How Will You Respond to Homosexuality?

By Alan Chambers
Oct 2, 2007

One night while she was co-hosting The 700 Club, Sheila Walsh felt led to pray for homosexuals. Honoring the Holy Spirit’s prompting, she thanked God for His love for homosexuals and His desire for a relationship with them. She then invited all homosexual viewers to pray with her for salvation. When Sheila finished praying she encouraged those who had prayed with her to go to a church in their area, tell the pastor that they had asked Jesus into their heart, and say, “Sheila Walsh sent me.”

Sheila later received a letter from a gay man who had been watching the broadcast. He had asked Jesus into his heart, gone to a local church, met with the pastor, shared that he was gay and about the broadcast he saw. The pastor responded, “We don’t have room for fags in this church.” In his letter, the man shared that he was grateful to her, but that being a part of “The Church” was just not possible.

I have heard and told this story many times, but I still cringe when I think of that honest, broken, searching man who poured out his heart only to be rebuked by a pastor with a reckless tongue and un-Christlike heart. I wish I knew where to find him so I could share that all pastors and churches are not like that one and that God is not like the pastor he spoke with.

Over the years I have found that many times churches respond to the issue of homosexuality with either an angry and judgmental response or an acceptance of homosexuality as a viable alternative to heterosexuality. Both are equally wrong and inaccurate representations of God’s response. Most of you know the truth: While homosexuality is not a viable or biblical lifestyle, far too often the church has not extended God’s grace to those who are same-sex attracted. For many of us, it is easier to see the issue as right vs. wrong than it is to love them.

As a member of the Body of Christ, I have experienced nearly every side of the issue of homosexuality. As a young Southern Baptist, I remember hearing my pastor say, “All homosexuals go to hell” and “Homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God.” I remember how hopeless that made me feel because, if my thoughts were any indication of who I was becoming, I was one of ‘those homosexuals’. As a teenager, I struggled in silence with feelings I had not chosen. Though I had not yet acted on those feelings, I was condemned to hell by a pastor and church that never once shared that there was hope for someone like me. The guilt, shame, and condemnation became so unbearable that I sped through railroad crossings with my eyes closed hoping that a train would hit my car and end it all. At age eighteen I vowed that I would never return to church because it did not have an answer for me. From my perspective, the Body of Christ made it very easy for me to run bloodied and bruised into the open arms of a gay community that was glad to have me. Indeed, many of those people had their own “church stories” to tell.

Unfortunately, I had to find out firsthand that gay life offered only more loneliness, desperation, and death; had the Church offered some small sign that it was a safe place for me, perhaps I could have avoided immersing myself in gay culture at the age of eighteen. Thankfully, my brother introduced me to a church that called sin “sin” and yet loved people who were unlovely. After I had attended that church only a few weeks, two bold and loving church members walked into a gay bar to find me on Easter Sunday 1991. They said that God had sent them to remind me that He loved me, they loved me, and they were committed to walking with me on the journey out of homosexuality. Recommitted to obedience, I was restored by that church. They taught me that change requires not only pointing the way, but also grabbing a person’s hand and walking alongside.

Today I am the President of Exodus International, the world’s leading Christian organization dedicated to mobilizing the Body of Christ to respond to a world impacted by homosexuality. Exodus began in 1976 because the Body of Christ had a long history of turning away those whom they do not understand. I long for the Church to be the living example of God’s “kindness, tolerance and patience” so that many will come to repentance (Rom. 2:4).

In order for that longing to become reality, we, as the members of the Body of Christ, need to be reminded of our own desperation prior to coming into a personal relationship with Christ. We need to admit that we may be ignorant, perhaps by choice, of the issues surrounding homosexuality: What are its roots and causes? What is it like for Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction but want to experience freedom in Christ? As the Body of Christ, we must also renounce our fear and insecurity in dealing with the issue of homosexuality. The reality is that homosexuality and those who deal with it exist in our cities, churches, and even some of our homes. It won’t just go away. Those struggling must be given the opportunity to choose Christ and change if they desire to do so. We must not be afraid to offer the truth in love.

Take a moment to think about your feelings regarding homosexual people. Have you offered only condemnation to those that identify as gay or lesbian? Have you chosen to ignore the issue completely out of fear or out of the misguided belief that it doesn’t exist in your congregation? Have you acted out of ignorance, believing that the opposite of homosexuality is heterosexuality, when actually it is holiness? I encourage you to face the issue, learn all you can about it, and offer what you find to your congregation. There are numerous resources available. Visit the Exodus Web site (http://www.exodus.to) to find a ministry in your area, and then glean from their knowledge. Check the Exodus calendar for a training event in your area. Encourage your church to join the Exodus Church Network and become part of God’s answer for your community.

On my wedding day in 1998, my friend Orel Hershiser charged me to “listen, listen, listen.” That is my charge to you. Listen to those who have overcome homosexuality and learn how to help others. Listen to those involved in homosexuality and hear their anger and bitterness and choose to respond as Christ would to their hurt. Listen to those who are in the midst of the struggle and extend God’s truth, grace, and all-encompassing love.

Alan Chambers is the President of Exodus International, a worldwide outreach with over 175 ministries in North America. Alan and his wife, Leslie, live in Orlando, Florida, with their two children. For more information on having Alan speak to your congregation, joining the church network or supporting Exodus, call 888-264-0877 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Further Learning

Learn more about: Faith, Ministry, Family, Sexual Purity, Homosexuality,

71 Comments

1 On Oct 3, 2007, at 5:34pm, Andy Ickes wrote:

Alan,
Thank you for the article.  As I read it, I found my heart breaking all over again.  As a pastor, I have found sadly that people have a very hard time seeing homosexuality as it really is.  Because of the way it is expressed in our culture, many Christians view it as a sin that is set apart from all others, when in fact sin is sin.  Their sin and mine just happens to show itself in a different manner.  Unfortunately, many of us have forgotten that its only by God’s grace that we have been set free from our sin and that His grace is available to all who will believe.  I do pray that many of our brethren will read your article.  Thank you and God bless,
Andy Ickes

2 On Oct 3, 2007, at 8:04pm, Alan Chambers wrote:

Thanks, Andy!  I appreciate your heart.  We’d love to have your church become a part of the Exodus Church Network.  For more info, please email Brad Allen: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

3 On Oct 3, 2007, at 8:19pm, Dan Valdes wrote:

Alan Chambers says…“Listen to those who have overcome homosexuality and learn how to help others. Listen to those involved in homosexuality and hear their anger and bitterness”  but I suspect that there are lots of gay people who are not “bitter” and “angry” just as i suspect that there are not really people who “overcome” being gay. 

