“Being gay is a sin. I spread love to the world.”

In the comments section to my recent post, An Open Letter From Christians to Gay People, a guy showed up using the screen name “The Word.” Here is most of what “The Word” wrote:

I’m a Christian. I strive towards becoming Christ like in all aspects of my life. But I fail; I fail miserably and am no where near perfect. I have sinned; I should go to hell. So should you, and you, and you as well. Humanity is imperfect, and we do not deserve anything. But that being said, you have to bring God into this. He loves us. He loves us so much he sent his one and only son to die for us on the Cross. Jesus died for our sins. All of them. Every time we’ve lied, every time we’ve cheated, looked at someone with hatred. Every sin is equal in God’s eyes.

If you have ever looked at a woman with lust, to God you have committed adultery. If you have ever looked upon someone with hate, you have murdered them in His eyes. None of us are deserving of heaven. But for some reason God has chosen to pour out his love, his mercy, and his forgiveness. He’s given us a way out. And all we need to do is believe, and every sin has been washed away.

That being said, I still say that homosexuality is a sin. In the same way that my own sexuality is a sin. I (like so many other men in the world) look at porn. I am not proud of it, I do not like it, and it makes me feel so much worse for the rest of the day. I do it; I am deserving of hell. But in the same way that Jesus forgives me, he forgives anyone of the homosexual orientation. I have confessed my sin, but I still live in it, wallow in it, and stink with it’s stench. But I am free, by the love of Christ I am free. I believe that someone living in homosexuality is capable of going to heaven for that reason. Because Jesus Christ, Son of the Most High, died for that person. And if that person were to recognize him, then he would set them free.

I love all people, as God does. And I do not view anyone as less than I do. I accept that homosexuality is not a choice, it is very hard to get rid of, almost impossible. I cannot just ask God to make me not attracted to women. It doesn’t work like that. I can try and control it, but I cannot hope for perfection. I think that I am ineligible to become a pastor, because of my sin life. I think that many people are not eligible, even people that currently reside over churches. We’ve let our guard drop so much, we’ve let sin into our lives so much. In the same way as I wouldn’t want someone who watches porn, or drinks, or smokes cigarettes to be a pastor, I don’t want a homosexual to be a pastor. Sin is sin. I love people, I reach out, I befriend. I have never belittled anyone based on their sexuality, nor will I. I am truly sorry for those of us who reject Christ’s notion of love, and choose to hate. That is not God.

I carry no emotional baggage whatsoever. God is love. Without God there would be hell for all. How I act upon my sexuality towards women is a sin, in the same way that acting upon your sexuality towards the same sex would be a sin. God doesn’t hate anyone. We all deserve Hell, which is why we NEED God. God loves us, he forgives us, regardless of how much we sin, as long as we believe that through him and his love there is salvation. To sin is to deviate from God’s will. I reference the entire Bible. There are six references to homosexuality throughout; go and find them, you will be surprised I’m sure. Six. Why on earth would God reference homosexuality six times if it wasn’t a sin? Sure, if you look at the one in Leviticus, which is filled with laws only commanded to certain people groups, then I can see how you don’t view it as sin. But if you combine it with the five other times, it becomes solid fact. The number of times he talks about a man becoming one with his wife should clue you in.

I have done no damage, nor does my theology do damage. I spread love, peace, and acceptance to the world. Not hate, anger, or intolerance. I have done my research, I have studied. … Sexuality is a gift, the greatest gift, and we should treat the greatest gift with the utmost respect, out of reverence to our high and almighty God. God does not tempt, the flesh tempts. God does not punish. Hell is simply absence from God, from his most eternal love. I doubt it is what we like to depict it as. It is just a world without God. An entirely human, and entirely broken world. The Truth shall reign through. The Word is with me.

God created Adam and Eve in the beginning, in the perfect garden, in the perfect place. All was right, all was as it was intended to be. That is God’s plan. That is how God designed it. When we chose to refuse that, to eat the Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, we chose to forsake that. And everything became tainted. Everything became broken. With that brokenness became sin of all form—not brought on us by God, but by ourselves. That sin includes homosexuality and bisexuality.

Sexuality in it’s purest form, in what God designed it to be, when everything was perfect, is a gift. But with that gift there comes a curse, a curse brought upon ourselves. Jesus sent his son down to free us from that curse. I am susceptible to lust, as others are susceptible to anger, jealousy, greed, hate, slothfulness, and gluttony. We all have an area in our life that we struggle the most in, that we will fall in. But just because 99.9% of men look at porn, have lust in their hearts, and sleep with reckless abandon, does not mean that it is what God intended. Just because there is a growing population of GLBT, does not mean it is what God intended. I am within sin just as much as every man. I do not judge anyone based on their sin. I condemn all sin equally. I will not “support” sin. I will love everyone equally, spread acceptance, love, and peace to the world.

A day or so after closing comments to An Open Letter, I received an email from one Mike Moore, who wrote to tell me that reading the words of “The Word.” made his eyes bleed. He expressed his desire to have written a response to Mr. Word.

“If you want to do it now,” I wrote him back, “Feel free. I’ll post it.”

Mike took me up on that offer. Here is his response to “The Word.”:

John’s An Open Letter From Christians to Gay People sparked over 650 comments! That’s a great party: plenty of people to keep things lively, yet not so many that conversational threads get lost.

Not unusually, I arrived at this party late. (I’d like to say “fashionably late,” but what I was wearing at the time would only be considered “fashionable” in Seattle, circa 1991.)

Arriving late is often a good thing: the gang is on their second or third cocktail, and people’s conversation is well on the way to becoming slurred, funny, candid, and, as a rule, more interesting.

Unfortunately, by the time I arrived at John’s Open Letter, the party was almost over. All the good words had been taken. Thanks were well expressed. Sincere and thoughtful debates had been had. Most of what was worth saying had been said.

And, horrors, within minutes of my arrival, the comment section closed! End of party!

But (and I say this as a guy who believes that for every party, there is an after-party), I found I couldn’t move on. I was a bit shaken-up by one of the commenters, “The Word.”

Before I knew it, “The Word.” had gotten well under my skin.

“The Word.” set off my bells and whistles. Danger. I felt an unfamiliar hostility.

At first glance, it was only that he was using Someone Else’s Name. He was perpetrating identity theft on a grandiose, John 1:1 scale. Like using God’s social security number to get a Platinum Card.

Then there was the period. Unlike God, this guy wasn’t content to simply be “The Word”. No, he went a step further, and added a period: “The Word.”. As in, I Am The Word, Period. As in, End of Discussion. As in Don’t Question Me.

So, being a knee-jerk reaction sort of fellow, I was already feeling put-off by “The Word.”—and I had yet to even read his comments.

Then I read his comments.

Then I kind of hated the guy, without really wanting to. Because “The Word.” frightens me.

“The Word.” has twisted love and sex, sin and forgiveness, hell and heaven, flesh and spirit, and cigarettes and liquor into a strange, dangerous mental knot that I (and I daresay anyone else in the world) couldn’t begin to unravel.

The words of “The Word.” trigger my most primal fight-or-flight response. He reminds me of the guy who says so many of the right things while trying to get you into the back of his Ford van with the custom Serial Killer package. “The Word.” makes me think of the stranger offering candy.

“The Word.” feels like the 3 a.m. knock on the door when your porch light is out.

The reason I write this is honestly to learn: Is it just me?

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  • Mike: No, it’s not just you. As (I think?) I wrote you, it’s largely because of “The Word.” that I shut down comments to An Open Letter. That’s about as visceral a response as I have. Guys like that are not … um, people I care to entertain. (Actually, he just sounded young. He had that whole I Know What’s Right and Wrong, and I’m Very Thoughtful About It!! young thing going on. I certainly hope he’s young, anyway. At least then there’s a chance he’ll … normalize.)

  • Translator Terminator

    This guy skipped some serious blog reading to sustain “I did no damage”…

    Time to grow up, MS Word.

  • That’s interesting – I thought he sounded tired of life, and therefore older.

    Also, I can’t help but feel that God designed everything with a purpose. Sure, we humans take and twist the gifts we are given at times, but something as pure, and simple, and natural as sexual pleasure just doesn’t make sense as a sin, unless there is more to the story (adultery, etc). Even trying to say that intercourse only exists for reproductive purposes doesn’t make sense when it takes a healthy couple an average of 5 months of trying to fall pregnant.

  • Marcey Schwarz

    I think we all believe we are right. Otherwise, we would not share. I like Mike’s description of his reaction. I am not put off by “The Word.” Most of us our adults. I enjoy well-written opinions. I don’t think we need to shelter ourselves. For our faith to grow and get stronger, we need to feel resistance, however uncomfortable, intangible, or even “dangerous” it may feel. There are plenty of soft, fuzzy blogs out there. If anyone can handle this, John Shore can!

  • Joyce

    Definitely not just you, Mike. Comes off as both disturbing and disturbed.

    Regarding that offensive little period, my denomination, the UCC, has a campaign symbolized by a red comma. The slogan is “Never put a period where God has put a comma.” God is still speaking.

    I’m glad “The Word.” didn’t get the last word on this excellent post.

  • Gary

    John, the photo above is perfect. It really captures the essence of the tone I got from his ramblings.

  • “dangerous mental knot.” Perfect, Mike – and I included the period in there for effect. Couldn’t have responded better myself…

  • Lymis

    No, it wasn’t just you. I was building up a fairly impressive head of steam until he got to “I wouldn’t want someone who smokes cigarettes to be a pastor.”

    Oh. One of those. Deep moral thinker capable of making the important distinctions among his fellow man.

    I’ve never understood the people who think they are saying something meaningful when they spout the “We’re all sinners, murderers, homosexuals. smokers” – as though saying something like that actually means anything, besides “we’re all human.”

    Having been on the receiving end of it most of my life, it just deflated him into just another of those people playing a theological shell game. Since we’re all sinners, I don’t get to try to make a case that a loving, committed, faithful, fruitful, and happy gay relationship is something blessed by God and worthy in His sight, but since it’s still sin that we are talking about, he gets to single out any particular sin that trips his trigger and make as vehement a case that God loathes it as he cares to make.

    He gets to claim that there was once a state of utter perfection, and then from there gets to declare that anything he personally disapproves of is a result of the Fall, and therefore condemned by God. He declares that there is an all-powerful God, but that it is somehow self-evident that things an all-powerful God allows to happen are still by definition “not what God intended” – again, as though that statement means anything at all.

    Of course, at the same time, he doesn’t give any indication that he feels that things like clothing, antibiotics, indoor plumbing, or water purification are evil, even though they weren’t present in his vision of the Garden either. Nor was carpentry, but apparently Jesus didn’t have a particular issue with that.

  • Lymis

    Oh, and apropos of not much, I suppose he can validly make something of a tenuous claim that Adam and Eve weren’t gay – that would have been a bit counterproductive on God’s part – or at least not so gay that they couldn’t knuckle down and have kids together, but I can’t for the life of me imagine how he can conclude that they weren’t bisexual.

    How in the world would anyone have been able to tell? It’s not as though they had any other choices of partner? (Setting aside, of course, all discussion of just where their grandchildren came from.)

  • Lymis

    And finally, “I carry no emotional baggage whatsoever. God is love. Without God there would be hell for all. ”

    No, dude, without God there would be nobody for there to be hell for, and no hell for them to be in.

  • Ben

    …I Know What’s Right and Wrong, and I’m Very Thoughtful About It!! young thing…

    I felt that too, because although it pains me to admit, I can imagine the 24 year old me (and maybe the 28 year old me) writing this very thing. I remember visiting my parents’ church in my late 20s and being shocked that they had several gay and lesbian members. I remember talking with my (then) wife about it and not being able to comprehend how any ‘believing’ church could allow that.

    But what echoes deeper than the reasoning and belief is (and I may be projecting here) is the undercurrent of personal shame. While he clearly tries to use his porn habit as a way of showing he can relate before bringing the hammer down, the way he discusses it seems to betray his own hopelessness. While he says that he believes that god saves him, it comes across as an end game. He’s WRESTLING with all of these issues but he’s starting from a place of condemnation (we all deserve hell) and shame. If he truly had it all figured out and felt as confident as he says he is he wouldn’t need so many words.

    There’s hope for him yet! God’s love is great enough to open my eyes and change my heart, so really there’s hope for anybody!

  • Not just Mike at all! I had a very similar, very visceral response.

    It took me awhile to figure out what exactly set my alarm bells off about this poster more than any other run-of-the-mill “love the sinner, hate the sin” poster. But after rereading his comments in succession in this post, I realized what it was.

