Audio Ur: Dan Kimball on Gay Marriage
What will California's controversial ruling mean for your church?

Last month the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Some are predicting that the California ruling will open the door to gay marriage throughout the country. How should church leaders respond? Skye Jethani, managing editor of Leadership, recently spoke with Dan Kimball, pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, about how his congregation is handling the controversial decision.

To download this episode of Audio Ur, click here.

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July 09, 2008

Displaying 1–10 of 40 comments

MIchael Robb

June 18, 2009  9:25pm

While being born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA, I had been involved with Santa Cruz Bible church (formally Santa Cruz Christian Church) since 1988 when I started High School. 16 years after leaving Santa Cruz I have gained clear hindsight and fresh perspective on my experiences at Santa Cruz Bible Church while under the leadership of Dan Kimball. Dan was handed the high school youth pastor position in 1989 after the church had been searching for a youth minister for a little over 2 years. After much agonizing and toil over the high school ministry lacking full time leadership, I noticed the leadership of the church getting emotionally drained over the search for the right candidate. I watched as (at least 2) potential candidates were put through a lengthy vetting process, which included multiple interviews with the church leadership, along with being critiqued by the same leadership on their speaking abilities in front of the youth group and (ultimately) the church congregation. A candidate was put through this lengthy process before they were even considered for the position. Then one day I remember a shy, timid man by the name of Dan Kimball walk through the front door of Santa Cruz Bible church. My first impression of Dan with his short blonde flattop spiked hair was that he resembled something out of the American Graffiti Movie. Dan walked into the Youth Pastor position just as easily as he walked into the doors of the church without missing a step. First ironic thing was, that he didn’t speak in front of the church until after he started the job. My first thought was, if there was a consistent vetting process for the applicants before him, then how could this shy drum player from New York with very little gifting for leadership and speaking to youth, get the job? My only logical conclusion that I came to was, that the church leadership became so weary from the search that they turned to whomever they could find and/or that they knew Dan Kimball personally. Some time later I found out that both of my assertions were correct this allowed him to slip in under the radar. If anyone reading this has ever known Dan (personally) you would know of his trend to favor the easy way out of things. His personality is one of a sanguine nature, which shows itself in the form of passive leadership, avoiding interpersonal conflict (at any and all costs) while being shy with regards to conversing with people and investing in genuine personal relationships. Dan’s ability to compartmentalize when it comes to relationships with others has no limits. There is a long line of genuine believers who looked to him for leadership and discipleship. But these same believers became collateral (spiritual) damage, which occurred as a result of Mr. Kimball’s lack of discipleship skills and commitment to the people that were put under his charge. He used them as a stepping-stone and a means to an end, which is not what Christ, calls us to do. At a foundational level I consider Dan Kimball a brother in Christ. When Dan and I first met it wasn’t so, but overall my personal relationship and experiences with Dan Kimball were of a less than cordial nature while I was a part of the High School Group at Santa Cruz Bible Church. We disagree on some very fundamental things. One major thing that we differ on is that Dan believes that the church leadership (elders in this case) possess ultimate authority over a believer’s spiritual call on his/her life. For example, even though Jesus himself didn’t attend any higher education and the great commission didn’t include a requirement for student loan payments, I witnessed Dan and the leadership tell a wonderful Christian high school girl that she needed to get a college degree before she could even think about becoming a missionary. Dan’s self-righteous attitude was learned and passed down to him from his mentors in the church leadership of Santa Cruz Bible. This same leadership groomed him for a

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J M D.

July 24, 2008  9:20am

Here in this account is God Almighty's plain view of the way human feelings are, with His attempt to warn Cain about anger, which stems from & leads to, more self indulgent nature... living his way NOT God's way ! Gen. 4:6 reads "The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen ? If you do well, will you not be accepted ? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but YOU must master IT." Sin is so deceitful, like the father of all lies !

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July 20, 2008  12:40am

Richard Dennis Miller, what a refreshing post you made with the Scriptures. Everyone of us is flawed, sinful, from birth. It is the Truth that sets us free from the chains of sin. The idea that we are better judges of right and wrong than Jesus is deception. How can anyone who truly loves Jesus say homosexuality is ok? No one can know the Way without Jesus. By the scriptures, neither a homosexual nor heterosexual who practices sin can truly say Jesus is their Lord. I've never been tempted by same sex attraction but certainly have experienced temptation for the opposite sex. I do not act upon it outside of marriage because my love for Jesus and desire to please Him above all others is greater. I am tempted to lie, but do not for the same reason. His Holy Spirit reminds me, when temptations come, that God is bigger than all my temptations and His presence is much more precious than all the pleasure this world could afford. Only God is perfect, and only He can make us perfect in His sight through Grace. With God, all things are possible. He said, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." People who practice homosexuality are living in bondage. They are to be loved with a Godly love which will help them to see the Truth that will set them free. Luke 9:23 -26. 1 John 1:7. Romans 12:1-3. Thank you to all for the opportunity to enter this discussion. rick