Being gay is not something to “overcome”, it’s something to embrace by accepting who you are. 

This whole business of “overcoming” yourself is just nonsense, a way of furthering some bigoted political agenda.  It’s not real. 

It’s phony science and very dangerous to those who might think they can become straight.  That’s nonsense.

4 On Oct 3, 2007, at 8:55pm, Rev. John J. Smid wrote:

When I needed desperately to experience hope I went to a man who became my first pastor to tell him what I was involved in.  I had just walked out of a long term same sex relationship and was a new Christian.  Dennis Franck affirmed that homosexuality was wrong and he confirmed to me that he would walk alongside me.

23 years of freedom later Dennis and I remain friends.  God provided what I needed through a godly man then through that church I met other godly men who walked alongside me.

I am grateful that I didn’t experience the same rejection that so many have and am determined to be an instrument of grace to those who are struggling.

Alan’s article is one of truth and godly perspective on this issue.  My hope is that those who do experience fears of this issue or discomfort will take a little time to listen, listen, listen.
Rev. John J. Smid
President/CEO Love In Action International Inc.
http://www.loveinaction.org

5 On Oct 3, 2007, at 8:57pm, Daniel Mendoza wrote:

Alan, I thank you for sharing this story. I heard this when Joe Dallas spoke at a Pastor’s Breakfast for Love Won Out, and the end when that Pastor said what he said broke my heart and I cried and watched the expression’s on the Pastor’s that were present, including my Pastor. It was reality of how an individual in desperate need of a savior was turned away.

I thank God for Exodus Ministry, because there have been many times that I could not bare to walk this walk alone, the many testimony’s, workshops and especially the “Freedom” conference has BLESSED my life in an amazing way. Your ministry God has used to help me love me for who I am in Christ. That change is possible, that it takes time and effort on our part to allow God’s will be done.

Thank you, Alan for your obedience to follow God’s plan and purpose.

Daniel Mendoza

6 On Oct 3, 2007, at 9:26pm, Cindy Hinsch wrote:

Thank you for the article Alan.
Just this morning I thought to myself. People are afraid of what they don’t understand.
As Christians we are not to give in to fear. We are to persevere through it. Perfect Love expels all fear.
There is not room for fear if we rely on the Holy Spirit for our response to any issue.
I am honored to partner with Exodus in equipping the church to understand the homosexual struggle.
My pastor here in Nashville told me in a personal phone call this past Sunday night how he wants to walk along side me and learn more in order to invite those into a safe and loving family church environment where they can find hope and healing.
Thank you again for the article which should impact many.

prayerfully, Cindy

7 On Oct 3, 2007, at 10:01pm, Jerry Driskell wrote:

Alan,
As I read your article I found myself once again asking God to forgive me for not loving everyone. I no longer hate homosexuals or anyone else, but I have not been able to “love” them, because I allow my emotions to control me as I still feel that their lifestyle is a threat to our society and to our children in particular.  And it is the children that are so vulnerable.  This is an issue that I may struggle with for a long time and I know that unless I can honestly ask God to cleanse my heart and help me love them, it will never happen.  So, sadly, I will continue to sin by not loving everyone, as God wants me to.  I will continue to pray for the salvation of the homosexual community and I ask that you pray for me and for others like me that have not been able to deal properly with this sensitive issue.  In the meantime, I will continue to admit my sin to God and to ask Him to forgive me and to love others thru me, that I have not been able to love.  In Christ,
Jerry Driskell

8 On Oct 3, 2007, at 10:40pm, Shirley Flaherty wrote:

My liberal, secular book club has chosen your book, God’s Grace and the Homosexual Next Door, as the book to read and discuss this month.  I will print this article and pass it out to the group members as an addendum.

You wrapped it up for me.

Thanks

9 On Oct 4, 2007, at 12:50am, Dan Valdes wrote:

John Smid says…“23 years of freedom later”....

what he doesn’t say is 23 years of being totally heterosexual.


If they really no longer feel the urge to homosexual activity, why don’t they just come right out and state that in plain English? 

This double speak of “finding freedom” and “change is possible” is just more right wing propaganda. 

Why are these men so afraid of being gay? 

That is the real question in my mind.  What has happened in their lives to make them so full of self loathing that they can’t just accept themselves as they are? 

This is not legitimate or real.  This is a smoke screen.

11 On Oct 4, 2007, at 2:03am, Glenda Delon wrote:

I have been in this person’s shoes before where the church was very unloving and I felt more welcome in the gay community. As an adult, I still feel that it is that way and it hasn’t changed because people just don’t know what to do with this issue. You have such a cross of people within the church that either say that it is ok or not at all. I have talked to church pastors before and say that they don’t have those issues in their church. I guess it is just like Iran that says it doesn’t have homosexuals in their country because they probably either killed them or driven them off. So if they have that attitude, they are probably right, they don’t have them in their church since they have driven them away. It is nice to find a few exceptions in the church that will embrace you as a person and not as a leper.
Overcome…is that the word we should use? I don’t know. All I know the more I walk with God, the more this lifestyle has less appeal in my life.

12 On Oct 4, 2007, at 6:08am, Lex wrote:

You decided to believe in something that was not true then, and is not true now. Therefore, conflict will remain your closest friend. I rest my case.

13 On Oct 4, 2007, at 8:00am, Jeremiah wrote:

Fascinating, endearing, uplifting.

Such inter-Christian dialogue is so often ignored by people who have no direct ties to (or concern for) the life of believers here in America.

14 On Oct 4, 2007, at 3:28pm, Peg McCabe wrote:

As a Southern Baptist and an Exodus referral ministry leader, I appreciate Alan’s article being posted here. Neither my husband, nor myself, ever struggled with same-sex attraction.  And yet, in His unfathomable ways, God chose us to begin a ministry to help people out of homosexuality.  My heart especially goes out to Jerry Driskell in his response that he wants to love people experiencing same-sex attraction, but struggles in doing it.  God’s love is not something WE pump up.  It is HIS love that He pours through us when our attitude is humbled and we are receptive. Jerry is much closer to experiencing God’s love flow through him than he thinks. Peg J.McCabe, New Every Morning Ministries, Springfield, Mo.

