I’m Baffled

I’m Baffled

baffledA while back I was sitting in my living room with a female friend who was challenging my openness about being gay and my belief that it was okay for gay men or women to have a relationship and be a believing Christian. She said she believed I was completely wrong and said that the bible backs up her opinion.


So, I began to ask her a few questions.



1. Have you ever known or been connected to a gay couple?


Her answer:


No


2. Have you ever known a gay person who proclaims belief in Jesus, and a faith walk with God?


Her answer:


No


3. Have you ever known and been connected to a gay man or lesbian?


Her answer:


No


4. Have you ever personally studied the Bible regarding your opinion that it condemns homosexual practice?


Her answer:


No, but I’ve always been taught that the Bible condemns homosexuality.


I’m befuddled! Here is a supposedly seasoned Christian who is challenging me on my belief that a person can be a Christian, gay, and have a relationship and walk with God fully. Yet she has virtually no personal experience nor personal study to back up her claims.


She doesn’t know anyone, hasn’t personally studied the resources she claims to stand on, and has no experience with the gay community to know their hearts and faith walk.


My response:

I’ve been in full time ministry and relationships with gay men and lesbian women for over 25 years. I’ve attended fifty plus conferences, attended hundreds of seminars both for and against same sex relationships within the Christian faith. I’ve known 1000’s of gay men and lesbian women. I’ve personally heard the hearts of hundreds of gay men and lesbian women.


I’ve read, studied, prayed over, been in much turmoil over my own belief regarding what the Bible says, and doesn’t say about homosexuality.
And you’re challenging me about my beliefs when you have virtually nothing to stand on that is a basis for your challenge!


I might add, that I am a homosexual. I’ve prayed, studied, listened, experienced all of these matters myself for my entire life! I’m quite invested in the issue. Are you? Do you really care about me, my life, or my personal experiences? Are you interested in hearing my heart? Do you have a real concern for other gay men and lesbian women?


No wonder so many gay people have shut down, and walked away from Christians.


I am so frustrated that so many who claim that homosexuality is sinful, that gay relationships are in congruent with the faith walk of a believing Christian and yet they lack experience with gay people . They have not personally studied their resources significantly enough to base their opinions on.


Far too many have listened to pastors, bible teachers, and public speakers and formulated their opinions on what they’ve heard, rather than to research it themselves. With this matter, are they really interested enough to seek their own personal education? Or, will they proclaim God’s standards, hold up signs against gay marriage, and continue to condemn gay relationships because of the things they’ve heard. Would they be interested in hearing another viewpoint and actually be willing to discuss it?


I met with a pastor once who said he’d never studied the passages on homosexuality himself, yet he also condemned homosexual practice and relationships in his sermons. Wow! A pastor speaking for God on this issue, and yet he’d never really studied these matters either! And in many cases, this is the man my friend might be learning from that homosexuality is condemned in the Bible.


I’m baffled.


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11 Responses to “I’m Baffled”

  1. Jerry Reiter says:

    Great post, John. Well said.

  2. Michael Watt says:

    I know and have encountered people just like the woman in this post. To be honest, I have an extremely hard time being gracious, loving, compassionate and Christ like when individuals like this woman tell me that they disagree with me when they haven’t taken the time to research, study and form their own beliefs. Instead, they depend on what others are teaching and saying. How am I supposed to listen and consider what they have to say when they haven’t even taken the effort to understand all perspectives, while I have lived and breathed this since I was 14 years old? I’m 47 now. I’ve studied, I’ve read hundreds of books, blog posts, articles, etc., I’ve prayed and cried and felt anguish, dispair and shame, I’ve been through counseling, support groups and “ex-gay” programs. I have a vested interest in this. Please, people, if you want to speak up on this topic, please do yourself a favor and educate yourself.

  3. Carol A Ranney says:

    I used to BE this woman. I believed what I had been taught and even when a friend came out to me, it NEVER ONCE crossed my mind to wonder if the Bible was being correctly understood. When I adopted a gay son, however, I began to study and read about this issue, discovered that the word “homosexual” was not even in the Bible until 1947, that early on the word “masturbater” was used, then “abusers of themselves with mankind.” I saw that “homosexual” is included in lists that consist of choices that people make (lying, fornication etc) EXCEPT for homosexuality which we now understand is rarely if ever a choice, but is inborn.

    Therefore whatever the Bible is referring to, it is not sexual orientation. It took me the loss of a longtime friend to begin to ask questions, study the scientific research that has been done and draw some very different conclusions than those I grew up with. Now, in asking my pastor to look at the research, I find he is the same as I used to be–”These passages definitely describe homosexual acts.” Yes, but in what context? Idol worship? Rich men and the little boys they kept? I do not believe that the Bible speaks at all to gay relationships or sexual orientation. Furthermore, marriage is a civil institution that should be available equally to all citizens.
    https://www.createspace.com/3967748 Please check out the book I wrote–”So someone you know is GAY? Love like Jesus.”