    First, The Word. appears to believe that all sexuality is a sin. And that is one of the most dangerous things our churches can teach, in my opinion. Aside from being just plain silly, it is the thing that damages young women by making them feel their very existence is ‘dirty’. It is the thing that drives young men off the deep end of extreme sexual behavior because, hey if they can’t control any of it and are filthy evil creatures, what does it matter? It is the thing that ruins otherwise loving marriages because it creates an unobtainable ideal of what sex ‘should’ be. So, yeah, spreading that kind of ‘loving gospel’ is a BIG issue for me.

    The second thing that jumped out and made me want to slam my head into the keyboard was just good ol’ fashioned inconsistency. ALL people sin and deserve hell, NO ONE is without sin. Yet, he believes that church leaders must be free from sin to serve the church. So, if I read that right, we should really just disband all churches everywhere, right? After all, who is going to lead them?

    Also, he realizes that homosexuality is not a choice, but then compares it to smoking cigarettes and looking at porn. Well, I’ve been a smoker for 10 years, and while I am the first to admit it’s super hard to quit and I have yet to be strong enough to do so, it is most definitely a choice. Watching porn, yes even on the level of addiction (which is far rarer than people think), is a choice. Drinking is a choice. I am not trying to downplay the difficulties of addiction here, but there is a huge difference between having made the CHOICE to do something addictive and harmful and then struggling with the consequences, and being born gay. You cannot 12 step your way out of homosexuality. I know, because I have watched several loved ones try.

    Mostly, I think what crawls under my skin and digs at me about The Word. is that the combination of these things shows me how very young he must be. Yet, at first glance, he does appear to say all the right things. He doesn’t become belligerent or irrational or do any of the other things that throw up the red flag and signal danger to everyone. He DOES appear to more or less ‘spread love to the world’. Unfortunately, closer examination shows his ‘love’ to be infected with emotional smallpox. And we all know how that story ends up…

  • HJ

    I thought it most eerie how the message he was conveying was so demeaning and demoralizing (even of himself – clearly he’s a porn addict (?)). Yet (at least at first), he seemed to do it so gently. I really get the impression he’s not a hater for the sake of hating, but that he honestly believes what he says.

    Personally, he seems to be a literalist, which I am not, and as far as I know neither are most readers here. So I didn’t take him too seriously. It’s when folks with views like his are put in positions of power, that it is time to worry.

    Also, I too very much liked the phrase, “strange, dangerous mental knot”.

  • Why can’t you post on the blog? What happens?

  • I liked that phrase too, very much.

  • Tim

    No, you were not alone.

    The problem, as John has pointed out so often, is that the sins he tries to equate homosexuality to aren’t bad for God, per se, but bad for us. I mean, other than blasphemy, what sins does God ever list in any of the extensive lists for any other reason than “You’ll be sorry if you do that, Chuck.”

    And yet, I would be sorry if I wasn’t open and honest about my sexuality. Me and my wife would both be very sorry if I married a woman and couldn’t perform or deal with her issues. And I know this because I have 5 sisters, love them dearly, but can barely understand them and put up with them for a few hours at a time.

    Here’s the thing, if “The Word.” has his way, the Puritans would blush at the world’s strident aestheticism. After all, even if a man is faithful to his one partner (presumably a wife in this case) and never looks at another woman his entire life he still can’t be completely without lust–I mean, if she wasn’t at least marginally attractive the sexual interest wouldn’t be there. Mr. “The Word.” would love to eradicate the bad behavior and motives of us all, and claims that the love of Christ is at once sufficient to make the issue essentially morally neutral.

    In short, “The Word.” misses the whole point of salvation and redemption–it isn’t about following the rules or even doing the thing best for survival (or else the whole martyr thing would be sin), but about becoming the type of people he wants us to be (see greatest two commandments, fruits of the Spirit, etc.). The point is that God cares less about our present actions and ills than that we are ready for the onslaught of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faith, mildness, and self-sacrifice that Heaven is without question. I somehow don’t see how telling someone not to love helps in that endeavor.

  • Ashdawn

    I’m not sure. It just kept loading and loading. Even when I cut the response down, intending to maybe split it up, it would not work. I tried 3 or 4 times.

  • Amy O’Rourke via Facebook

    This is a crazy and dangerous lunatic. He needs to be in a mental institution not a church.

  • Scott Amundsen

    This guy’s whole theology has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese, so I won’t bother to go point-counter-point with him. Suffice it to say that I do not accept the picture of a God who creates humans in His own image, and from the moment we are born, our default destiny is an eternity of painful punishment unless we say, do, and believe certain things. Neither am I a devoté of “substitution theology;” the idea that the Son of God had to suffer and die because God’s creation was so evil and God Himself so angry that only the spilling of blood could accomplish redemption.

  • HJ

    I got that impression about sexuality too. It is the “we are created extremely sinful” message. That sex and sexuality are innately bad. Which is a bad message to spread for oh so very many reasons. You nailed it!

  • This disconnect from reality both physical and spiritual is so complete it’s hard to know where to start to unravel it. Too many loose ends leading nowhere. But it does have eerie echoes of cult.

  • LSS

    there is (i think, growing?) the theory that everybody has SOME same-sex attraction, of course in wildly varying degrees. so, if that’s right, they would have almost sort of had to be bi, even if not very much.

  • I respect this person’s non-judgmental approach to this topic. But I still have a problem with someone saying that to love someone of the same gender is a sin. A God whose love knows no boundaries would not limit our love based on another person’s gender. Furthermore, sin is “seeking our own will instead of the will of God, thus distorting our relationship with God, with other people, and with all creation” (Episcopal Catechism). Since coming out as gay, I have been more able to do God’s will, and have become closer to the heart of God than I ever was when I sought empty relationships with women. Sexual orientation is simply another God-given gift for a diverse world. There is no way to weasle out of it.

  • This guy’s whole theology has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese, so I won’t bother to go point-counter-point with him. Suffice it to say that I do not accept the picture of a God who creates humans in His own image, and from the moment we are born, our default destiny is an eternity of painful punishment unless we say, do, and believe certain things. Neither am I a devoté of “substitution theology;” the idea that the Son of God had to suffer and die because God’s creation was so evil and God Himself so angry that only the spilling of blood could accomplish redemption.

  • John C Hoddy via Facebook

    Word is deeply weird. Any time I encounter someone going by that kind of alias, it’s usually crazypants time. I would purport that addiction to pornography is a lot more toxic than the percieved “sin” of homosexuality. No one chooses to be gay, just like noone chooses to be straight. It has nothing to do with sin period.

  • Jeff Scott via Facebook

    That was kind of scary.

  • Buzz Dixon via Facebook

    @Amy — po-TAY-toh, po-TAH-toh

  • Kai

    Oh, no, not just you at all. I had a similar, very visceral reaction to him. Mostly for his name, but also for his weirdly prideful conviction that he mistreats no one. I couldn’t help but think it really… egotistical, I guess, that he qualified most everything he said with “I do not hate”, basically. Perhaps, though, he was only trying to convince himself.

  • That Word guy’s just plain sad, every aspect of being human is a sin, in his view.

  • “The Word” sounds very familiar to me; Lord knows I’ve echoed some of his beliefs in the past & I know plenty of people who still do today.

    But he is trying to be non-judgmental, he is trying to wrap his mind around grace and salvation for all, he is trying in his own way to be loving to his brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Cut him some slack. You don’t have to agree with his take on things, but give him credit for doing some reflection & thinking on his own instead of following the easy knee-jerk path.

  • a friend

    guy needs daily porn and says he carries no emotional baggage?

    why is it that people who think all sex is sinful can’t wrap their minds around the fact that God thought it up in the first place!

  • LSS

    while i’m always wary of certain people (no matter how unpleasant they and/or their ideas are) being singled out for ridicule, i don’t think this is exactly what is being done here, so that’s ok.

    what i do appreciate is sort of extracting the particular rhetoric in order to make a rebuttal of the logic and/or the attitudes behind his words.

    there are some commenters that … how can i say it? they tap into something, like connecting with things i used to hear and used to let myself be brainwashed into, that it’s almost like PTSD triggers in a way that it just blocks your mind where you were thinking independently or at least following more useful ideas than you used to be following, and just puts you backwards in your progress that you were making.

    there was a commenter like that on the article with the letter from the Christian Woman that chose abortion, too, that i remember feeling his attitude and words and rhetoric were dangerous in the same way. i can’t remember now who it was, just the impending doom / Alice-being-pushed-into-the-rabbit-hole feeling of reading him.

    and even if i were to manage my resolution of not arguing with people in face-to-face or in facebook or in blogs… still i have to argue with their words inside my own mind so they don’t convince me back to ideas that it took me like 7 yrs to get out of. so this kind of thing helps with that.

    Hmmmm, at this point i should probably also ask “is it just me?”

  • Lorelei

    Honestly, the sort of convoluted stuff “The Word.” spouts about God – to me, this is blasphemy.

  • All I could think to say was “poor guy.” His problem really seems to be that he dislikes himself so much.

  • Christy

    I started a reply to him and, then, was just overwhelmed. Too much to address. The “The Word.”. The self loathing. The porn. The we/I deserve hell. The “I carry no emotional baggage”. And this little nugget: “Sexuality is a gift, the greatest gift…”

    Now, I’m no prude. And sex is great and all; I like it too. But. This was the phrase that pushed me over the edge to want to respond (but didn’t). “Sexuality is the greatest gift.” Really? Cause I’m having trouble with that. Even committed, mutually monogamous, lifetime sexuality, frankly, to me, is a poor substitute for authentic, connected, genuine, vulnerable, deep, intimate RELATIONSHIPS. True love. Which can and does exist outside our sexuality. The capacity to feel emotionally connected to another human being without expecting anything in return. THIS, to me, is the greatest gift. Now. Its all the more lovely if it happens in marriage. But it doesn’t have to; it can and does exist in non-sexual relationships.

    I feel compassion and sadness for The Word.. It is clear he doesn’t know how to love himself, which makes it all the harder to truly love others. The capacity to be connected to others – to authentically love and be loved – is the greatest gift. I pray that in his journey he finds this kind of Divine love or he allows it to find him. Knowing we are worthy of such love is often the first big step.

  • As my grandpa always used to say….he’s more to be pitied than censored .

  • Kirsten A.S. Mebust via Facebook

    Take a look at Charles Marsh’s book, GOD’S LONG SUMMER, and you’ll see the true story of a KKK leader who is equally able to string together theological concepts into a rationale for what he doesn’t believe is hate, but killing in God’s name. (Sam Bowers) There’s a ton of low-hanging fruit here, but the point is, when theology is used to set yourself off against others as opposed to acknowledging your profound connectedness with them, it’s a weapon of hate, even if you attribute it to Jesus.

  • I am still trying to figure out the whole obsession thing thatpeople have about sin, what it is, what it isn’t, how other people’s behavior is such a horrible sinful thing and how their own particular behavior doesn’t qualify as sin.

    Did I somehow not get the secret memo to solving this Gordian knot?

    OR is it something else entirely? (yeah I suspect the latter, but still waiting on that memo.)

  • Jeff Bean

    I disagree with those who characterize “The Word.” as non-judgemental. His piece is exceedingly judgemental. Maybe they missed it because he judges everyone equally harshly, starting with himself. The self-loathing is palpable. May he – and all of us – know God’s grace and peace.

  • Kara K

    Sounds to me like an addict who has constructed his world view solely to protect his addiction.

  • Joel

    This is not directly about “The Word” and his comments, but about this idea of hell and that we all deserve it. It seems to me like saying that a child *deserves* to be tortured (cigarettes snuffed out on him/her, cut, burned, etc.) forever for behaving like a child — which sometimes involves “misbehaving.” Seems a completely crazy idea to me.

    My own experience is that I am punished by my sin, not for it. I don’t need God to send me to a lake of fire. I know when I have done wrong and I feel bad about it. And the longer I live, the more I see areas of my life where I fall short of being the person I would like to be and the person I think God would like me to be. I feel bad about it and strive to do better. When I do well I feel well.

  • Christine McQueen via Facebook

    there’s another forum where I argue for gay rights. One of the questions I ask the homophobes who post there is, “How does the fact that my gay friends J & K in Vermont are getting married affect your life in [wherever they are posting from]?” In this case I would ask ‘The Word.’ – “How does the fact that J & K don’t believe in God affect YOUR salvation?” I have never figured out why so many worry so much more about the lives and/or sins of others than they do about their own. Yes, Christ instructs us to spread the word about His life and the fact that salvation is available to all; that all we have to do is accept Him and try to live as He instructs. However, nowhere does He tell us that, if those we tell about His teachings don’t believe, we are also condemned. Our salvation is only dependent upon OUR belief, not the belief of any others.

