Saturday, July 2, 2011

By the Way, I'm Not Gay


***WARNING******WARNING******WARNING******WARNING******WARNING******
The following post is VERY controversial. In ways, I find that unfortunate. It is the raw scrapings of my heart and if you read it, you will discover the real me and more than likely will write me off forever due to the shocking reality of my despicable morality.
***WARNING******WARNING******WARNING******WARNING******WARNING******

I wrote a post about a week ago that mentioned many reasons that I was no longer a “Christian” as defined by that non-exhaustive list. The list included important items like who God is, who Jesus Christ is, whether or not Jesus Christ is singularly sufficient, and much more. It even included odd-ball items like not needing to eat organic foods, homeschooling, and in a later comment, tithing.

I received about half-a-dozen comments in private and in public, affirming many of the items. A few follow-up comments required some clarification on my part.

The idea I was trying to get across was that, for the rest of my life, I will be seeking the truth of who God is, whether God is, who Jesus Christ is, the basic nature of faith, how my faith fits in with the basic nature of faith, how to treat other people, how to view the Bible, and, among others, what is truth and what is fairy tale about heaven and hell. My point was that I did not have to, nor should I be required to settle on a certain creed or creeds so that others could validate my status as a “Christian”. Or, said in a different way, all Christians have different walks in life while the common defining thread connecting us is our belief in Jesus Christ.

What shocked me was the private and public disagreement on one item on the list that seemed to me to be a non-foundational issue. “Shocked” may be a poor choice of a word, keeping in mind the current sociopolitical discourse.

The item was: “If being a Christian means that I must believe that homosexuality is wrong, I am lost. ”

That's it. The thing is, I'm not settled on the answer and I never intend to be. If I do decide it is wrong, I'm going to be forced into some sort of life flip-flop every time I talk to or hang out with some of my dear friends who are gay. I'm going to have to have that nagging, gnawing feeling every time I approach or chat with my gay relatives. If I decide it isn't wrong, I will be alienating many of the people I love. In fact, the issue is so important to some, that they may reject me as a legitimate human being – one that cannot be trusted or easily dismissed as foolish, regardless of the wisdom of my words on related or unrelated subjects.

So, I rest in the gray area of, “I don't care.” I don't! It doesn't bother me one bit. I see it as a person liking ketchup on eggs, rather than mustard. It doesn't define a person for me. In fact, I have never been asked why I am a heterosexual or even been given the thumbs up for passing a “Christianity” litmus test of liking the opposite sex, rather than the same sex.

But, let us, for argument sake, say that being gay is sinful. With that premise, I am going to tell you something you didn't know about me to prove that being a heterosexual deserves a higher status in the eyes of those who deem homosexuality as the unforgivable sin.

  • I have uttered thousands, perhaps millions of swear words. And no, not when I whack my thumb with a hammer. I have yelled them at my children, used them in names for my children when they did not do as I asked, used them against my wife in arguments – to win some stupid battle that seemed important at the time. I have yelled them at The Minnesota Twins, politicians, bad drivers, excellent drivers, police officers, pastors, parishioners, patriarchal types, people who disagree with me, my siblings, my mother, my father, relatives, the weather, every one of my vehicles, stinging bees, skunks that jump into my lane and lay down on the road in perfect alignment with my front passenger tire, neighbor's dogs that go to the bathroom on my lawn, people who write better than me, people who don't swear, people who tell me not to swear, those who say swearing is healthy, parents who spank, those who write me off as a bitter young man, my dull razor, the alarm clock, children throwing up, and so much more that I have forgotten.

Repulsed yet? You should be. I am a horrible person. Sure, I'm working on my mouth, but, at the moment it defines who I am. But people consider me a good person, worthy of heaven – and a person who is gay – not so much. A good person? What good person yells at children, using horrible language? What good person calls his wife names when he is losing an argument? WHO DOES THAT???!!!

I have and still do, at times.

