The F Word

The F Word


Editor’s Note: Reaction was so strong to this anonymous piece that the author penned a Part 2. You can read it here.

I grew up reading comic books; it was an escape from the horrible living environment I was stuck in. I had a brother, 9 years older than me, who made me his punching bag; an ex-alcoholic father who switched his addiction to rage, and my mom who had to take a lot of abuse from my dad.

I was attracted to comic books because it clearly spelled out who was good and evil; the good guys won most of the time and what I liked at the end of the day was that they could conceal their identity. Superman became Clark Kent. Batman deftly changed into the billionaire, Bruce Wayne. Green Lantern willed himself back to being Hal Jordan. And poor Spiderman usually stumbled back into his apartment, collapsing onto the bed as Peter Parker.

Their secret identity brought them peace; they protected their loved ones by having it. They managed two distinct and separate lives. It’s something that sounded so great.

But when you have a secret identity, it is more painful than a bruise on your chest or cigarette burn on your arm.

When I was about 14 I realized something; I was attracted to the guys in my high school, not the girls. The realization is a lot to take in, especially around the time that AIDS had surfaced; people were scared; protests were hitting the streets. The words “faggot” and “homo” were en vogue.

I knew I was in trouble.

I managed to keep in secret until about 18 when I told my high school counselor. He sympathized and explained that there were other people out there like me. Once I got to college, my life would change.

Related: Sexual Orientation, It’s Not a Sin – by Kathy Vestal

It did. My first week at college I became a Christian.

And I was still gay.

In the college Christian group I was a part of, there were great people, but a large majority of them used the words homo, queer, and faggot. I was in some deep trouble.

I had to hide the fact that I was gay. I mean, who could I tell? And the pressure to date was nearly insurmountable.

I managed coming out to some friends, but the loneliness, the isolation was great. No one got it.

That was about 20 years ago.

Since then I’ve tried counseling for 7 years; it was helpful to unpack a lot of the abuse I took, but I still wasn’t attracted to women.

I had a girlfriend in seminary for a year and a half. I thought I could change and make it work.

I didn’t. I broke her heart.

I have mastered the ability to blend in with straight people; they rarely suspect I’m gay. In the Christian world, being gay is right up there with child molester.

You have to understand; I have had friends I’ve never been able to tell. They make the occasional gay joke or if they see two men who are clearly together, they have some kind of snide remark. And I’m sitting across from them.

Now, just so we’re clear: I’m celibate. I’m not planning on having a relationship. You might be thinking, “Oh, good. You’re one of us.” Afraid not. And so we don’t get into a political quagmire that this blog isn’t designed to function for, I won’t get into the reasons why.

The purpose of me spilling this story, the most painful one I have, is to say this.

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We sit amongst you.

We are people struggling with being gay, afraid of what their closest family and friends would say. We laugh at your homo jokes and then we go in the bathroom and look in the mirror and hate what we see. We take a deep breath and we go back inside.

We tolerate churches designed around married couples, married conferences, and marriage sermons.

Most of us can’t come out. We risk losing the friendships we have so we’d rather dine on surface relationships, instead of having none.

We long for someone to understand, to get it. And one reason I don’t play the lottery (besides Dave Ramsey’s advice) is that I’ve already won it. I have friends that I’d take a bullet for, who know my true story and love me. It’s not that they don’t love me regardless because I’m not doing anything. I’m not at gay bars or trolling the internet looking for someone. I’m not sinning in my sexual behavior.

I came out to a friend of mine and he looked down at the table, sullen and said, “Everything must be really difficult for you.” We sat there in silence for awhile and I thought, he gets it.

The church will hug the man that just cheated his wife for a year and shun the struggling gay guy who hasn’t had sex in 10 years. Guaranteed. Easy money.

And I’d burn every earthly possession I have, empty my bank accounts, quit my job, and terminate every relationship I have for a pill to change over—in a heartbeat—I’d walk away from that pyre buck-naked, unemployed, broke, but straight.

Related: It is Time for the American Christian Church to Surrender the Gay Marriage Fight, Apologize & Share Love – by Ian Ebright

But unlike my heroes of my youth, my secret identity clings to me and I am forced to hide from what is called to be most loving, compassionate place on the planet—the church.

So here’s what I ask: be kind to us. We are looking for friends that listen and have compassion on us. We are not looking for you to understand us completely, we just want to go through our day not feeling like monsters. We run the risk of losing the people we value by coming out, but we must weigh that against being fake and pretending we are straight.

I also ask that we cut out the gay-bashing talk; I get that it’s funny with your friends and it cuts to the quick, but I guarantee you’ve said it in front of us and we twist inside and mourn inside.

Be kind to us; we are broken and we need no more reminders.

**This post is published anonymously at the request of the author

Read Part 2 of this story here.

This article originally appeared on adammclane.com

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  • Tammy

    You are God’s beloved.

    • http://www.facebook.com/francoisengelbrecht1 Francois Engelbrecht

      I can’t say it any better.

  • Frank

    What a great testimony! You are an example of following Gods will for your life despite your attractions. Understand that even tough you have SSA it is NOT your indentity. Your identity is in Christ.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

      “You are an example of following Gods will for your life despite your attractions”

      Frank, I fully understand what you’re saying here, I really do. I’m proud of the spiritual discipline that Anon has displayed, but what will qualify as a “great” testimony is this: when he can be open without everybody else making him feel like they have him in their crosshairs as a freak to be bullied. I know you said elsewhere on this post that the tragedy is in Anon having to hide his struggles. But in the post where I reply to you, I feel like you’re missing the MAIN thesis of his article.

      • Frank

        Neal you seem to want to believe what you want to believe about me. That fine, that’s your choice.

        Our testimony is not dependent on what others do with it. It is what it is.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

          I’m not making a case against or for what our testimony depends, or does not depend on. I clearly said I know what you meant by saying it’s a “great” testimony and as a fellow conservative like you, I’m also proud that he made the decision that I think is right by the traditionalist interpretation. This is not MAINLY a testimony of him “leaving the gay lifestyle” and he only addresses his choice to be celibate in one sentence in the article. This is MAINLY an article of the hardship of life as a celibate Christian who feel forced by the predatory church community to stay “closeted” because of the epidemic of abuse in the church against people like him. Therefore, AS A WHOLE, this is not a great testimony. When in his last point he has to ask for our kindness, something is not right. My previous article was not a personal attack against you, but b/c I think you missed the MAIN point of the article. While I agree I should refrain making judgment of who you truly are in real life, through your RLC posts, you often set up yourself to be misunderstood inspite of your commitment to the truth.

          • Frank

            I believe I speak very clearly. I do recognize we have a culture of communication that has developed to be very feelings orientated and vague and so my style goes against that but if you can’t boil down what you mean to a couple sentences you haven’t thought it through enough or it mostly hot air.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            “If you can’t boil down what you mean to a couple sentences you haven’t thought it through enough or it mostly hot air.” This is truth according to Frank, not God, so I don’t have to live by it and I can challenge its veracity. When you think something through, and may I add, thoroughly, a couple of sentences won’t suffice. The apostles wrote a whole letter to the early churches and those letters weren’t limited to just a couple of sentences. Would you say the apostles don’t “think things through”? Their words are hot air? Really, even for an educated man like Paul? Maybe you’re the one who need to think things through.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            “If you can’t boil down what you mean to a couple sentences you haven’t thought it through enough or it mostly hot air.”

            1. Oh, really, I thought it was because you used mobile device?
            2. That statement is truth according to Frank, who is not God, therefore I can challenge its veracity and it’s very optional whether I have to go with it or not. If you’ve thought things through, may times a couple sentences won’t suffice. The apostles wrote letters, NOT limited to a couple of sentences to the early church. So, they didn’t think things through? The words they said are hot airs. Funny how you refer to them too. How many chapters did it take for Paul to explain the relationship between God’s law and grace in Romans? An educated man like him, not thinking things through? You need to think things through as well, brother.

          • Frank

            Simplicity comes from thinking things through.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            And complexity doesn’t?

          • Frank

            Even the most complex scientific studies that are published have an abstract with conclusions and findings. Short, clear, concise.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            If you want to truly understand a study, you don’t stop at reading the abstracts, that’s just pure & simple, lazy. Abstracts don’t give enough reasoning and contexts for the objectives, methods, findings, and conclusions. I want people to truly get me when I converse, so I take the time to make sure they get my context & my reasoning, so they know I don’t make things up out of thin air. I was once a grad student teaching assistant & I graded undergrads’ reports of empirical studies. I can tell those that only read the abstracts, horrible grades.
            You have the traditionalist viewpoint. You only read abstracts for that? God wants His truth known: why inspire to write that many Bible books? Is He all hot air, b/c He doesn’t summarize Bible to just a couple of sentences, short, clear, & concise? Have you wasted your time on a verbose holy book all this time? I’m just a dirt compared to God, but to apply your logic across most situations…hmm…I don’t know, man, I don’t know.

            1) Le’ts not forget the mobile device “excuse.” You admitted that YOURSELF
            2)I’ll repeat myself: what you said is just “truth according to Frank, who is not God, therefore I can challenge its veracity and it’s very optional whether I have to go with it or not.”
            3) It’s not me who often get into CONFRONTATIONAL arguments with people over & over again. I know you can’t care less & won’t change, but it is what it is.

          • Frank

            I agree Neal but I just don’t see a comment board as a place for an entire paper. Brief and concise is my style.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            I’m saying this w/ respect & this is just to add to my earlier pts. You know what you said about feelings-orientated communication? We’re all hiding under RELATIVE anonymity in Internet comment boards. That should make the conversations feel less personal, but I guess people’s feelings don’t just go away, right? As for me SOMETIMES typing essays, I’ll work on that, but yea, I just don’t want people to misunderstand, at all cost. With my super long Les Mis & Non-traditional Marriageposts, other than my replies to certain people that I don’t think can be brief (users like Questioning & Ford1968, they talked about deeply personal stories & real human concerns. If I went on my brief mode, that’d come across too rude), I personally at that time had had enough of this general gay bashing in my personal life (though it’s not really my issue), so I ranted excessively to vent

            Peace in Christ

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            Let me be fairer. First of all, sorry if I ever hurt your feelings or if you feel disrespected in any ways, shapes, or forms. You’re still a brother in Christ. I mean that. Seriously. I’m not perfect, & I can get into unnecessary sarcasm + mean streak that I need to repent from (tho I’m not sorry about my rebuke to those who bully people like Anon. Just passionately hating the sins, not the sinners there).
            If I’m right, sometimes, and I repeat, sometimes, your brief replies just rub people the wrong way b/c you don’t give people enough context for your reasoning. Your brevity, for whatever reason, makes you sound callous, although you don’t mean it.
            Your calling that ML user “foolish” is not helping him in his knowledge at all. If you explain a little bit more, at least you can tell him you’ve explained quite thoroughly & you have valid reasons to ignore him, should he keep on trolling you. If you’ve had repeated pointless arguments w/ him in the past, then that I don’t know & sorry.

            For myself, I can be both verbose & brief, but it depends. I usually try to think of counter-arguments in advance, I repeat myself a lot so people don’t forget my earlier statements, I tend to want to avoid misunderstandings at all cost esp since this is the Internet where no one sees the body language, so there you go.

            Peace, brother.

          • Frank

            Peace! And thank you. I hope that I can become as patient as you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            Test

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            Test 123

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            Sorry if you keep on getting replies to me. Disqus seems to eat it up. Test. test

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

          Test 1234

  • Amy Y

    I’m hoping that one day, people will stop grouping ALL churches in the same category.. “THE CHURCH”. I know there are people in my church that have to struggle with this and they are loved just as much as everyone else in the church or out. As a follower of Christ and believer in the Bible, I hold to the Word of God when he looks down on homosexuality. The ACT of homosexuality. I love the homosexual in the way in which we are to love our fellow man. The way God wants us to love one another. I will not, however, support the life style. I will not march beside you in parades or vote for anything I feel is against Biblical principles. Where I worship… ALL are sinners, yet we are forgiven if we repent and turn from that sin. We all know the story of the prostitute about to be stoned. After Christ had spoke…”He who is with out sin, let him cast the first stone”, He then, also, turned to the woman and said.. “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”, “No one, sir,” she said.
    “Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” ….Leave your life of sin. This is from Christ himself. He wants us ALL to leave our life of sin. That’s what repentance is and when forgiveness begins.
    We will fall, slip, and stumble. It’s the nature of our humaness. We just understand that we have a forgiving and loving God that accepts all who choose to follow Him. The murderer, the adulterer, the thief, the liar, the sexually immoral, and anyone else who has sinned, which is everyone. Christ has paid the price for ALL and there is no one exempt. Not even you or that man who’s been cheating on his wife for a year. There are bad people in this world, and unfortunately, you can find them in churches too, but there are a lot of true, honest to goodness followers of the Savior who was sent to this planet to love ON us and to die FOR us.

    • DrewTwoFish

      Yeah, we get where you stand on homosexuality. Oh, how we get it .”We need no more reminders.” Anon did not ask you to re-jig your politics or march in a parade nor did he issue a blanket condemnation of the church. It would appear he’s on your side. I’m glad the “strugglers” in your church are loved as much as anyone but that has not been Anon’s experience, generally speaking. Perhaps the appropriate response is empathy and corporate/personal reflection and repentance…not defensiveness.

    • Julia

      Amy, the writer of this story does not need a lecture about how he is a sinner. You’re missing the point. He doesn’t need to be told that God “looks down on homosexuality.” He doesn’t need to hear all about how you will not support the homosexual lifestyle. Obviously he is not even living the lifestyle, so you’re missing the point. Your words seriously imply that BEING a homosexual is a sin. Again, you’re not helping. All I get from your response is a holier-than-thou rant. You wrote, “Christ has paid the price for ALL and there is no one exempt. Not even you or that man who’s been cheating on his wife for a year.” This just sends a message to this man that you think he is on par with an adulterer! This is precisely the kind of attitude that has been so hurtful to so many people. Whenever most Christians talk about homosexuality, I hear something this: “Well, we’re all sinners and God loves all sinners, even the SEXUALLY IMMORAL (hint, hint, wink, wink), so I love those dirty, sinning gays just like dirty sinners that they are!” Please stop. It’s just another way to judge someone under the guise of forgiveness and inclusion. Please re-read his story and feel some genuine compassion this time.