15 On Oct 4, 2007, at 4:16pm, Dan Valdes wrote:

Freedom in Christ is being who God created you to be.  Living a lie is deception, even at the level of self deception. 

I ask you, who is the great deceiver?

Think about it.  God doesn’t want us to live a lie or play a role.  He wants us to be authentic.  This notion of becoming heterosexual or changing your sexuality is a medicine show.

16 On Oct 4, 2007, at 8:06pm, Bob Stith wrote:

Dan, I’m not sure sometimes whether you aren’t listening or just hoping others aren’t. In thirteen years of involvement with these ministries I’ve never heard them say the goal is heterosexuality. The goal is to be whole in Christ. For those of us who are committed to the authority of scripture that means we don’t get to pick and choose which sins to embrace.

Having the privilege of knowing both of these men (John Smid and Alan Chambers) I can assure you they aren’t full of self-loathing. They are delightful people who are a joy to be around.

You use terms like “phony science,” “not legitimate or real” and “dangerous.” Yet the facts are that several studies have shown that change is possible. You may not like that but it is not reasonable to continue to accuse people of lying because their experience upsets you.

17 On Oct 4, 2007, at 9:11pm, Angela wrote:

I am a mother of a 15 year old that has been struggling with same sex attractions since age 9.  I have walked with him through this struggle (counseling through Narth) and though I do not believe he was born this way, a series of events that happened as a child has made him embrace this emotionally, I do not believe his feelings are by choice.  I do believe that God loves him and I also believe that Jesus is the answer to what he is dealing with.  As of now, he doesn’t want to be homosexual, he enjoys his friends, skate boarding and his music but, he will choose what he wants to do and I will support him because I love him, gay or not (this has nothing to do with political views) but I do believe that God can make him whole as he can any homosexual it is not who he is, it is something he struggles with, as any homosexual, it is a struggle you embrace or fight, it is not who he is,  First hand, I understand the struggle, but I do not believe being gay is the final say so

18 On Oct 4, 2007, at 9:39pm, Richard Linares wrote:

Wow, it continually amazes me. When I was involved in the drugs, gangs and parties it didn’t matter what anyone said, what I said is what went and that was it. Sometimes when I hear the comments from people who attack the people who have walked away from this lifestyle me being one of them it angers me so much and all I think is how can you be so judgmental of a persons decision to change. You want people to respect you but you don’t want to respect others and make the allowance for there to be an option for someone to make a decision.  If I have a problem with eating and start eating better and years down the road i constantly struggle with eating foods and things that are not healthy for my body do I settle for giving in and say I was made to be fat and unhealthy….we have made a decision to not hurt ourselves any longer physically, emotionally or sexually. I thank God for Forgiveness and Grace to walk this out. God Bless you Alan for your heart. 
Ricardo Linares

19 On Oct 4, 2007, at 10:05pm, Nora Seemann wrote:

In January 1979, I faced homosexuality in my life for the first time.  I learned that my oldest daughter was involved in lesbianism.  She lived this life for almost 24 years. 

In January 2001, my daughter made a deliberate decision to leave the life of lesbianism and gave her life and heart to God.  She does have some temptation but is standing strong in the promises of God.  He provides that way of escape when temptation assails us. All face temptation. This is not a sin; it’s what we do with it that may become sin.

Dan, no one leads an absolutely “perfect” Christian life.  We try. We fail.  God’s love endures. 

Change is possible, for those who want to live a life of holiness. 

It is my hope that you, Dan, will listen when God speaks to your heart.  I sense a struggle in you to understand what you see as confusion and untruth.  Know that God loves you.  If you want His peace,God waits with open arms – for you.

I pray for peace.  Trust Him.

20 On Oct 4, 2007, at 10:15pm, Alan Chambers wrote:

Dan,

From this month’s Christianity Today:

Which sums up much of ex-gay ministry today. No hype. Limited faith in techniques. No gay bashing. No detectable triumphalism, religious or political. Just serious discipleship. This may be the only group in America that realizes all the way to the bottom that when you decide to follow Jesus, you don’t always get to do what you want to do.

They live by radical ideas about sexuality—that we are not, as our culture would have it, defined by our desires, heterosexual or homosexual. Rather, we are defined by our Creator and Savior. Our attractions, always disordered to some extent, must be submitted to Christ, who alone can redeem us. For those who feel strong same-sex attractions, that task is especially difficult. But it is the same basic struggle every Christian must face.

Is change—real change—-possible?  Absolutely.  But, it about a whole lot more than just homosexuality, though. 

Alan

21 On Oct 5, 2007, at 2:48am, Melanee Lisa Davidson wrote:

Thanks, Alan!!!

I read your article—God bless you, man!  And thanks to TE&RLC;for printing it!

Okay, dude—as always, you nailed it right on the head—holiness—yahoo!!!!!!!  Wow . . . there just isn’t anything better than Papa putting me in right-standing with Him & making it possible for me, through the Power of His Holy Spirit, to live in His Great Love, to have my mind renewed by His Word, to walk hand-n-Hand with Jesus, which, by His Patient, Consistent, & Pure Holiness, He transforms me—heart, mind, body, soul, spirit.  Yahoo!!!!!!!

Thanks, again, for sharing Papa’s Truth In Love!

Oh, & some great news—Calvary Chapel Tallahassee mailed in their Exodus Church Network Application this past Monday, 01 October 2007—HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!

God bless you, dear man of God, and your precious family!

In His Great Love!
Melanee Lisa Davidson
Calvary Chapel Tallahassee
His Great Love!
Exodus Applicant Ministry

22 On Oct 5, 2007, at 3:21am, Lisa wrote:

Dan Valdes’ comments sadden me.  No one is saying that Christ wouldn’t want us to love all of our brothers and sisters, but we must face that homosexuality is a sin.  That obviously isn’t easy for you to hear or read, but it is true.  It is in the Bible.  Even Christ Himself spoke of it as evil.  We are all tempted to sin.  Why God calls some people to chaste lives due to their homosexual temptations is not known.  It is not for us to question, but it is the truth and I hope and pray that someday you will come to the realization that your lifestyle is sinful.  It is against God and nature and although it must be very difficult, you must turn away from it and ask for God’s forgiveness.  Temptation is difficult.  Why God gives the crosses He does to people is part of the Divine Mystery.  But, whatever cross we are given, we must carry it and endure the suffering to earn our place in His Eternal Kingdom.