Frankly, if anyone was deserving of hell, it would be me. The argument of “It's not the static sin, it's the LIVING in sin that is at issue so you're ok, but a gay person is not,” falls flat because, after all, who is living in sin more than me? Maybe not the swearing part, but most definitely HOW I swear and who I project the words toward.

Maybe you rate sin. Swearing is only half bad. Homosexuality is horrible. If that is the case, I challenge you to send me a list of your sin ratings and I will check off EVERY SINGLE ONE, except for homosexuality, divorce, and physically cheating on my wife.

But, there is a catch. I will be using measures that we find in Matthew 5 – 7 during Jesus' sermon on the mount.

Jesus looked at the Pharisees and acknowledged that they were following the law. But then, he said, “But I say to you...” and then he revealed the true purpose of the law. Never having murdered was most excellent and deserved the awe and respect of their fellow man. But, hating their brother? Never having committed adultery was awesome. But, so much as looking at a woman to lust after her? Yes, the law was a base standard that man could prove on the outside that he was perfect. But God cared about the heart condition. And, keeping the heart condition clean and non-depraved was impossible. Jesus said, “Be perfect!” And, “If you break one law, you've broken them all.” And later, “He who has never sinned, let him cast the first stone.”

Assuming homosexuality is a sin, I am convinced that the standard must be that we should do as Jesus so succinctly said: “All the laws and the words of the prophets can be summed up by loving God and people.”

As I stated above, I don't care to put a label on the morality of the subject. I have way too much invested in people to let a little thing like their lifestyle choice get in the way of some of the best friendships I could ever ask for. In fact, to put it in perspective, my gay friends inquire about my marriage and my love life all the time in normal conversation.

And never once have they judged me for being a heterosexual.

14 comments:

  1. I fear I didn't articulate my position well enough. What say you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I say you articulated it perfectly!

      Delete
  2. "And never once have they judged me for being a heterosexual." I think this point is key.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You said it just right. Loved your cussing analogy :)

    My deal - I believe God created everyone heterosexual. Homosexuality is a choice, and according to the Bible, it's a wrong, sinful choice.

    That said, whereas I used to despise and be digusted by not only the sin, but the sinners, I now have compassion. I, too, believe it's a complicated, complex issue and I don't want to spend much of my Christian life trying to figure it out. I do not want to fight against gay people, trying to take away their rights to live, breathe, marry, adopt, all that.

    It has become such an UGLY campaign. Evangelical, conservative Christians have waged war against this one issue, this one group of people, and not exactly in good taste or love. Think of the countless opportunities we've had to show love, share the gospel, eat a meal, enjoy a laugh, with an ENTIRE section of society, whose actions do not affect me in the least!!!!!!!

    I hate sin categories. Thanks for dealing with this. It is what Jesus would do :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is it really the same as preferring ketchup over mustard?

    In my profession, I recently dealt with a young man who had complained of a terrible burning sensation when urinating.

    I got a urine culture from him, and it turned out that he was positive for E. Coli in the urine.

    How does a person get the burning of E. Coli. in his penis? (E. Coli is the bacteria that is naturally found in feces.) A urinary tract infection from E. Coli, for men, often indicates the practice of sex in areas that God never intended for sexual pleasure.

    Your post is telling me that there is no judgment on those who try to get sexual pleasure from areas in which God never intended for sex.

    Is it really the same as preferring ketchup over mustard?

    Then, why do monogamously heterosexual people and people who practice unnatural abominable sex (i.e. the compromised term "gay") have different outcomes in respect to their physical health?

    Why do these people get plagued as a result of their choices, when a monogamous married person like myself has never been plagued in my relationship to my spouse of twelve years? I have never had E Coli in my urine or an anal or rectal abscess.

    "Because that, when they knew God, they
    glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:

    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections (degrading passions): for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature (lesbianism):

    And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men (homosexuality) working that which is unseemly (shameful), and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet (due penalty).

