain unmoved and unchanged. Times change, but truth does not!” (emphasis mine)

The “foundational beliefs clearly outlined in Scripture, must remain unmoved and unchanged. Times change, but truth does not!” Sounds like Idleman is a committed, true-blue, one hundred percent Jesus-all-the-time Bible believer. Yet, right after saying the unalterable, eternal, unchanging Bible condemns adultery/fornication/homosexuality, Idleman writes:

7. God can advise against eating shellfish as well as homosexuality. Although the dietary laws of the Old Testament do not apply today, they are still beneficial. For example, we now know why things like pork and shellfish were forbidden—they are unhealthy. God’s wisdom is sound and purposeful in guiding relationships as well.

Idleman says the dietary laws found in the Bible DO NOT APPLY TODAY!  Shades of outrage, man! Is Idleman saying that some parts of the Bible are no longer applicable (binding, in force)? I thought the big man upstairs said, I am the Lord Thy God and I change not. I thought the Bible said of Jesus — who is also the big man upstairs (figure that one out) — that he was the SAME yesterday, today, and forever. I thought Jesus said in Matthew 5:17,18:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Have the heavens and earth passed away? Has Jesus returned to earth and made a new heaven and earth? No! So this means that God’s law — all of it — is still valid and in force. This means that Pastor Shane Idleman, along with all of his Evangelical colleagues, are double-minded hypocrites. And we all know what the Bible says about double-mindedness: A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8)

Shane Idleman despises LGBTQ people, despite saying otherwise. His behavior tells the truth about the man. Idleman is preoccupied with who does it with whom, when, where, why, and how. This makes me wonder if Idleman is afflicted with a malady commonly found among the species Evangelicus preacherus homoerectcus — sex addiction. Evangelical men, taught that women are Jezebel’s out to fuck them, are known for being unable to withstand even the slightest bit of exposure to female flesh. Let a woman’s cleavage, legs, or erect nipples show, and Evangelical men are reduced to dogs running wild, sniffing for bitches in heat. These poor weak and helpless men, already aroused by worldly slutty women, can’t even surf the world-wide web without being accosted by scantily (boner-producing) clad women.

Instead of owning their sexuality and acting like normal, healthy humans, Evangelical men such as the good pastor, condemn, attack, and rail against those who “cause” them to lust. Perhaps Idleman should practice — in totality — the teachings of Jesus; you know the verified words of the son of God found in red in the Bible. Jesus told his lustful followers how to cure their horniness:

Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. (Matthew 18:8,9)

Have a problem with lust? Pluck out your eye. Still have a problem with lust? Pluck out your other eye. Have a problem with masturbation? Cut off your hand. Have a problem typing youporn.com (I did not make this a link lest any of the Idlemans of the world reading this post be tempted to click, look, and masturbate) into your internet browser? Cut off your other hand. Why not take Jesus’ words to their logical conclusion? Have a problem with anything related to sex? Cut off your penis. Still have lustful thoughts? Get a lobotomy. How far are you willing to go to show your loving devotion and commitment to Jesus?

Idleman hates the very idea of LGBTQ people having sex because the very idea of man-on-man sex disgusts him. Many gay haters loathe the very thought of two men doing it (though far fewer of them have the same loathing for woman-on-woman sex). Other gay haters preach against homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and the LGBTQ agenda, because, — deep down in their heart-of-hearts where the Holy Spirit supposedly lives — they have gay inclinations — à la Ted Haggard. Instead of admitting and acting upon their same-sex/bisexual attractions, Evangelical men of God holler and scream, hoping to use their sermons and blog posts as distractions from the real issue — their unBiblical sexuality

I have no idea what Shane Idleman is or isn’t sexually. I do know, however, that he is a buffet Christian, choosing what Bible verses to believe and not believe. Another word for this behavior is hypocrite. If Idleman can pick and choose which verses to believe, why can’t the rest of us?

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9 Comments

  1. Trenton

    Aren’t all christians buffet christians by default? I feel like the more progressive end of the spectrum is at least more honest about it. Then again the Bible can be used to justify almost anything except usury on which our whole economy is based.

    Reply
  2. Rachel

    I think you nail the central issue here, Bruce, why such men as Pastor Idleman are so vocal and angry about LGBT issues: the increased visibilty of gay people is a huge challenge to anyone who wants to stay in the closet.

    The amount of rage that Idleman and Steven Anderson and all those other homophobic men display can’t be explained otherwise. The eating of shellfish, etc is of no concern to them because it doesn’t speak to their own emotional experiences.