23 On Oct 5, 2007, at 4:00pm, Rev. John J. Smid wrote:

My comments on the following:

“John Smid says…“23 years of freedom later”....

what he doesn’t say is 23 years of being totally heterosexual.”

My goal is to be as honest as i can be when I talk about the freedom I have experienced.

If a man had been an addicted heterosexual adulterer or addicted to pornography he would likely have some temptations in those areas that remain.  If a man has been sexually addicted to having sex with women, repents of this immoral behavior then has been married for 20 years this does not necessarily mean that he never has lustful temptations.

I have experienced 23 years of sexual faithfulness in singleness and in the 19 years of my marriage.  I am thrilled to experience 23 years of freedom.  This does not mean that I am never tempted to think about or to look upon another man with some tempting thoughts or desires.

To God be the glory for the grace he has bestowed upon me and the victory He has blessed me with.

24 On Oct 5, 2007, at 6:45pm, Rev. John J .Smid wrote:

I didn’t realize that the opposing comment was from Dan Valdez.

On numerous occasions personally and in forums like this I have dialogued with Dan. I have laid my heart vulnerably before him regarding my history with homosexuality.

I was given the opportunity to no longer live in homosexual or emotionally dependent relationships.  I accepted the option that was before me and have never regretted leaving those lies or behaviors behind.

As someone has mentioned, there are many mysteries in Christ that we do not have answers to but one thing I know - I once lived that way and I no longer do. That is not a mystery.  23 years is a pretty long time to consider my choice to leave my homosexual experience behind.  God has done his work and I have followed Him in my life.  I have never believed that God made me that way.  I acted upon my lustful desires and accepted the lie in exchange for God’s truth and it severely wounded me to do so.

25 On Oct 5, 2007, at 6:47pm, Dan Valdes wrote:

This is a POLITICAL struggle for equality.  Why do the so called “ex-gays” want ENDA to fail, the hate crimes bill to fail, gay marriage to fail?  Why does the SBC want the same then act to try to make that happen?

Regarding Bob Stith’s comments, I do not see how being gay while pushing that sexual tendency down and trying to make believe you are something you are not is finding freedom.  It’s called living a lie.

It’s being bound by your own self loathing chains.  Gay men who reject being gay are usually engaged in self loathing behavior. 

Gay men who accept themselves are integrated and living authentically, unlike some Republicans that act out by seeking sex in bathrooms or with underage subordinates.  That is self loathing behavior.

26 On Oct 5, 2007, at 7:44pm, Dan Valdes wrote:

John Smid says…“I was given the opportunity to no longer live in homosexual or emotionally dependent relationships.  I accepted the option that was before me and have never regretted leaving those lies or behaviors behind.”

So the question is are you no longer same sex attracted?  Have you left that desire behind?  Sure a man can not act on his feelings but that is not the same thing as not HAVING those feelings.  Gay people have lived in the closet for years.  Most of us are no longer willing to be so confined.

That is always the million dollar question with the “ex-gay” industry.  Can you go from gay to straight in your deepest desires?

27 On Oct 5, 2007, at 8:43pm, Mike G wrote:

That pastor’s response is so sad.  I was raised a nazarene preachers kid, and told my parents when i was 19.  Thankfully, their response was much more compassionate, and they didn’t reject me.  I remember a story i heard in college about a baptist preachers kid whose dad found out he was homosexual.  The boy was forced to eat in his room, sit in the back of church, etc.  For high school graduation his dad gave him $300.00 and a one way train ticket to new york city.  Hopefully churches are now learning how to minister to those who struggle with homosexuality, so that families can respond with love to their family members.

28 On Oct 5, 2007, at 10:05pm, Rev. John J. Smid wrote:

At the risk of continuing a personal dialogue on this post I’d like to respond to Dan.

I realize there is a deep symantic issue at hand here but I am not identified by my feelings, attractions, desires.

And by the way, my DEEPEST desires are to love Christ, to love and respect myself, and my wife.  This means that as Christ teaches us, I must deny myself meaning I am called to say no to things that are contrary to my self dignity, my marriage, and most importantly, Christ.  True Christianty at its core is a life of sacrifice.  This means to say no to ungodliness.  Sex outside of marriage (man and woman), is clearly wrong, period.  This means that in Christ, any man or woman regardless of their sexual appetite, is called to live a disciplined life away from sexual sin.  When this is breached then confession and repentance in order and a receipt of God’s faithful forgiveness.

29 On Oct 6, 2007, at 12:07am, Jarrot wrote:

Thank you Alan Chambers and Rev. John Smid ,

For holding so close to Christ, and not letting fear keep you from telling your story and sharing His power with others like myself.

I’m so blessed to have come across a sermon on the internet of a Pastor who gave your website out, which lead me to Exodus, which then turned me towards a counselor near me. I echo everything Alan said, and simply say letting people know of exodus’ website can be a major helping hand to people. For I fear there are some like me out there, that simple don’t know there is help. Thanks again.

30 On Oct 6, 2007, at 1:18am, eric wrote:

Small wonder Alan Chambers is perpetuating the lie of the ‘ex-gay’; he makes his living by it. The more people he can infuse with guilt, self-loathing, and denial, the richer he becomes by ‘curing’ a few. There’s even a handy link at the bottom of the article, to contract his services.

More sins require more pastors to eradicate them. Perhaps this is the reasoning of the SBC/ERLC creating a whole flock of new social sins, by entering the world of political advocacy?

31 On Oct 6, 2007, at 1:22am, Glenda Delon wrote:

After studying and looking at everything every which way in the Bible, my conclusion is that it came down to these 2 things: What was God original intent for mankind and also everything else in the world? Next is, It says that all things are possible through Jesus Christ.
1st question: God original intent can be seen before the fall and also what it is like after the Great Tribulation where Christ is ruling the earth. It said that the lion will lay down with the lamb. So that tells me that the original intent for a lion was that he was not a meat eater but a plant eater. Then for man, he was with Eve, a woman that was a help mate, not a doormat but a helpmate or companion. Then when the fall occurred, everything became fallen…plants, animals, man and everything that God designed. Our sexuality is also fallen and God original intent was man/woman.
Now for the second thing, who says I can’t change if I don’t want to or if I want to I can’t?

32 On Oct 8, 2007, at 11:00am, Tain wrote:

I would like to present a dissenting opinion.

