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I compose and post these articles with only one desire in my heart: to praise God and to offer modest help on your spiritual journey.

Friday, May 15, 2015

CHRISTIAN AND GAY

Last week's Standard had a letter written to the editor and myself in
response to my "Faith" article regarding my marriage. The writer
showed great respect and true bewilderment as to how I could be a
preacher and gay. The sincerity of this letter demands a response.

The space for an article is much too small to do biblical exegesis
(study). But some basic points and references can be made.

I rely on Romans 8 to tell me that there is no power on heaven or
earth that can separate me from the love of Christ. That being said,
the Tanakah which we as Christians call the Old Testament lays down a
host of "abominations" deserving of death from the clothes we wear to
the food we eat.

Trusting that Rabbis would better argue these texts I point any reader
to Rabbi Steven Greenberg, an openly gay Orthodox Rabbi as a beginning
source. The Rabbinic Council of America, the biblical authority for
most Orthodox Jews has advocated for a more thorough understanding of
homosexuality by formerly rejecting reparative therapy. Reparative
therapy, an attempt to turn gays straight has not only been rejected
by the American Psychiatric Association, it is largely viewed as
dangerous.

Arguments regarding homosexuality primarily begin and end with choice
vs. nature. I am in agreement that someone who is straight wanting to
stray into homosexual acts out of lust is truly acting against their
nature. This is what modern biblical scholarship would accept as the
sin of a homosexual act. Many a gay man or woman have tried to go
against their nature in marrying the opposite sex only to bring much
pain and suffering to themselves and their families. Thankfully, that
enormous pressure to conform to what was considered normal in my
generation and previous generations has changed with the movement of
gay pride and gay civil rights. As more and more gay individuals have
disclosed themselves to their families, friends, and co-workers
society has come to re-define what is normal

The topic of homosexuality as being a choice or a matter of one's
D.N.A. is almost exclusively between those who accept we're "born
that way" and those, most likely not gay, who declare without evidence
that we have a choice. The only real choice is between self-acceptance
or self-hatred which is homophobia. Therefore I choose to be an openly
gay man, which is a statement of righteous pride. I reject the sinful
world of the closet with its societal acceptance but inevitable
self-destruction, deception, and life in the shadows. Instead having
chosen to be openly gay I live in the light which is where my Savior
calls me to shine.

I would turn your attention to a wonderful movie easily found on-line
"Through My Eyes". This is the story of Christian youth engaging the
question of their homosexual selves and their faith in Christ.

There are as many gay groups of Christians by denomination and
non-denomination as there are churches. Many of us barely speak the
same language due to the differences of biblical interpretation. One
such group is Evangelical Concerned. Other support groups serve
Baptists, Catholics, and Pentecostals. Affirmation is the group for
Mormons. Gay Baptists have Rainbow. One of the earliest Christian
groups is Dignity for Catholics. There is a denomination founded as a
Christian gay affirming body known as the Metropolitan Community
Church. Of course for every gay apologist there is an antagonist. For
individuals such as myself this is no intellectual exercise. It is
life or death. I am who I am. I have tried to be someone else and it
was disastrous. Others like me chose suicide rather than the gift of
love and life I have come to know by accepting myself and the love of
God and others most dear in my life. Ultimately this is the gift of
faith which is also always an action. Faith demands action and I
choose to believe God does not make mistakes that He truly made me
this way and that it is not a curse but a blessing to be shared.

I pray that your respectful inquiry will grace you with an
understanding and a wider heart and a deeper appreciation of Romans 8.
I pray for every homosexual child or adult who has yet to come out and
disclose themselves to family and friends that they will find
welcoming and affirming Christians who stand between them and
uninformed hateful so called Christians. Especially do I pray for
those who live in environments of fear and hatred who may consider
suicide as the only way out. I pray that when you and I find it
difficult to understand someone, that we can still support and accept
them. To quote just one verse of Romans 8, v.31 "What then are we to
say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?"

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