    Reply
  3. oldbroad1

    Still waiting on Kevin Swanson to come out…….this guy’s radio sermons are nuts. He is fixated on homosexuality. He scares me because he is at least articulate and thus appeals to those who think he is an authority especially in the Christian home schooling movement.

    Reply
  4. Connie

    Good insights as to the workings of men like Idleman. In learning to control my own emotions I found extreme reactions to a topic (looking at you Swanson and Anderson) meant there was real work I needed to do to accept some fact I did not want to accept.

    Another reason for the continued focus on The Gayz is the Evangelical need to demonize an Other in order to feel better about themselves. It’s the difference between the It’s Pie All the Way Down vs Life is a Candle school of thought.

    Pie folk believe life is contained within the pie tin. Sharing means less for everyone already eating the pie.

    Candle folk understand lighting another’s candle does not take away their own flame. Sharing the flame means more light. That’s it.

    Perhaps that’s why it’s called ‘enlightenment’.

    Ok – bad dad joke. I’ll stop.

    Reply
  5. Elaine

    Another great example of this Christian inconsistency:
    Mention evolution, and an evangelical will indignantly proclaim that WE ARE MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE AND ARE JUST A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS (so sayeth the bobble). Evolution makes us out to be “nothing but animals!”
    But almost in the same breath, they’ll give you the same tired old spiel about the poor men, who are helpless under the spell of sexy women (which to hear them tell it, is sort of a redundancy), and can’t be expected to control their–what was that word? Hmmm?–their ANIMAL urges, and so rape is always the woman’s /teenager’s / preschoolers fault.
    So the god in whose image you’re fearfully and wonderfully made is just a porny old horndog. Now it makes sense. I’d sooner go with “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.”

    Reply
  6. John Arthur

    Hi Bruce,

    Evangelicals believe that the bible is the inspired Word of God. It’s the words of the HOLY Ghost. Well this holy ghost inspired the murder of little children and babies, the rape of virgin women captured in battle, child sacrifice when he commanded Abraham to barbeque his son, compel women raped in the open field to marry their rapist, allow Israelites to make slaves of foreigners; to execute adulterers, homosexuals, incorrigible children, Sabbath breakers, so-called witches, and other offences. Execute them by the barbaric method of stoning them to death. No wonder some Evangelicals want to avoid these passages.

    They believe in a book written by bronze and iron age savages. Some holy ghost to inspire such a book. It’s preposterous. The holy ghost inspired a book for savages.. Christians should actually read this book, It might turn them into atheists. How can any person with a moral conscience hold that it is god inspired?

    Shalom,

    John Arthur

    Reply
  7. Yvette

    Your comment about Pastor Shane Idleman when he mentions that “although the dietary laws of the Old Testament do not apply today, they are still beneficial,” demonstrates two things; your genuine lack of understanding the Old Testament law vs. New Testament grace and your true hearts desire which is to criticize and condemn Christianity. Are you really going to use this one phrase, taken out of context to condemn Ildeman and all other Evangelicals? Isn’t that a bit narrow minded and hateful? And you’re going to base all the accusations made against him relevant to LGBT on a comment made about dietary restrictions and how some changed after Christ came? Not only did dietary restrictions change a bit but at the same time God, the Father, made a way for you and me to be set free from our sinful ways by allowing His Son, Jesus Christ to take the wrath on the cross that we both deserved. There is no saving grace in either eating or not eating certain foods. We are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ only; see Ephesians 2:8-10. Sir, be careful how you present yourself. Yes, you will have followers that support and agree with your chatter but all that matters in the end is what God has to say about you when you face Him on judgement day. There is time for you to wake up and see the truth. Perhaps not through the way Idleman preaches it, fine, but please read the Word of God before you condemn anyone else, and read it to recognize you’re own sin and hate. All answers about hope and your eternal future are there. Choose life, instead of death.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I’m an atheist. I once was a Christian, a pastor too. You can rest assured that I have throughly read and studied the Bible. One thing I learned is that the Bible can be used to “prove” almost anything. Look at how many Christian sects there are, each with their own truth. Christians can’t even agree on the basics: salvation, baptism, communion. Yet, you posit that you know exactly what the Bible teaches. In other words, your peculiar interpretations are infallible, and if I would only read and study the Bible more —- and maybe hold my mouth just right —- that I would have right beliefs —- also known as your beliefs.

      Reply
    2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      You also seemed to miss my acerbic sarcasm.

      Reply

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