You present homosexuality as always an unhappy life. You reference gay bars, and “anger and bitterness”. You do not, however, mention homosexuals who are happy. Healthy homosexual relationships don’t often begin in gay bars, just as healthy heterosexual relationships don’t often form in straight bars. There are millions of places to meet people who are not drunk, drugged out, or self-destructive. Should homosexuals still to be told that they “should” change if your descriptions of unhappy and unhealthy gays don’t fit?

Ex-gay groups seem to wish to shut down the possibility of happy, healthy gay life, on the grounds that being “ex-gay” is inherently better. The problem that homosexuals have with ex-gay organizations is that they promote themselves as a kind and simple alternative, while repeatedly stating that individuals should change, and that an individual who is gay cannot be happy, healthy, and content with life.

33 On Oct 8, 2007, at 8:06pm, Dan Valdes wrote:

John Smid says…

....“I realize there is a deep symantic issue at hand here but I am not identified by my feelings, attractions, desires.”


......and…......

“This means that as Christ teaches us, I must deny myself meaning I am called to say no to things that are contrary to my self dignity, my marriage, and most importantly, Christ.”

When asked the rather straightforward question, does he still have sex attractions, having been through “the program”.....

I’ll leave it to the reader to decide.

34 On Oct 8, 2007, at 9:57pm, Rev. John J .Smid wrote:

Dan Valdez said:

“When asked the rather straightforward question, does he still have sex attractions, having been through “the program”.....

I’ll leave it to the reader to decide.”

Well,no reason for anyone to decide for themselves, I will just say what I have said repeatedly in public and in private:

I do experience same sex attractions.  I also typically speak of the goal of “the program” (http://www.loveinaction.org) is to help convicted men and women to heal from wounds and to learn to live a godly life free from sexual sin.

In no way have I professed that anyone would experience total freedom from same sex desires.

35 On Oct 8, 2007, at 10:40pm, Dan Valdes wrote:

John Smid says…“In no way have I professed that anyone would experience total freedom from same sex desires.” 

But after how much prodding and cajoling and pushing does that admission finally come out?  The point is not to put the good Reverend on the hot seat but rather to be quite specific in what this whole “ex-gay” business is about. 

“Ex-gay” sounds like no longer same sex attracted to the casual observer, but that’s not AT ALL what they are all about.

They propose that we gay people just not THINK of ourselves as gay or maybe not even as sexual beings.

  They would have our natural inclinations sublimated in some form of “holy sacrifice”

That is just plain silly to most compassionate people.
 
It’s much healthier for a person to integrate wholly rather than compartmentalize this and that.  Any therapist would agree. 

If you have same sex attraction, you are gay.  You can also integrate as Christian but at the end of the day, you are gay.

36 On Oct 8, 2007, at 11:29pm, Dan Valdes wrote:

Glenda Delon says….....

....“It said that the lion will lay down with the lamb. So that tells me that the original intent for a lion was that he was not a meat eater but a plant eater”

And then she goes on to say regarding human sexuality…...

“who says I can’t change if I don’t want to or if I want to I can’t?”


And with no offense intended, I can only say that this irrational form of thinking is what the SBC capitalizes upon in their attempt at persuasive rhetoric. 

We see this same thinking when one is too literal and narrow when reading Holy Scripture. 

  Reasoned, thoughtful, circumspect reflection does not lend itself to the kind of notions that the “ex-gay” industry expounds. 

Sure if you believe that lions’ intended niche was an herbivore then it’s no big leap to think gay can become straight but natural history and just a bit of reflective thought would lead one to a wholly different conclusion, I suspect.  What great cat chews a cud??

37 On Oct 9, 2007, at 12:47am, Glenda wrote:

Isa 65:17..21-25
17 “Behold, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind…
21 They will build houses and dwell in them;
they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them,or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
the works of their hands.
23 They will not toil in vain
or bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the LORD,
they and their descendants with them.
24 Before they call I will answer;
while they are still speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
but dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,”
says the LORD.

38 On Oct 10, 2007, at 9:13pm, eric wrote:

“....It [is] said that the lion will lay [sic] down with the lamb.”

... but only one of them is likely to get a good night’s rest.  ;)

39 On Oct 12, 2007, at 3:20am, Melanee Lisa Davidson wrote:

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for giving all of us the freedom to choose You or to not choose You while on this earth.

Papa, I praise You & I thank You for the freedom You’ve given to each one of us to have our own thoughts. Thank You for our parents, teachers, mentors, friends, etc. whom You gave to us to teach us to write & thank You for all the men & women whose writings have been posted in response to You (even though Alan’s name is on the article as the author).

Most of us were probably only responding to what Alan wrote (I know I was), but as I was reading the responses this evening, it struck me—hmmmmm . . . actually, Papa, all of us are actually responding to YOU - whether we know it or not. Whether we believe it or not. Whether any of us truly trust You & trust Who You say You Are - all of our lives (& in this case, all who are writing their comments), are in response to You. Wow . . . that is SO cool! Thank You, Papa!

Love You, Dad!
One of Your Daughters,
Melanee

40 On Oct 12, 2007, at 3:28am, Melanee Lisa Davidson wrote:

Thank You, Papa, for Loving each one of us enough to send Jesus to live amongst us, suffer for us, die for us, be resurrected for us, pray constantly for us, & Love all of us.  Thank You, Jesus, for one day coming back for all who trust You & You alone for salvation from sin. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for coming alongside each of us to point us to our need for Jesus as our Lord, Master, King, Saviour, Teacher, Best Friend, Brother - The One Who is Passionately Wild about us in only pure-n-holy ways. Thank You for creating each one of us so we can choose to accept - or - reject You.  Oh, Father . . . those who reject You on this earth & teach others to do the same, oh, Papa, have mercy on them . . . they do not know what they do . . . Father, please do whatever it takes to soften my heart to love others as You Love & thank You for Your Written Word to teach me & transform me by The Power of Your Holy Spirit – THANK YOU, JESUS!!!!!!!

41 On Oct 12, 2007, at 3:37am, Melanee Lisa Davidson wrote:

Oh, Papa—there are SO many who are just like I was—living a life outside of Your Will and sincerely believing that their way of living is good & great!  Oh, Daddy . . . I thank You that I can ask You to soften their hearts—to do whatever it takes, as gently, quickly, & mercifully as possible, to soften their hearts (as You have done in my life & so many others) to receive You on Your Terms. I praise You & I thank You, Papa, for doing this & so much more than I could ever ask or imagine! In Jesus’ Holy-n-Pure Name, Amen!

