Monday, October 14, 2013
"Not in my family! Oh no. This can't be happening! This is no conversation for the dinner table." Aunt Judy is choking on her chitterlings; Uncle LeRoy is praying that nobody dies or has a stroke as the teenage girl continues to proclaim that she is gay.
This is a prominent Christian family with a strong standing in the community. "Go and get 'dat holy oil so we can cast dem ole demons out 'dis here child," Aunt Judy, evangelist and preacher says. Little Robbie runs to the prayer room to fetch it. The cornbread is getting cold. Some of the 16 relatives sit quietly pretending to digest their food in hopes of not getting caught up in the conversation. A couple of the others can't believe this is actually happening.
When someone in the family announces they are gay in any family of any religion or of no religion at all, the family makes the biggest mistake of all: making it about them. It's not about you; it's about the other person. Because everyone is in shock and dealing with the "not in my family" hysterics, the gay person gets forgotten about while everyone is momentarily imagining how this is going to make themselves and the family look to the public.
Once they get over the initial shock and are able to focus on this "gay proclamation," the conversation will go sorta-kinda like this. "Child you ain't gay, you don't even know what you talking about." Child responds, "Yes I am!" "No you ain't now shut up and don't you let those words come out of ‘ur mouth again. And don't go around telling people dat neither. You just got off the titty . . . (sniff sniff); I can still smell the milk on your breath. Chi’ you don't know notin’." Aunt Judy continues, "As a matter of fact everybody get up right now, wes’a going down on our knees. We need to talk to Jesus. Only Jesus can help 'dis child now."
They all get up as commanded by the family leader, Aunt Judy, and head into the prayer room for hours of praying and lamenting over the child, anointing her with holy oil, casting out demons and praying for the salvation of her soul.
This is not just an issue in Christian communities. It is a Muslim problem, a Jewish problem, a Seventh Day Adventist problem, a people problem. It crosses all social classes, races, ages, and religions. One of my children announced to me that they were gay at age 15, and for sure there was that inner sinking feeling like the ground was opening beneath me. But when I sat down and was still present on my living room sofa, I knew I had to face what I had just heard.
I recently let her go to a Gay Pride parade, hoping it would shock her into a new reality, or back to her senses. She did have some comments about it like, "Why do they have to act so weird? It's not about all that." When she asked me if she could go, my internal response was hell no! I almost went into my Aunt Judy role. But I knew I had to let go and allow her to have this experience. I don't want her to grow up hating herself like I did, never feeling good enough for God or others. Going through family dysfunction then ending up in foster care, I was suicidal most of my life. I remembered it was about her and not me.
Gays tend to get into drugs and "weird" behavior because they have been cast out of society and their own families since history has records of their existence. They feel unacceptable so they put on unacceptable behavior, or outlandish behavior. This is a coping mechanism. Using drugs, excessive tattooing, and bold hair coloring is their way of taking a stand and saying "Yes, I am different whether you like it or not. Kiss off."
Can Gays Be Christians?
Can a gay person rightfully be a Christian, Muslim, or any other religion? From an objective view, NO, they cannot. Why? They can call themselves a Christian, but according to their own rulebook, the Bible, they are not; they exclude themselves from the game (Romans chapter 1:21-32). In order to belong to any group, there are rules and criteria for acceptance. Since the Bible speaks against homosexuality, they can continue to call themselves Christians, but exclude themselves from the game so to speak by participating in gay sex.
Romans 1:21-32 says, “Although they knew God, they did not glorify [Him] as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; [they are] whisperers . . ..
Below is a link to a very well written article presenting the Scripture on the subject and the author’s interpretation. If you don't have a Bible, you can use an online Bible, preferably the New King James Version. http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian
This article is written by Dr. Mel White, co-founder of Soul Force. It seems whatever we believe we can find arguments for or against it. I read this article in its entirety, but I am still left with the feeling this author, with good intentions, is trying to make black, white.
What do you think? Perhaps it's time to stop pointing out at all that's wrong with the world and each other, and find ways to coexist. All I can affirm is I am tired of judgment and condemnation in systems of belief that should be teaching God's love.
In matters of sexual sin and any other sin, the emphasis is placed on who and whose you are above what you do or don't do. Works cannot save you; we are saved by "faith and grace.” There is nothing you can do to earn it. Nothing you have done or will do can change that. Christ died for all sins, past, present, and future. So it is a matter of who and whose you are and not what you do or don't do. Even in the Old Testament the emphasis was on Israel, God’s chosen people, and even though they were rebellious, they still remained His chosen people.
Why call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say? (Luke 6:46) In our efforts to defend the God of the Bible and His judgments, we've become hateful and unlike Him in our robes of righteousness, condemning all that is wrong. Let God do the judging; let’s do the loving as Christ requested. It's interesting that being homosexual is not included in the Ten Commandments, but adultery is. Loving your neighbor as yourself is. As a matter of fact, the last two commandments God said, “On these two hangs the whole law," to love the Lord God with all your heart mind and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself.” Even if your neighbor is gay you are to love him or her.
Most gays are well aware of what their religions teach about homosexuality. If they are not, they should become knowledgeable about it. Don't try and whitewash what you find to make it fit you. I have to believe that a heart full of love for God/Jesus/Muhammad/The Messiah, or whatever you choose to call God, will be honored in God's eyes. All scripture is left to the interpretation of the reader to some degree. If it's important to you, and you believe it's a matter of your salvation, then you should do the work. Not me. You do it for you. Scripture teaches every man should be persuaded in his own mind, and that we should study to show ourselves approved a workman, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Becoming a Christian is like getting married. As “The bride of Christ,” once you get married you want to know and do what pleases your husband. If you do things that make them unhappy or angry, there will be consequences in your relationship. If you just want to make yourself happy, then only you will be happy and the other will start to withdraw their affection from you.
Our religion shouldn't hurt others. Religion should be something that we self-govern. We should not have others lording over us, telling us how to live. Our pastors and church leaders guide us and we can ask for their assistance when we need it, but change should always be between the individual and the God they serve. It should happen in his or her own heart through the Spirit and out of love for God and desire to improve their relationship. Then, his other choices for change become inwardly provoked as they grow. The individual works through his or her shortcomings in their own time. If, over time, the individual finds that he cannot change, then he is covered by grace. If he will not change, then he will have to answer to God. That person’s activity in the church may be limited by leadership and indeed should be.
If I were gay today, I would not call myself a Christian. I would still love the Lord; I would not count myself out of the game, but with prayer and serious soul contemplation would do all I could to be sure my actions aligned with the God I claim to love and belong to. This is wisdom.
I can say I am in recovery, then drink and get high, then go to meetings and say I'm in recovery. That will be true. But to say, "I am clean and sober” would be a lie. I do all I can to stay clean and sober, because the consequences of not doing so would be devastating.
You've just read an excerpt from "Fart in The Wind," Get Rid of Emotional Flatulence. Get your copy on Amazon or www.spiritproductions.us
Vivian Gale, AS., BA., Counselor
Author of Fart in the Wind
Find out more about me and my other products on my official website.