  • I simultaneous guffawed and felt deep pity for him when I read, “I have no emotional baggage).

    I’ve done the whole “I’m a horrible, unworthy sinner” self-loathing thing before and some 20+ years after, I *still* have baggage from it.

  • “Word.” is full of self-loathing. Very sad. I never was a big fan of original sin.

  • Gary

    The poster’s (The Word., as if) comments are ones I have heard echoed countless times before. What troubles me the most about these types of views is how much of an extreme perversion of God’s nature they represent.

    Comments he makes several times like…

    “But I fail; I fail miserably and am no where near perfect. I have sinned; I should go to hell. So should you, and you, and you as well.”

    “None of us are deserving of heaven.”

    “We all deserve Hell, …”

    …represent a person who cannot see the true love of God. Oh yes he professes and talks about love and declares it’s power in his life. But he cannot comprehend it. He still views God as one who looks upon us with so much scorn and contempt that He actually DESIRES that we be wiped out…slaughtered like animals because we are such a stench in his nostrils. Like the 18th century preacher Johnathon Edwards preached…he views our relationship with the Almighty as simply “Sinners in the hands of an angry God”. I can still hear my FORMER pastor’s words countless times praising that misguided preacher’s sermon.

    I see the first great tragedy of such a view being the belief that God cannot love us…that He is incapable of loving us…as we are. This self loathing deprives us of understanding and benefiting from God’s unconditional love.

    The 2nd great tragedy of this I see is what is the natural progression from the first. Self loathing naturally develops into loathing others. Indeed, by declaring himself so unlovable he can justify declaring me, you, and everyone else, unlovable. His self loathing literally becomes his justification to live in contempt of others rather than in love. No amount of simply declaring his love can make him BE love.

    Truth…God loves us all…period! This means He delights in us, He favors us, He longs for companionship with us, He believes in us, He loves us. Do I disappoint God sometimes? Of course!; much like my children have disappointed me. But I will never believe they deserve an eternity of unending torture for not being perfect. I cannot even fathom ever feeling such hatred towards any living being…let alone those I love. And guess what…my love pales in comparison to the love of God for me, and “you, and you, and you as well”.

    Jesus lived this revelation every day. The prostitute who washed Jesus feet with her tears did not find herself a “sinner in the hands of an angry God”. Neither did the thief, the tax collector, the adulterer, etc. In fact…the only ones who raised Jesus ire seemed to be those who exhibited this loathing of others.

    No amount of self deprecation justifies polluting God’s love. It is a cancer that has infected many in the Christian faith. It is no wonder the church’s message has become so impotent in the world today. It is not God’s message at all any more.

    If “The Word.” returns and reads any of these comments I hope he reads this…

    God Loves You. Let that truth sink in. Let it bring you comfort; let it bring you peace. Let the truth of God’s love CHANGE you.

  • Reed

    Thank you John Shore – and especially Mike Moore. “The three a.m. knock” analogy is dead-on.

  • Lymis

    I’ll consider it. Point out the parts where you think he’s thinking for himself.

    I don’t believe in patting people on the head and saying “good for you, you’ve found a new way to express deeply hateful ideas.” The slack he’s being cut is by those who are willing to grant that he sounds young, that he sounds like he’s been hurt, that he sounds world-weary. That doesn’t extend to pretending his words are valid.

  • It wasn’t so very long ago that I was still trapped in the thinking that being human is a state of being sinful. I too misconstrued the messages I heard from the Bible as teachings that anything bodily or sexual or needful was BAD BAD BAD. The shame and the fear leached the joy out of my relationships and my life in so many ways. Learning to be free and to accept my God-given, human body as the incredible gift it is has enabled me to have a much happier, satisfying and joyous relationship with my husband, and honestly with just about everyone else. Its amazing how less threatening other people seem when you no longer walk around under a yoke of shame. Its incredible how much easier it is to have love and compassion for others when you look at them as your brothers and sisters who love you and not as people who should be judging you for how awful you are.

    I pray for Word that he can someday be free of the terrible conviction that the desires of his body are something to be ashamed of. I pray that he can someday learn to love and accept his fellow humans just the way that God loves and accepts us all. I also pray that his sad misunderstanding of the love of God doesn’t infect others. What a shame.

  • LSS

    yeah there was a person in my family who got away with a lot of harshness to others BECAUSE of her self-loathing first… so it made it fair, sort of. except it wasn’t, but it took me like decades to figure it out. ok i am slow at this stuff, but still… it’s kind of dangerous.

  • LSS

    but that guy was totally condemning his own sin. i don’t think “my sin is OK, yours is not” was his problem.

    i think his problem was more like “my normal (which i’ve deviated from) is ok, *your* normal is sin”.

    except he would have said that he and gay readers have the *same* normal, and that he deviated from it with porn while they deviated from it by falling in love and wanting to marry the love of their life. well, he probably wouldn’t have said it quite that way, LOL

  • LSS

    really good point, which i would have missed.

  • you’re right on the money Jeff. He views others as he views himself.

    His self-loathing is the most glaringly obvious aspect of his response.

    I sure wouldn’t want to know his god.

  • If “Word’s” god were real, I would have absolutely zero desire to unite myself with such a being.Delusional.

  • We are a convoluted lot, are we not?

  • LSS

    maybe like they say “it’s more loving to point out to people when something is wrong” ??

    sorry that was a little bit vindictive to church people who say that to gays or other divergents.

    but seriously the baggage is at such a scary level. i wish he could be ok and not hurt himself or others more.

  • He has no emotional baggage … but feels the need to wander around web sites under a pseudonym talking about how much he and everyone else deserves to go to hell?

    I think that we should all look at each other knowingly and mutter, “Denial!”

    What “The Word.” really needs is a few hours of therapy, methinks. It helps to be aware of one’s issues.

    Anyway, Mike’s response is rather brilliant, as one might expect. “The Word.”‘s (gotta love that punctuation!) pretention, from pseudonym through pseudo-sermon, makes my skin crawl, too.

  • Mark Hull

    People like this autor and even if the author is making us angry – feel strongly that the wanted behaviors of others will make us feel good and the cessation of the unwanted behavior of others will make us stop feeling bad.

    Revenge, punishment, divorce – the fact that these things do not make you happy prove that it is not working.

  • Alrighty then ….

  • I think you hit the nail on the head, David.

  • Ashley C

    HJ, if I were granted 3 wishes, the first one would be that everyone be afforded the same rights and protections under the law (not just gay marriage, but adoption, hate crime protection, etc), and the second would be that we Americans would finally wake up one day and be cured of our bizarre obsession with and incredibly warped views of sex, sexuality, and our bodies.

    Don’t ask what the third would be. It’s not interwebz appropriate. 😉

  • Something you said really caught my eye, and it is something I have been thinking about for a long time, and you articulated it so well. And that is the notion that the “word” and others like him/her that say that no one is without sin, yet think that church leaders must be without sin or somehow less of a sinner than others to serve the church.

    How contradicting.

  • I still can’t conceive of why someone would construe “God is eternal, limitless love” as “I am the most wretched thing that has ever existed, and so are you.” A former friend of mine, once tried to tell me that if God were acting just, he would have destroyed all of us from the moment we were born because we are basically sin incarnate, and it was only his pity for us that keeps us alive. What the actual hell? If God loves so much, why would he want anyone to live their entire lives hating themselves and everyone around them just for ~existing~? The Word says he doesn’t hate, but when he says that all humans are by nature and design horrible, sinful, unworthy-of-love beings, that’s what he means, is that we’re all worthy of each other’s hate. Yeah, because THAT makes for a healthy earth. I do not and never will understand where this mentality comes from.

  • Gary

    Are long comments automatically placed in moderation?

  • Skip Johnston

    I own horses. (Hold on, I going to try to make a point.) God gave each horse a different temperament and personality to play a special role in the herd. We have this one horse who’s skittish. Her head snaps up and ears perk at every stray leaf fluttering across the pasture even as the rest of the herd continues to placidly munch grass. But if she perceives a real threat, she’s off in a flash and the rest, trusting her instincts, take off with her. Each horse is a stronger horse for being part of the herd.

    God’s given each of us access to what we Christians call the Holy Spirit. Mike Moore’s comment, “’The Word.’ set off my bells and whistles. Danger. I felt an unfamiliar hostility.” struck me as a particularly Holy Spirit-ish prompting. One I missed while casually dismissing The Word.’s tortured words. His are hurting, hurtful words— evil, really. I appreciate Mike’s perception of danger and the alert he’s given us. It’s what makes each of us a bit more complete for being part of the church.

  • Lee Walker

    *sssiiiigghhhhhhh* : (

  • Tom Weller

    That ignorance exists is nothing new. To perpetrate it is the issue here. “The Word” is not only ignorant, but he most certainly NOT CHRISTIAN! Christians do not discriminate, exhibit prejudice, are bigotter toward others or choose to exclude some from the whole. For 40 years, I have asked clergy and lay people alike to tell me what is the sin homosexuality is purported to break. To date, I have received no answer to that one simple question. Sheesh, guys, there are 10 up front to choose from and 600 plus others in the Pentatuch. Just choose one! The question remains unanswered.

    Why? You might ask? Regardless of what we might think as humans, love is a connection between souls. The body is simply along for the ride! Hence the “sins of the flesh”, as it were. When two souls connect in love, there can be no sin! (“Wherever two or more of you are gathered in his name there is love”) Love thy neighbor as I have loved you is what HE commanded. I see no reference to who, what, why, where or when to do so. Simply: DO IT!

    “The Word” is wrestling mightily with his faith and his conscience. His rant is based on many things instilled in him by flawed human beings. These things are as errant as those espoused by the Westboro Baptist Church. Precepts which conclude that we as humankind are equipped to judge another. Well, folks, I hate to rain on that particular parade, but we are not equipped, simply because we are incapable of understanding the kind of love that God has given to us.

    Mr. Moore, yours is a most worthy reponse to the stain presented by “The Word”. Mr. Shore, I appreciate your efforts here, and look forward to continued posts from you. The rest of us need, yet again, to review our positions and core values and determine whether we are in fact “Christians” or are merely religious puppets! Christianity is NOT a religion! Thank you for letting me express my opinions.

  • Andrew Raymond

    Well put, Skip. Your words are much in agreement with how this made me feel.

  • Andrew Raymond

    Well said, Kirsten.

  • Re: “I cannot even fathom ever feeling such hatred towards any living being…let alone those I love. And guess what…my love pales in comparison to the love of God for me, and “you, and you, and you as well”….and God Loves You. Let that truth sink in. Let it bring you comfort; let it bring you peace. Let the truth of God’s love CHANGE you.”

    I see we’ve encountered the same loving One. Thank all that is holy for that. And banishing the self-loathing/other-loathing little I. What a profound, transformative difference it makes rather than living under the lie of a god that loathes us. But they can’t teach what they don’t know. May they live into knowing (and gnowing ) it deeply. Thank you for this, Gary.

  • When reading his rhetoric laid out like this (I honestly just skimmed over and ignored him on the original thread, people with usernames like “The Word” or “Truth” or “The Sword of the Lord” and whatnot are people my brain *does not take seriously * on autopilot)…

    It strikes me like some of the stuff I used to say – parroting teachings I was given at church and from watching too many people on TV when bored. This leads me to think that “The Word” is probably a young person, who, at the moment, really trusts the elders in his life and wants to please them and so parrots to the world just what they’ve told him. Given time and new experiences, meeting new people (even if it’s just on the Internet) and maybe he’ll turn around. Maybe not, but screaming that he’s a horrible person who should not exist will probably just exacerbate his self-loathing and drive him further back into his hole. (At least that’s what I know from my experience).

    That’s not to say not to tell him he’s wrong. Do that. Do that a lot. Turn that “truth in love” stuff back in on him. It’s okay to be angry: Tell the kid of your life experiences and how people like him have crapped all over you, just beware of giving in to actual hate. All I’m saying is that I don’t think he’s hopeless – I feel more pity for him than anything.

    I’m just glad that back when I had similar thinking that I only had dial-up service and I had less interest in religious/social debates than I did in… Pokemon.

  • And, personally, I find “you need to be in a mental institution!” as an insult abhorrent.

    I do not support “Word” in any way, I’m just pointing out something *else* that makes me touchy. (As in, please don’t equate those of us who’ve seen the inside of an institution during dark times in our lives to people like Word. Thank you).

  • Tammy Watson via Facebook

    I dunno,…my bedroom has been anything but sinful!!!

