#5 June 22, 2013 That is really gay
“In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. In Iran, we don’t have this phenomenon. I don’t know who has told you that we did” Mahmoud Ahmadinajad speaking to students at Columbia University in 2007
“Revisionist gay theology takes the movement for the legitimization of homosexuality a step further by attempting to redefine homosexual behavior as God ordained and morally permissible” Focus on the Family from their website
And then we have this bit of news:The Ex-Gay movement.webloc
The President of the Ex-Gay movement Alan Chambers has apologized for his position, the hurt, and the harm he has caused to many by promoting “Reparative Therapy” (the teaching that homosexuality is a choice and that this “immoral” choice can be reversed by therapy), And that it is possible for Christians who commit to it to become “Ex-Gays”. He has effectively shut the ministry down and is looking for ways for Christians to reach out to gay members of the Evangelical community. For the most part mainstream Evangelical Christian media has been strangely silent on the events at Exodus with the exceptions of some fairly conventional reader comments on the Christianity Today without editorial comment report.
My own church which avoids politics and has certainly not taken what I would call an Anti-Gay stance (we even engaged in a counter protest against Fred Phelps) still promoted what we considered the “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach of Exodus international and even had them in for a seminar several years ago.
Now a few thoughts, first from the beginning I DON’T KNOW, while I’m no theologian and certainly can’t reasonably debate the original language or the place of context in the scriptures concerning the subject. I am a student of Church History, Theology, and I’ve been brought up in the church. So I do have some experience with the Christian views on the subject. And yet I find it very hard to reasonably expect people with a certain clear sexual orientation to be expected to live in celibacy or revolt against their nature to be accepted into the faith.
As a point of background, I am not a homosexual, and really don’t have any dogs in this hunt. While it may be easy to be suspicious of someone who has been single for 55 years, I can assure my sexual lusts and proclivities are clearly of the adult heterosexual variety. While I have some acquaintances who are gay I don’t really have anyone at this time I would consider a close friend who is gay.
Now a few observations: One, we live in an over sexed society on every level. There is almost no place weather it be the Internet, the local mall, a magazine rack, or even the Disney channel where sexuality isn’t promoted. If you are an adolescent, an exploding hormones Jr Hi kid, a frat boy looking to hook up, Bi, gay or wait until you’re getting married evangelical if you get outside the bubble of a monastery you are exposed to purposely lust promoting stimuli. If we spent as much time as a society looking at pictures of food as we do being sexually stimulated either intentionally or by accident we’d all be sitting on a couch weighing about 600 pounds waiting for the biggest loser to provide us with salvation.
Personally I believe the acceptance of this has done far more to harm our culture then the “Homosexual agenda” that James Dobson is constantly warning us about. When we look at the HIV epidemic, the 70% out of wed lock birthrate and 50% divorce rate, along with the close to a million and a half abortions born out of the hook up society we are left with a big mess.
And I must admit one of the things that bothers me about the “: gay community” is that they seem to take this even greater levels. I just recently had to take myself off of one of my gay acquantincences facebook feeds because he kept inviting me to gay “spring break” type parties and just recently “liked” a face book page called “hot gay a–”. Even the gay pride parades look more like gay get horny parades to me. And this is from a fifty something gay man in a committed relationship with a daughter who has a respectable career. I don’t have any heterosexual friends who are as public about their lust.
This brings me to my second point. Are gays born that way? I have not seen serious scientific evidence supporting that point of view. Now before you take out the pitchforks and assign me a place in Westboro church. It does seem that most gays are born with a strong genetic tendency to choose a gay lifestyle. And there is no doubt in my mind that in this over-sexed environment, that tendency is nurtured. I don’t see evidence that being gay is irrevocable but it sure seems to be damn close.
Of the four gays that I knew well growing up who were brought up in Christianity, one married and appears to have a good marriage, one got married and I lost track of him, and two have continued in the faith but clearly come out as gay. One went through the “Exodus experience” himself and has nothing (from what I’ve heard) but bad memories of it. The track record isn’t that good to see the least. Exodus has had numerous repudiations by former EX-gays.