      • http://ubuntulinuxtipstricks.blogspot.com maco

        The only context I think that “yes it’s a sin” wouldn’t bother me is if it was followed up with “…just like eating a cookie before supper even though your mom told you not to spoil your appetite.” Being gay is treated so much worse, even though “honour your mother and father” actually shows up in the Ten Commandments!

        • machoMan

          Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

          not all sins are equal. murder vs lying, common sense and biblical. all sins counted as falling short, but i think its pretty obvious that there are a series of deeper levels of sinfulness. Fortunately Christ has the power to save all, from all sins.

          • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.olson.522 Daniel Olson

            “All other sins are committed outside the body”. always wondered about this. I will have to ask Paul what he meant. surely Gluttony is committed against our own bodies, as is smoking, drunkenness etc. This must mean something a little different than the obvious

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

      “Leave your life of sin.” From a conservative Bible viewpoint, Mr. Anonymous already has, sweetheart. He is living a life of sanctification and ongoing repentance.

      “I will not march beside you in parades or vote for anything I feel is against Biblical principles.” Demonstrate to us how Mr. Anonymous asked us the readers to march on a parade or vote against same-sex marriage. Read the article again, and don’t miss the part where Anonymous wrote, “I’m celibate. I’m not planning on having a relationship.”

      Read that very carefully, stare at that sentence, ponder upon it, I don’t care. But, after you read that statement, consider how laughably irrelevant the “voting” and “parade” paranoia you exhibit.
      Peace

  • Aaron Brazell

    This is amazing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.kaspszak Laura Kaspszak

    You are not broken! You are beautiful and sacred! My heart just breaks for you that this is the life you think you have to lead. If the people in your life will leave you because of who you are, who God himself made you to be in his own image, then they are not people you need. I hope that you know that you are loved and that you are divinely and wonderfully made just the way you are!

    • Frank

      We are all broken in some way. His brokenness includes homosexual desires. For someone else its something else. God did not create us broken. Our fallen sinful world did. This young man is doing the right thing and in my book is considered a martyr for his faith. He refuses the succumb to his brokenness because of his love for God and Gods perfect design.

      The real tragedy is that he feels and maybe he is forced to remain anonymous. His testimony and his faithfulness is an inspiration to all those struggle with sinful desires. We should be propping this man up and applauding his example. Not encourage him to give up this precious choice so that he can live the way you think he should as opposed to Gods will for his life. Shame on you!

      • Anonymous

        His choice is his choice. There is no shame in that.
        I have a question for you though:
        Have you ever considered that your beliefs, no matter how much you may believe in love and gentle rebuke, are still categorically harmful?
        It is not because they are your personal beliefs. Your beliefs are your own and are your right. But rather, it is because many millions of people share your beliefs in one form or another. And despite your beliefs about love, your beliefs about the morality of sex and gender outweigh them on a social level. Because any belief based on passages that can be interpreted in any way as describing homosexuality as a sin (and humans can wring whatever meaning they want out of anything as I’m sure you’ll acknowledge) will ALWAYS BE TAKEN TO THEIR EXTREME by someone. If a large population believes something, someone with preexisting feelings of hate will use ANYTHING that can be interpreted as being critical of anyone else as a vent for it. And this seems to increase in a somewhat linear relationship to increase of population size – an observation that stands independent of the facts that hate can often be contagious (especially amongst the young and impressionable, who learn everything from the actions of those they look up to), and that it can easily spread to a large audience if promoted by positions of power (which is what a good deal of the American church is doing).
        The point is this: you have a right to your beliefs. But your words are sheltering of those who would viciously condemn LGBT people, whether you wish for them to be or not. They give space for them to launch their attacks. And when these words are uttered by authority figures to the impressionable and innocent, and unstable – no matter how well-meaning they may think they may be – the result is Matthew Shepard, and broken lives such as that documented here. This is only a bit of what I could say about the ways society oppresses and how our words can be used in such things (and I’m no expert, I’ve learned most of this in only the past 16 months), but these are the basic truths.
        You are free to hold your beliefs, and state them respectfully – which you are doing here. But remember this: your words and actions have consequences beyond what you can forsee. Far beyond. And to deny this is delusional – society confirms the effects of this rhetoric every day.
        A final note: I once believed, then I put it away after finding the friendships I longed for in my youth, and am now running after a yearning that has welled up again after all this time, hoping that there is something more than just what I once knew. Much is now uncertain as a result. But I know this: I will have nothing to do with Jesus or any of this if part of the deal is believing that homosexuality is a sin. None of it. Because I’m not going to live a lie and call love a sin, no matter how much Satan may be an angel of light.
        I am not gay. My two best friends in the world are.

        • Frank

          Love cannot exist without truth. The truth is that homosexual behavior is sinful and therefore harmful. Yes there are those that use this as a weapon and they will be held accountable for that but if we truly love someone we tell/show them the truth even if its painful at times, even if its uncomfortable, even if it may result in someone making hard choices.

          • http://www.facebook.com/paul.heinrich.koopman Paul Koopman

            Even if we were to accept that “homosexual behavior” is, in and of itself, sinful, the question would still remain – why the primacy of the issue? Do you stand outside of McDonalds and tell people that gluttony is sinful? It’s the truth. Do you walk into a bank and tell people greed is a sin? It’s the truth. How about idolatry, you’ve got a lot of fodder there? Cell phones, sports teams, celebrities, technology, politics, etc. Any undue attention on those things that causes one to fail to love God with all her heart, mind, and strength, and fail to love her neighbor as herself – it’s all sinful. That’s truth.

            But backing up, I think you’re looking at it backwards, Frank. Acts aren’t harmful because they’re sinful. They’re sinful because they’re harmful. Can homosexual behavior be sinful? Of course. So can heterosexual behavior in the same context. Any self-interested and self-gratifying sexual act that objectifies the other person is sinful. That’s true even in a heterosexual marriage relationship. That’s failing to love your neighbor as yourself (or in this case, your spouse).

            There are 4 maybe 5 passages at best, in the entirety of the bible, that could be construed to discuss homosexuality. Jesus doesn’t even remotely deal with it. The wickedness of Sodom was irrelevant to sexual orientation – demanding to rape the guests of a man’s house is wicked regardless of gender or orientation. Paul’s letters were quite specific to the sins of certain cities. And of course it should be noted that the idea of loving, committed same-sex relationships would be non-sense to the recipients of those letters. The bible may be inspired, but it’s also temporal, and it’s a grievous mistake to try to divorce the words and intent of the human authors from the context of their writing.

            In short, love is not against the law.

          • Frank

            There is a sexual ethic designed and created by God that is consistent all throughout scripture. Homosexual behavior is outside of Gods created order.

            And when people start declaring and posting that greed, gluttony, idolatry etc.. Is not a sin I will expose their deception and lies.

          • Ford1968

            Frank- I ask this question sincerely, so please take it in the spirit it is intended – trying to understand your point of view…

            My passion in this conversation is motivated in part by my own experiences of emotional maltreatment by the church. Is your ardor in this conversation motivated in part by your own life choices and experiences concerning your sexuality?

          • Frank

            Great question but no. That’s not to say I don’t struggle with sexual sin but its not homosexuality.

            My passion lies with the deception and fallacious theology being offered over this issue. It’s damaging and hurtful.

          • http://www.facebook.com/paul.heinrich.koopman Paul Koopman

            “There is a sexual ethic designed and created by God that is consistent all throughout scripture.” Certainly not. The design has gone from no man, to man alone, to man and woman, to suddenly lots of people. “Marriage” is hardly a concept in scripture, apart from what the concept became culturally, much later. Polygamy was certainly tolerated for much of OT history, even celebrated. Your specific “sexual ethic” has been imagined according to cultural factors.

            Apart from the fairy-tale version of God’s design, we’re learning some really neat things about how God *actually* designed the universe. The bible has lots of great stuff in it, but it doesn’t say anything useful on topics like biology and genetics – because science didn’t exist until 1500 years after the last book had been written, and if the bible would have spoken in those terms, it would have been non-sense to the audience. Likewise, the idea that homosexual behavior might be based in genetics rather than depraved lust, would have been incoherent.

            “And when people start declaring and posting that greed, gluttony, idolatry etc.. Is not a sin I will expose their deception and lies.” You’re deceiving yourself in this rationalization. Certainly people go through life never considering that eating more than they need is sin; that watching cable news that gets them worked up over politics is sin; that spending their life work to the end of creating a comfortable life for themselves and their family alone is sin. But you’re waiting for someone to say “greed is not sin” in the same way as one might say “lust is not sin”. No one is claiming that there is no such thing as sexual sin. The argument is that homosexual behavior is not, in and of itself, sexual sin – in the same way that being obese is no in and of itself gluttonous sin; in the same way that having a lot of money is not in and of itself greed-related sin; in the same way that watching television, or engaging in religious or philosophical debates on the internet is not *in and of themselves* idolatrous sin.

            Again, the action isn’t harmful because it’s sinful. It’s sinful if it’s harmful.

          • Frank

            Yes the bible is full of people who love apart from Gods design but God made them male and female, be fruitful and multiply. That’s Gods perfect standard.

            If homosexuality is found to be caused by genetics it only reinforces the idea of a sinful fallen world. Even our genes are fallen.

            All sin harms the person, everyone around them, all of humanity and all of the kingdom of God.

          • http://www.facebook.com/paul.heinrich.koopman Paul Koopman

            No Frank, that’s you echoing the church’s standard, a standard developed in cultural contexts based on (limited) understanding of science and ethics; in the same way that a slave’s subservience was a standard for centuries; in the same way that racial or ethnic genocide was tolerated for centuries. We move beyond those ideas culturally when we stop insisting that x and y passages in the bible are more than historical or allegorical or poetic, stop insisting that they are prescriptively instructive, and actively representative of “God’s standard”.

            The real criterion for whether something that is mentioned in the bible, but maybe doesn’t sit right with modern understandings of science and ethics, is if it is A) something Jesus actively talked about or lived, and B) congruent with the example of Jesus (ie, self-sacrificing love). If it doesn’t look like Jesus, then you should probably look for a better interpretation.

          • Frank

            Nothing about condoning, affirming or accepting sinful behavior looks like Jesus.

          • http://www.facebook.com/paul.heinrich.koopman Paul Koopman

            That’s an obvious dodge. Your refusal to deal with the a priori issue of *why* the behavior is considered inherently sinful in the first place is telling. You simply wish to spout your subtly bigoted opinions, dressed up in “care for the sinner”. You are a troll, Frank. Stop being a troll. If you want to have an actual discussion about the issue, you should try some real rebuttal, in the place of deflections and dodges.

            More specifically to the point you tried to make in that dodge above, no one is saying Jesus condoned or accepted actual sin, behavior that is wrong because it is harmful (contrasted with imaginary “sin”, which is actually mis-adherence to cultural mores). The point is that homosexual behavior is not inherently sinful, any more than watching tv, eating a steak, or having $200k in the bank account is inherently sinful.

          • Frank

            Speaking of dodging. Do you have any scripture to back up your opinion?

          • http://www.facebook.com/paul.heinrich.koopman Paul Koopman

            No dodge, Frank, you just haven’t asked for any yet. For starters, Matthew 22:

            34 But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35 One of them, [n]a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and [o]foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

            The Law and the Prophets depend on those 2 concepts – rejecting idolatry, and rejecting self-serving impulses that harm others. The pharisees were good at using the law (and the loopholes within) to suit their own purposes. Jesus turned their understanding of the law on its head. “Sin” was not violating specifics of the law, but rather determined by two interconnected criteria. Are you putting your love and your trust in God? Are you treating your neighbor in the way that you would want them to treat you? You could say the law (ie, scripture, and its human interpretations, as they existed in that time) had become the idols for the pharisees. Sadly, the modern church has not been able to shed that impulse.

          • Frank

            There is nothing loving about condoning sinful behavior. That’s called hate,

          • http://www.facebook.com/paul.heinrich.koopman Paul Koopman

            And that’s called another dodge. It’s clear you’re not going to engage the discussion on the proper level (ie, why homosexual behavior is, in and of itself, sinful), and you’re going to continue to fall back on your surface defense. If you ever do feel like *actually* discussing the issue, feel free to post a real rebuttal (preferably free of circular reasoning).

          • paul

            Non-Christian here, but nods in Paul Koopman’s direction. Paul (the apostle) also opined that it’s best for believers to be single so they can dedicate themselves wholly to God. If one does not have the ‘gift’ of celibacy, Paul offers it is better to be married than to burn. In I Cor. 7:2, Paul instructs: “…to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” It seems those arguing that gay people must remain celibate are assuming that all gays have that “gift.” Either that or gays are fore-ordained to burn.

          • formerroadie

            And this is where you are wrong. There is no basis for your theological presupposition. It denies science and proper interpretation of scripture.

          • Frank

            Feel free to provide a case for your position but to just say I am wrong does not cut it.

          • nerdypants

            Yes! If a belief system can’t even pass the most basic test – does it match empirical reality? – then it is sheer insanity to trust it when it comes to the more difficult and weightier matters of moral and spiritual guidance.

          • Daniel Werst

            who’s it harming, precisely?
            moron

        • http://twitter.com/jkz118 ey

          Please do not give up on Jesus just because some of his followers made the mistakes of trying to make Him look so small. We should cling onto the hope that His love is so much bigger than the human minds can conceive.

          • Frank

            Exactly. Even bigger than our sexual desires if we trust Him.