  • Valerie

    You are exactly right! In fact Jesus said if those who hear don’t believe to turn and walk away. Everyone seems to have a hard time walking away.

  • Gary

    Re: “What a profound, transformative difference it makes rather than living under the lie of a god that loathes us. ”

    Wonderfully put. I couldn’t agree more.

  • Kittyarmy

    How can somebody who claims to have known God and his love still feel such hatred toward himself?

  • Wendy Young Callaway via Facebook

    Wow, how did I miss that guy’s comment? I’m glad you printed Mike Moore’s response, he pretty much summed up my feelings as well.

  • Rosa

    Scary scary scary. And here’s something else: 99.9% of men do not go to porn. If that makes him feel better, that’s ok. I just get the feeling he would do anything to hide his porn habit, and that probably includes a few other sins. Red light.

  • David E

    While I agree with Mike Moore’s sentiment, I feel his response is weak.

    Ultimately, in situations like this isn’t it always more effective to counter the argument itself than attack the argument’s tone? This is especially important to me because “The Word.”‘s rhetoric is extremely similar to that which suffused my Christian experience from childhood through college. I can identify almost completely with his self-loathing, though he is straight and I am gay.

    I was an emotional reactionary, and the only thing that got me to reconsider that and eventually set me on a healthier path was clear, logical refutation of my theology’s interpretation the clobber passages (which he mentions, of course, as his basis for asserting the sinfulness of homosexuality) and most importantly, evidence of mistranslation. This information is out there, and I found it on my own–but not everyone will, especially if homosexuality is not their “struggle.”

    Despite the past and ongoing damage done to me by people with theology like this commenter has, I still love them. I want them to understand what I now (am beginning to) understand, not just for my sake but also for theirs. And I doubt that telling someone their words are the rhetorical equivalent of sexual predation will change hearts and minds. I doubt that highly.

  • I haven’t had a church in a while, but, personally, I wouldn’t mind a pastor who smoked cigarettes. That would remind me of one of my favorite fictional characters – a chain-smoking priest from an anime I like. As for a gay pastor – well, I think it would be very cool to have a pastor who is from any sort of minority (perhaps a homeless person who must sleep in the church, or someone who’s struggled with a mental illness, … or a woman… if we’re looking at more than just gay) – because such people know what it’s like to be discriminated against, to have the world spit upon them. This makes them potentially better equipped to deal with parishoners who come to them feeling downtrodden.

    If you are judging on “sin” – I’ll come out and say that I think it would be cool to have an ex-con for a pastor, just because they’ve stared into the maw of darkness and come out the other side. A pastor who struggles with a porn addiction? Same deal. Humans, who know how to deal with human problems becuase they’ve been utterly human.

    What’s so wrong with having someone imperfect lead your flock, so long as they’re humble enough to admit their imperfections?

  • Kristi

    A comment from your affable atheist here. *waves at everyone* The post by “The Word.’ is unfortunately all too illustrative of the kinds of things I’ve been told by many Christians in my life. He represents a god concept that is frightening, depraved, brutal, primitive and all too familiar to me. For someone who is already unbalanced on the tightrope of faith, such a god concept can all to easily tip someone right off the rope. I know. I experienced repeated representations of those kinds of god concepts and those were the hands on my back that pushed me towards the door leading away from Christianity and make me uncomfortable around many Christians still.

  • (Er, just want to make it clear here that I don’t think of “gay” as imperfect anymore than I think of “being a woman” as imperfect. I kind of transitioned between “people who are discriminated against” and “people who are imperfect” in a wonky manner there and I do not know how to edit on this system).

  • Peet

    Jonathan Edwards’ Letter to Penthouse.

  • Kristi

    Ain’t that the truth.

  • Valerie

    Unfortunately that is all to often the truth. I am one of those Christians who doesn’t shove my faith down other’s throats nor do I let it interfere with my political thinking other than to say we should help each other instead of hinder. I am so sorry that my brothers and sisters in Christ treat people that way and I hope you have found peace in your decision. Blessings and love to you.

  • I don’t have horses, myself, but I do take care of them! I haven’t ridden in years, yet five days a week, I’m cleaning up stalls to earn my grocery money/help pay the rent. I know all of the horses I care for by heart, all of their temperments.

    In other words, I get your analogy. It’s a very good one for me.

  • Kristi

    Thank you Valerie. I am indeed at peace with my viewpoint. Take care and keep shining your light.

  • OHOHO, do I see a Trigun fan here? I know, I know, off topic, but I just had to high five you.

  • Soulmentor

    *****The words of “The Word.” trigger my most primal fight-or-flight response. *****

    I fled…..before I got half way thru the words of “THE WORD”. I simply could not subject myself to the enormous falsity of it, the terrible destruction of Spirit, the vastness of the parroted party lines, the depth of self deception and willing self-destruction.

    Fight or flight? There is no way to fight such a depth of delusion. One can only know that one day he will crash, and hope that someone is there for him when it happens. There is no real person there. May the true Spirit of Love help him to first forgive and love himself.

  • Annie

    I don’t even have words for how sickening this post is. In fact, I think I need to go throw up right now.

  • Diana A.

    Wow. That’s just wrong. Funny! But wrong.

  • Anne Reid Oppermann via Facebook

    I wonder if this guy knows Mark Driscoll…..

  • @Lymis, LSS, & Shadsie — yeah, pretty much what Shadsie says. I’m guessing he comes from a very authoritarian background, he’s been taught Those People are sinners, and he’s just starting to realize we are all in the same boat.

    Is he still holding some opinions / saying some rhetoric that some people will find hurtful & counterproductive? Yeah. Has he taken a major step away from the old attitude towards a new, healthier, and hopefully holier one? I think so, and that — his willingness to move further — should be encouraged even if specifics are being challenged.

  • To those wondering what this refs, Amy suggested he belonged more in an asylum than a church. My response was along the lines of “what’s the difference”?

  • Wayne Johnson via Facebook

    The commenter wrote: “In the same way as I wouldn’t want someone who drinks to be a pastor …”

    So he would not want Jesus – who not only drank, but also made wine and served wine and recommended it to his followers and talked about it a lot – to be a pastor.

  • Mindy

    Ding, ding, ding – we have a winner!! You nailed it, Kara. It is so much easier to hold on to your addiction if you characterize it as something common to everyone – in his mind, “sin.” He says to himself (and the interwebs, apparently) that “yes-I-have-this-dark-shameful-addiction-and-thus-deserve-hell-but-wait-every-one-of-you-is-also-slave-to-enough-sin-that-you-deserve-hell-too-so-I’m-no-worse-than-anyone-else-so-see-ya-I’m-going-back-to-my-porn,” and never has to make any effort to change. When he’s feeling bad about himself, sitting in church thinking that he doesn’t deserve God’s love, he is not compelled to improve himself to honor God, to seek help, to heal – no, he is compelled to look around and think, “What the hell, you all suck at least as much as I do.”

    A tragic way to live, for his sake – but so dangerous to a vulnerable soul who might happen upon his falsely-pious, uber-sanctimonious words. And that, to me, is a much greater tragedy than the fact this putz doesn’t want to give up his porn addiction.

  • Mindy Brown Carney via Facebook

    the most wonderful conversation I ever had with our parish priest back when I attended Mass was over dinner and wine.

  • Lyn

    I think what disturbed me was that sexuality got reduced to sexual activity and unloving sexuality at that almost immediately, which is so typical of the “homosexuality is a sin” crowd. Can they not remember that first blush of budding sexuality, when they had their first crush at 10 or 11 or 12. It wasn’t about sex at all! When your friends sang “[Name] and [Name] sitting in a tree, k – i – s – s – i – n – g!” you were kinda horrified, but intrigued and shivery at the thought of actually kissing someone– something you would have been totally grossed out by the year before when all members of the opposite sex had cooties. But mostly you just wanted to gaze into their eyes, listen to them talk, just be with them even though their very presence made your heart beat out of your chest, and your stomach do flipflops, and the air grow so thick you couldn’t breathe. He’s taken this thing that is, at its core, innocent and joyful and beautiful, and turned it into something that is always sick, always about lust and never about affection and companionship and a longing for another who completes you and, yes, the physical act of that completion in joy and laughter and love. I’m just appalled at the reduction of the natural human longing for their other half to something to be avoided and controlled. Sexuality is beautiful. It is so harmful when we limit sexuality to a small set of sexual expressions and then make it petty and dirty and shameful.

  • Erica

    Soooo… Basically “The Word.” wants a pastor without sin… Id like to nominate Christ for the job. In his absence, “The Word.” may have to settle for someone less than perfect. How someone so pungently obsessed with total depravity can so thoroughly miss the irony of wanting a sinless pastor is beyond me.

    *Rolls eyes* this dude is the epitome of all the psychological damage the doctrine of total depravity can do to a human being, twisting everything that makes us human into some shameful perversion, until we can barely stand to look at ourselves in the mirror.

  • Indeed, you do!

    *Puts the portable confessional on your head*

  • The letter from “the Word” totally creeped me out!! Over the years I have learned to listen to the voice inside my gut. This time my voice said,”run as fast as you can in the other direction from “the Word”!

  • I have no idea who you are, or where you came from, Lyn. But MAN I hope you stick around. What a blessing you’ve been to this blog. (Now, then. About sex being beautiful. I think it’s so sweet that you totally don’t have any mirrors in your bedroom. Do NOT get any. And if you ever move into a place where the sliding closet doors in the bedroom are mirrored, move somewhere else. I beg you to trust me on this.)

  • I always feel a bit conflicted when these kind of situations and people come up. It’s like a bi-polar tear between favoring mercy and justice. On one hand, I think sometimes “good needs to kick ass” – tell it like it is, see a jerk, lay him out… on the other hand I think to some of my past stupidity and the things that got me out of it. It seems I experienced more change from the “mercy” end – as in, when people were willing to at least *pretend* I was a human being for a few moments and level with me, tell me their experiences without being in attack-mode, trying to tear down *everything* I believed in all at once.

    But I think different things work for different people. I actually did learn from being knocked upside the head some, but if that was all I got, my stupid might have just stayed as it was, festering and crystalizing into a nugget of pure uber-stupid because I would have run back to the people who actually cared about me – the folks at the church who had me caught in their traditions in the first place.

    I think the advantage that this place has over a lot of places where this topic comes up is that, for the most part, we are a gaggle of Christians here. As in, we believe in God, we believe in Christ, we believe that everyone has intrinsic worth and that life has a meaning, so on and so forth. When attacking the problem of homophobia, we are the last people who are going to start off with “Well, belief in God is stupid. You need to stop believing in God,” or this gem I was given once “You aren’t ALLOWED to be a Christian!” (seriously, someone told me that and I didn’t listen to them). People like “The Word” might not believe we are “Real True Christians” but the fact that we have faith, reconcile it with a “non-traditional” view and aren’t going to “shoot God first” *is* going to make them think. It *has* to.


  • That just sent shivers down my spine. I know people that eventually became former friends who attend Mars Hill and it is ALL about the self loathing there. I once tried to watch one of Driscoll’s video sermons online, just to make sure I wasn’t jumping the gun, and all I got out of his “biblical marriage” material was “women were created to serve their husbands”, and I decided that’s it, I’m outta here.

  • Peet

    “Thou shalt never believeth what happened to me yestermorn…”

  • As I read The Word’s response, I became a bit saddened. He sounds like he could really be a nice, great person. But I think he’s really only peeled a quarter of the many layers of the onion. There are so many more layers to be peeled back. Hoping that his life experiences and journey will help him get there.

  • Nick K.

    I hate to say this, but the author of “The Word” has some serious psychological issues.

  • Donald Rappe

    “It’s not as though they had any other choices of partner?” I can not think of this without remembering that YHWH God created all the birds and beasts of the field in response to his knowledge that it was not good for ADM to be alone. It was only after the man had turned them all down that he went for his rib. It always cracks me up when people use this story to determine what kind of sexual relations God wants us to limit ourselves to. (I think he hates dangling participles too, so read this at your own risk!)

  • Donald Rappe

    Just as I can not be sure that The Word. (sic) is a man, I cannot be sure the Jahwist was a woman with a pretty good (in the Norwegian sense) sense of humor. Those are just my current hunches.

  • The Word.’s comments illustrate, to me, an interesting “loophole” in the Bible’s “judge not” command. See, everyone knows that you aren’t supposed to judge other people’s sins because you have sins of your own to work through. The plank versus the speck, and all that. But people take this to mean that as long as they make it harshly, vibrantly clear that they themselves are awful sinners and just as worthy as hell as the next person, blah blah…if you do *that*, then you can judge others all you want to. As long as you show off your plank in excruciating detail, you get a free pass to harp on the specks…and the more terrible you can make your plank sound, the more license you earn to pass judgment on the specks. Oh, and then you get to start pretending that the planks and specks are all the same size and you start getting really offensive stuff like “Loving someone of the same gender is still a sin, you know, just like cheating on your spouse or having sex with animals or murdering someone.” Because that’s not insulting at all.