I think we can successfully say that in this over sexed society, we can’t as Christians continue to expect gays to abandon their homosexuality, certainly not any more than we can expect an obese person to lose a hundred pounds before we accept them as “real” Christians. Obesity is a sin against your body too. And how many fat pastors have you heard preaching against the homosexual agenda and then seen them at Big Boy after the service? For the record eating that crap is really sinning against your body.
And this brings me to my third point. Why is homosexuality such a point of attention by the church? There are plenty of “sins” mentioned in the scriptures. And for the record I know very few Christians who stayed a 100% free of any sexual sin before they got married. I can only come up with two reasons. One, most Christians aren’t gay. The reality is while some gay activists and researchers claim 10% of the population is gay (except in Iran LOL), I’m not buying it. Nothing against gays, and nothing against the fields they are over represented in like Hollywood but I suspect the number is far closer to 5%. Still a big number but not a big number in the relatively cloistered community of evangelicals. So it’s far easier to pick on a sin you don’t struggle with and attack it’s practitioners than one you struggle with like materialism or obesity?
Second, from the opposite extreme many of the Christians who are gay like Ted Haggard almost found it cathartic to preach against the “gay menace” while they are hooking up with gay hookers. Much like Jimmy Swaggert, preaching against sin can be a great attention diversion when you’re drowning in your own lusts
Now I realize many will make the argument that the personal failures of our leaders doesn’t excuse sinful behavior. No doubt this is correct. Jim Bakers failing doesn’t excuse us if we’re cheating on our wives. My only point is that I find it awfully ironic coming from one church where the Pastor had affairs, his sons (all three pastors) had multiple affairs including some that should have resulted in jail time for statutory rape but everyone is relieved because they saved us from the gay agenda hoard that was pounding on the Cathedral doors like the Barbarians of Rome. I guess we fear what we aren’t familiar with.
One other thing is clear, there are far more passages on the sins of materialism, adultery, and not loving our neighbors than there are passages about the sin of homosexuality in the scriptures. And one thing we are not sure about is what was the nature of homosexual behavior during scriptural times? From what I have read for the Romans most gay relationships were pedophile slavery relationships, not consensual adult relationships. I can certainly understand how some theologians could argue that the homosexuality Paul was so adamant about wasn’t the homosexuality we see today. But even that interpretation doesn’t condone gay sexuality (more about that and gay marriage at some other point).
So what should the Church (the community of Christians) do when it comes to the gay question? This comes back to the earlier part of this post. I frankly don’t know. One of the things I have learned in arriving at the ripe old age of 55, just short of my AARP card, and the eventual breaking of my hip, is how little I know and how many things I was confident of years ago and not so confident of today. I do know that we shouldn’t be promoting discrimination against gays anymore than we promote discrimination against obese people. And I do know that the world needs to hear far more about what we are saying yes too, (intact families, others centered lifestyles, helping to relieve real poverty) than what we say NO too.
I also know a people that asks gay couples to sit in the back, or informs them that they aren’t welcome will not be a people that are “known by their love”. And a church that preaches against them especially while it ignores other sins in it’s own community needs to call a construction company for beam removal. The reality is we are all in this together weather we are gays trying to follow Jesus or straight Christians battling lust (pretty much all straight Christians) trying to follow Jesus.
One other thing I know, Jesus wasn’t too interested in political activism. He was interested in the individual not the State. While he lived under one of the most oppressive regimes in history, he didn’t support reforming the State, or legislation to deal with the immoralities of the state. He was much more concerned with the personal lives of his followers than their political affiliations or for that matter religious affiliations. And the only revolution he promoted was in the religious establishment, not the political establishment.
He was not, despite the proclamations of many on the left, a “community organizer”. Jesus was trying to destroy the community to replace it with a Kingdom.