I love You, Dad!
One of Your Daughters,
Melanee

(P.S. And thank You, again, Papa, for allowing Alan to freely express his thoughts, experiences, feelings of some of the amazing changes You’ve made in his life. Thank You for all of them—yahoo!!!!!!!)

42 On Oct 12, 2007, at 4:15am, David Smith wrote:

While I’m honored to have been under the guidance of John Smid because of his integrity and deep committment to Christ; I have listened to both sides and it took me 25 years to finally hear God’s word.

I’m a gay Christian now and attend an all inclusive church with other gay and straight brothers and sisters. As mentioned above there are many who are full anger and bitterness; gay & straight. It’s only through Christ that real freedom has come for me to finally walk in the calling that He has for my life. I’ve learned how to interpret scripture appropriately and in light of discovery, I’ve humbly had to admit I was wrong.

I love and respect all ex-gay ministries and their commitment to sincerely want to help the suffering because I know they are motivated by what they believe the Bible says. I’m also extremely excited about the future for gay Christians because God is doing something different today and bringing revelation concerning scripture on this issue.

God bless

43 On Oct 12, 2007, at 9:42pm, Dan Valdes wrote:

To the mother Angela taking her 15 year old son to NARTH I urge you please don’t do that to your son.  That is the worse thing you can do to an impressionable young person.  Have you heard of PFLAG?  They are a much healthier resource for families dealing with gay children.  I can only imagine the resentment I could potentially harbor against my mother if she had tried to “cure” me.  She just accepted me, especially since she saw me grow up gay.  It wasn’t that big of a stretch.

Check into it Angela.  He’s worth it.

44 On Oct 16, 2007, at 4:55am, Greg wrote:

I must second Dan on his last comment. You have to let your children make their own choice. This country is becoming more and more evenly split over whether they believe homosexuality is something “to overcome” or a wholesome, religiously acceptable and viable alternative to heterosexuality. The choice has to be made by each individual. I know of a family that PFLAG has helped and two families that organizations like NARTH have destroyed. I personally will hold resentment against my father for recommending I get counseling for the rest of my life. We have different views on homosexuality, but we have to learn to respect these differences. In my community gay, bi, straight is like white, black, asian . . . etc.

45 On Oct 16, 2007, at 5:02am, Greg wrote:

That is what I grow up with and that is what I believe. I respect those that believe it is sin, but I don’t agree with you so please don’t force your beliefs on me through laws like bans that prevent me from getting married.

I would like to thank Alan for this article. Although I disagree with a lot of what you say it is much more respectful towards homosexuality and shows that progress is being made in the fight against ignorance and blatant homophobia.

Have faith in your own path. But don’t pass judgment on the paths that others choose.

I don’t believe people choose to be gay, but I believe we should allow them the choice of whether or not to be comfortable with themselves or to try and ‘overcome’ it. That is their choice.

46 On Oct 17, 2007, at 2:25pm, Bruce Robinson wrote:

Material on homosexuality written by conservative Christians often imply, without stating clearly, that people can change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.

But all of the solid evidence that I have seen indicates that:
- persons with a homosexual orientation who want to “change” are unable to alter their orientation; they can only decide to become celibate and spend a life in loneliness.
- persons with a bisexual orientation who want to “leave the homosexual lifestyle” can often simply decide to confine their choice of relationships to the opposite sex.

All evidence shows that persons with a homosexual, orientation remain stuck with a homosexual orientation. So too for bisexuals and heterosexuals.

It is time for Exodus International, other similar ministries, and conservative denominations to come to terms with reality and be up front with what is possible for homosexuals to do.

47 On Oct 17, 2007, at 8:10pm, jerry driskell wrote:

On Oct 15th, 2007, at 7:55pm, Greg wrote….....
......a wholesome, religiously acceptable and viable alternative to heterosexuality.
Please show me where you find in the bible that you based your comment on scripture.  I just don’t remember reading it, but then I might have missed it.
Jerry

48 On Oct 18, 2007, at 2:34pm, Dan Valdes wrote:

It’s also time for the church to stop bullying gay people about being who we are.  Stop browbeating us with how sinful we are and just let us be.  You might find we are not that much different than you are.

And like Bruce said, no amount of prayer is ever going to make a gay person straight.  It’s not like that.

49 On Oct 23, 2007, at 2:07am, Glenda wrote:

In response to Eric
Isa 11:6-9

6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea. NIV

50 On Oct 23, 2007, at 2:49am, Greg wrote:

I never said it was in the bible. I said that more and more Americans believe that.

I think you can infer that since its a core Christian value “to love thy neighbor” acceptance of all people should be a basis of faith. Science has determined that non-heterosexuality is a normal human variation (not a disease), has occured throughout history, and, as the majority of the psychiatric and neurological community believes, unchangeable. So doesn’t that imply that in loving our neighbor we should also love them if they are gay? Race is another human variation and the bible says slavery is ok.  But do we still condone slavery today? NO. I believe you can use the same logic. And if you think homosexuality is a choice let me remind you, religion is also choice, but in America, a christian nation, we respect the right of our people to choose their own religion. The bible says its ok to enslave non-Christians, but I don’t see Jews rebuilding New Orleans under the threat of death.

51 On Oct 23, 2007, at 5:58pm, Dan Valdes wrote:

And I would like to add that from my earliest memories I was taught that Jesus was the embodiment of love.  I could believe in that.  It felt real and true.

He was someone that I felt comfortable with.  I knew I was born gay and I also knew that Jesus wouldn’t condemn what he created for being true to my nature. 

I know in my heart that God wants us to accept ourselves…like the old hymn says…“Just as I am”. 

That’s how I integrate my Christian faith and my homosexuality. 

It’s okay if some Baptists don’t see it that way, but they don’t get to influence my political and civic freedoms without my fervent dissent. 

Gay people have to stand up, in love, against those who would decry our basic rights. 

This is not Iran.

52 On Oct 24, 2007, at 12:13am, Matthew Hawkins wrote:

Since Dan brought that beautiful hymn into the discussion, let’s look at more than just the title…

Just as I Am, Without One Plea
(By: Charlotte Elliott)

Just as I am, without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me
And that thou bidd’st me come to thee
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just a I am; thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be thine, yea, thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

I think it’s safe to say that the songwriter didn’t intend (or hope to) remain “Just As I Am”. Certainly, she highlighted God’s acceptance of us “as we are”, but it seems rather unmistakable to me that she believed she would indeed be changed and different after Christ’s work in her life. 