    “Homosexuality is a sin” is not a neutral statement. It becomes especially offensive when one tries to “soften” the blow by assuring the gay person that it’s not a “worse” sin than any other, and that everyone sins. And for pity’s sake, don’t start LISTING all those other sins.

    Because you know what the statement “homosexuality is a sin” sounds like to me, even as a straight person?

    “When a heterosexual person falls in love, at *worst* it’s morally neutral. When a homosexual person falls in love, at *best* it’s the moral equivalent of murder…all sins being equally disgusting in the eyes of God and all.”

    Sorry, but that is a PROFOUNDLY unloving thing to say.

  • full of holes….

  • Tim


  • Just made me feel really, really sad. We’ll see this guy in rehab in a few years.

  • I don’t like waffles anymore….

  • Lyn

    Thanks. You can thank the youth minister at my church who told me showing public support for lgbt youth (like telling them there was a place for them at church) was “not profitable”. Kinda ticked me off, so I decided to start making a more public presence.

    As for sex itself being beautiful, yeah, not so much. I’m thankful the only mirror in my bedroom is not at an angle to be seen from the bed!

  • Lyn

    Indeed. That’s a good way to put it.

  • LK

    This blog promotes the idea that people attracted to sex with members of their own sex are born that way. So then, are those who are attracted to sex with people twice their age (or half their age – whether that means the object of attraction is underage or not) or with inadmimate objects, etc etc, also ‘born that way’? If someone is attracted to sex with someone half their age and the age of that person happens to be less than the age of consent should the older party be charged with a crime? But Hhw can you then crimilize it if all these attractions are inborn and people “can’t help it”.

    From a biblical standpoint its really silly to argue that the bible gives permission to participate in same sex acts. Or in adultery, or in lustful thoughts or masturbation or viewing porn, etc. Because the scripture does say “flee from any hint of sexual immorality”. A ‘hint’ of soemthing isnt very much of it, but its enough, in God’s eyes to be sin. So then its pretty darn clear to those who have eyes to see,what the Bible stand on sexual matters is. This blog, however, has a post-biblical notion of it, while claiming to be putting forth a Christian view on the topic. It isn’t.

  • Shelley

    When I was a teenager years ago I had a female friend whose brother used to go on and on about being a Christian and how wonderful Jesus was and how we should refrain from sin. Later I found out he had been sexually abusing my friend for years. “The Word” reminds me a lot of this guy.

  • Donald Rappe

    I agree and pretty much side with you and Buzz about not isolating “word”. For one thing, I can’t tell whether or not s/he might be suicidal. His reference to the way porn makes him feel shows he is in a pretty low place emotionally. If he says he is addicted, that means he has lost control. This is a truly sad thing. Just being told he’s an asshole isn’t likely to help him. He already knows that. He seems not to think gay activity is worse than smoking. S/he may very well need a 12 step program, since unlike gayness, addictive behavior can be remedied.

  • GPWise

    I am with John, that was wonderful Lyn!

  • Lyn

    Please cease conflating homosexuality with the rape of persons who cannot consent. It is offensive to those of homosexual orientation and insensitive to those who have suffered sexual molestation. If you cannot practice empathy and sensitivity to those who have been victimized, please just simply shut up. Thank you.

  • “I look at porn… it makes me feel so much worse for the rest of the day.”

    Porn: yer not doin’ it right.

  • Er, yeah, what she said.

  • Donald Rappe

    Yes, s/he has constructed a theology in which s/he won’t come to believe that a power greater than himself can and will free him.

  • Gary

    Re: “How someone so pungently obsessed with total depravity can so thoroughly miss the irony of wanting a sinless pastor is beyond me.”

    What a great observation. Psychological damage indeed.

  • Sharla

    The pastor I grew up with smoked. He thought he hid it, but I saw him smoking in his car as he drove down the street one day when I was 13. I’m sorry, but if a self-absorbed little 13-year-old knew about it, then it wasn’t a very well-kept secret. And I wish he’d known that it really didn’t matter to me, and probably didn’t matter to others who knew. Maybe it would have mattered to some, but not everybody. I learned how to preach from this man (my mom says I sound just like him in the pulpit, albeit in a higher register), and learned many other things, too. Cigarettes or not, he was surely called by God to be a pastor and a leader in our community.

  • Susan in NY

    I agree!! Thanks, Lyn!

  • dan

    Am I right that this man’s thoughts pretty closely fall in line with the ‘welcoming but not affirming’ crowd? Come on in, your sin is no worse than ours. But we all know that if God gets a hold of you, you’ll drop your same sex partner just like Sister Wanda kicked the moonshine habit and either become celibant, or find an opposite sex partner in the church (just not a son/daughter of the leadership), marry and have children. Too harsh?

  • Susan in NY

    Someone mentioned that most men do not view porn. A quick look at the research online estimates more like 50% of men view porn on a regular basis.

  • I am having the same weirded out feeling with some of my own friends. What had started out as a conversation about not letting a dead rules style religion distract from the real relationship we can have with God turned into a not judging conversation. I mentioned that we are to judge others or we will never know what is real and what is just trying to bring us under human control. I pointed out that Jesus said to judge based on the fruits of the spirit (nurturing, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, excellence, faithfulness, and self-government). The response I got was that we are not to judge but to mirror others. In mirroring them they will then see Jesus. All people mirror and the bridge between them is Jesus. What? It went over big and I was the only one lost. The Word. reminds me of that conversation in a much stronger way.

    Judgements are proclaimed (justly, injustly, lovingly, hatefully, whatever) and then when a discussion might challenge or dig deeper they retreat behind non-judging, we are all sinners, I am not one to speak for God-style humility that is really disguising the true action: dropping theology like bombs and running away. The Word. is adept at this. He makes judgements and then excuses himself from evidence and logic like the grace of God is a teflon coating.

    Jesus said, “By patience posess your souls (psyches).” [Luke 21:19] But we still have a large church following that is suspect of psychology and logic. Paul instructed us to bring every thought into captivity to the truth. [2 Cor 10:5]
    But these types of arguments are light on linear logic, historical, traditional, or personal evidence, and the only real conclusion of the argument is that none of us really can change, win, overcome, turn, adapt, etc. At best we believe in Grace the same way a child believes in the tooth fairy and we never apply any work to working out our own salvation. This logic is uncomfortably like strange loop logic:
    The following statement is false.
    The previous statement is true.

    There is another disturbing reason people argue in ways where they and no one else can win. They are the kinds of people who, when their ultimate victory, and the praise and laurels that come with it, is unlikely they change the game to prevent anyone from winning. Or, maybe worse, they realize that the only prize in this life is Success, Truth, and Life and the idea of having only their own satisfaction and growth as an award is repulsive to them so they throw the game across the room and explain to everyone why it’s fine to play it but there is nothing there worth working for.

    I agree with the right-speaking, twisted, get-in-my van vibe.

  • Ken

    I find the “The Word” strangely typical of a certain class in the Old World. He or she speaks like a proud Old World servant, whose family has served for generations, and whose humble service has become more demanding than could possibly be his lord’s command (and to his lord a hundred times more wearying).

    “The Word” while acknowledging mortal imperfection (“I should go to hell. So should you, and you, and you as well. Humanity is imperfect, and we do not deserve anything”) simultaneously demands mortal perfection (“In the same way as I wouldn’t want someone who watches porn, or drinks, or smokes cigarettes to be a pastor, I don’t want a homosexual to be a pastor. Sin is sin.”) . So demanding! (“I do not judge anyone based on their sin. I condemn all sin equally.”) So proud!

    It is a twist of Faith founded on passion without love, mercy without compassion, tradition without understanding.

  • Mindy

    Do you actually read this blog thoroughly, or do you just wander by, see a few things and jump in without a clue? I suggest you get one – a clue, I mean – before you comment next. Thanks.

  • Mindy

    Lyn, this is so lovely it made me cry.

  • TD

    Like the others here, I find The Word.’s comments sad and fairly disturbing. He sounds like a young man with some deep issues – and quite likely a porn addiction. The porn thing will probably subside with age, unfortunately to be replaced with some equally harmful fanatical, “I’m not worthy” fixation. However, all of what he writes is exactly what most evangelical churches teach weekly. That at conception we are all worthy of hell. How sad. They have bought the Great Lie of a weak faith. A faith that must contain, control, dictate and dominate. All you can pray for those people is that someday the Spirit will move within them and until then, that they confine their harm to themselves (which they rarely do). And yes, I do judge them. I judge them rather harshly for the harm they put out. However, I recognize that the harm is often out of ignorance and woundedness – and in many others selfishness too. But unlike them – I only judge them for myself. I leave God’s judgment to God alone. I use no man-made book to beat them up or validate my own self-righteousness. On good days, I can enjoy the complexity of all the devout oddities. On bad days, it’s a little discouraging. I think tomorrow I’ll make it a good day. 🙂 Enjoy the website – it’s a great voice that needs to be heard. Peace.

  • …and the other 50% are liars… 😉

  • DR

    That you would even equate same-sex partnerships with sex that involves non-consent is so creepy and is exclusively, a reflection of your own ignorance as to what homosexuality is as well as a fear and hostility to do just that. No one cares what you think about anymore – your days of defining what being gay “really” means are over and you’ve yet to receive that memo but consider if you have the courage, that the analogy you’ve offered here is a result of the filth within your own heart. Scary, I know. Face it. You’ll be the better for it. Good luck.

  • Jenn W

    Like The Word., I, too, tried to remove all ambiguity from my belief system, allowing me to act in a clear cut fashion in a black and white world. But then I experienced that faith is not fact, and if God can be proven, then what I am worshipping is not God. That truly is living in the absence of God.

  • Winning comment of 2012.

  • Hello there. I’m queer. And I can assure you that neither myself or my partner has ever raped a child, or an adult for that matter, because we happen to know what the hell CONSENT means. Also, do you consider me more, less, or equally guilty as the (former) best friend who sexually assaulted me when I was 18?

    Thank you for your sensitive and thoroughly researched insight.

  • I know I say this every time — and every time I mean it; because, I swear, you guys get BETTER every time. There are so many reasons for so many to doubt that Christianity will ever be more than, alas, it’s so often been to so many. You guys obliterate such doubts, and replace it not just with hope, but proof of the change already at hand.

  • Sadly, I get that same feeling.

  • Well said Mindy.

  • NKVM

    Yes, yes, yes!!! Very skillful deconstruction of a very twisted argument. Bravo!

  • The only thing I really mind with smoking is the health-stuff. I’ve nagged my sister to quit (because people in our family have suffered and died from smoking-related diseases), but understood when she spoke of how hard it is an addiction to break. The sheer withdrawl for many people just isn’t worth it. It makes me glad I never saw the appeal in starting. (Gotta be some benefits to being the perpetual oddball who knows she’s never going to “look cool” to anyone no matter what she does, right)?

    I really am pretty passive about this, though: I once worked for a small newspaper office. It was a community newspaper, micro-office for a micro-town which had no ban on indoor smoking. Everyone at my office smoked but me. In chains. Instead of bothering anyone to accomodate me, since I was just one person I would go outside on occasion to take “breathing breaks.” I am not kidding. I don’t know if I was being overly polite, but it didn’t strike me as fair to make everyone rearrange their lifestyle for the non-smoking new-hire.

  • Gary

    Not only are you disgustingly equating same sex consensual relationships with non-consent…but you also believe the bible forbids…gasp…the horror of it all…MASTURBATION!!!

    LK – You have a whole bunch of bible study to do…because frankly you are as ignorant of a drive by poster as I have seen in a long time.

  • Gary


  • Tom Weller

    LK, I’m going to ask you, and the rest of you for that matter:


    Hint: You can only use adultry if the couple is not monagamous, which equally applies to heterosexuals as well. You can use it as you will attempt to convince me , when they are NOT married. But, in some areas same sex marriage is allowed, and WE IMPOSE the non marriage status on our homosexual peers, so that is NOT the answer.

    Leave Moses and Paul out of it, and research on your own. You have 2026 words Jesus Christ was purported to have uttered to choose from. Please share your findings.

  • Lymis

    Right back at you, John.

  • Lymis

    I suspect that’s what he’d say he thinks.