    • machoMan

      both beautiful and sacred and loved, and yet with sin. yet free from that sin because of Jesus. This is the Christian message of accepting our own brokenness and handing it over to God, receiving his Holy Spirit, and being raised to life with him. While on earth we still struggle with our brokenness, but because of redeeming love we live with joy and hope. Living in freedom from sin.

  • 22044

    Thanks so much for sharing, Anonymous. If I lived in San Diego, I would like to meet you. Hopefully you can be connected to a few friends and a church who will be kind to you.
    How much our church needs to grow in this area…! Is it too much to have a new vision of Christ’s bride of saints, all broken but redeemed, carrying our various crosses, but united in love and carry each others’ a little bit as well? What a transformation and witness that would be!

  • Chad

    I’m guilty of having made those jokes before. I remember the fear and hate that was spread during my younger years. Things that I participated in willingly, and without regard to whom I was hurting. I’m not like that anymore. My heart has changed. And I’m sorry for my role in spreading such ungrace. There are people in the church that are understanding now, that are empathetic to your situation. Keep speaking out. Someday soon the fear, hate, and misunderstanding will be a thing of the past.

  • ML

    I used to be in your exact situation. After a major depressive episode that led to a suicide attempt, I got healthy and realized that my Christian faith and community would destroy me. I could choose to continue to believe that I was broken and deserved death, just like the Bible says; or I could begin a new life. I chose life, rebirth. And I have found peace and joy. Your abusers will not change; only you can change your situation and get away from them.

    • nerdypants

      I really hope Anon sees and reads your testimony. It is horrific to me (as an outsider) that this belief system is driving good people who could otherwise lead happy and fulfilled lives to kill themselves. And all for what? A promise, a threat, a lie. It doesn’t have to be this way.

      I hope everything continues to go well for you :-)

  • Pam

    ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Homosexuality is a sin, just as fornication, hatred, stealing, cheating, false testimony, gluttony and gossip, are all sins that many struggle with daily. Who are we that we should judge one worse than another. It only takes one sin to separate us from God. No one can escape sin, that’s why God sent His Son. If we could be perfect, we would not need a savior and God’s perfect sacrifice in His son would not have been necessary. It is only through the blood of Christ we are saved, we can do NOTHING to redeem ourselves. Hence, our obedience and service to Christ is out of gratitude, not to earn our way to heaven. We all struggle with sin…if we judge someone else’s sin to be worse than our own we do not truly understand the grace of God in our own lives. I agree that there is way too much course joking about sin and the very things that separate us from Christ, even among Christians. While we laugh God cries. I normally do not think such jesting is funny, but I am as guilty as the next guy when it comes to wrong thinking and judging others.Thank you for sharing your story and struggles, I will remember it and, with God’s help, grow from it.

    • machoMan

      thanks for this comment

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.heinrich.koopman Paul Koopman

    I’m glad to say I’ve evolved from a “love the sinner, hate the sin” sort of stance, to a simple “love your neighbor, period”. I’m not so much in favor of gay marriage, as I am in favor of establishing a separation of church and state on this issue. The state shouldn’t be “marrying” anyone, and the church shouldn’t be involved in setting legal restrictions on how consenting adults enter into civil contracts.

    I commend anyone willing and able to live a life of celibacy – to paraphrase the apostle Paul, as a disciple of Christ, it’s better to live celibate, if you can. Most of us, gay or straight, can’t. It’s monstrously cruel for society to expect one group of people to live celibate lives merely because of the sexual orientation they were born with.

    I believe the bible is the inspired Word of God, but I do not believe it is an answer book, nor is it all equally instructive and prescriptive. Some of it is just historical. Some of it (most of the pentateuch, I think) is allegorical. And all of it was written by men for a specific temporal audience. In other words, the bible always says what God means to say, but it doesn’t always mean what we think it means.

    To “sin” is literally to “miss the mark”. Everyone misses the mark, in all sorts of ways. We all fall short of the ideal, which is to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. The primacy placed on sexual “sin” in certain religious groups is an excellent example of deflection. We tend to rationalize our own sin, and point the finger at the sinner over there – which is the opposite of what Jesus would have us do, to remove the plank in our eye before worrying about the speck in the eyes of our brothers and sisters.

  • Julia

    I’m truly sorry for the experience you have had at the hands of other people. Know this: you are a beautiful human being, created in God’s image, and wholly loved by God just as you are. Period. I respect your celibacy as that decision is yours and yours alone. However, not all churches teach that same-sex relationships are unbiblical. In any case, I hope that you may have peace in your situation.
    To any and all fellow posters who may try to argue with me: I will not engage any of you in a theological or political debate.

    • Frank

      In other word “I am incapable of presenting a Scriptural case in support of homosexuality because it does not exist.” God does to make anyone gay, sin does.

      • ML

        You’re right, there is no Scriptural support for homosexuality. In fact, it states exactly the opposite. So when will you show up to put me to death, with the blood, of course, on my hands? I think I’ll pass on your God’s “love”.

        • Frank

          Sigh! If you believe that stoning is still appropriate no wonder you are hostile to Christianity Its isn’t. Jesus faced death for our sins so we wouldn’t have to.

          • ML

            Who are u to determine what parts of the Bible are inappropriate for 21st Century CE? You’re headed down a slippery slope, Frankie! Before you know it you’ll be eating pork and shellfish, wearing clothes of mixed fibers, and thinking it’s ok for 2 men to have sex. I will pray that HE will open your eyes.

          • Frank

            Oh stop being foolish.

          • ML

            Please correct my foolishness. As someone who proclaims himself truth-teller, please enlighten me how you judge certain parts of the Bible, like stoning/killing gays as “no longer appropriate,” but other precepts, like a man having a loving sexual relationship with another man, as still sin. How is you not killing me for having sex with my spouse not equally as disobedient to God’s word? Besides personal disgust, how else do you discern what is and is no longer appropriate/applicable in the 21st Century?

          • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.olson.522 Daniel Olson

            ML. Its very simple ML. The law is good in that parts of it show us directly that we are imperfect, but it is no longer expected to be followed as a means to righteousness.The law (old covenant) is dead to us. It has been superseded by the new covenant, which is Christ’s sacrifice to appease the sentence of God for all sin, and to restore mans ability to have fellowship within the presence of God. As far as knowing what is right (helpful, healthy, worthy) for us now, well…even though GOD never changes, we often misinterpret what is meant in scripture, we misinterpret God’s heart.. Fortunately we can go directly to God for answers. *Understanding* what comes from God and what doesn’t .. well that just takes time. but the peace love and other fruit of the Spirit are worth the effort and time.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            ML, I’m not Frank and I don’t know exactly why he calls you foolish. I too wish he’d put on his big boy pants to back up his points rather than dodging your question.
            Still, the answer of your question is this: just further study of the Scripture, really. The OT law is divided into moral, ceremonial, & civil/judicial laws. Even Steve Chalke, the UK evangelical leader who not long ago support monogamous same-sex relationship, acknowledged this distinction too. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law (Matt 5:17-18), whose main purpose according to Paul is not to make us righteous w/ God by doing what it says, but to point out our sinfulness (Romans 3:19-20). By the virtue of Jesus’ death & resurrection, Christians aren’t required to follow, e.g., Mosaic dietary law. God spoke to Peter not to make unclean what He’s made clean & Jesus said what you eat will eventually be, well, excreted, but defilement comes from the heart. Male Christians are also not required to be circumcised. As far as moral & judicial laws are concerned, Jesus’ death also removes us having to stone sinners & put them to death. But sin, is still sin. For instance, incest was punishable by death in OT, but because of Jesus, we don’t have to kill incestuous people, but God hasn’t removed the reason why He gave that death penalty: b/c it’s sinful and wrong. With regards to homosexuality, both the traditionalist & revisionist camps say that proper studies of historical contexts, exegesis, hermeneutics, textual criticism, classical Greek, & ancient Hebrew language whatnot are on their side, in interpreting the clobber passages. Each has their own reasons, but eventually, laypeople must critically assess the evidence they present to come up to their own conclusions (no one else can do it for them).
            Peace

          • Frank

            He is foolish because he brings up the throughly foolish shellfish and fiber hypocrisy argument which you have explained to him. You have much more patience than I plus I use a Mobil device and typing long posts just is not going to happen. After all I’m frank.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            Then when he first asked you to explain why he was foolish, then just correct where he’s wrong in his knowledge, even briefly, and there’s no need to type long post like I do since I often type from a laptop. Saying he’s “foolish” don’t solve anything. The context of OT laws is part of the reason why revisionists & traditionalists disagree on homosexuality to begin with. And plus, if you care so much about telling the truth (as YOU have claimed repeatedly) mobile device is, well, I’m sorry & I don’t mean to be sarcastic, an inadequate “excuse.”

          • Frank

            He is not interested in the truth so I didn’t feel the need to be more explanatory.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            But at least by explaining to him, you give him less of an excuse to use the shellfish and fiber arguments.

          • Frank

            I have explained it many times but yes you are probably right.

            Now that he knows I am willing to bet he and others will still continue to use the argument.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            Sure, and I can’t control that. But at least in my eyes he has no more excuse to use that argument. Peace.

          • JJm

            Correct me if I’m wrong, Neal, but despite Jesus apparently dying to save us from these hideous punishments, you state that a sin is still a sin. Does this mean we are still able to use this shellfish argument? Just because you can’t be punished for it, it’s still a sin.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            No. The New Testament declared the dietary laws null. There are distinctions b/w ceremonial, civil, and moral laws in the OT.

            1) Matt 15:11 (What goes into someone’s mouth does NOT defile them)

            2) Acts 10:15 (Don’t call unclean what God has made clean)

            On the other hands, the NT still speaks against misconducts like sexual immorality, greed, anger, pride, etc. You don’t stone anyone adulterous these days, but it’s still sinful. B/w the pro-gay and traditionalist theology, one camp thinks that back then, they didn’t understand the concept of mongamous gay relationships, so the “anti-gay” Bible verses don’t apply today. The traditionalists believe the clobber passages apply to even the committed gay relationships. Hope this helps.

      • Questioning

        I’ll give you this much Frank…. your consistent. Consistently unloving, haughty, judgmental, self-righteous, and apparently omniscient in knowing and understanding all scripture, having a superior theology to most anyone in your own mind. Seriously, do you have any idea just how lofty and bigoted you come across? There’s no love to be found anywhere in your posts for anyone who disagrees with you. Let me paraphrase… If you are kind only to those who agree with you what reward do you deserve? Even the wicked do that, but love and show kindness to those with whom you disagree, and you will be rewarded. There’s a Scriptural case for you. Consider yourself rebuked.

        • Frank

          If that makes you feel better ok. You rebuked me, never mind if what you say is true or not.

          • Julia

            Frank, this will probably fall on deaf ears, but I will repeat myself once more: I will not engage you in a theological or political debate. That is not why I am here.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            You kinda had a mini-theological debate with Julia. To be fair to Questioning, he didn’t even ask you to agree with him, but he asks for your kindness, if you read carefully. Your “If that makes you feel better ok…” reply also COMES ACROSS (I don’t know your intention, sorry) like a cop-out because you need to address why Questioning is not right. Not with YOUR theological belief, but with regards to your kindness. In our conversation in that Les Mis post, you asked me to extend grace to you because comment board is a lousy way to communicate. Fair enough, extend grace to others (just as a disclaimer: I”m not asking you to sugarcoat the truth). If people like Questioning have to ask for your kindness WITHOUT even begging for your agreement, maybe because you don’t put enough effort to show your kindness. Like I said last time, you are sort of setting up yourself to be at least misunderstood. I can’t coerce you to change your Internet communication style and I have zero interest infringing your right to online free speech, but this is an invitation to reconsider how you engage others.

          • Julia

            Neal, I think you meant to reply to Frank instead of me.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            Haha, Disqus. And yes, that’s for Frank. Sorry

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            To be fair to Questioning, he didn’t even ask you to agree with him, but he asks for your kindness, if you read carefully. Your “If that makes you feel better ok…” reply also COMES ACROSS (I don’t know your intention, sorry) like a cop-out because you need to address why Questioning is not right. Not with YOUR theological belief, but with regards to your kindness. In our conversation in that Les Mis post, you asked me to extend grace to you because comment board is a lousy way to communicate. Fair enough, extend grace to others (just as a disclaimer: I”m not asking you to sugarcoat the truth). If people like Questioning have to ask for your kindness WITHOUT even begging for your agreement, maybe because you don’t put enough effort to show your kindness. Like I said last time, you are sort of setting up yourself to be at least misunderstood. I can’t coerce you to change your Internet communication style and I have zero interest infringing your right to online free speech, but this is an invitation to reconsider how you engage others.

      • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.olson.522 Daniel Olson

        Sin made me gay? did it make you gay too? if not, then what plague did sin pronounce upon you? Surely you have also fallen short of the glory of God.
        okay… I digress. I’ll put it this way: What do you mean by “God doesn’t make anyone gay, sin does.”?

        • Frank

          Because of sin we live in a fallen broken world. Everything is broken including sexuality.

          • nerdypants

            Yeah right, it was sin and the fall that made some men gay. Though for some strange reason, this sin also works to increase the number of children that the man’s female maternal relatives will have (Camperio-Ciani et al. 2004; Proc. R. Soc. London B). How mysterious! Sin benefiting a man through his relatives, I wonder why that is? I wonder if we can use the Genesis story to explain it? (Hint: No you can’t).

          • Frank

            I wouldn’t expect someone who rejects God to understand the ways of God, sin, Gods redemptive power over sin and God turning what was bad into good for His purposes.

          • nerdypants

            Nice post-hoc rationalisation. Though I guess for my part, I shouldn’t have expected someone who treats “the fall” as a literal thing that actually happened to be able to recognise an obvious instance of the kin selection evolutionary strategy when they see it.

          • Frank

            I don’t think you fully understand the Kin selection theory especially as it relates to humans.

            You also don’t understand the theology of common grace either.

