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For those who feel that God expects everyone to be heterosexual
[This first appeared on the Forum of the Diocese of Colorado, at
Thank you for your post. Having held your view for the first 28 years
of my life, I can begin to understand it. I too felt that God's plan
for all persons was that they be heterosexual or at least conform to
heterosexuals' expectations. I prayed fervently to be made into a
heterosexual. I sought help from a Christian psychiatrist as well.
Like Peter on the rooftop in Joppa, I was schooled well in the
Scripture and in the traditions.
It is a fearful thing to pray, "Give me the courage to change those
things that I can change, the serenity to accept the things which I
cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference." God answered my
prayer not by making me a heterosexual but by making me whole as a gay
person called to live faithfully and responsibly.
Much of what I feared was the loss of respectability that I enjoyed
when people took me to be straight. But I found that in losing that
respectability, in becoming the outcast, the one whom many Christians
define as 'the least,' I have had dramatic access to God, from whom I
had felt alienated when I struggled to change the person God had made.
"Call not unclean any thing that I have made!"
Peter had a hard time selling that to the circumcision party. Paul had
a hard time persuading the Council of Jerusalem to make the same step.
I share your concern for scripture and its great importance as we seek
to discern God's will, especially when we can so easily deceive
ourselves. When confronted with conflicting demands about the meaning
of Scripture, Jesus said that all the law and the prophets must hang
on two: Love God with heart, mind, soul, and strength;
love your neighbor (even your lesbigay neighbor) as you love yourself.
What you see as "plain teaching of God's Word written on the subject
of human sexuality" has had amazingly different interpretation in
Christian and Jewish history. Witness for example polygamy, never
directly reversed as the biblical standard; witness wives viewed as
property, as memorialized in the commandment
"you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, your neighbor's ass, your
neighbor's ox...nor anything that is your neighbor's; witness the
status of 'reverse circumcision' and those who used crude plastic
surgery to practice it; witness centuries of celibacy as a requirement
for priesthood....; witness the current Christian consensus
about divorce and remarriage, as manifested by Episcopal clergy and
bishops; witness St. Paul's emphasis on marriage for only those who
need lust control; witness Jesus's little attention to marriage except
to spike the punch on the third day of heavy drinking at the wedding
in Cana; witness the fact that Jesus never married
and that we know only about Peter that he had a mother-in-law, with no
spousal references of any sort for the other apostles.... It's very
hard to get a clear picture of what the Bible intends about sex, and
those who claim to see that picture most certainly don't enjoy a vast
amount of agreement with others.
Six bible bullets are often used to talk about lesbigays. These are
texts which almost no one except bible scholars knew anything about
until about 20 years ago but now they are dredged up frequently,
rarely in context, by anyone who who has read a tract. I too oppose
the gang rape proscribed in the Genesis story; I also oppose Lot's
cruel and inhumane offer of his daughters to the marauders. I too
oppose temple prostitution proscribed by Paul in Romans 1; but of the
thousands of lesbigays whom I have met, even the majority who have no
faith commitments, I have never yet met anyone practicing as, or even
aspiring to practice as, a temple prostitute......
In our marriage for 25+ years, Ernest and U have found much more
nurture to sustain us in our vows in the summary that Jesus gave.
St. Paul did not always agree with you about "plain teaching of God's
Word." He says in 1 Cor. 13 that we see only as through a very dirty
glass even about matters so big as faith, hope, and love. But given
the difficulty, he still knows with absolute certainty that the most
important of these three is love.
May God give you and me the ability to love one another across the
differences which separate us. For it is in seeing us who disagree
love one another that the world will know that we are God's disciples.
It is much easier to love those who agree, but we are pilgrims
together in this way of the cross.