    I don’t hang out with those people, nor their poor victims. But my guess is that, even if they do toe the line, “kick the habit” and force themselves into new patterns of behavior (which ALL the professionals, and all too many broken lives attest don’t actually change sexual orientation at all), they still won’t be welcomed and celebrated, but shunned and gossiped about.

    Dan Savage, and no doubt, lots of others made a great point about ex-gays and those who say that’s what the Christian answer is for all gay people – ask them if they would want to marry an ex-gay person, or want their beloved straight brother, sister, or child to marry one. Chances are when they take it to the personal, they know their story is hogwash.

  • Lymis

    I think it is time for small words. Yes, a lot of people here believe the lived experience of actual gay people that we didn’t make a choice, and the scientifically backed views of professionals who has studied same sex attraction and found that people don’t choose it.

    The kernel of truth in your bigoted statement is that just because something is or isn’t chosen doesn’t define the morality of it.

    What I think you’ll find the REAL view here is that same sex attraction and relationships, treated the same way and under the same rules as opposite sex relationships, harm no one, are a source of joy and grace and love both within the relationship and to those it overflows onto, and that the vast majority of claims against it are either flat-out lies or deliberate distortions of truths that don’t actually apply to the circumstances.

    The fact that it is not chosen just makes anti-gay bigotry and discrimination that much more wrong. And there is a focus on the truth that it is not a choice, not because that’s some sort of trump card that wins the argument, but because the vast majority of anti-gay beliefs and actions are based on the idea that it is. Calling it a sin requires believing one can choose to feel otherwise. Saying that with prayer, people can “leave homosexuality” requires believing it is a choice. Saying that homosexuality is something that people “struggle with” and need to turn over to God is saying that a Godly person will turn away from it.

    So it is something that nobody should have any reason not to choose if it was a choice, and, since it’s not a choice in the first place, those who condemn it are doing something particularly evil and bullying.

    Compare that with your other examples. There’s nothing other than social disapproval, and mean-spirited social disapproval at that, which says that a 20 year old and 40 year old can’t form a loving, committed, God-touched relationship that includes physical intimacy. If they do, then we should leave them alone to love and be happy.

    And frankly, I don’t see what your issue is (beyond creepiness) about the inanimate object thing.

    But kids can’t consent the way adults can, and genuine harm comes to them when adults force or manipulate them into having sex, both physical and emotional. So we stop it, and try to prevent it, or at worst, at least punish it. In that case, if those who are attracted to young kids are “born that way” then it’s a matter of keeping them from doing it while getting them help – again, not because it is or isn’t chosen, but because acting on it does genuine harm.

  • Gary

    Great challenge…though I see no reason to leave Moses and Paul out of it. (And I guarantee those who need to take you up on your challenge will cry foul for trying to exclude them) Moses’ and Paul’s comments can be dealt with quite effectively in proper context.

    But I love the point I think you are making…that Jesus was so unconcerned with the issue that He NEVER even spoke about it.

  • I have a question for “The Word.” (the name irked me too Mike Moore) or any of those other “Adam and Eve are the model for the only godly type of sexuality” people out there. If you believe that the creation narrative is a literal story and thus that God started the world out with only two people, one man and one woman, and told them to multiply and populate the entire earth, if they had not sinned, what option for godly sexuality would their children have had? I can see only two options. One – God’s “original intent” was that incestuous relationships would be the model of godly sexuality. Or two – God’s “original intent” was that Adam and Eve alone (while living forever since death entered by sin and such) would eventually populate the entire earth and all their children (everyone else) would be asexual. That’s it. Those are the only two options I can find. Which one was God’s “original intent” for everyone except Adam and Eve, incest or asexuality? Or am I missing something?

  • ooooo! Excellent question!

  • Soulmentor

    If you are implying that the visual image of two people engaged in sex is not beautiful, I beg to differ with you. We’ve all seen the now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t camera trickery visions of sex action in movies and even on TV these days and it’s gorgeous. And sometimes porn is too. Of course, that is subject to the camera work and the physical beauty of the bodies.

    Maybe you wouldn’t want mirrors anymore. Neither would I, but I’ll be honest where many others may not. I LOVE to see it with the beautiful bodies. It’s the most beautiful work of live art in all of human life.

  • Gary

    Love it. You have a very keen sense of logic Cindy.

  • Thank you for this, TD. It was refreshing. And this: “On good days, I can enjoy the complexity of all the devout oddities.” May we have more good days than bad and be able to display such grace to our fellows.

  • Silvia Wilson via Facebook

    I agree with the rehab comment, as a retired substance abuse counselor. “The Word.” is seriously self-deluded. He is going to end up self-medicating. 😉

  • DR

    You are remarkable, what a blessing to this little internet community you are!

  • vj

    Lyn, I so totally LOVE the way you keep being so eloquent about this stuff!

  • dan

    oops, celibate, not celibant. Typing while under the influence.

  • Gary

    Yup…I’m with you Soulmentor.

  • As an ordained “new thought” metaphysical minister, one point that has not been brought up directly is the whole “what IS sin” question. I do not believe in “Original Sin”. I DO believe in “Original Virtue”. I also believe that the ONLY “sin” is believing that the apparent duality of spiritual and material (physical) is ultimate “REALITY”. We are in fact eternal spiritual beings experiencing, by choice, a temporary human existence. In so doing, Love and Sex are the ultimate expression of “oneness” between two people and two spirits manifesting in the 3D dimension. Yes, without Love, sex can digress into lower forms of attention, as can most anything. Love is also the ONLY “real” emotion. Love is the reflection of all we are. All other emotions are subsets or progressively further away from Love just like believing we are separated somehow from God/Source, which we can never be. This is just like there is no such thing as “dark”, only the absence of light. (Proof – light a single candle in a room and then turn on the “dark” switch to hide the light from the candle.) What people like “TheWord.” call “sin” are simply mental constructs that allow them to separate themselves and those around them from God/Source. They have so bought into the lie of duality that they have completely forgotten who, and what” they “really ” are. They twist a literal interpretation of a limited set of Books to “prove” duality. Their argument then is actually the tool they use to create and prove the separation, to believe the duality, which is the “sin” itself.

  • Sybil

    I honestly kept hearing “it rubs the lotion on its skin” in my head while reading The Word.

  • Lord help him.

  • Mindy

    Because of you, I have become open to having religion in my life again. And while it may not sound like a big deal, it’s somethin’, believe me.

    Thank you.

  • Maggie

    Lymis, I always enjoy reading what you have to say. Thank you for this.

  • Russell Mark

    I am an un-abashed universalist. Not always – was raised Southern Baptist (hellfire, damnation – the whole kit and kaboodle (does anyone know what a kaboodle is?) and then migrated to American Baptist, now Alliance Baptist (way too many labels), but Baptist no less in a more old-world sense of iconoclastic and independent – me and God workin it out together under Grace kinda guy. Oh, and I’m ordained too. And gay. It’s this last point that lead me to universalism, that heretical idea that God’s Grace is so powerful and so complete to drag everyone across the “finish line” eventually – even kicking and screaming if need be.

    What struck me very hard by The Word (period) was his statement, “I carry no emotional baggage whatsoever (period).” Truthfully, many of The Word.’s words impacted me, but mostly this line. I wasn’t offended by him – Lord, we’ve heard it all before; just ask a Republican candidate for President – so much as his words made me deeply ache for him, almost cry for him and all those who have been sooooo messed up by a twisted gospel that lays ” all the heavy” on humanity when in truth we’re all struggling just to get by with what understanding of this life and God and purpose we happen to stumble across in this life’s journey. The Word.’s level of denial about emotional baggage is palpable. His delusion immense. His pain is almost overwhelming. He is the lost inside of the Church and so sadly he is clueless about his lostness. It is almost as if the freedom to simply “be” that comes with Grace is so horrifically threatening. More sadly, he is not alone. Variations on this self-abuse; this flagellation of guilt that the Church has historically and successfully used to beat their sheep into submission are seen everywhere we turn – in every denomination and Christian expression, no matter how liberal or progressive – the blood stains are still there. I know, for it has taken years of hard work for me to purge the shame and heal the wounds.

    So, before we judge this brother to0 harshly, let us remember that he is only regurgitating the poison that’s been fed to him. Yet the poison has been in his system so long and so deep in his veins that he may never be free to ever truly feed on Grace and be nurished. But that’s the funny thing about Grace – it always seeps in where you think it can never reach – like water finding a tiny crack in the bulwark of your house. Grace always finds a way even when we deny it; even when we fight against it or try to deny it to others. So, I am asking that we each take a moment to pray for this sheep – he is one of our own afterall and he is us with a different history – pray for him to encounter the brilliant, clarifying, emancipating light of God’s Grace. May a candle be lighted in his darkness so he can finally see the face of Christ.

  • Lyn


  • Lyn

    A lot can be said for the scenario and setting as well. I mean, honestly, the few pieces of porn I’ve run across, I remember that in one there was some weird guy off to the side playing keyboard while two guys wearing angel wings felt up a guy in jeans (it was French gay porn that someone had posted to a torrent site as a Stargate Atlantis episode when they were running in Canada a month ahead of when they were running in the US), in another the guy was wearing 70s style white tube socks with the colored bands on the top and the woman was wearing knee high Pippi Longstocking style socks, and in a third they were attempting coitus while one of them was perched precariously on a bar stool. None of those scenarios were particularly memorable for their beauty.

    Of course, I frequently find movie/television not-showing-anything sex scenes somewhat ridiculous, too. Maybe I’m just weird, but they always look more like they’re in pain or bored than actually experiencing pleasure.

  • Gary

    Love what you have posted so far Lyn…but I gotta say. The porn you are describing is nothing like the beauty I see in sexual love. I understand what you mean if these images are what you think of.

  • Mindy

    This is beautiful, Russell. Thank you for such a poignant reminder of all that we face, that the one thing that turns we humans into tragic figures like The Word. is pain. He’s obviously suffered his share.

  • Lyn

    Well, yeah. I mean, I suppose if I went cruising through porn, I could find some that was beautiful, but my experience has indeed been that they were apparently trying so hard to be exotic that they just came out being bizarre and ridiculous. Maybe it’s just that regular, vanilla sex doesn’t sell. But when you’re worrying how the person can possibly be enjoying anything while trying to balance on a barstool, well, you’re certainly unlikely to consider it either erotic or beautiful. Nor does, “What is that guy with the keyboard doing? Why do they have angel wings? Is this a dream sequence? And what was the point in torrenting this as Stargate Atlantis anyway?” really help the cause.

    But I’m sure there’s beautiful stuff out there for those willing to sift through the dross. My point was that you can have beautiful bodies doing sexy sexy things, but if you put your gorgeous woman in Pippi Longstocking knee highs or decide a barstool would be exotic, some segment of your audience is going to utterly fail to enjoy either the beauty or the sexy sexiness.

  • Gary

    You crack me up. I love your wit and the way you express yourself.

    Honestly though my point was not about whether there is tasteful “porn”, or really about porn at all. It was simply about the beauty of sexual love. John was talking about not even having mirrors in the bedroom. I found that to be odd was all.

    Sex is a very natural and beautiful thing and I just hate to see any type of shame attached to it. Some choose to use sexual/erotic imagery to enhance their sex lives (which I believe is a personal choice) and others don’t. There is certainly a lot of distasteful and even harmful “porn” available. But I am really referring to how healthy it is to see sexuality as natural and beautiful as opposed to some kind of defense or critique of the porn industry…LOL

  • Line Merrette Vincent

    If people “confuse” homosexuality with incest or paedophilia, it serves a purpose for them (avoiding cognitive dissonance, I guess).

    I am not an expert in logic but I am pretty sure someone could find faulty reasoning (from a purely logical point of view) in his exposé.

    I also venture to say this person’s view of sexuality is warped and unhealthy.

    The Word’s discourse is in my view typically Catholic (old-school Catholic). He seems like someone who has a somewhat heretical view of sexuality, a bit like the Shakers or the Perfecti of the Cathars http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharism who believed that the material world is inherently evil and refrained from having sex. Mind you, a lot of priests in the lower rungs had (and some still do, I guess — I no longer am Catholic) a very negative view of sexuality outside procreation. And it is tragic that after condemning the Cathars the Church went on to teach that sexuality is inherently sinful intercourse for procreation only, pleasure is sinful… like in Quebec in the 1940s) and that homosexuality is downright an abomination. The very same heresy they condemned.

    I still cannot get over the idea that God is also creating homosexuals (probably to teach us “thinking outside the box” of prejudice) and that rejecting homosexuality is therefore rejecting God’s Creation.

    There are many ways of using porn and not all of them are sinful, I believe. Some kinds of porn are dangerous and degrading and everyone has a line he/she will not cross. I believe a lot more people are using porn than they are willing to admit.