          • nerdypants

            Hah, I did indeed bollocks that up. I called it kin selection when I should have said sexually antagonistic selection. +1 Internets for you.

          • Frank

            Thats Ok I make plenty of verbal missteps.

            Still not sure how an evolutionary theory about homosexuality is in conflict with the fall or our broken fallen world.

          • JJm

            It seemed like he/she was making the point that if such a disgraceful sin like homosexuality (which isn’t even a specific behaviour might I point out) is so terrible, then why has it been scientifically proven to have some evolutionary benefit, whatever that may be.

            At the risk of contradicting myself, although I’m sure there’s a reason mother nature has set it out this way, do you deny, Frank, that the ever increasing number of homosexuals actually does have some benefit. For example, over population. Less people making babies = lower population = more resources = more ability to help others = less crime….and I could go on.

            Why would God’s perfect design include the innate animalistic instinct to incessantly procreate, despite it’s obvious negative outcome.

            Back to the main point, why would such a disgraceful sin actually have some benefit? A sin is something which harms others, is it not? I don’t recall homosexual acts ever harming others in a loving context.

    • machoMan

      “However, not all churches teach that same-sex relationships are unbiblical.”

      Right. The bible teaches it. Pressure to conform to the world’s standards is now coming from those in the church, unfortunately. Telling us that it is okay to do what we wish with our bodies and cast doubts upon our hard-thought beliefs is just as hurtful and discouraging as those on the other side, in my experience. I don’t surround myself with people on the other side. Therefore I find most discouragement from people like you.

      My experience is almost the same as the author, but I’m much younger (21)

      • Julia

        I’m sorry you feel that “people like me” are discouraging you. I am not pressuring anyone to do anything. I am also very sorry that you see such a polarized, “Us versus Them” kind of landscape. You might try giving “people on the other side” a chance. Most people are very nice and not out to get you.
        Reminder: I am not here to engage anyone in a theological or political debate.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

          machoman’s reply is to Julia, not you.

          • Julia

            Um, this is Julia.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            Oops sorry, Julia. Believe it or not, you were labelled as “Frank” LOL. My apologies. RLC Disqus is acting out

          • Julia

            LOL indeed! No worries. :-)

          • 22044

            It does that sometimes. This comment may appear as from someone else, but it will shortly show the correct poster (in this case, me, 22044). :)

      • Traci

        “Pressure to conform to the world’s standards is now coming from those in the church,”

        I agree. The church is acting very much like the world when the bully, degrade, abuse, dehumanize, and physically attack (and murder) those of us who are LGBT. Because that’s what the world does.

  • Jo

    I really appreciated this post. I would give you a hug if I could, and feel so grieved at the treatment and experiences you’ve endured. I have a very traditional position on sex and marriage … I won’t get into the reasons why, but whilst I’m not going to budge, I want to fiercely defend your cause and your plea for respect. You absolutely deserve it. More power and love to you, brother.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.p.crowder Lisa Pearson Crowder

    You do not need a pill, or to remain celibate. You need a church which will accept you and friends to support you. They exist out there. God certainly loves and accepts you as you are. Hugs and prayers to you, friend.

    • nerdypants

      +1 I have a friend who is gay and a Christian. He has found a church like this. They’re out there.

    • machoMan

      celibacy=sexual identity. homosexuality=sexual identity. Tell a homosexual that they don’t have to remain homosexual. We’ve been down that road. You just told a person who feels God has called him to celibacy that they don’t have to remain celibate. I’m really confused what you mean when you say “accept” and “support”

      • Julia

        Celibacy is a choice. Being gay is not.

        • Frank

          Who you may be attracted to = no choice
          How you act on that attraction = choice

        • machoMan

          acting on homosexual feelings is a choice

        • Logan

          So what if it is a choice to act on attractions? Acting on heterosexual attractions is a choice. As long as the relationship involves two consenting adults there is nothing wrong with it. Gay people are doing nothing wrong by starting a relationship with someone they ,love, so mind your own business and tend to your own flaws before judging others.

          • Daniel Werst

            how ’bout 3 consenting adults? hmmmm ;)

      • Ford1968

        I will fully support anyone – gay or straight – who chooses celibacy. A life alone is a tough row to hoe, and the Church, in general, is lousy at supporting single people.

        However, I will never support someone who demands celibacy from others.

        When straight priests and nuns commit themselves to a life of chaste singleness, they do so freely knowing that they have other choices. When a church tells a person who is gay that they must remain alone for their lifetime without the possibility of romantic intimacy because that’s what God demands – that is emotional coercion. That is emotional abuse.

        • Frank

          God asks us to trust Him. God created them male and female, be fruitful and multiply. We can either trust God or not. The church should always encourage people to trust God. That’s not emotional abuse.

          • Daniel Werst

            fuck your God. in the back door.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

          “When straight priests and nuns commit themselves to a life of chaste singleness, they do so freely knowing that they have other choices.” As I said in our last discussion, most straight priests & nuns don’t recant their vows regardless. Their sexual & romantic urges are just as alive as non-celibate heteros.

          “I will fully support anyone – gay or straight – who chooses celibacy.” Most gay Christians who choose celibacy are probably like Anon, they believe that an iota of expression of their orientation is sinful. You can say celibacy is demanded from them, even as they freely choose it.

          “When a church tells a person who is gay that they must remain alone for their lifetime without the possibility of romantic intimacy because that’s what God demands – that is emotional coercion. That is emotional abuse.”

          1. It’s why it’s not optional for the community to carry together this cross with the person to ease the burden. Again, not to replace the romantic needs, only God’s love is powerful enough for that.
          2. The Lord promises abundant life & that His grace is sufficient. Any same-sex attracted Christians considering celibacy will see the Lord doesn’t lie. He already proved himself on the cross.

          • Ford1968

            I love your heart, but its time to change.

            Is celibacy really a choice when everything you’ve ever been taught is that you have no choice (except, perhaps, to marry a woman)? Is celibscy really a free choice when declaring an openness to romantic intimacy puts all of your essential relationships at risk? Is celibacy really a free choice when you love Jesus and you’ve been taught to believe that being open to the possibility of romantic intimacy constitutes a “rebellion against God” Himself? Emotional coercion is a far different concept than free will.

            To have a choice and choose to give your sexuality to God as a gift is a beautiful gesture. To have celibacy demanded of you by your faith community is not a free choice at all; it is emotional coercion – irrespective of that community’s willingness to support you in your loneliness.

            Freely chosen celibacy is a beautiful offering to God. Emotionally coerced celibacy is the manifestation of emotionally abusive theology.

            Neal, I’ve presumed in these exchanges that you are a straight man. Am I correct in my presumption?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            “You can say celibacy is demanded from them, even as they freely choose it.” These are my exact words. If everyone truly wants to have their ways, no one will be a Christian, because Bible says not 1 is righteous, no one seeks God (yeah, I’m a bit of a Calvinist too). It’s everyone free will to at the end choose God, but once you’re in, God will demand obedience & our sinful nature will fight back–but that’s what sanctification & ongoing repentance are all about.

            Just to reiterate from my other point last time, Christian life is costly and in obeying God, I think suffering will come & we can be devastated spiritually and emotionally as a result, at times. Xtreme example: early Christians were martyred brutally & they didn’t deserve it. God commends and blesses us when we suffer for doing good (1 Peter 2:20). Once again, I will suggest for gays considering Christian celibacy to take comfort in God’s love, power, promises, & character to see them through, rather than taking that “glass half-empty” view of celibate life. Don’t take it up w/ a nobody like me or even the faith community, but with God.

            “Neal, I’ve presumed in these exchanges that you are a straight man. Am I correct in my presumption?” Yup. But I would never downplay the struggle and suffering of people like Anon one bit. Sorry in case it comes across that way.

          • Ford1968

            Neal,

            If you’re going to be intellectually honest, you’ve got to admit that being despised by others is much different than the church demand of celibacy. Martyrdom is much different than self flagellation.

            A better analogy is that a call to celibacy is like Jesus’ unequivocal call to poverty. In your traditionalist view, are all people called to sell all of their possessions? Isn’t that the self sacrifice God demands of us?

            Why are conservative Christians ok with keeping more money than they give away, but they’re not OK with two people selflessly committing their lives to one another? Might our ideas of holiness be a little skewed?

            You say: “Don’t take it up w/ a nobody like me or even the faith community, but with God.”

            I did take it up with God. I have not come to my understandings glibly. I did the hard work of study and prayer and meditation (and tears) and more study and more prayer (and more tears). Here’s where the Holy Spirit led me:

            For me, suicide had been an option – not because the church was harsh or insensitive; but because I listened to the damaging message that I was deeply flawed and unworthy of love.

            What I came to understand is that I am a child of God, created in His image, and worthy of the fullness of life that comes from loving and being loved. I came to understand that being gay is not a sin. In fact, the thing that was keeping me furthest from God was rejecting His gift of sexuality and living my life without authenticity.

            Your traditionalist theology is doing harm. Know that. The theology itself encourages self-loathing and depression. It encourages gay kids to remain in the closet. It ultimately pushes people away from the cross.

            You say that my marriage is less than God’s best. Well, is the harm you’re causing really God’s best? If the Church is going to be more loving to Christians who are gay, we are going to have to change our theology. It’s past time to change. And the Spirit is working powerfully to change hearts and minds.

            All my best to you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            “If you’re going to be intellectually honest, you’ve got to admit that being despised by others is much different than the church demand of celibacy. Martyrdom is much different than self flagellation.” As I’ve said, I was just using it as an EXTREME example of the cost of living the Christian life that it’s not devoid of suffering & devastation. Should’ve said that it was more like an imperfect analogy. My bad.

            “A better analogy is that a call to celibacy is like Jesus’ unequivocal call to poverty. In your traditionalist view, are all people called to sell all of their possessions? Isn’t that the self sacrifice God demands of us?” He said that in response to a RICH young man who asked him some questions. With that “instruction,” Jesus brilliantly exposed where that rich man’s heart true priorities: material wealth over God. Oops for him. It’s better not to be too rich or too poor (Proverbs 30:7-9). But let’s say poverty looms in the life of a Christian, God will provide given we seek His kingdom first & we’ll get through it (Matt 6:25-34, Phil 4:11-13). Jesus spoke of bringing sword & saying that if we love parents more than Him, we’re not worthy of the Kingdom. Obviously not an invitation to dishonor parents, but once again, life priorities. When the greatest commandment is to love him with all we are, it makes total sense.

            “Why are conservative Christians ok with keeping more money than they give away, but they’re not OK with two people selflessly committing their lives to one another?” I have zero support for behaviors of Christians who act like the foolish rich man in the Bible. As Jesus said, where your treasure is, there your heart will be.

            “I did take it up with God. I have not come to my understandings glibly. I did the hard work of study and prayer and meditation (and tears) and more study and more prayer (and more tears). Here’s where the Holy Spirit led me:For me, suicide had been an option – not because the church was harsh or insensitive; but because I listened to the damaging message that I was deeply flawed and unworthy of love.”

            1) I am very sorry that you had to go through suicidal thoughts & I’m glad you are still here with us. I mean that. I know you did your homework on the Bible b/c you said that when you gave me the Steve Chalke link. I’m sure you prayed hard & put all your effort into it, but the traditionalists also rely on hermeneutics, exegesis, historical contexts, classic Hebrew, Greek, etc as well to come up to its current conclusion. Obviously we disagree on the conclusion, but I’m just saying. God forbid that I undermine your pain & I’m sure a lot of people relate to you, but Iet’s exercise cautions in generalizing it to other churched lgbt people. Yes, I admit I have no statistics to empirically back up my “educated guess,” but here it goes. Other major contributing factors include the bullying experienced by Anon, the garbage fairy tale of homosexual practice being the worst sin ever, ostracism as an abusive knee-jerk response to coming out, parents’ unjustifiable abandonment/disownment of their gay kids, condemnation to hell just for the mere possession of the SSA (another garbage fairy tale), ex-gay myths & its evil pressure to turn gays straight or else faith is 2nd rate, and other lies perpetuated by anti-gay pseudoscientists (homosexuality=pedophilia, all about sex sex sex, and sex, they like to get high on drugs), etc. I can go on and on here. Obviously, there is more than harsh verbal condemnation, but also evil, abusive ACTIONS that attack the dignity of the person & exile them from the community. God will hold them accountable. He is just.

            “What I came to understand is that I am a child of God, created in His image, and worthy of the fullness of life that comes from loving and being loved.” Absolutely agree.

            “I came to understand that being gay is not a sin.” In terms of orientation, people don’t choose their same-sex attraction & even straights don’t choose their heterosexuality. It can’t be a sin.

            “In fact, the thing that was keeping me furthest from God was rejecting His gift of sexuality and living my life without authenticity.”

            Obviously we disagree whether the orientation is a gift or a product of the Fall. If I’m right, it’s still NOT your fault, just as it’s not anyone’s fault to be born w/ selfish desires. Not equating selfishness & orientation, just saying from my perspective it’s part of our broken nature, we don’t ask for it. Your relationship with God, though, is something I’ll respect & I’d rather not question b/c we’re all still on a journey, it’s too personal for you & it’s b/w you & Him.

            “Your traditionalist theology is doing harm. Know that. The theology itself encourages self-loathing and depression. It encourages gay kids to remain in the closet.” Once again (& this is also for the depression comment), consider other factors causing sufferings to churched LGBTs presented earlier & the caution against generalization of personal experience. On self-loathing: because they must hate themselves for being gay? No one asks for the experienced orientation, so no 1 should hate themselves for things they’re not responsible for. I believe this is tied to the church’s abuses that I also hate: b/c when they make you feel like a freak, you’ll naturally hate yourself for being a freak. But, gays are not freaks. If anyone are freaks, that’d be those haters. For the closet comment, you mean b/c they’re forced to be like Anon to protect themselves? Churched lgbts should be open w/ their struggle, but that means churches must stop viewing them like the Nazis see the Jews. Pls elaborate if I misunderstand anything about your criticisms.