    If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just have to say this to "Run of the Mill" -- not wanting to cause controversy or anything, but both straight AND homosexual men "get sexual pleasure from areas in which God never intended for sex." (I do mean giving, not receiving...but I'll leave that one alone for the time being.)

    All of that to say, I find that statement ignorant and bigoted to put that so-called vileness onto the homosexual community alone.

    I agree with IC. When it comes down to how we view, speak with, and deal with the homosexual community as "Christians" is downright nauseating to me. Where in Scripture are we commanded to be hateful, disgusted, and downright cruel at times toward those people!? We as so-called Christians are far more hateful and repulsed by their lifestyle than the community at large. What kind of witness is that!? Please explain to me what God you serve, but that is not the Jesus Christ that I worship and adore.

    I serve a Christ who said "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." I serve a Christ who dined with prostitutes, tax collectors, and the VILEST of sinners for His day. I hear mercy and love from His mouth.

    Those who spew hate, lies, and disgust toward gays, and then call themselves Christians? They give us all a bad, bigoted name.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Rachel,

    You said: "I just have to say this to "Run of the Mill" -- not wanting to cause controversy or anything, but both straight AND homosexual men "get sexual pleasure from areas in which God never intended for sex." (I do mean giving, not receiving...but I'll leave that one alone for the time being.)

    All of that to say, I find that statement ignorant and bigoted to put that so-called vileness onto the homosexual community alone."


    The man who was positive for E Coli was actually a heterosexual with a girlfriend in the room. Actually, I provided some scripture for you to show you that it is not the authority of my words here.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Right after my first child was born I took at trip to where my grandparents lived. I wanted them to meet my baby.

    I went to church with them on Sunday, and the pastor preached on this subject. I was appalled, because it was hated filled. People don't wish to agree with the lifestyle? Fine. You want to teach others how to hate them due to the lifestyle? I have a problem with that.

    Preaching to others how to hate doesn't belong in the church. I had no problem telling this pastor what I felt about it. It was after services, and he approached me since my grandparents had been members forever there. I was nice, but I was firm.

    Its amazing to me that the church focusing so much energy on this, and yet families are falling apart. Its like they try to fix the electrical as the basement floods.

    They push their stereotypes out there, and tell the world that the homosexuals will ruin the families. No. Families are failing because they ignore the elephant in the living room. Its not the gay lifestyle. Its abuse, neglect, drugs, booze, porn, etc.

    To the haters of the world that claim to follow Christ? How about you use the advice you have no issue giving those that struggle outside your dreaded topic.

    Live it at the cross.
    Only think the best of them.
    Give them benefit of the doubt.
    Forgive and forget.

    We could go on. I think you get the picture.

    Those don't work for you?

    Why it is they should work for the families that came to you for help?

    Not the same? How about the shoe is on the other foot now.

    Don't use the homosexual lifestyle as an excuse NOT to deal with bigger issues that are tearing society up. Get off the hate train - we have bigger fish to fry.

    I have to admit I struggle with this issue, but I know hate isn't what God would wish. Love our enemies? To the haters - is that conditional?

    ReplyDelete
  8. nice blog... have a view of my blog when free.. http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) .. do leave me some comment / guide if can.. if interested can follow my blog...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Run of the mill,

    You make serious generalizations and try to apply it to homosexuals.

    Where in the Bible does it say "Thou shalt not do xxx during sex"?

    How about how he got the E. Coli?

    You say "often" and apply it to all.

    How about doing some research?

    Taken from womenshealth.about.com

    "E. coli which is a normal inhabitant of the rectum can cause bacterial vaginitis if it is spread to the vaginal area. Other factors which may contribute include hot weather poor health poor hygiene use of an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control and routine douching.

    Risk of bacterial vaginosis increases with menopause and in women with diabetes as well as women whose resistance is lowered due to other conditions."

    IE, wiping back to front can cause this.

