Why I am Outside the Gate

Here are the reasons why I feel that while I consider myself a Christian, I am outside the gate of Christianity, having dialogues with people from around the world.


I am a Christian. I believe in the grace of the forgiveness of sins found only in Jesus Christ crucified on the cross. Yet my dialogues are “outside the gate”.

1. I accept an LGBT person without trying to change them to become heterosexual, and support monogamous, same-sex marriage.

2. I believe the grace of God is not a license for doing anything we want, but is both a powerful restraint against sin and a healing solution for sin.

3. I do not believe the Bible condemns all LGBT people to hell automatically.

4. I believe an LGBT person can accept the gospel of Jesus and will remain LGBT the rest of their life if that is their orientation, because there is a difference between a heterosexual choosing to engage in same-sex activity (sin) and a truly same-sex oriented person (not sin).

5. I accept that God has a plan for “Ismael” just as He does for “Abraham”, and that I should accept both a Jewish person and a Muslim person as my brother/sister under the same God.

6. I believe that the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets means: the written code was canceled, nailed to the cross, abolished in the flesh of Jesus Christ, ended with the work of Jesus and has no power or authority to supervise our Christian lives.

7. I believe there is not a single act we can do to in this life, once we believe the gospel of Jesus, that can separate us from the love of God.

8. I believe that Jesus’ death on the cross does not spare Christians from the penalty of sin in this life, and that Christians will experience the pain and suffering of consequences of our actions in this life.

9. I believe the actions of Christians in this life will affect the quality of life in Heaven.

10. I believe there are two Judgments after death: one for entering Heaven based only on the grace of God in Jesus and another for determining our quality of life in Heaven based on our obedience here on earth.

11.  I believe anger and confusion are the two most important emotions for the Holy Spirit to teach and express His will among us.

12. I believe Christian life must be Spirit-led and Bible-rooted, and that it is obedience to the Spirit that supersedes (but does not stray from) the Bible.

13. I believe it is the obedience of Jesus that saves us from hell, death and sin, not our obedience out of faith in Jesus.

14. I believe Jesus did not intend to create a “better Judaism” or any kind of physical kingdom or nation or organization on earth, but an entirely new way of living on earth as citizens of Heaven (a “new Jerusalem” if you will).

15. I believe that it is possible to make the Bible into an idol, as well making mission, church, religion or devotion into an idol.

16. I believe the great human problem has five main aspects: sin, death, law, curse and brokenness, and that the grace of God is the solution for all five problems.

Oh, and two more reasons I am outside the gate:

1. I resigned from UBF in protest and live as a vocal critic of UBF.

2. I’ve had a “paradigm shift” away from a legalistc, authoritarianistic, empire-building worldview, and as such, I agree with many thoughts of the Outlaw Preachers, especially that Joe guy :)


3 thoughts on “Why I am Outside the Gate

  1. Brian, Thank you for sharing so much of your journey from one inside the gate and now outside. I don’t know where I am in reference to this gate, but as a fellow Christian, and one who has been in UBF and now in a very different evangelical church, I realize how important it is understand where our faith journey takes us and to be willing to reassess our beliefs. I don’t want to believe in something just because I have for so long. And now with my kids being part of that journey, I hope what they see is not a contradiction of faith and practice, but a sinner loved by God who also desires to love God and live faithfully. Though you probably don’t hear this enough, your reflections are an encouragement to those who have faced similar struggles and want to live genuinely before God. Again, thanks a lot!

    • Thanks Jen. Although my peace and happiness no longer depends on the feedback of others, your comments are much appreciated!

      You mention a key point that I’ve learned lately: our personal spiritual journey is most valuable and requires a continual reassessment of our beliefs. We simply must learn how to cling to the essentials and let go or transform the non-essentials.

      Thanks for sharing. I’m glad to hear a bit of your families’ journey as well!