            “It ultimately pushes people away from the cross.” Sincerely sorry if this sounds like a cowardly cop-out, but I don’t want to comment lest I say things I shouldn’t about other people’s PERSONAL faith journeys (and I’m not saying you do).

            “You say that my marriage is less than God’s best. Well, is the harm you’re causing really God’s best? If the Church is going to be more loving to Christians who are gay, we are going to have to change our theology. It’s past time to change. And the Spirit is working powerfully to change hearts and minds.” You’re talking to me so I naturally end up representing all the traditionalists in our convo. Totally understand, seriously. I know it’s not a personal attack, but Neal Lindberg didn’t come up with the traditionalist viewpoint b/c the church has believed that for a long time & the revisionist view is relatively recent. I’ve done my HW too in coming up to this view as do many other traditionalists, including some LGBTs. I don’t want to be wrong on an issue affecting other people made also in God’s image. Everything goes back again to Scripture, I don’t hate LGBTs, & I strictly evaluate from merits of arguments, contexts, historical evidence, etc. You probably more or less know by now my reasoning. As I said previously, I feel like if I err, I’m erring on the side of caution. If you’re right, yes, millions were deceived to be alone undeservingly & celibacy is emotionally super ultra hard, but in the big picture, I think it’s AT LEAST survivable & in celibacy, like Paul said, more time can be devoted to God. In Isaiah 56:4 & onwards, eunuchs (celibates are comparable to eunuchs nowadays) hold special place in God’s heart anyway and yes, I’ll take the divine retribution for harming LGBTs, as you say. You read that right, I’ll accept hell if I’m wrong. If I’m right & monogamous gay relationships are are wrong, think of how many have been deceived to sin. I’m sincerely sorry if this sounds offensive, you know I have no hatred towards you and ultimately, I want what’s best for you & other LGBTs, I truly mean no harm.

            All my best to you too

          • Ford1968

            Neal –

            I wasn’t going to respond, but I feel compelled.

            You clearly have a heart for people who are gay and you have done an admirable job at discerning some of the ways the church can be less harmful. I am particularly heartened by your recognition that sexual orientation is innate and immutable. I’m also encouraged that you recognize that organizations like FRC spread vile lies about people who are gay. I would be really interested to know if there is a personal motivator for your sensitivity. Are there gay people in your life?

            However, understanding how to be less harmful is not the same thing as not causing harm. Your theology is harmful. It is emotionally traumatic to Christian kids who are gay. At least own that.

            You may think there is some greater good to be gained by putting kids through this emotional trauma (like a parent who fears for the salvation of their gay child might turn to reparative therapy) – but don’t pretend that the theology itself is not harmful. It is. You are causing harm. Yes I mean the church; and by extension I mean the body of Christ who believes as you do.

            You say: “I’m sure you prayed hard & put all your effort into it, but the traditionalists also rely on hermeneutics, exegesis, historical contexts, classic Hebrew, Greek, etc as well to come up to its current conclusion.”

            I’m sure you didn’t mean it this way, but this response felt like a patronizing pat on the head. You assume that I have not relied on hermeneutics, exegesis, historical contexts, original languages, etc. I have been immersed in this topic for more than 20 years. I don’t reach my conclusions because I’m uninformed or simply chose to ignore the traditional views. That’s a very dismissive suggestion. I’ve studied works from Gagnon to Boswell and everything in between.

            Having done my homework, I’d go so far as to say that the conservative sexual ethic around homosexuality is grounded more in tradition than it is in scripture. In fact, in an historical reading of scripture, there is not a single verse that would proscribe lesbianism; yet conservatives believe that lesbian expressions of intimacy are just as sinful as gay expressions of intimacy. That’s not scriptural, that’s strictly tradition-based.

            Tradition is important, to be sure, but it is not the same thing as truth. It should not be discarded lightly, but neither should it idolized or be mistaken for the gospel. Church tradition once held that the world is flat and that the sun revolved around the earth. Church tradition once held that owning another human was OK and that interracial marriage was not. Church tradition held (and still often holds) that patriarchy is God-ordained rather than cultural, so women must be subjugated. The church got it wrong before in really frightening ways. It’s time for our traditions to change. It’s time for our theology to change.

            You might say that my perspectives are revisionist and modern. I would say there’s nothing modern about them. There is even evidence of the early church blessing same sex relationships. Gay affirming perspectives might have been the minority view historically, but they did not emerge from the mist 70 years ago (although that’s when the word homosexuality first appeared in the bible).

            I don’t get the sense that there is any hate in your perspective. Quite the opposite. I want to believe that you don’t intend harm. But you are complicit in it nonetheless.

            It is not unreasonable to insist that we need to change our theology. There is ample historical precedent for doing just that. It is now time to change our theology in regards to homosexuality. I would hope that our faith is not so shallow or so fragile that we are incapable of admitting that we need to change. If the church is serious about showing love to people who are gay, we need to believe differently.

            Sincere thanks for engaging in the dialog.
            I’ll stop bothering you now…I promise ;)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            “I am particularly heartened by your recognition that sexual orientation is innate and immutable” First, thanks. For the most part, I agree w/ this, which is why I’m skeptical of ex-gay stuffs, but recently University of Utah researcher Lisa Diamond discovers SOME lesbians are capable of sexual fluidity. So, it’s more like, “Orientation is immutable, but there are RARE exceptions of natural, voluntary, non exgay induced change.” Regardless, NOT OK to condemn gays&lesbians to hell just b/c they have the orientation. Period. I understand some experimental statistics so I can sometimes catch deception in research funded by NOM & FRC cough*Regnerus*cough.

            “Are there gay people in your life?” 3 friends: 2 celibates, 1 monogamous like you. The 2 celibates are in the same predicament as Mr. Anon. That’s why I get so passionate. I keep their secrets out of respect for their privacy.

            “Like a parent who fears for the salvation of their gay child might turn to reparative therapy” I’m NOT into reparative therapy if by that you mean praying away the gay & forcing them to be straight. Parents need to be educated about the pseudoscience to be avoided. By the greater good I mean of course, salvation & obedience to God. As I’ve at least implied time & time again, the Christian life requires sacrifice. We just disagree if the orientation expressions of gays and lesbians must be the offerings or not.

            “I’m sure you didn’t mean it this way, but this response felt like a patronizing pat on the head. You assume that I have not relied on hermeneutics, exegesis, historical contexts, original languages, etc. I have been immersed in this topic for more than 20 years. I don’t reach my conclusions because I’m uninformed or simply chose to ignore the traditional views. That’s a very dismissive suggestion. I’ve studied works from Gagnon to Boswell and everything in between.” That’s what I meant by “put all your efforts.” Your thorough research is implied when you gave the Steve Chalke link. Still, I’m sorry if it came across as patronizing. I thought by mentioning “all your efforts” that’s kind of clear. I think scholars from both sides are informed and have studied the relevant fields. From a strictly research perspective though, these kinds of intellectual disagreements happen all the time in ALL areas of academia. Not to downplay the weight of this issue, but just pointing out I’m not that surprised by all the interpretation disagreements.

            “In fact, in an historical reading of scripture, there is not a single verse that would proscribe lesbianism; yet conservatives believe that lesbian expressions of intimacy are just as sinful as gay expressions of intimacy. That’s not scriptural, that’s strictly tradition-based.” A traditionalist will usually quote Romans 1 for this. I understand that the two sides disagree on the contextual stuffs, obviously.

            “Church tradition once held that the world is flat and that the sun revolved around the earth. Church tradition once held that owning another human was OK and that interracial marriage was not. Church tradition held (and still often holds) that patriarchy is God-ordained rather than cultural, so women must be subjugated. The church got it wrong before in really frightening ways. It’s time for our traditions to change. It’s time for our theology to change.” Regarding sun & earth, if I’m not mistaken that’s based on a Bible verse. God didn’t intend to inspire the Bible to teach us about astronomy & He cares more that we know He created everything. I think He primarily cares about spiritual truths & leaves intellectuals to develop physics theories throughout the ages. I addressed slavery,anti-semitism, interracial marriage, and women subjugation in the Les Mis post. If they’re not convincing to you, I understand, but in case you havent’ seen it it’s still there. I think I replied to you, or ey, I don’t remember.

            On me calling it “revisionist,” I tend to use that word intechangeably with “pro-gay theology” or whatever. Sorry, I personally can be loose with terms. I won’t get into much details, but w/ regards to early Christian SSU, suffice to say those have been challenged as well. Hate I can’t post link in Disqus, but I’ll try: renseDOTcomSLASHgeneral50SLASHcathDOThtm.

            With regards to the traditionalist interpretation being emotionally abusive, I said I’ll take divine retribution and hell if you’re right. I’m not saying you’re wishing me that, obviously not, & I’m not insinuating anything, but look, both of us disagree on the interpretation of Scripture, that’s the root of the issue. If that can’t be reconciled, it’s difficult for me to own up. Just as it’s difficult for you to own up as well when someone like Frank (cuz I saw his convo w/ you—to Frank, no offense I’m not trolling you,man!) say you’re leading people to sin & you make Scripture “obey your sinful desires” or however he actually said it, because you don’t buy the merits of our interpretation.

            Now, I acknowledge again, I don’t pretend to know how difficult it is to be celibate, and I will never downplay the suffering that comes with it, but I believe through my interpretation that God blesses those who suffer for doing good & He has a special place for celibate gay people (Isaiah 56:4). Once again, I ask gays & lesbians considering celibacy to trust in God’s sufficient grace & unconditional love & to understand that Christian life is costly. But, neither of us can force people (I’m certainly NOT saying you coerce people, I’m just trying to avoid another misunderstanding) to believe us. We can influence,plead, educate, pray, etc but eventually they have to make their own personal decisions. We can’t do it for them.

            If you feel there’s anything you want to respond to, don’t worry I don’t feel bothered at all. I enjoy this dialogue with you, Ford, I mean that. But, I don’t see how it can be anymore productive, I guess, just b/c I notice we keep on repeating ourselves LOL. I’m also sincerely sorry if I keep on compelling you to respond, and in case you find it bothersome in any ways too.

            I sincerely thank you too!

            Blessings

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

          Though I disagree, I understand why many Christian gays and lesbians choose the monogamous relationship pathway. If I may suggest, speak to Christians such as Anon (who are more open obviously) on this demand that they feel they must fulfill, and why they stay regardless…just as a healthy, civil dialogue to get a fresh new perspective.
          Blessings

          • Ford1968

            With all due respect, I don’t know any Christains who are gay who have remained celibate past the age of 35. Do you?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            From a traditionalist perspective, I don’t freak out when they “stumble” occasionally. The point is a life of ongoing repentance and sanctification.

          • Ford1968

            Wow, so you would be ok with someone feeling like their only option is hookups (and the attendant cycle of shame) than you would be with a committed couple? That doesn’t seem aligned with God’s plan.

            I was actually saying I don’t know anyone over 35 who stayed committed to celibacy. Do you?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            I don’t mean hookups, but in terms of Proverbs 24:16, a righteous person falls seven times, but they rise again.

            Just as a concrete example. Do you know Matt Moore, a Christian Post blogger who left the “gay lifestyle”? He recently was caught on grindr, a hookup site for gay men. He gave an interview on CP about how he acknowledged he sinned & he wanted to get back on track spiritually with the celibate life. Conservative Christians are VERY supportive of him because he “turned away from sin.” Of course, one could say, “It was just for show b/c he’s in the public eye, but I’ll reserve that to the only One who TRULY knows his heart. He’s on twitter if you want to dialogue w/ him.

            “I was actually saying I don’t know anyone over 35 who stayed committed to celibacy. Do you?” I personally know 2 celibate lesbians in their 20s & 1 gay guy in a committed monogamy, also in his 20′s. For public figures, don’t know em personally, so can’t vouch for if they’ve ever “stumbled” in a repentant context & I won’t limit by age:

            -Eve Tushnet, celibate lesbian Catholic. Entered Yale in 96, probably around mid 30′s by now. Age unsure

            -Christopher Yuan, evangelical. HIV+. Please don’t be mad & kill me I’m not an AIDS expert, but I HONESTLY don’t know if that forces him to be celibate. Age not sure. He has a blog, feel free to contact him.

            -Wesley Hill, evangelical. Probably still in his 20′s though. I know he got his PhD already, so maybe close to 30′s

            -Randy Thomas. Looks middle-aged. He’s with Exodus, but nonetheless still celibate publicly.

            -Ron Belgau. Celibate gay Catholic. Unsure of his age, but looks middle-aged to me

            -Henri Nouwen. Deceased gay Catholic priest & definitely over 35 when he died. Was closeted publicly, but not to personal friends. No evidence to suggest he ever broke his vows (i.e., no known secret hookups. Like Cardinal O’Brien, secret liasons would eventually come up, but not for Nouwen).

            I find public figures over 35 that refrain gay relationships are usually married to a woman. No comment if they feel “forced” to be married like that, not for me to judge I’m not God. Examples: Alan Chambers, Sy Rogers, Rosaria Butterfield, Peter Ould (C of England clergy, has a blog), Ricky Chelette, & Shawn Harrison.

          • Rachel

            One of my best friends is SSA. Age 48. Celibate.

          • Kat

            same goes for hetro’s as well. That’s labeling..

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            Sorry, I don’t get your comment, what goes the same for heteros and what’s being labeled?

          • Rachel

            Yes. I do.

          • Gordon James

            I know several who are celibate and single and part of my circle of friends.

            I know a number who have had homosexual experiences but are now seeking their companionship in hetero relationships.

            I know a small number who have a background of mixed sexuality who are now growing old in traditional man-woman marriages.

            The ones I have the most difficulty with are the ones in a long term homosexual relationship who want to say “We have prayed about it, and that God is OK with it.”

        • Gordon James

          you said – “When a church tells a person who is gay that they must remain alone for their lifetime without the possibility of romantic intimacy because that’s what God demands – that is emotional coercion. That is emotional abuse.”

          It is not so much a church position (although churches should take a position on issues) as it is that many believers read their Bible and believe it to be God’s position on the issue. Churches and people are famous for making mistakes on issues that are unclear (Once saved, always saved or total alcohol abstinence are examples).

          If believers look to scripture and conscience and believe sex is only appropriate in a heterosexual marriage, why would you call it coercion or abuse when they stat their belief?

          From a slightly different perspective, there are gay friendly churches, and some that openly promote inclusion. If a person’s concern is for a community that loves and accepts them they might find one in many cities. The bigger question from the post is that believers who are gay want kindness. The author did not ask us to change our position, but our behavior.

          From the original blog – “I also ask that we cut out the gay-bashing talk; I get that it’s funny with your friends and it cuts to the quick, but I guarantee you’ve said it in front of us and we twist inside and mourn inside.
          Be kind to us; we are broken and we need no more reminders.”

          • Ford1968

            Hi Gordon.
            It is possible for a belief to be both sincerely held and abusive. If a Christian Scientist refuses his child essential medical treatment, does his sincere belief in any way mitigate the injury his inaction has caused the child? If a girl raised in a fundamentalist community believes she has less worth than men, does the sincerity of that community’s belief make it any less damaging to that girl’s self esteem?

            My point is that when the motivation to remain celibate is a belief imposed on you by your family and your faith community- a belief that there is no other option but to remain celibate, it is not a person freely choosing to give ones sexuality to God as a gift; in that instance, celibacy is a response to an emotionally coercive demand.

            I get the authors point and wholly agree that the church has a long way to go in loving gay people. My response was to the question about supporting the chaste single person without accepting a celibacy-only theology.

            As for affirming churches, the gay kid in the front pew probably doesn’t have the luxury to remove himself from the abusive faith community like the author presumably has. The gay kid is probably still dependent on his parents, and probably has many/most of his most important relationships wrapped up in that community. Another reason why the emotionally anusive messages are so utterly destructive.
            My best to you.

          • Gordon James

            in reference to a celibacy-only theology you say – ” in that instance, celibacy is a response to an emotionally coercive demand.”

            I agree. Most morality is coercive, imposed on us by our family and community. They do it (I hope) for reasons they believe are for our own good. Then we grow up and assess the moral code imposed on us. Some of us adopt it as our own, others rebel. Most of us are somewhere in between. I’m not a fan of mandatory seat belts, speed limits and other laws (or morality) that I think cross the line into personal freedoms.

            I’m not sure I agree with your characterization of a church that states disagreement with homosexual sex acts and champions the cause of celibacy outside a man-woman marriage is “the abusive faith community”

            II am quite opposed to labeling any message that disagrees with a lifestyle is “emotionally abusive” and “so utterly destructive.”

            Blessings in your journey.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.p.crowder Lisa Pearson Crowder

        He neve said that he felt God called him to celibacy.

      • DW

        He may be choosing this path of celibacy in an attempt to resolve what he perceives as his brokenness instead of embracing one of the gifts that God gave to us, expression. That he isn’t as horrible a monster as he is constantly being reminded if he doesn’t give himself over to that physical pleasure. He doesn’t realize that even if we merely think of those affections of another, or appreciate another’s beauty within our minds to whom we are not married, we’ve committed lust. Although, he may actually believe being celibate entangles him less to that which he’s been told is a sin. In many congregations, if you are not outcast for being homosexual, and cannot change your thoughts, if at least you are celibate, you are resisting the temptations of the Devil. Sad, but true. So are we celibate because we truly want to be that way, or just tortured souls who cannot untangle ourselves from the cookie cutter churches that cannot accept the words written in red and have to thumb back to those writings steeped in the very laws from which the savior came to deliver us?

    • Kat

      AMEN SISTA PREACH ON

    • just another sinner

      Perhaps celibacy is how he deals with God, and his faith. Some people do. It’s perfectly ok to be celilbate, although not entirely comfortable.

  • Dan Randazzo

    I really, truly, and deeply understand your pain. I have been rejected by other branches of the Christian Church for living fully into who I am, and for not apologising for it. I am a Christian, a bisexual, and I simply do not care who takes issue with either of those aspects of who I am. I am a member of a ‘church’ that upholds the genuine blessing and giftedness of sexuality, no matter whether with a man or a woman. I am truly blessed to be affirmed, and I feel so much pain that you are not affirmed. I am so very sorry for that. In my mind, the argument is settled: sexuality in all of its diversity is a gift from God. I don’t know you, but please know that I will be praying for you to find peace, acceptance, and joy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/philip.zylstra Philip Zylstra

    Thanks for opening my eyes and breaking what needs to be broken in my heart that bit more.

  • obotoc

    There are many Christian churches who will love and accept you just the way you are. All of you. You do not have to live a life of secrecy and misery. Please think and pray about attending one.

    • Frank

      Wy would anyone want to stay just the way we are? Being a Christian means becoming more like Jesus not more like our sinful selves. Run away from any church that wants to leave you just as you are they are not of Christ.

  • Rev. Eileen M Smith LeVan

    I’m an ELCA Lutheran pastor. My heart grieves that you have experienced such rejection and pain. In the church where I serve, you would be welcomed and embraced for who you are (probably not by everyone, but by most!) I don’t know your name, but I will pray for you,that you will find joy, certain that God knows you and loves you. Thank you for sharing. May your words teach those of us who have not known such rejection to watch for others like you and to respond with compassion, acceptance and love. I believe Jesus would want that!

    • Frank

      Jesus never accepted sinful behavior. He accepted sinners though.

  • Romans6

    You’re not alone, my friend! There are tons of gay Christians out here, and -get this- even communities of *celibate* gay Christians! Yours is an important voice, and I’m glad to hear you join the likes of Ron Belgau and Wesley Hill in speaking out. I hope that you find a loving and supportive community where you are both deeply known and deeply loved!

    • machoMan

      The things of Christ are so magnificent, the tasks so urgent, the world hurting so deeply yet being populated by such beautiful diverse people.

  • machoMan

    Almost the same experience as you, but I’m younger (still in college) with regards to the comments being posted I’m really discouraged that so many people “feel sorry” for us and tell us it is okay to do as we wish with our bodies, thus actually attacking our own value system which is just as much an attack on our identity. I can say that I’ve been really blessed, apart from acquaintances I’ve avoided people using the f-word, making jokes etc. there are many Christians who accept us as we are REALLY, who live on biblical principles and value singleness as high as marriage. I have still struggled a lot to get to where I’m at. And no matter what remember that God is love. He is truth. Focusing on him and restricting the chatter has always been my way to recharge. Fighting this battle is worth it IMO. But, I also think that I can have intimate relationships with people without getting married. I guess I’m lucky to be in the community I’m in. I realize it is kind of unique, maybe very unique where you are from. God loves you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.olson.522 Daniel Olson

      I’d be interested in chating with you, but cant figure out how to do that. feel free to contact me on FB if interested.

  • nerdypants

    There is no God. Life is short. Come out and be happy.

    • nerdypants

      Heh, look at you all down-voting this. You all really think a method of interpretation that says the earth is 6000 years old and that a girl should marry her rapist has anything useful to say about what this guy should do with his life? I doubt there’s a God, but if there is, He wouldn’t say such nonsense. He’d be smarter than that.

      Anonymous, I know a gay Christian who is out and doing well, and he is such a great and emotionally-together guy that it’s just a matter of time before he finds the love of his life, marries him, and lives happily ever after. Reassess your beliefs Anonymous, you may just find that you’ve got more options than you think. Not even all *Christians* believe that you are doomed to a life alone let alone us heathens. Don’t forego your happiness and your potential in life by putting yourself in an unnecessary bind.

      • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

        I’m just going to go out on a limb and guess that the downvotes are coming because you commented “there is no God” on a Christian website. But yeah, god job pretending that it’s about a difference of opinions on Biblical interpretation.

        • nerdypants

          How am I pretending that? If our anonymous writer interpreted the Bible the same way my gay Christian friend does, he wouldn’t have any of these problems. My friend’s interpretation not only makes more sense regarding science and the evidence, he is a lot happier for it as well. Anonymous could be happy too, if not by leaving Christianity altogether, at least by reconsidering this version of it.

          (And I wish he would reconsider, because he sounds really unhappy, and I want him to be happy.)

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            I meant pretending the downvotes were about interpretation. I thought I made that pretty clear, but if I didn’t, I apologize. So let me say it clearly, now: you weren’t downvoted because of a difference in opinion on Biblical interpretation. You were downvoted because you came onto a Christian website and said, unqualified, “there is no God.” But I think you knew that already.

          • nerdypants

            Ah, I misread you. No, I didn’t mean to imply/pretend that the downvotes where over interpretation, but I see now that what I wrote does read that way. I also probably should have made the first statement “there is no God” –> “that particular God ain’t real”, but it lacks the punch, and to be totally honest about what I personally believe, the first statement is the more accurate.

            Yet still, I feel for this guy. He has gone without a relationship for 10 years, and will never allow himself to find love, to marry, and to experience all of the great things that go along with that (Could you do that?? Because I know I couldn’t!) And then on top of it all, those who should respect him for making such an incredible sacrifice are treating him like dirt. And all for what? A God that can’t even the age of the universe right? What could he possibly hope to gain from a God like that? This is such a waste, such a terrible waste, and it could all be fixed if he’d just stop believing in these lies.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            Well then, with that taken care of, you and I no longer have any major disagreement – that is, we have a “major” disagreement about whether or not there is any god, but it’s no longer a point really worth pursuing. I especially agree (if one can agree more than 100%) with you, that it is a problem that “those who should respect him for making such an incredible sacrifice are treating him like dirt.” So many who claim to “hate the sin and love the sinner” focus far too little on the actual person, in their effort to let the world know where they stand on an issue. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

          • nerdypants

            What is the deal with that anyway? As an atheist I don’t believe that he should forego sex and love, but I sill have a tonne of admiration for the discipline it would take to do that, for some higher purpose, even if I believe that purpose is a lie. But you Christians, you *do* believe (some or most of you) that he should forego it, yet a bunch of Christians have expressed even less admiration than a heathen like I would have. Do Christians believe that the act is a sin, or that the inclination is a sin? Surely it is the act, because you all still embrace e.g. people who struggle with addictions. Though perhaps it really is the inclination, the very fact that he will inevitably be checking other dudes out means that he is committing homosexuality “in his heart” (c.f. Matthew 5:28). And I’ve heard Christians say that all sin is the same, but it really seems as though homosexuality is a regarded as a bigger sin than the others. That he might be checking out dudes is worse than if he was lusting after women in the congregation.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            He checking out other dudes is NOT worse than lusting after women in the congregation, they’re equally sinful. Christians who think homosexuality is a bigger sin should:
            1) Repent, apologize, and make amends to people like Anon. Reconciliation & forgiveness are possible
            2) Get over themselves and grow up
            If they stubbornly still don’t like having certain sinners over others in their midst, they’re more than welcomed to bring their hatred somewhere else. But don’t pollute the church with the prejudice.

          • nerdypants

            You might be right Neal. I’m _pretty_ sure that there isn’t a scale of sins in most Christians’ understanding of Christianity, in which case the observation that many Christians regard homosexuality as somehow worse than other sins must be explained by other things. You mentioned prejudice. That the mere presence of a homosexual might make them feel uncomfortable sounds like the kind of thing that secular homophobes display. I wonder too if politics might have something to do with it.

          • nerdypants

            Though there is that issue of it being an “abomination”. That’s a strong word, even if it also gets used to described the kind of depraved individuals who’ll eat oysters (yech!).

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            If you refer to Leviticus 18, the homosexual act is immediately described as an abomination on the same sentence. In verse 26, though, ALL of the other sexual misconducts described previously in that chapter are described as abominations ALSO (including the assortment of incest). We still go “eww” at incest these days and they’re illegal.

            K, I’m not trying to equate homosexuality & incest here, just pointing out other stuffs that the OT find abominable. As far as dietary laws are concerned, God pretty much nullified the clean vs unclean distinctions in NT (Matthew 15:11, Acts 10:15, 1 Corinthians 8:8). The debate b/w the pro-gay and traditionalist Christians is summed up this way: Is it only sinful then or is it still sinful now? Both have their own reasons & studies of historical contexts to back their positions.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

            Politics = you betcha, but not all conservative churches are like that though. Some still preach against homosexuality, but don’t campaign to vote Republican.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            You’re honestly asking the wrong person, because my work with the Greek and Hebrew texts has led me to the conclusion that homosexuality as we understand it isn’t a sin, but I’ll say this: if I did agree that it was a sin, it would be the actual act of homosexual sex that would be sinful. Your Matthew connection is one I hadn’t considered before, but I’d say it’s more applicable to active lusting than a passive orientation. So, that’s part of the reason I get so frustrated with the rhetoric of “love the sinner, hate the sin” – because it’s never actually carried out. Instead, the focus is on the perceived sin, or the potential for the perceived sin, and the human being, made in the image and likeness of God, is removed from consideration. That, and as you say, I believe that all sins are equal – Revelation 21 lists off those who will be thrown into the lake of fire, and that list includes cowards and liars, sins that we rarely call out.

          • nerdypants

            I’m glad you’ve interpreted it that way. I’ve read a little bit about how that interpretation works. I can’t say that I find it particularly convincing, but I can say that I’m relieved that it is even possible. There’s no way that we can stamp out Christian homophobia in the short term by the most direct means, so this is (from my perspective I guess) a lucky find, and will hopefully suffice as a stop-gap measure.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            I have to admit, I’m a bit confused about what led you to commenting on a Christian site, since you’re an atheist.