Then again, I’m attempting to take her words at face value and not “infering” on them as Greg (post #50) would have us do to Scripture, but that’s a conversation for a different time. ;-)

53 On Oct 24, 2007, at 6:11am, Greg wrote:

Well I mean if we all took the bible at face value then we could do a lot of things that are illegal in America. Like kill people for random crimes and slavery. Since there are so many contradictions, at face value, I think there is no choice but to make educated inferences. But I like living in a world without slavery, where women are treated equal to men, etc. so Ill keep making my inferences rather than using face value to justify the genocide of Native Americans by Puritans and the enslavement of non-Christian Africans by Christian Europeans. I think going by face value either shows ignorance or an inability to form an educated opinion. If you look throughout history, face value can be used to justify almost any horrible act (the Inquisition?). Lets not make the same mistake our ancestors made over and over.

54 On Oct 24, 2007, at 3:45pm, Dan Valdes wrote:

Dear Matt Hawkins..

my sexuality is not “one dark blot”. 

Thank you.

It’s a gift from God.  It’s a part of who I am.  That’s not what I am seeking God to purify.  I have other failings and shortcomings…

.but my sexuality does not create…“many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,”

does yours?

55 On Oct 24, 2007, at 10:47pm, Jerry wrote:

Well I mean if we all took the bible at face value…...

Response:  I think I see your problem.  You want understanding and then you can have Faith.  Doesn’t work that way.  You have Faith and understanding will follow.  Trust me !

56 On Oct 24, 2007, at 11:17pm, Jarrot wrote:

Greg,
I was reading your last few posts(#50 & 53). I see that you keep making reference to how the “bible says slavery is ok”. I’m sure your thinking of slavery in terms of what happened in America in the mid to late second millennium. BUT biblical slavery was not the same or really anything like that at all! There were two main types of old testament allowances for slavery. The first being Israelites to Israelites for payment of debt. This enslavement was to only last 6 years and after that they were to be set free. The second, was captives of war. If Israel went to war against a neighboring country, tribe, nation, etc. and Israel defeated them, Israel could take the women and children captive as slaves. That wasn’t a torture kind of slavery either. Why? Because Israel had no way to graft them into society as full on citizens of the blessings and promises of God to Abraham, reason why we as Christians can with Jesus(Romans 11).

57 On Oct 24, 2007, at 11:28pm, Jarrot wrote:

They would remain gentiles(non-Jewish) and be unable to become Jewish in faith. Thus continuing to practicing their own beliefs within the Jewish culture, which would eventually be picked up by the Jews themselves thus making God angry for He is jealous, and Him punishing Israel for their disobedience. So in a odd way, you could look at the allowance of captives of war slaves to be a show of Gods mercy on the captives themselves(their lives) and Israel(keeping them from getting punished for potential disobedience). Its weird but true. I say this to make note that I think it would be a great idea to go out a buy a New Living Translation bible, and begin reading it today. For I don’t want you to miss quote biblical principles, doctrines or beliefs. I want you to be informed from the source itself without outside opinion. So you can be the smart, intelligent, and bright man you are and not misquote or misinterpret biblical principles in conversation.

58 On Oct 25, 2007, at 12:33am, Dan valdes wrote:

Dear Jarrot,

Put whatever spin on slavery that works for you but the bottom line is that the SBC used those same biblical passages to justify slavery in the USA in modern times.

That’s the real issue here. 

The SBC uses select passages to justify unjust behavior.  They have a history of it. 

This is the same thing except they are doing it to marginalize gay people, to deny us marriage, to deny us equal rights in the work place, to deny us equal rights in the US armed forces, to deny us equal protection under the law, they want to pursuade people that you can change your sexual orientation (a blatant falsehood) and to basically keep us quiet in the closet. 

This is a political struggle for equality.  They can preach whatever they want in church but when they attempt to influence political policy, they will be countered and opposed.

59 On Oct 25, 2007, at 2:54am, Greg wrote:

Jarrot. H
ow do you think Europeans justified African slavery? They used the bible. How do you think Puritans justified killing Native American women and children? THey used the bible. How do you think the Spanish conquistadors justified enslaving the Arawak? They used the bible. In fact interracial marriage was banned in this country until a few decades ago (much less in Alabama and Georgia) because many Americans believed that the bible justified a separation of the races. I am not saying the bible is an evil thing. In fact many people use it for good. But some, like the Conquistadors, and Puritains use it to justify injustices. Lingiusts have recently learned that when we translate the bible to say “be in fear of God” it was actually supposed to read “be in awe of God.” Many of the monks who copied the bible during the early Middle Ages were in fact illiterate and copied only what they saw, making numerous mistakes in grammar and misprinting entire words.

60 On Oct 25, 2007, at 3:05am, Greg wrote:

I am not necessary concerned with biblical, but with how the bible is used and what it is used for. Unfortunately, I see many people in the world use it to justify hate and a fear of change. Anytime in American history their is social change religious conservativism reacts against it. The use of the bible to fight against interracial marriage lost, and now this same argument is being reinstated against gay marriage. I have a very interesting collection of headlines and articles that use the bible and biblical references to prove the “evil of gay marriage” except that all the articles were actually about interracial marriage but interracial and gay where switched. The arguments are identical.

61 On Oct 25, 2007, at 3:10am, Greg wrote:

And Jarrot, buy a New Living Translation Bible? Are you joking. Thats biased just like everything else. Its only unbiased if I agree with everything its authors think. The fact that many Churches, especially in the UCC will recognize gay marriages proves to me that the Church is not agreement over what the bible means. Which means there is no one true way.

And Jerry you should have understanding in your faith. Faith alone is ignorance. We obviously don’t have all the answers but we should have reasons for believing what we believe. Just believing the New Living Translation because we are told to is ignorance. Just being pro-life or pro-choice because your parents or pastor tell you to is ignorance. Use your own judgment, your own experience, and your own connection with God to tell you what to believe. Naturally there will be disagreement so recognize that fact and come to terms that the opposing viewpoint deserves that same respect as your own.