    I hope this makes some sense.

  • Stephie

    Your entire website causes division, and a house divided against itself will fall.

  • carly robinson

    We “mirror” everyone? Like, say, I mirror Jeffrey Dahmer? Sorry, had to judge him. And alas, that same judgement is on The Word. Hate to say it, but that spirit has no fruit. Soon we’ll be reading about some dude murdering strippers and blaming it on his sin of porn. Guess who?!

  • carly robinson

    Well said, Lyn!

  • carly robinson

    Well put, Heather, but I don’t think he’ll get the “sensitive…” part.

  • carly robinson

    Lyn, that was absolutely beautiful! And right to the heart of it, how something wonderful is being reduced to a nasty, filthy act. What a sad life Word has.

  • carly robinson

    Then quit reading, Stephie. ‘Cause you don’t get it.

  • Gary

    What an interesting observation. Especially since EVERY church I have ever been a part of causes deep division.

    Stephie what goes on here is seeking harmony. Not all are willing or capable of walking in harmony. But those who would promote injustice and hatred are the ones who bring the greatest “division” to the body of Christ. God’s love compels many of us to attempt to bring others into “harmony”, for God’s perfect love breeds harmony.

    Your drive by comment strikes me as very disingenuous in that what I think you really mean to say is you don’t like John’s views, and therefor you engage in a silly proof texting of Jesus words badly out of context. Until we deal with these issues which divide us in a mature and respectful way (rather than throwing bible quotes at each other like schoolboy kids hurling snowballs) the church will remain divided.

  • Lyn

    I don’t think those of us who look at two people together making all those slurpy, squishy noises and weird faces necessarily find our own lovemaking from inside the act to be shameful or distasteful or that we feel that from inside their own lovemaking others don’t find beauty. I think we just find the act to look fairly ridiculous when viewed from the outside. Maybe we have an overdeveloped sense of the absurd.

    Now, the first three photos in this article– http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/17/neil-patrick-harris-david-burtka-out-magazine_n_1211701.html?ref=mostpopular — those are beautiful and sexy and hot.

  • mike moore

    Stephie, have you considered, perhaps, that you are the one causing division?

    Of course, you could be right …

    We sure don’t want to take a highly divisive (heretical) stand against burning innocent women, oops, I mean witches, at the stake. World is round? Ending slavery? Newtonian physics? Sorry, those issues are way too divisive, better let ’em slide. And those damn Protestants, have you noticed how they broke off from the Roman Catholic church? Of all the nerve.

    Then there’s allowing women into church leadership roles or, heaven forbid, ordaining women? Whoa, no can do, that will split the church right down the middle. Reporting pedophile and abusive ministers to police? Heck no!! Imagine the divisions that could create.

    Birth control, divorce, having wine with your dinner and a cigarette after, marrying your same-sex partner of 26 years, abortion, voting Democrat, singing and dancing … wanting universal healthcare for all citizens, opening our doors to immigrants, protecting our planet from environmental destruction … we have allowed all these deadly serious and/or silly things to become “wedge issues” because people would rather hold on to their dogma than to their brothers and sisters.

    My advice, Stephie? If you don’t want your house divided, then put down the saw and try some good conversation here at John’s house.

  • Diana A.

    The division is already here and has been since at least the late 1970’s. It’s just that now the Christian Left is finally speaking up. Or, as some would put it, the meek are getting ready.

  • Diana A.

    You said it way better than I did. Thanks Mike.

  • B1empath

    I could only read to the point of “I carry no emotional baggage whatsoever. ” To me that’s like saying, “I don’t breathe”. I also started getting a headache before that, the same kind I used to get after I initially accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and I would listen to secular music, and my little spirit man inside started jumping up and down saying that “The Word.” is evil. Oh and I do listen to secular music now without issue, but in my early days of being a Christian, I think God wanted me to submerge myself in things that would edify my little spirit man.

    I have learned to trust my little spirit man and the other signs God has given me when things are not ‘right’ or that I shouldn’t ‘go there’ feelings come about. “The Word.” makes it sound like God said sex is sin and I don’t recall ever reading anything like that in the various versions of the Bible that I’ve read. I think the Song of Solomon would have to be deleted if that is the case. Also, what does drinking have to do with anything? I mean Jesus’ first miracle was to turn water into wine so the party could go on. Oh, wait, isn’t enjoying oneself at a party a sin? Oh, wait, I think that anything enjoyable is a sin. I hope you realize that I’m joking here.

    God created us in HIS image. God gave up a portion of Himself, His Son, to die for our sins so that ALL may come to Him through the blood of Christ. Everyone wants to put all of the old testament stuff onto the new, however, Jesus said that He brought a new law, so the old are now just guidelines. After the disciples tried to bring Jesus’ message to the Jews and were rejected, Jesus told them to shake the dust from their sandals and to take the Word to the remnant, to the gentiles, to any of those who would listen and believe. Jesus came in love and that is what I believe He wants of us today. To have a powerful, united church in His love… and I don’t mean a physical church, but a unity of spirits.

    When we reject/hate/speak against/whisper about/seethe about another, for what ever reason, we are allowing evil to rule us, instead of accepting the human being before us as one of God’s creatures that He created and that we should all love. Where’s the love folks?

  • Gary

    No doubt better than I did as well. A fine post.

  • LK

    Ha! Answer the questions. Are all sexual desires inborn OR NOT. How about the desire to have sex with plastic blow up dolls. Inborn or not? That’s the underlying questioon which you are avoiding.

  • LK

    this house isn’t build on the rock, it’s build on the sand.

  • LK

    Your paradigm is off.

    There is no homosexual inborn identity accrording to God in his Word. God/the Bible says so by declaring those acts (same-sex sexual acts) to be sin. God/the Bible says so by making no provision for marriage between members of the same sex, which He had ( but DOESNT), would make a place for those acts NOT to be sinful .

    “Born that way” is not God’s paradigm – its an invention of late 20th century people who want general societal approval for and normalization of homosexual sex. Some Christians have let go of Biblical teaching on the matter and adopted late 20th century ideas based on general socieital trend that encourage every type of sexual behavior (short of child molestation) imaginable.

    By the way the entire Bible is ‘God breathed’ — its says so– which means that its ALL from God. That’s why you want to omit what Paul and Moses wrote down given by the Spirit of God to them to write–it doesn fit your paradigm –nevertheless God says Pauls and Moses writings are still from Him. Which shows the Biblical model you subscribe to is warped. Warped by your need to find approval for gay sex.

    And by the way, Jesus said that marrage was between a man and woman. He quoted Genesis Chapter 2 on the matter in the gospels. That’s the ONLY model of marriage he subscribed to–the one written down in Genesis, by MOSES, according to tradition. In fact Jesus quotes Moses in other places on other topics too. Meaning Jesus knows Moses words were given to Moses– by HIM, Jesus, prior to his incarnation.

  • LK

    Just like if God gets ahold of those who have other types of sexual inclinations, they will drop THEM.

    But you guys who like same sex sex, you don’t have to drop your sexual activity-that it? You can just say “I’m born that way” and excuse yourselves.

  • LK

    I do Bible study every day.

    Show me where masturbation is ok in the Bible instead of just calling me ignorant and walking away. Back up your assertion. There is no place in scripture that ok’s it.

  • LK

    people who like to have sex with vegetables or are sexually attracted to people’s feet–they ‘born that way”?

  • LK

    Stick around, because John needs all the backup he can get for his apostate views.

  • LK

    To make it short and sweet —

    There is no ‘being gay’, just ‘doing gay’– according to Genesis, Leviticus, Judges, Romans, Corinthians, Peter and Revelation, (specifically).

    And remember — ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, (according to Scripture).

  • LK

    God says his people are a ‘peculiar people” . They don’t have the same thoughts/views as those who don’t subscrible to His teachings/word. They more and more have His mind on these topics. Which is why you are bugged by him, he has a far more biblical molded point of view than you and the supporters of this blogs views on this topic.

  • Lyn

    There are numerous discussions online and on this very blog of the 6 clobber passages you are referencing incorrectly. Go and study to show yourself approved before you attempt to join a discussion. It harms your witness when you make statements from ignorance as it indicates to non-Christians that Christians do not have or know how to determine the truth.

  • Lyn

    Please, show me a verse in scripture that says, “There is no inborn homosexual identity.” Here, I’ll show you one that says there IS– “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” Matthew 19:12

    That’s Jesus speaking, by the way.

  • Lyn

    His “apostate” views are the views the early Church held. It is you and your ilk who have equated sexuality and sex and have made a God-given blessing into a sin and a curse. You can yell and cry and point fingers all you want, but you have failed to study to show yourself acceptable, you have failed to rightly divide scripture, and you are responsible for the murder, assaults, bullycides, homelessness, despair, and falling away from faith that is the fruit of your spiritually abusive tree. You will answer for every time you and your spiritual abuse made someone’s life Hell on earth. Until the time when you are finally silenced, this is the calling of those of us who have studied the scripture, the traditions, and the history of the church and who are following Christ’s call to love and to care for the oppressed– we will protect those you would hurt, uplift those you have oppressed, oppose your injustice and spiritual abuse, and speak the truth about the words and actions of our Lord and Savior to those to whom you have spread the falsehood of your hate and bigotry.

    You want us to take you seriously and address your questions and “concerns”? You have the Internet. Go, learn. Come back when you have more than insults and attitude to present to us. Taking time from our lives, jobs, families, and ministries to educate every holier-than-thou troll who visits this blog to vomit their bigotry all over the conversation isn’t our job. It’s YOUR responsibility, not ours, to educate you.

  • Gary


    Seriously LK? A drive by based on your perversion of scripture and then you run and hide like some scared dog with your tail between your legs??

    Either discuss with integrity…or just shut the hell up. Seriously!!

  • Gary

    Seems as if one sentence pieces of criticism pretty much exhausts your reasoning abilities. Sad really.

  • Gary

    There is no place in scripture that “ok’s” it? Seriously…this is the best ya got?

    Scripture is full of “ok’s” for sexual variety and practice that is WAY outside of your prudish sensibilities. Some even blessed and GIVEN by God Himself.

    If you are seriously going to make the case that it must be wrong because God never specifically “ok’d” it…we could have your own actions condemned by breakfast. Besides…you clearly just ignore what you disagree with anyway.

  • Gary

    I have gone back and read the recent posts of this one who calls themselves “LK”. I seriously hope this person is a simple troll. Because if they are sincere…then the road ahead for any hope of enlightenment for fundies just like him/her is very long indeed.

  • Lyn, that’s brilliant.

    I was utterly thrilled on my first high school “date,” which consisted of little more than going for a walk and talking. We walked along the horse-riding trails at UNH. We were supposedly there for a college fair.

    There was no physical contact at all, but it was a wonderful time. For people like this to diminish affection, romance, love, attraction, and everything else into sex is not only frustrating, it kind of makes me feel bad for them.

    Then again, maybe that’s why they’re so obsessed with what other people are doing … they see that there’s something seriously lacking in their lives.

  • Judy

    I love the way you think and write, Lyn. Well said!

  • Dennis Killian via Facebook


  • Mary

    Lyn, I love you dearly. Your post gave me goosebumps. I’m going to save it on my hard drive.

  • Mary Wisner Miller via Facebook

    John, her post made me cry, gave me goosebumps, and made me wish that I could have dinnner with her one day. <3 Lyn.

  • Ember

    This is specific to Biblical marriage….but it’s hysterical, and clearly applies to the discussion of those pesky sexual mores…


    (And now, Newt’s second wife has popped up to say that, when she was diagnosed with MS, he demanded an open marriage, with his new tart/3rd wife…not sure what she was expecting, since she was a participant to him doing it to the first wife? but I would love to see him respond with some OT concubine vs NT zero-divorce tolerance debate.)

  • Cynthia H.-W.

    EXACTLY. Beautiful. Thank you, Lyn! I’m saving this one for the days when the antisexuals push me toward the crumbly edge.

  • Ember

    Need to memorize this wording, for the next time some bigot makes my brain try to implode.

  • I’m going to have to save this one for when I know I will need it in the future. Thanks, Cindy.

  • AC Smith via Facebook

    Lyn says what I always wish I could say. Somehow, it never gets out of my mouth with such eloquence!

  • Yeah!

  • Nathan Taylor via Facebook

    Very good

  • otter

    Lyn,,,I loved your analysis of the clobber translations as written on John’s letter of apology. I sincerely hope you have your scholarly and fascinating comments compiled somewhere accessible to those of us who are sometimes on the front lines.

