First, I'm glad that I got so many responses to my previous blog. Some public, through facebook, or the comments section of my last blog, and I had some private messages. Either way, there were several points that I was asked to address. And I will. But let me start with how I came to the decision that homosexuality isn't a choice.
The acquaintance whom emailed me and the person I've been chatting with on this topic asked me to defend this statement, as well as a few other people. Let me start by asking a question:
When did you make the decision to be straight?
Here's my experience. I never sat down with a pen and paper, made a pro and con chart, and logically wrote out the benefits to having feelings toward a man versus a woman. I just had feelings. And they happened to be for a man. It wasn't a choice.
My first crush was about third grade. I was too young to make a choice whether to crush on a boy or a girl. I didn't even know how to make an informed decision. Goodness, I couldn't even decide what color shirt to wear to school much less my sexuality :) But I knew that I liked boys. My crush was a boy. All my crushes from then on were boys. It was never a decision I made. I just...knew.
There is a difference between feelings and actions, a good point brought up by the person in the last comments as well as my acquaintance. But sadly, I do believe that many confuse the two and condemn the feeling where as perhaps it's the action that is difficult for them to accept. And it's okay that not everyone accepts the action. I'm not suggesting that everyone become pro-gay. I'm only hoping to encourage a discussion, one that is respectful on both sides. Like what's been happening over the past few days.
I'd like to make a side note for those who may not be aware. Not all gay people believe that God blesses same sex couples. I've come across an entire network of gay Christians that have this debate. Some believe that God blesses same sex unions and others believe that God calls them to a life of abstinence. Either way, they are still gay. They still desire the same sex. Not by choice, but by what their bodies naturally want. The actions - okay, that's a choice. Just like I can decide what type of man to marry, a gay person can decide whether or not to act on their feelings toward the same sex.
Now my acquaintance gave me some testimonies to read about homosexual men who gave up their lifestyle and married women. They are no longer gay. That's very interesting to me, and something I'm going to have to research. I'm not going to discredit these men. If that's their experience, then I believe them to have made a very difficult transformation. Again, I'll have to read up on this before I can comment further.
But let me clear up a misconception that many seem to believe based on my past blog post. I believe in the Bible. I do. I don't believe that the culture argument is absurd and I have a hard time following the rebuttal that if I can interpret homosexual behavior as sodomy, then I can interpret everything else however I want. That, in my opinion, is a big leap. In fact, my acquaintance made this rebuttal and claimed that making this assumption would allow her to have sex with her cat and drain a man's blood, because anything goes, right? (David Sedaris wrote a satirical essay about this in his book Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls. It's worth a read.) Not at all. Over time, several ideas of the Bible have evolved. Slavery. Women's rights. The fact that the Earth spins around the Sun. Women in leadership roles in the church. I mentioned scripture about these in my last post.
But what is homosexuality? It's love. A person commented "All homosexual relationships were full of evil rape until recent times? And it's easy to use the culture argument to pick and choose what we believe." No, not all homosexual relationships were full of evil rape until recent time, but I still believe that the actions directly referenced in the Bible were, in fact, the evil rape kind. That was what I was trying to say, although I don't think I was clear.
"Don't understand the connection between Homosexual relationships and gluttony. Gluttony is an addiction, like alcoholism." Okay, that's fair. I don't think I explained that well. Remember I was writing to a specific person. I should have elaborated for the blog. Yes, gluttony is an addiction, but in my example I was emphasizing it as a sin. One that people struggle with. One that some even say they don't have control over. When a gay man is denied a pastor position, it's because of his "sin". It's because he's gay. And that could mean he's feeling emotions and attraction toward another man, or he's acting on those. It depends, I suppose, on each individual case. But the bottom line is that because of his "sin" he isn't allowed to preach. When I compared it to gluttony, I was trying to make the parallel of another, more common sin, that is accepted and not questioned. An obese pastor is allowed, a gay pastor isn't.
I did receive a good point that got me thinking. Someone who believes homosexuality is a sin mentioned that allowing gay people to marry isn't in line with the Bible. This person mentioned that if it's a sin, but marriage is allowed, then we as Christians are saying that we should not try to overcome our sin. That's why this person was against gay marriage. That was a rather interesting point. A good one that got me thinking. If homosexuality is a sin, then it would make sense to try and live a life without it. Because as Christians, we work to walk a path with Jesus. If you believe that homosexuality is a sin, but struggle as to whether or not gay marriage should be allowed, I could see this being an interesting talking point. For me, I don't believe it is a sin.
Please note that I'm not attacking those who feel strongly in the opposite direction. I'm glad for the chance to address rebuttals to my ideas and to have a conversation. And, I do believe that the liberal side pushes too hard towards acceptance rather than communication. I'd also like to note that I've come across tons of people who disagree with me, and they are never vehement in their opinions. They don't hate gay people. In fact, they feel great compassion toward the gay community. They recognize that the gay community faces struggles and they offer up sympathy.
But I do believe that the church could do more. We could do more to welcome those who feel out of place.
Please continue the discussion. Leave your comments. Leave resources for me to explore. I'm just one person, one voice, and like I admitted in my last email, I may at one point come to change my views on the subject. As I grow as a Christian, I continue to learn about the Bible and the church. But as of now, this is where I stand. And I stand firm. But I respect those who stand on the other side. So please, let me know your thoughts.