  4. Rick says:

    Like a jury who is only interested in what the prosecutors has to say, this person will not (by her own choice) consider what the defense has to say.

    But If SHE herself were the defendant, I’m sure she would be mortified that her case were not considered by BOTH sides.

    So many “christians” dismiss this reasoning, in favor of their own (flawless) views of what God mandates for humanity.

  5. Jeff says:

    This is our reality and one of the big issues is that it is wrong to question of doubt for if you do you are jumping into the camp of the enemy. Until this fearful belief or thought is dismantled we will continue to have the blind following the blind. But there is hope for people are being challenged due to what is going on in the courts. I just hope we can get into some meaningful dialogue. My mom has changed her mind and she and my dad used to work in ministries working with parents who had gay kids.

  6. whendy merryman says:

    I come from a very conservative church background so I’m used to folks who reject same sex relationships based on their biblical interpretation of homosexuality. It took me years to accept that this perhaps wasn’t how God feels about me. Currently my church is unsure about what they believe on this issue. They are finally seeing it necessary they make a decision as our church is in the heart of mid-town and the demographic is gay and gay friendly. Our congregation is reading this book “When Christians Get It Wrong” to decide what they will do about reaching out and accepting the gay community.

  7. Paula Sampson says:

    Since I left organized religion 7 years ago, I have come to see that every church I attended taught an incorrect view of God. I have found that my view of God dictates how I see the world, read scripture, how I see myself and fellow human beings and my understanding of love, etc. Until church-goers begin to think for themselves and ask some really tough questions of their beliefs, the same misguided, unloving judgments will be perpetuated.

    My hope is that the “christian conservatives” will shed their scales of blindness and choose to love as God loves–without judgment, with full acceptance and recognizing that God lives in everyone and everything He created.

    I am sorry, John, for the woundedness inflicted on you and others in the gay community from a group that should have offered safety, acceptance and love.

  8. Anthony Bishop says:

    John,
    Great observation and insight. I too encounter this frequently. My question is “What are you afraid of? Why won’t you study this for yourself?”

    On a larger note, regarding what is going on in the Supreme Court, “How would allowing gays to marry threaten heterosexual marriage, and take away rights from heterosexuals?”

    I have yet to have anyone give me an answer to that question except the standard “God condemns homosexuality. It’s amazing to me how otherwise thinking people become brain dead on this issue and simply swallow what they are told.

  9. Timo Milligan says:

    This is a great post John, thank you.
    A lot of the churches problems today arise from a problem of self-righteousness that every Christian (even every person) battles with. We are all prone to believing that we are on the correct side of every debate without researching the other side(s). As a gay christian I have had to battle with my own habit of belittling Christians who have only ever looked at one side, being against them before trying to help them understand that there is more than one side to every argument. Having learned this the hard way, being brought up in a conservative family yet already born on the other side of the debate, I forget that it is hard for people who have to force themselves to look at all sides and aren’t privileged with being forced into the debate by being gay from the start.

  10. Brian Hager says:

    Since 1993 Jesus has continued to walk me through his scriptures. One meditation in particular has been a watershed experience for me…

    Before I could receive his gift of a genuine Faith, I had lose what I thought my faith was. All of my preconceptions, biased ideas and teachings I learned from family and church were ripped from my grasp. After wandering around dazed and confused and feeling absolutely terrified because I sensed NO connection to God in my life, he returned to me and restored my life.

    Within the past three years he led me to meditate on the image of King Nebuchadnezzar’s statue with the feet of clay. I began to see how the faith I held onto for so many years was an “idol” created in my own image and likeness. It verified everything I thought and judged those I didn’t like – including homosexuals [of course because I was passing judgment on the orientation I was struggling with myself]. What was most enlightening to me was the fact that my statue had legs of iron. That meant my knees would not bend. How could I then kneel before the foot of the cross or the at the proclamation of that name – Jesus – before which every knee shall bend?!

    He further led me to see how a tiny speck of stone, unseen by me, struck my practiced, but hollow christianity at its feet and the entire edifice had collapsed to the ground where the remains were blown away by his Holy Spirit. I see, now, how much I passed judgment on others [still struggle with that] and in so doing rejected God’s Unconditional Love because I condemned the spirit of God in others. I don’t know if that is the nature of what was going on in the heart of your female friend or not. It is not my place to say. I do know that if her faith is not a living Faith, Jesus will bring her around eventually when he strikes her own clay feet. Just as he has for so many of us.

  11. John Smid says:

    Brian, what a beautiful devotional. I’m in tears reading it due to the honesty, and truth that is written in your story.

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