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July 18, 2008  5:56pm

I lived the "lifestyle" for 22 years. I did so by choice. I never believed that it was genetic and may I remind everyone that close and a proven gene are two different animals. I have many friends who are gay; knowing their stories I can say that everyone I know is gay due to their environment, usually but not always their childhood. Most generally the relationship with the same sex parent is the culprit. Christians need to rememeber that it doesn't matter whether homosexuality is considered a sin or not. God has defined marriage and any act of sex outside of God's boundary is sin. If I am sleeping with someone outside of marriage it doesn't matter what gender's are involved - it's still sin. At the same time, gossip, slander, murder, assault is all sin and equally sinful. We all fall short of the glory of God. But we serve a God who heals the broken. 7 years ago, I was healed of my early childhood issues. Homosexuality was only the symptom - not the root issue. When I embraced my brokeness and dependency upon the Trinity my life radically changed. I have not arrived nor am I fully healed. I have many character flaws to overcome - like pride and not loving people well. This life is a journey where those with a little healing reach out to share with others. Our churches need to love those that consider themselves homosexuals just as we love those who gossip, cheat and steal or everyone else in the pews. We are called by Jesus to love - we are not loving the sin but the sinner. I've lived this life, and I've been hurt by Christians. I have received incredible healing and my life with Jesus is so sweet and precious. He is the Great Physician and He has been sent to release the oppressed and free those in bondage. It's real. Blessings to all!

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Keith Griffin

July 17, 2008  12:48pm

It is undeniable reality that sexual unions (i.e. male-female)are distinctly different from asexual unions (male-male or female-female). For courts to require the people of a state to deny reality and say that both are the same "marriage" smacks of brain-washing double-think. But apart from that, at least in California, there is a more sinister aspect: the principalities & powers are working to silence Christians and capture the minds of their children. The Supreme Court recently ruled that parents do not have the right to determine the content of what their public schools teach their kids regarding sex. Once gay 'marriage' is enforced as the norm in the school books, Christian kids will be silenced or marginalized if they dare question the State-enforced view of reality. Christian media will be next, as it is in Canada, and then the churches will be cowed into supporting the homo-a-sexual lifestyle in hiring, etc. all in the name of "civil arights". As Jefferson said, the natural tendency is for liberty to decrease and government to increase: Christians, Look Out!

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mike rucker

July 17, 2008  9:21am

todd, you missed my point. but to yours, i'd say dawkins is just as guilty in his caricature of Christianity as haggard was in his knowledge of evolution. and as josh was in discarding the biological basis of homosexuality. josh wasn't defending or criticizing dawkins. neither was i. the example was that haggard, like josh, was speaking - no, making dogmatic statements - outside of his field of knowledge. something, of course, that you and i would never do... :) mike r.

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Richard Dennis Miller

July 17, 2008  12:05am

18. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.'' 20. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21. For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. ....................................... 25. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

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July 16, 2008  7:57pm

I support gay marriage completely. It's not a religious issue. it's a civil one. Grown adults have the right to decide how they should live. I am not gay and I won't be with a man but the idea that heterosexual marriage is sinless is a joke. It's just as sinful as gay marriage. The only real difference is that we like to demonize one group over the other. Let's look at some of the more sinful and blessed heterosexual unions in scripture. Abraham married his half sister Sara, and four other wives, and concubines. David committed adultery, killed a man and stole his wife. I can keep going here. But the idea that heterosexual marriage as portrayed in the bible is some holy standard doesn't hold up to actual scrutiny. We are all sinful and when we enter into marriage that sin doesn't go away. I also think that it is odd how some pick and choose which parts of the bible are applicable to now. The bible says kill your children if they are disrespectful and other ancient things. But none of us would do that. Paul says greet your brothers with a kiss, but if we did that in today's culture it would not work especially since those kisses tended to be open mouth. My point is that one has to use common sense when reading the bible and not be dogmatic. I am not an evangelical (there are three other orthodox traditions that are older and more mature.) But I think we can all agree that discrimination is wrong. Gay couples deserve the same rights. They are Americans. But they don't have to be married in my church and I don't know a single gay couple that would even want to marry in a conservative church. c

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Todd Burus

July 16, 2008  6:13pm

i've sat and listened to people who barely graduated high school go on and on about how evolution is a fraud, arguing that certain dating methods are bogus, that creation science is hard fact, etc. i watched ted haggard tell richard dawkins that he (dawkins) 'must not know much about evolution.' (and whether or not you believe evolution happens, there are certainly few people who know as much about it as dawkins.) Mike, Yes, but in defense of Josh, Richard Dawkins speaks an awful lot about theology and why Christianity and Judaism are obviously incorrect, when if anyone with a modicum of religious training listens to him he sounds like a fool more often than not. Point being, we all take some information on the credibility of other people simply because none of us can be an expert in everything we talk about. The key is doing good research into the credibility of our source before regurgitating their conclusions.

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mike rucker

July 16, 2008  4:20pm

so, josh, in denouncing any claims to a biological basis for homosexuality as "garbage," can you tell us what your degree is in? genetics? biology? medicine? psychiatry? forensic science? the medicinal benefit of blood-letting and leeches? i've sat and listened to people who barely graduated high school go on and on about how evolution is a fraud, arguing that certain dating methods are bogus, that creation science is hard fact, etc. i watched ted haggard tell richard dawkins that he (dawkins) 'must not know much about evolution.' (and whether or not you believe evolution happens, there are certainly few people who know as much about it as dawkins.) the arrogance of people speaking dogmatically on things outside their realm of knowledge and expertise would be laughable if it didn't happen so much. mike r.

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