62 On Oct 25, 2007, at 3:16am, Greg wrote:

Jarrot thanks for your comment, but it was irrelevant to what I was saying. Its how the bible has been used and history backs me up. I never discussed biblical times so I don’t need to hear about “biblical” slavery.

But if denial of Christianity’s wrongs makes you feel better than I can’t change your mind. But the bible has been used for great and it has also been used for evil. Much like the Koran is used for good and also to justify terrorism.

Dan thank you for your continued comments. I don’t want to sound like I hate anyone who disagrees with me, but let me tell you it is hard to hear people preach about how you are evil. I don’t feel evil and I don’t think I am evil. Sure I have sin, but I believe it is for other reasons. Furthermore, I think society is dependent on faith, but I don’t appreciate the faith of others being forced onto me through laws that restrict what I can and can’t do with my life.

63 On Oct 26, 2007, at 4:16am, Jerry wrote:

Greg,
I can tell from your comments that you have not studied the bible.  You may have read it, but you have not studied it.  If you had, you would already know that for 2,000 years, men have been trying to “prove” it and men have been trying to “disprove it” and so far, neither have suceeded.

[And Jerry you should have understanding in your faith. Faith alone is ignorance…........]

It is a masterpiece that stands alone, because it was God’s words, written down by men.  Not man’s words, but God’s.

Unfortunately, many will…......as our pastor says, “believe what they choose to believe” regardless of what they read, or in some cases, even what they see with their own eyes.  I know…...I’ve been there…...the unbeliever and now the believer.

Jerry

64 On Oct 26, 2007, at 6:53am, Jarrot wrote:

Greg,
I recommended the New Living because I believe it has the simplest language of all the newer translations. Thats the only reason, now to get the most accurate translation I would recommend learning Greek, and ancient Hebrew then buying a Hebrew old testament and a Greek new testament and read those. I personally use the New King James Version simply because I like it. The word literally translated means “fear”, though it implies “awe” which has been a common understanding taught in my church since I can remember. Its similar to Spanish’s “de nada” literally translated it means “of nothing” but it implies “your welcome”. I never once denied the SBC’s wrong doing in the past with slavery! I simply misunderstood what you were writing, and thought to help clear the air.

65 On Oct 26, 2007, at 11:18pm, Jarrot wrote:

Dan,
I must have misunderstood Greg, for it appeared that he spoke about how the “bible says slavery is ok”. I was simply trying to clear the air on how it wasn’t the same kind of slavery, and those allowances don’t fit the new testament church. I don’t believe I was putting a spin on slavery either, I was clarifing what kind slavery the bible spoke about. Now I’m assuming your meaning to say that the SBC is using select passages to justify unjust behavior again with homosexuality by marginalizing gay people, denying you marriage, denying you equal rights in the work place, denying you equal rights in the US armed forces, & denying you equal protection under the law in post#58? Which passages are we using, and how so? Also I don’t know of any academic articles saying changing ones orientation is improbable? I hope this clears up the misunderstanding.

66 On Oct 27, 2007, at 7:07pm, Greg wrote:

Well, we obviously disagree Jerry and this is getting a little too personal for my taste. I personally have stuck to studying the old testament more than the new. My concern is that depending who I study it with I end up with different interpretations and different emotional outcomes, largely based on the people around me. Some people are more concerned with getting rid of homosexuality than getting rid of poverty for example. I don’t think thats right. Your intentions may be honorable but I think the action of making homosexuality evil has negative consequences for many Americans. I can’t change your mind about what you believe but I have to ask do you think its right that the idea that homosexuality is evil has been imposed on all Americans?

67 On Oct 27, 2007, at 7:13pm, Greg wrote:

Do you think its right that we need hate crime protection, protection against employment and housing protection? Do you think its right that elderly gay couples are kicked out of nursing homes, denied access to their loved ones in hospitals, and get kicked out of the military? We are denied marriage, the right to show our love in public. We are ridiculed on tv on the radio, everywhere. Even those so called liberal ‘gay lovers’ make fun of us under the disguise of the self-righteous claim that since they are liberal they must be for us.

There are many paths the written word can lead us. There are Jews, Christians, Muslims and so many more. Within these faiths there are multiple divisions of faith.

68 On Oct 27, 2007, at 7:21pm, Greg wrote:

Even within the same congregation the beliefs are very different. I believe that each individual takes what they want from the written word. Some use it for self-enlightment, to fight poverty, to better the world. Some use it for some agenda, to justify some action, good or bad, and to fuel their fears. Religion is a passionate driving force for many Americans, and I think that they can be easily manipulated by a small number of religious leaders. For some reason homosexuality and the fight against it has been given some high level of priority and their messages are infiltrating churches across the world. My concern is that I think church leaders are robbing people of the right to interpret the written word for themselves.

69 On Oct 29, 2007, at 4:09am, jerry wrote:

Greg…......re: I can’t change your mind about what you believe but I have to ask do you think its right that the idea that homosexuality is evil has been imposed on all Americans?

Have to end this for now.  As I said, quoting our minister “people will believe what they [choose] to believe”.  And I think he was saying “regardless of what they know.  Emotional decisions trump rational [informed] decisions?
Probably….....and probably both sides of a disagreement are guilty.
God Bless.

70 On Oct 29, 2007, at 4:16pm, Zen wrote:

Unfortunately Alan, 

When you try to win people over on sexual issues, and you have hung your personal sexual problems on an ExGay Christian cross of shame based fear mongering and gay witch hunting due to it’s Biblical dialogue from homophobic men spewing bigoted statements full of holes, anything you say comes off fully covered in the same stench.

Kristen

71 On Oct 29, 2007, at 6:56pm, Dan Valdes wrote:

Dear Jarrot,

The SBC uses this website in an effort to influence public policy and to sway public opinion towards, in my opinion, a radical right wing agenda. 

They use the Bible to argue for the continued prejudice against gays.

  They editorialize endlessly about gays, promulgating false notions about who we are and our lives.  They use hyperbole and inflammatory rhetoric to frighten people who don’t take the time to research the truth about gay issues.

For example they went on and on about how a Hate Crimes Law would limit free speech when they knew that provisions had been made for that very situation in the bill. (Either deceit outright or simply sloppy reporting, neither is acceptable)

Make no mistake, this is a POLITICAL organization.  They are here in a persuasive mode. 

They play lose and fancy with the facts when reporting on gay cultural issues.  They have an agenda.  They seek to hold onto waning power and influence.

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