    Also, not peeing before and after sex can introduce a number bacteria.

    While I agree that the practice of homosexuality is wrong, it is no different than a pastor having an affair, an elder with issues of porn, a choir director who is there only for the money.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    IC, the Bible clearly states that the practice is wrong. However, you can think something wrong and still treat the person the same.

    Just like my drunkard of a grandfather who shot 3 2.5" nails in his heart because he got mad, drank, attempted to put up shelving in the garage on a rickety ladder, and fell. Can I say something? Sure. Do I? No, he has other things to work on 1st (like believing in God) before I speak out against his "sin".

    You can work on loving and accepting while thinking that they have a problem.

    Clear as mud? =)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the approval, Libby Anne. I sincerely appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment is going to be quite graphic in nature. It has to be, due to the content discussed. I apologize in advance.

    ROTMCIP: "Is it really the same as preferring ketchup over mustard?"

    To me, it is. It may not be for you. But, yes, and yes. You asked twice.

    "...often indicates the practice of sex in areas that God never intended for sexual pleasure."

    I don't really know how to answer this one, except that I do not understand where God told us how and where we can experience sexual pleasure. I'm going to have to agree with Jon on this one.

    I find nowhere in the Bible where anal sex, personal and mutual masturbation, oral sex, and pretty much anything to do with enjoying each others bodies is banned. I have been part of sects that determined, through "biblical" pretzels, that sex was exclusively for procreation. Thus, everything, except missionary style sex during the correct timeframe for getting pregnant was the only allowable format.

    In my view, sex defines much of what makes marriage complete and pleasurable (worth it?). It covers multiple sins, finishes arguments, discovers new heights of pleasure between spouses, helps a couple learn to communicate with body language, sounds, and words that you would never utter in other settings, causes the spouses to yearn for each others company when away from each other, heightens the enjoyment and appreciation of various scents that would otherwise be repulsive, allows for a breakup in life's routine, and much more.

    I don't look to God or the Bible to tell me what I can or cannot do, once in the act. I find restrictions on when it is proper to partake. That is all.

    "Your post is telling me that there is no judgment on those who try to get sexual pleasure from areas in which God never intended for sex."

    My post isn't telling you that, but it can be an indirect conclusion. In fact, I'll voice it in this comment - there is no judgement for having sex, utilizing areas that "God never intended." Why? Because there are no "areas" on a person's body that can possibly fall into that category. None. I would defer to the health and safety of certain "areas" to decide whether I want to do what my wife and I desire or not. For example, ejaculating into an ear = BAD! Not because it is in the Bible, but because it has been proven to be unhealthy.

    "Then, why do monogamously heterosexual people and people who practice unnatural abominable sex (i.e. the compromised term "gay") have different outcomes in respect to their physical health? "

    Where is this coming from? And what does it prove? People who smoke die earlier than those who don't and also live unhealthy lives. Bad diets, poor hygiene, lack of dental care, high risk activities, all of those and more contribute to a reduced life expectancy and that does not prove that they are wrong.

    Continued...

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Why do these people get plagued as a result of their choices, when a monogamous married person like myself has never been plagued in my relationship to my spouse of twelve years? I have never had E Coli in my urine or an anal or rectal abscess."

    Again, this proves nothing. My wife has had many yeast infections, and I have experienced a vericocele which is quite painful. Thousands, no, millions of men get prostate cancer that have never engaged in gay sex. Women who are not lesbians get uterine cancer all the time. My wife is "plagued" with uterine cysts that may digress into a medical emergency of bleeding in the future. Erectile dysfunction, lack of interest, depression, and many more sexual "plagues" will hamper heterosexuals every day and twice on Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Amazing post and I really appreciate your comments, too. I find that many of my Christian friends have a hard time reconciling my view of homosexuality, which is pretty much the same view as yours. I've never been able to find the right words to describe how I see it and feel about it all, but your post was like you were in my head! Your comments, too! THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete