Kids and Homosexuality…A Response to John Pavlovitz

kids in handsI must state at the outset that I have family and friends who I love very much that are homosexual.  That is not an “I love them…but” statement!  I love them. I appreciate their friendships and I am grateful for my family and their love for me.  Most of those friends and family closest to me already know my beliefs surrounding the issue of homosexuality.   And though my beliefs drastically differs from their views, they continually provide love and understanding toward me despite our differences because they have a genuine understanding of my deeply held faith which drives the beliefs I express below.  I type these words with that same love and understanding…

This blog is in response to John Pavlovitz’s recent Blog, “If I have Gay Children: Four Promises From A Christian Pastor/Parent.”

Dear John,

I am a sinner.

I need the grace of Jesus Christ just like everyone else.

My sins are not somehow less offensive to God than other people’s sins.

So, practically how can I claim Christ’s blood over my sins and believe I am forgiven and not believe that practicing homosexuals can say the same…as homosexuals?

The Gospel of Jesus Christ as given in the Bible is simple:
God is holy.
Man is sinful.
Jesus is the answer.
Repent and believe.

The Gospel doesn’t change from person to person…but it is the last part that separates believers and non-believers…we must have repented and believed…not just believed…but repented and believed?

The Biblical word for repentance is μετάνοια which means to “change ones mind.” It carries the idea that, you are heading one in one direction (I believe or I do this…) and then turn and go in another direction (Now I believe or do this…). There must be repentance in order for there to be salvation. I must believe and agree with God (as revealed in the Bible) that my sin is wrong and then go in the other direction…the dichotomy is easiest for me to understand as one of acts of sin vs. a chosen lifestyle of sin. If I continually committed adultery and defended my choice to do so, with no plans to stop, while claiming to be a follower of Christ, something would be wrong…there would be no repentance…instead I would have at that point chosen a life of sin over repentance, over Jesus’s provision of salvation…therefore, those who live in a chosen, and even celebrated, life of continued sin are not followers of Christ according to the Gospel as it is given in the Bible.

I think your love for your children oozes and permeates throughout your blog entry…however, what it is not as obvious to me is how you can rectify the obvious love for your children, a love for God, and a belief that the Bible is true….with a view of homosexuality that is clearly in conflict with the Bible and the God of the Bible.

Maybe I don’t know what you believe. I may have missed some things that are vital to you forming the beliefs that appear to be evident in your writings, if so, forgive me, I am not intentionally trying to misrepresent you or your theology.

But if I do know the basics of your beliefs about God…I must ask the burning question…How do you balance the biblical texts discussing homosexuality…your church’s stance on homosexuality…and your own view expressed in your article?

You stated that if you had a child that told you they were gay you wouldn’t pray for God to “fix them”…but I fail to see how that is any different from saying, that if you had a child who one day tells you they are a murderer you would not ask God to “fix them.” If the Bible teaches a sin is a sin, without any one sin being worse than the other, why would you not want God to “fix” your child…to help them move beyond a sin they were struggling with…to receive forgiveness for that sin?

Also, inherent in your post is the idea that people are born gay; and then after they are born, one day it becomes apparent to them that they are gay…if that is your premise, I disagree…

I think people are born with an inherently sinful nature and do sin…but your apparent belief of people being born as homosexuals would be the same premise of it being possible that people might be born as murderers. There has been discussion about the possibility of a “gay gene”, and I won’t rehash that debate here except only to say, what if that were true? What if one day scientists and medical doctors tell us  that they have definitely found the “gay gene”? What will that mean? More specifically what will it mean for Christians who believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin? Simple answer, “Nothing.”

Could someone be born with a “murder gene”? If so, when the same scientists and doctors come forward and say, “We have found the ‘murder gene’!”, are we, as Christians, supposed to then say that committing murder…at least for those people with the “murder gene”…is O.K.?

An inherently sinful nature or being born as sinful creatures with a “murder gene” or a “gay gene” or just a fallen nature because of sin would not make our sin any less offensive to God or to us, would it?

So again I sincerely ask, How do you balance the biblical texts discussing homosexuality…your church’s stance on homosexuality…and your own view expressed in this article?

By the way…father to father…your kids are adorable!

Doug

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WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY

Lev. 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female;
it is an abomination.”1

Lev. 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman,
both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.
Their bloodguiltness is upon them.”

1 Cor. 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the
kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor
adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous,
nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their
women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the
same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned
in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and
receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they
did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved
mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

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WHAT YOUR CHURCH (UMC) TEACHES ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY

In its Book of Discipline, The United Methodist Church states that all people are of sacred worth but “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

The book affirms “the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman.”

The Book of Discipline also says, “Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due to all persons” and commits the church to supporting “those rights and liberties for all persons regardless of sexual orientation.”

Church law bans United Methodist clergy from performing, and churches from hosting, “ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions.” It also bans “self-avowed practicing” gay individuals from serving as clergy.

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