          • nerdypants

            What kind of question is that? Don’t you leave comments on blogs and stuff when you see the writer is having a bad time? Or do you just keep on clicking when you find out they have a different religion to you? The writer sounds really unhappy to me. I mean, he might think I’m a jerk because I’m an atheist, and he’ll likely ignore me (if there’s anyone Christians hate more than the gays it’s the atheists). But then again, maybe he won’t. Maybe my story about my gay Christian friend might help him, or the suggestion to find a new church. Maybe all these commenters who will only accept him if he stays celibate are making it worse (I know that’d make *me* feel pretty rotten). I don’t know, why wouldn’t I comment?

          • nerdypants

            Sorry, that sounded vaguely accusatory. I’m sure you do leave advice and supportive comments for people you run into on the web, I didn’t meant to imply that you don’t, I just mean to say that atheists do that too. Though you’re right, I probably shouldn’t be commenting on a Christian website. I don’t ever lie about the perspective I’m coming from, and it’s not a place where my presence or perspective is wanted.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not trying to kick you out or anything! I was just curious about how you ended up here – I don’t make it a habit to frequent Buddhist websites, for example. It’s mere curiosity on my part, nothing more.

          • http://www.facebook.com/maryn.tompkins Maryn Tompkins

            You might be surprised at how many non-believers frequent religious sites (Christian and otherwise). I, for example, am agnostic, but am a fan of The Christian Left site, which led me to this article. I was pushed away from Christianity in my youth because of all of the hate, judgment, patronizing, self-righteousness and intolerance in much of the Christian community. I have not yet found a reason to return, and the religious right have, over & over, reaffirmed that I made the right decision. However, it does not mean that I don’t care about others and, being close to several homosexuals, I am always concerned when one is being abused/judged for something they absolutely have no choice in. Anons’ story breaks my heart and, knowing someone who has gone through almost exactly what he is going through touches me personally. I do not understand how denying who you are could possibly be a sin, in fact, to me, it is quite the opposite. I know Anon is not denying who he is and I respect his beliefs and decisions, but to me, the sin is with the church, family & friends who would not fully accept him if he came out. No one should have to go through what he is going through and any God that demands that of him is not one I want to believe in.

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            Fair ’nuff. I feel rather silly for not even thinking of this article being linked on other sites…

          • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

            Sorry, I think I was unclear again. What I meant was, I’m surprised that you were on this site to find this story in the first place. I was more curious about what led you to the site in general than why you were commenting on this particular thread. Apologies for being unclear.

  • DrewTwoFish

    There seem to be multiple participants with widely divergent views using the title “Questioning.” I’m confused.

    • 22044

      If you refresh the page, that hopefully clears up some of the confusion. Sometimes comments get posted quickly and their authors don’t get identified properly.

  • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

    Amazing how, when the anonymous author wants more than anything for us to treat him/her as a person and not just his/her sexual orientation, so much of the comment section reverts to discussions of homosexuality that remove humanity from the equation…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

      I know, right! (Like, seriously)

      • http://ninure.tk Ninure

        You know there 2000 some odd verses telling “us” how we are to treat the poor, the needy, the oppressed, and only six verses that MIGHT “deal with” Gays and Lesbians.

        I suppose it is far easier to pretend that homosexuality is the most important sin (to condemn) so that we don’t have to do anything Jesus tells “us” to do.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

          I don’t think it’s a super sin, but this post deals with homosexuality, so…to speak about the poor is to digress from the subject. For the record, I agree that conservatives don’t take the commandment to take care of the poor as seriously as they should

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

    Anonymous,
    My beloved brother in Christ and apple of His eyes, I’m sorry and my heart breaks because you’re a victim of Jesus’ followers acting like the enemy that comes to steal, kill, and destroy. It’s even more outrageous when you have already obediently complied to the traditionalist view that you church community likely upholds and you believe to be true. I’m sitting here thinking, “What else could he do?” There is not even a single excuse for your community and those around you to make you feel like you can’t be open about your struggle. There is also absolutely ZERO excuse for your brothers and sisters in Christ to not carry this cross and burden TOGETHER with you, MOST ESPECIALLY when you’re doing your part & when God is doing His part. People like you and other celibate gay Christians need to make their voices heard more because they deserve to be heard.

    To the churches out there that, unwittingly or not, treat same-sex attracted people like God’s favorite abominations, or a bunch of living, breathing, & walking dartboards w/ your embarrassingly childish, vile jokes, deplorably revolting ostracism, inexcusably cruel parental disownment/abandonment, and display of absurdly ridiculous superiority complex: R-E-P-E-N-T, REPENT!. There is no basis in Scripture for abusing, torturing, and starving to death the sheep that Jesus asks YOU to feed and take care of. Or should you perhaps, just reevaluate how much you truly love Him? If you don’t like my open rebuke, don’t take it up with me, take it up with our own Lord (John 21: 15-18).

    “The church will hug the man that just cheated his wife for a year and shun the struggling gay guy who hasn’t had sex in 10 years. Guaranteed. Easy money.” I pray and dream for a future where people like Anonymous and their supportive allies cease making these sorts of statements because their church community behave like they actually should : without any partiality, just like their Heavenly Father.

    God be with you, Anonymous

  • formerroadie

    You do not need to deny yourself nor having a relationship. If you choose to do so, please do so for other reasons than those who are wrong headed about it being sinful. Find love if you wish and find it proudly. God bless you.

    • Frank

      So you are encouraging the sin of pride?… and pride about sinful behavior? No thanks!

    • 22044

      You are recommending that Anonymous violate his conscience & convictions.

  • Brigid

    Thank you.

  • bethdeesb

    Thank you for sharing your story and your vulnerability. I see your pain and so wish you didn’t have to deal with the hate from even one person much less so many in this world. I love how Tammy put it with a simple, but yet powerful statement, “You are God’s beloved”!!! Nothing beats that!

  • 22044

    By the way, this post was written a year ago on someone else’s blog. I would be curious if there was an update as to how Anonymous is doing.

    • http://adammclane.com/ Adam McLane

      I can speak up since the author is my friend and this post originally appeared on my blog. (Of course, it’s a little weird to answer how he’s doing for him, I’ll pass along my interpretation of how he’s doing.)

      Since writing this post the core parts of the narrative have not changed. That said, he’s still involved in church, I see signs of his faith in action all the time, (he’s putting me to shame in this department) and he’s still a great friend and a great dude in my life.

      I’m really pleased to see this conversation get new life on RLC. The stuff that is written about is raw and rare– it’s not how we’re supposed to talk about life in the church because it’s not how life in the church is supposed to be.

      Together we can do better.

      • 22044

        Adam,
        Thank you, sir, for taking time to reply. I will continue to wish your friend the best.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.olson.522 Daniel Olson

    Wow… what a letter. I relate to all that the author speaks of, but I confess my attempts at celibacy have been nowhere near as successful. I occasionally attend Calv Chapel services here in Broward often with fellow SGA Christians. We would never draw attention to ourselves in hopes of “sending a message” or even testing the waters. We are there to love, to learn, and grow. Finding that most of our lives are influenced more often by the “gay affirming” church body and openly gay culture in general, its crucial to balance the world view i get with diverse experiences with the rest of the Body of Christ.

    We want to embrace you and learn from you. But unless you are willing to get down in the trenches with us as we fight our own weaknesses don’t expect us to fully trust you with our innermost struggles or regard your cliche spiritual cures. If it was that easy we would have already done it. Even Jesus got his hands dirty when healing the blind man.

  • jsboegl

    I lament and deplore the fact that this man was repudiated by Christians. Inexcusable, sinful and anti-christ. None-the-less, as a vital participant in the “Christian world”, I can authoritatively say: thousands of pastors & believers that I’ve been connected with over the decades have not come close to treating the one who struggles with homosexuality like a child-molester. It continues to be possible for the vast majority of us Bible-believing Christians to hold to a non-redactive view of scripture re: homosexuality – to lovingly call it sin and still empathize and treat the person who is struggling with homosexuality with respect and dignity.

    • Ford1968

      First, I’d just like to say that I believe the bible too. You and I don’t understand it the same way; that doesn’t mean that one of us doesn’t believe it. I don’t think non-redactive means what you think it means. It doesn’t mean “anything other than my interpretation is twisting scripture”. Christians can have a high view of scripture and come to a different conclusion about the sinfulness of homosexuality than the one you’ve stated. OK, now that that’s out of the way…

      So long as you are saying that homosexuality is a struggle and that romantic expressions of homosexuality are sin, then you are not treating that person with respect nor dignity. It is impossible. You are telling that person that they are deeply flawed in a way that makes them unworthy of the blessings that flow from giving and receiving romantic love.

      There is nothing respectful nor dignified in the message you give: “You are unworthy of love and compelled to live your life alone or displease God and separate yourself from Him.” That message is doing harm to young Christians who are gay. Real harm to flesh and blood people.

      Real. Harm. Suicide, detachment, depression, families torn apart – not caused by the way you deliver the message, caused by the message itself. In the name of Christ no less.

      The Church is the cause rather than cure for this harm. That’s upside-down. That’s heart-wrenching. If we want to change the way we are loving Christians who are gay, we must change our theology.

      • Questioning

        Nicely stated…

      • jsboegl

        Say what you will, re-interpret what you want and twist hermeneutics until the cows come home, but the scriptures simply will never say that homosexual behavior is pleasing to God. Argue from a different premise if you will, but there’s no credible basis, or historical precedent for interpreting the numerous passages in the manner that you suggest. It is what it is – a complete 20th c. falsification.

        • Ford1968

          I sincerely hope that if you are willing to continue to cleave to this emotionally abusive message, that you have done the study, prayer and meditation to have faith you are right.

          If you’ve done that work, then I’m sure that you understand the theological underpinnings of my perspectives, just as I understand yours. Yet one more conversation is not going to be fruitful.

          If you’ve not done that work, then please do. It’s important. It’s urgent. The Church is doing harm to people. And we need the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

          • jsboegl

            Amen. We need the Holy Spirit’s guidance… Every breath… Love your last line brother. :o)

          • jsboegl

            Advocating this lifestyle isn’t going to take you where you think, friend. When you’ve discovered that you’re captivated in a place of emotional, sexual and spiritual bondage fortunately there will still be people who are loving you, believing Jesus’ power for you and supporting you as He works true liberation into your spirit. Jesus loves us and is committed to bringing us to spiritual and emotional vibrancy no matter how deep our corrupt nature takes us. I pray that you have people who know this and believe this for you, too.

          • Ford1968

            I’m not advocating a lifestyle. I’m advocating for all people to live a life with authenticity and integrity. That is the freedom I found in Christ. It was the church and religiosity that were putting me in bondage (see letter from anonymous above as exhibit A).

          • JS Boegl

            It all hinges on who’s defining authenticity and integrity. The devil has a fine definition of both and deludes millions into hell. Jesus has another – and it’s not easily received, much less lived with fidelity.

          • Ford1968

            My cat-o-nine-tails has been retired, thank you very much. God has a better way.
            Blessings to you in your journey.

          • JS Boegl

            Yes, God indeed, has a better way. No need for the cat-o-nine tails –
            …a cross will do. (Mark 8:34)

          • Frank

            Sin has you in bondage it seems.

        • Questioning

          I’m not sure where the twisting of the hermeneutics is exactly…. maybe you can help me with that, but there absolutely is credible basis AND historical precedent for re-interpretation. Unless of course you are denying that homosexuals suffer prejudice, marginalization, rejection, injustice, bullying, physical and emotional harm, not to mention being a large percentage of runaways and probably being the most likely segment of the population to commit suicide. You don’t have to believe me… re-read the blog. And it’s been this way for long years…. There is also a valid different premise, the premise that homosexuals have a different viewpoint and you cannot walk in their shoes, so at least respect what they have to say. You can at least acknowledge that the intent is honorable and honest. I see people all the time carping about how homosexuals are trying to rewrite the Bible so that they can live any way they want to but that’s bull manure. Which came first, our prejudice and rejection or their reaction to it? Given society and it’s treatment of homosexuals the simple overriding question is… could we have gotten something wrong here? There is also historical precedent for that, i.e. the fact that we have been wrong before, numerous times. If the church had stepped up and stood side by side with homosexuals as all the years of injustice unfolded, this sin argument would likely have never gotten to the level it has. Finally, let’s separate fact from opinion. Your “20th c. falsification” statement is nothing more than an opinion and has zero validity here, unless you can prove otherwise. Indeed you bear false witness to those who are standing in the gap for our homosexual brothers and sisters.

          • jsboegl

            Cite sources for biblical reinterpretation please.
            Friend, the problem with these arguments of redaction are that they are simply not true to culture, nor the history of textual interpretation. Where in scripture do you find the practice of homosexuality being affirmed? Where among the thousands of individuals mentioned in the scriptures are the references to righteous homosexuals? Why does every text relegate homosexuality to unrighteousness? The mountain of scriptural, cultural, historical evidence is unassailable, except by those who would malign scripture to fit their 20th c. world-views.

          • Questioning

            “Cite sources for re-interpretation please” Huh? Not sure what you are asking. If it’s what I think, sources are not hard to find if you are interested. Cebiazdotcom, for example, has a 230+ page PDF written by a pastor/scholar/PHD in languages.

            “Not true to culture” What culture? biblical culture? our culture? somewhere in between?

            “Nor the history of textual interpretation” Culture affects interpretation. So does knowledge and learning. Are you saying we have learned nothing in the past 2000 or so years that would justify us re-considering our interpretation? Do you have a problem with all reinterpretation or just in this area? Context also affects interpretation. Since we were not there, we can never be sure what the context was. We can only make educated guesses, often based on culture and attitudes I suspect, even if subconsciously.

            “Where among the thousands of individuals mentioned in the scriptures are the references to righteous homosexuals?” Where in the thousands of verses of scripture about people is there a righteous person mentioned who was noted as a heterosexual? You are confusing sexual identity with character. Unless of course you are implying that a homosexual cannot be righteous. If so, that is false witness and you need to re-think that one.

            “Why does every text relegate homosexuality to unrighteousness?” Again context we may not fully understand. What every text does do is relegate sexual immorality to unrighteousness.

            “The mountain of evidence is unassailable” Your mountain of evidence is nothing more than a handful of verses, (only one of which has any mention of women) where we do not and cannot fully know the context, and therefore the meaning.

            Where there is an unassailable mountain of evidence is society’s treatment of homosexuals and their suffering. In this regard the church, for the most part, looks just like the world and always has. I accept that it is probably not going to be my reasoning that sways your opinion, but here is something you need to acknowledge. Specifically, that is how and why we got to this place. Caring people, people with love for others, and yes, righteous people, looked around and said “wait a minute, there’s something rotten here.” There are trying to understand and reconcile what they see in society with what “we have always thought” the Bible says. The simple question is “could we have gotten this wrong?” There is the intent, the motivation, the heart of people leading this effort. It’s not to falsify your Bible, or to re-interpret so people can live any way they want to. Those are lies. You need to acknowledge that the intent is founded in love and reconciliation; otherwise you have a load of prejudice in your heart that needs to be dealt with. If you can acknowledge that, then where you go with it, agreement or disagreement, is up to you, but I hope the tangible actions that follow are more pure than arguing on a website.

      • Frank

        Yes you want to seem to change Gods word to make it more comfortable and to allow you to live the way you choose.

        • Ford1968

          I want the bride of Christ to live into the gospel in a way that is safe for kids who are gay rather than crushing their soul.

          • Frank

            Me too! but I think we differ on how that is expressed. You want to encourage and affirm sinful behavior it seems

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

      W/ regards to that child-molester comment, you & Anon are both right. Obviously not all conservative pastors and believers think that way, but there are many who do. The group Family Research Council, that usually “represents” us conservatives in media news debate, often say that while gays are mostly not child-molesters, the data SEEM to indicate they’re more likely to molest children. I think this is also PART of the reason why they’re so insistent with the Boy Scouts gay ban. This is wrong and the misconception & lies must be corrected.

  • TheBatmom

    you are not alone, as someone who knows your struggle in a different way I extend this advice: be you, don’t hide to please others, it may be as scary world out there for those of us who are different…but the pain of hiding your very soul from everyone is far worse than the slings and arrows you face as a free person. I am the mother of a wonderful baby boy and am blessed with the love of a wonderful man and a wonderful woman, our life may seem odd and even wrong to some people but I don’t believe any loving god would deny someone simply for having love in their life. the way I see it is this, for YEARS I believed that I would die alone, but when I started to life my life as my own person I found two wonderful individuals to share my journey with who support me for who I am, I have a family that would batter down the very gates of hell for me and friends that would be right behind them. adversity forges the strongest blades my friend, and I want you to know that once again: you are NOT alone.

  • John

    I don’t know if the author can or will read any of these comments, but I wanted to offer some words. I recently read the book “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” by Rosaria Butterfield, and “Leaving Behind a Double Life” by Christopher Yuan. Both of these authors were incredibly active in the gay community prior to knowing the Lord, and both have experienced radically changed lives. These people bring something that I think is quintessential to our faith: the gospel. We are accepted before the Father because of Christ and His work, and that alone. The answer to sexual sin, whether homosexual or heterosexual, is holiness; heterosexuality is not the answer to homosexuality. Marriage does not redeem sin; only Jesus can do that. These are points that these books bring out and it is beautiful. I pray that the author would see this comment and consider reading them. We are loved and valued lavishly because of Christ. This is a truth that levels the playing field, whether rich, poor, “righteous,” sinful, homosexual, heterosexual, black, white, smart, dumb, whatever. Solus Christus. Sola Gratia. Whether we struggle as the author does, or struggle with our biases and prejudices, He alone is our righteousness.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

      You have a very loving heart & I mean that. I think Anon’s complaints are not towards God so much, plus he’s already in the celibate lifestyle w/ no plan for a relationship. He’s done things right by the traditionalist viewpoint. However, he’s forced to stay “closeted” for his own protection, since fellow Christians around him still make elementary-school level bullying jokes about gay people & he still feels treated like the yuckier sinner. I think that it’s the Christians around him that need to show more grace to him, just like other sinners that are socially more “accepted” in the church.
      I read excerpts from Butterfield’s book & her interview @ Patrick Henry College not too long ago, it’s really great. She is saved IN PART because the Christian pastor who reached out to her engaged her with respect, civility, forbearance, patience, & kindness, eventually helping to lead her to repentance in Christ. If Christians around Anon treat him like Mrs. Butterfield was treated, he would not have written this sad letter to begin with.

  • Truth

    Dear Frank. Please stop using me in your reply’s so much. I don’t like the attention you bring to me. Sometimes I wish you could concentrate more on love then me. Maybe if you spent more time loving people you wouldn’t feel the need to talk about me so much. Just let me rest for a while unless you want to say something like “well the truth is I am also a sinner and sorry for making such an out of thing Jesus didn’t talk about, I’m going to concentrate more on what He actually did talk about.” Thanks.

    • Taylor

      You should’ve replied directly to one of his comments. Otherwise he won’t read it b/c he won’t be notified & he’ll learn nothing from you, Truth.

      • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

        Frank is a guest account, so he won’t be notified anyways.

  • Guest

    Test test

  • http://www.facebook.com/dorcie.tracy Dorcie McIntyre Tracy

    Thank you for writing with such honesty and compassion. The church desperately needs to hear this message. You are my brother.

  • Batman

    This article really inspired me to put myself in your shoes and try to see the world through your eyes. Thank you for sharing your story, it really put things in perspective for me

  • Linda Martindale

    Brilliant, challenging … thank you for sharing some of your journey. What a gift you are to the Church, so sad it has also caused you such pain. You are clearly one of the heroes of the faith.

  • brother

    Yo man do you ever feel like you will be delivered from this? Do you fear God, like are you afraid that God hates you? Have you ever searched for the love of God and found form? I don’t know who you are or how you made it but man, props to you.

    I really feel you on the identity crisis. It’s like its not okay for you to do it but there is no real safe way to ask for help, advice, encouragement and love.
    I’m rooting for you man, hope you come to peace.

  • anyonymous

    If you are in this situation and truly desire freedom, please know there is no limit to what Jesus can heal and set you free from. He loves you and you are truly accepted in the Beloved. There are ministries that have seen homosexuals set free, ie. John and Paula Sanford’s. You are never beyond hope.

    • Bonnie B

      Yeah, but what the Suckfords and EXODUS don’t tell you is that at the end of one year (and approx. $30 Large), the “success” rate is 3%. By the end of 5 years, the “success” rate falls to ZERO, with an accompanying 5% suicide rate.
      If this were a cancer treatment, people would UP IN ARMS. But hey — it’s just Teh Queerz™. The christstain douchebags running these orgs don’t give a damn, since they count dead bodies as “successfully converted.”

  • Josh

    Sir, thank you for writing this blog. I too am a gay Christian–living in-the-closet, and trying to keep to my convictions of being single and celibate. This is a difficult journey, needless to say, but what makes it even more difficult is feeling like there are no other homosexuals who are living as I am, and the misunderstanding straight Christians have of homosexuals, including people like me. I wish I had the courage to come out of the closet and share what it’s like to be gay, and a gay Christian with them, but I am so afraid, and so I sit in silence miserable and feeling alone. However, when I read your article I felt a sense of hope because it was as if you were my voice. You said exactly what I am feeling and going through and it was an encouragement to me to know that I am not by myself on this journey. Thank you. I hope that you will continue to write on this issue and that this message will be passed on to popular mainstream evangelists and churches all over. God bless you.

  • Digger

    What sort of “Christian” group did the author hang out in, at which the majority of its members used words like, homo, queer, and faggot? I’ve been hanging around Christian groups for about 30 years now; I am sure that I’ve not heard a single person using those terms while in the group. (I don’t doubt that some use the words while away from that setting, however, but certainly not a majority.)

    Is this an actual situation that the author encountered, or merely a story to sway evil evangelicals toward acceptance of his lifestyle?

    “In the Christian world, being gay is right up there with child molester.” What? This is outrageous! Making this claim is worse that calling a person a queer or a faggot.

    I sure hope that there are not many readers who are buying into the lies being told by this person. It is plain to see why the author chose to be anonymous. When he is finished struggling with being gay, I hope he struggles with being a liar.
    I realize that the Red Letter Christians are eager to poke conservatives in the eye, but perhaps they ought to find a limit to the depths to which they will stoop to achieve that objective. Their attacks are often worse than the attacks they think are lobbed at them.

    • Taylor

      Maybe not everyone’s so lucky to be in a church that “prefers” spiritual/pastoral care twds certain sinners over others.

      Anon doesn’t engage in the gay lifestyle, if you read the article carefully. He’s currently celibate and doesn’t plan to have a relationship (I mean a gay relationship, of course, just in case you misunderstand again). Even in his “repentant lifestyle,” he’s afraid to be open b/c some sins are more taboo than others. God has no partiality, but we humans are still constrained by our sinful nature to play favorite at times. Given responses & comments such as yours, it’s no wonder Anon is scared to reveal his identity.

      • Digger

        WHAT? Did you even bother to READ my response? There was not ONE SINGLE WORD in my response that was critical of his lifestyle or homosexuality in general.
        My response was a rebuke of the lies that the author is using to paint a false picture of the world in which we live.
        Surely I’m allowed to be against the sin of telling lies without incurring the wrath enlightened Christians?!

        • ltreat37

          your opinion – that the writer is telling lies – does not make it so. It is highly probable, in fact that he is telling the truth. And your negativity is all too apparent.

        • http://www.facebook.com/maryn.tompkins Maryn Tompkins

          Your opinion only. I have a close friend who came out a few years ago and his church & family were exactly what Anon describes. I have no problem believing that everything he says is true. BTW – my friend was shunned by his church &, for the most part, disowned by his family, but does not regret his decision to come out.

        • Taylor

          You’re bearing false witness against Anon with your slander. Repent. There are Christian people that still paint homosexuality as the worst sin ever. Just because you’re lucky enough to be around “goody-two-shoes” Christians, doesn’t mean Anon is lucky enough as well. Admit the reality. Stop ur false accusations.

  • CJones

    The christian community should welcome gays who believe in celibacy. I believe there are people born gay, and unfortunately they have the same difficulty as horny single heterosexuals: that is, they must remain celibate according to God’s word. We all have burdens to bear, and we must be there for each other. We are all tempted to sin, but we must be there for each other.

  • Lori Beth Johnson

    Choosing to be celibate is your choice, but you do not have to be celebate. God loves you regardless. Also, I encourage you to find a Christian church that is open and affirming. Or seek out an Unitarian Church which accepts those of all religions. Many Christians chose to worship at UU churches and everyone in the LGBT community are very welcome.

  • mehrheit

    Somebody get this guy to the United Church of Christ!

    • ltreat37

      He could also check out Lutheran – ELCA – Not MO synod.

  • MLHD

    Being gay and Christian are not mutually exclusive. There are churches and members who will support and love you as you are, who will rejoice when you find a loving partner with whom to share your life. You don’t have to live this way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.nowlin Susan Witherspoon Nowlin

    Have you thought about checking out the Episcopal Church? We are Christians who are supportive of GLBT people.

  • RJ

    This is directed to the author of this article and no one else. I’m not here to argue or debate. I just want to say that I am so sorry you have to live feeling this way. I am a Christ follower, have been for many years. I have seen ugly things in the church and out, we are ALL on the same page, sinners. It is for the Lord to sit on the throne which is a throne of judgement as well a throne of love. It is for us to follow his example and love. Christ came to save the world NOT condemn it. I am so sorry you do not feel loved for being you, we all have something that is probably not acceptable to someone if they only knew. I just want you to know that there are some of us that would be your best friend, sit next to you at church and love you knowing everything.

  • just another sinner

    As a Christian that support those that love God, I realize we can’t all fit into a cookie cutter mold. That’s okay. I don’t judge, that’s not my job, nor is it my place. I’m a sinner. With love and understanding, and respect—you’re accepted as a child of God, in my book. He loves you…and if he loves you, who would I be to judge? Thanks…I “get it”. Sorry it’s so hard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/LauraBerry2 Laura Hammond Berry

    SO powerful! Thank you for this!

  • Carrie

    come and hang out with us Deadheads!!! We accept and love everyone!!!

  • John Q Williams

    Just want to say it’s unbiblical and sinful to be homesexual. If you believe otherwise you have created an idol God that is not the true Christian God. Law is law. Sure there is grace and forgiveness. Repentance is “turning-away” from our sins. Repentance is not saying sorry and continuing in the same direction no hoping to stumble. Stop creating a god that fits your circumstances.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507967305 Neal Lindberg

      “Now, just so we’re clear: I’m celibate. I’m not planning on having a relationship.” From a traditionalist perspective, he is repentant. That quote is the evidence. Stop misrepresenting another person’s testimony. You’re bearing false witness against a brother in Christ. Shame on you. Repent.

  • Jennifer

    Thank you for writing this! It opened my eyes to be loving to those that struggle with homosexuality!

  • Jamie

    I wish I could give you a hug! God loves you as you are, as He created you. People get so caught up in what they think is right or wrong, that they forget His most important commandments: To Love God with all your heart and to Love you neighbor more than yourself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.christopher.378 Adam Christopher

    Please read Romans Chapter One…then please give me your view on what it means…

  • Danek

    Wow. Oh church if only we would love, and not the the sin but the sinner, and love like Jesus loved the woman at the well. We as the church generally are rejected by the homosexual community, that makes it very difficult to love a people group who is desperately in need of love, acceptance, community, grace, forgiveness, and everything that Jesus has called for us to give to those whom Jesus loves. As he gave to the woman at the well, everlasting water, His love, transformed her life. We as the church could really share with others gay, straight, whatever a love that transforms lives in which others say are a lost cause– Christ’ love. I pray we as the church would seek to be more like Jesus, and see lives around us transformed.

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