    “The Word ” made me gag. What an arrogant poser! But some good has come of it, I think. For his comments and others like his prompted me to post the following on several facebook pages. I think/hope you will find it thought provoking.

    Every couple of weeks another gay teenager is assaulted or commits suicide. It makes me ask myself “How much suicide, abuse, assault poverty, homelessness, despair, bullying, injustice, discrimination and suffering do you think law abiding people in America should endure?” Doesn’t sound like your vision of America, does it? But it happens every day. And people defend it because of a handful of two thousand year old, mis-translated Greek texts. Unbelievably, most churches would rather be “right and moral” than examine their role in promoting, condoning,and in some cases supporting mental, physical and emotional violence. Well, I think it’s horrible, unconscionable, indefensible. And I want to know why more true believers are letting the haters go unchallenged? Why do yo tolerate your church being hijacked by extremists, terrorists, Mysogynusts. The next time you hear an anti gay remark, visualize someone beating you up, Because that is what they ARE doing to everyone gay person who hears

    it. And why people who know better keep silent is something I would love to understand. I can’t decide if its insecure, lazy or complacent. What do YOU think?

    Have youworked on LGBT issues within your faith community yourself???

    How did it go?? Did things change as a result of your dialogue.

  • Lyn

    Not. And?

  • Lyn

    Show me in scripture where using the internet is OK. By the way, apostrophes-plus-s are for possessives. You would never, ever add one to a verb. “Ok’s” means belonging to ok rendering your sentence: “There is no place in scripture that it belonging to ok.” I would ask you to have some sensitivity to those people so neurologically wired that they read for meaning and not for sound and for those for whom English is a second language, but I have observed no sign that you have any empathy for anyone, so it would be a moot request.

  • Lyn

    I think you may be right. They have no joy, so rather than seeking out joy, they seek instead to ruin the joy that others have, to spread their own misery around. It’s covetousness turned destructive, where the desired thing is taken and destroyed rather than taken and enjoyed.

    Makes me think of bullies, abused kids who grow up to become abusive parents, the terribly neglected who turn into serial killers. You feel sorry for them, but you have to focus on stopping the damage they do.

  • DR

    I love it when Jehovah Witnesses show up.

  • otter

    Mike…TRUE POST!

    The farther we move from conventional “wisdom” the greater the possibilities for positive growth.

    If we never associate with minds that needs changing we never change any minds.

    No Echo chambers here!

  • otter

    Does that go for the bit about stoning adulterers? You know that bit, right?

    Newt better learn to duck!

  • Lyn

    If you go to any of the websites where they offer a map or directory of open and affirming churches and click on Indiana, I’m on the map smack between Indianapolis, where there are scads of open and affirming churches, and Bloomington, where there are three or four. There is absolutely nothing within 45 minutes of our house remotely resembling an open and affirming church.

    We attend the church I grew up in, which is an independent Christian Church. As is typical of the denomination, the church has no official policies on anything. Their stance is “Where the scripture speaks, we speak. Where it is silent, we are silent.” Of course, they pretty much take the word of the translators, meaning they understand the scriptures to condemn homosexuality. But they don’t actually talk about it much, so I’ve held my tongue.

    However, I got into it with the youth minister over my own Facebook page because he felt I might “confuse” the youth. Please, note, on my Facebook page, I’ve pretty much maintained the stance of “Persons of homosexual orientation have a place in the church, bring unique talents and perspectives to the body, and are, like heterosexuals, called to a life of holiness.” He, however, didn’t feel it was “profitable” or “beneficial” to publicly state that lgbtqia people were welcome in the church. I disagreed. Vehemently. This led to my resigning from a youth sponsor position and warning him that he would be held accountable for every lgbtqia teen in the church who committed suicide or fell away because of his intractability.

    And… that’s pretty much where I am. Other than spending a lot of time with a lot of the kids from the local GSA sitting around in my kitchen sharing their lives and questions.

  • Lyn

    Which is to say, I don’t think it went well, though I have been made aware of a girl in my church who is on the lgbtqia rainbow spectrum and had been feeling very, very unwelcome and not particularly interested in church because of it. So, it’s not been a total loss, and I’m hoping some of the folks at church are at least engaging in some thought on the issue due to various Facebook posts. I’ve had a few occasions where folks have quietly sidled up to me and said, “You know that thing you said on Facebook Friday? I think I’m with you.”

  • Lyn

    Perhaps LK attends a church where they check to see if the women are on their periods and don’t let them attend– or their husbands if the husband has touched them.

    I have a couple friends who have committed an abomination. Not only an abomination, but specifically an abomination before the Lord! I’ve considered whether or not I should tell them that their relationship, their lifestyle, is an abomination, but they’re agnostics. I just don’t think I should be imposing my religious views on them, though obviously if they were to convert, I’d have to bring their abomination to their attention.

    You see, they were married to each other and then got divorced. They had other relationships. Then they got remarried to each other.

    I hope they’d understand that if they were to become Christians, they’d have to cease their sinful lifestyle.

  • Aha! This is why people are making Facebook comments specific to me. I wondered. Thanks, folks!

  • There is a bit of a problem with that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God” claim. When it was penned, it was in reference to the Old Testament only, as what was to later (by a couple of hundred years) had yet to be compiled. It was written to Timothy in the form of letter. I seriously doubt that Paul, Luke and others had a clue that their letters, or representatives of them would later be considered canon.

    So in that, you have to dismiss the entire NT for that assessment on all things gay. I won’t even start on the OT ones.

  • Love it. Absolutely love it. I have made a few comments on my blog and in open letters to people suggesting that we need to be more loving and accepting of the gay community, and nothing puts a wet blanket on a conversation with an evangelical more effectively than this topic. God is LOVE. Enough said.

  • I don’t think he expects to find a sinless pastor. I think he just has his list of the terrible sins that disqualify someone from ministry, like homosexuality, watching porn, drinking and (oddly enough) smoking. I’m sure he’d admit that everybody sins (pastors included) and he wouldn’t disqualify someone say prone to gluttony from ministry. He just has his odd list of the really serious sins which he couldn’t have a pastor be guilty of. Which is really ironic given that in the same breath he tries to claim that all sins are equal with his trite statement that he clearly doesn’t actually ascribe to that “sin is sin”. If this guy even understood his own rhetoric he might be dangerous…

  • Duck

    That attitude is pretty much what I remember being taught lo! these many years ago. Those teachings are pretty much why I am not, and do not see my ever being again, a christian.

  • Duck

    Don’t beat yourself up about it. Family is…complicated…to deal with sometimes.

  • Gary

    Nonsense. Read Ray Boltz testimony and you will find a dedicated servant who was surrendered (as in totally sold out) to God. He prayed for deliverance of his “condition” for many years while faithfully serving and leading countless souls to Christ. He finally received his answer when God told him he did not need to be “healed”, that he was a God had made him.

    But of course you will simply declare that Ray is a fraud because his story is contrary to your belief paradigm. It has proven pointless to attempt to show you with scripture your error…your bigotry is too deeply ingrained.

    This post ranks right up there with your most offensive comments. You simply accuse us all of not wanting to drop our “sexual activity”. To only make excuses for ourselves. In your mind we are simply moral reprobates bent on selfish pursuits of licentious living. An ad hominem attack BTW is a true sign of a weak minded individual with no ability to discuss or debate an issue intelligently.

    Frankly LK, you totally disgust me. Not because you are ignorant and a cold hearted bastard, (you clearly have demonstrated both) but because you dare to speak for followers of Christ. It is not your insults to us I find most appalling…but your blasphemous representation of the nature of our God. You disgust me because you drive those who need God’s love away from Him believing He cannot love them. You disgust me because in your arrogance you believe it is right and proper to attack and malign those of us who are trying to reach out to the hurting with God’s love.

    I have a friend who is gay and has been in a committed relationship for more than 30 years. This man is more Christlike than most anybody I know. He treats people with respect and love and always seeks their best. He loves God and loves people naturally because of it. He represents what the Spirit of God can do in a person’s life.

    I pray that when people look for a true example of what it means to be a follower of Christ they will look to this man, and that God will steer them away from the likes of you!

  • Gary

    BTW LK – Not that it makes a hill of beans of difference to you. But I find gay sex to be as personally repulsive as you do I assure you. But of course that is natural since I was born heterosexual. I only tell you this because of your baseless accusations of simply trying to justify our actions.

  • LK

    Those passages DO clobber the lie thatthis type of sex is ok, or that youre born that way. Notice these passages start with the first book of the Bible and end with the last book. They occur in between those as well. Old Testament to New, first to last and in between. Think that’s an accident? There are many passages that speak more generally about sexual immorality that can be added to the list which this activity falls under. So from first to last the word of God that I study every day speaks against sexual immorality and specifically this type of it..

  • LK

    The verses that condemn it as sin do. Its condemned in the Old as well as New Testaments.

    Jesus IS the Word, the Logos. That means He’s the Word of God, the source of the ENTIRE Word of God whether he spoke it while on earth or through a servant who wrote it down. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand much.

  • LK

    It can take many many years to overcome certain sin problems. This person you speak of had room in his heart to hear a lie so Satan spoke the lie to him that his itching ears wanted to hear and he gave in to it.

  • LK

    The early church held other apostate views too, such as gnosticism. SO?

  • LK

    your smell detector is off

  • Gary

    What passages? All you have done is list a collection of book titles?

    Is this your idea of exegesis?

  • LK

    and sex with members of the same sex. NOT.

  • Gary

    As I said…you totally disgust me. Quit speaking for Christ…you are a disgrace to Christians everywhere.

  • LK

    why are you focusing on my using ‘ok’s it’ rather than answering the question–oh, its called diversion. Those who have no answer, divert.

    Masturbation involves lustful thoughts and desires thatcome up and people then set out to satisfy. That’s called sin.

  • Seriously, for someone who studies the bible everyday, you should at least know where the passages you consider so important are found. Especially if you’re going to make up some high importance to attach to their location. None of the so called “clobber passages”, the only few passages in the bible that reference what might be seen as homosexual acts (any references to homosexuality are modern re-interpretations as the concept did not exist), are found in Revelations. So with your whole beginning to end thing, you just shot yourself in the foot. Of course, it must be pretty difficult to aim anywhere other than your own foot when you spend all your time looking down your nose, so good job on hitting your target. I commend you for your diligence.

  • LK

    “normalize”– That’s rich. You mean apostasize, like you, John Shore. His comments were too thruthful and powerful, so you shut down the comments and then lifted his remarks in order reframed them in such a way as to give full attention to the attempt to discredit them.

  • Lyn

    Ooooh! Can we all play? Let’s throw a bunch of book titles out there. Here: I can find passages in Genesis, Exodus, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, Proverbs, Daniel, Amos, Matthew, Luke, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, James, and the Revelation that support my viewpoint. Go read them all! Come back when you’re done.

  • Lyn

    And what verses condemn homosexual orientation? Stop being vague or go away.

    And I would agree that Jesus is the final say, which is why when he says there are people born that way, I take him at his word. Why don’t you?

  • Lyn

    Really? You’re going to resort to “Did so!” “Did not!” as a logical argumentation? I realize that people of your ilk generally ignore those verses that say that the heavens are telling the glory of God, that all creation bears witness to God, and the implication that, therefore, God reveals his truth and purpose through scientific investigation of His creative works, so I doubt you’ll take the overwhelming body of scientific evidence as proof of God’s design. I do, however, believe the scriptures when it says science confirms God’s nature and truth and am, therefore, not pathologically afraid of scientific fact. God has revealed the same truth through scripture and through science– LGBTQIA persons were lovingly created by God with the natural attractions and longings they have, they are given special talents and perspectives designed by God to build up the Church, and they are no more denied fellowship with Him than a heterosexual and cisgendered person is.

  • Lyn

    The apostate view of Gnosticism is what led to the rejection of the LGBTQIA members of the church and the hostility toward sexuality that is still prevalent today. Your position traces to an apostate view and is a change from the earliest, New Testament church.

  • Gary

    I think they are still looking for the word exegesis in their dictionary.

  • Gary

    You can’t make a blanket statement like “masturbation involves lustful thoughts and desires” and just expect us all to agree. You don’t even know what lust means obviously. Here’s a hint…normal sexual desire created and placed within us by God is NOT lust. Lust is a covetous desire (study it out) and NOT a sexual thought.

    You’re really in over your head here LK. You really should just close your proverbial mouth and open your ears and mind and try to learn something. There is much wisdom on the blog for those willing to learn.

  • Love!

  • DR

    What in the world? The desire to have sex with a *female* or a *male* blow up doll or human being is what is the discussion is about. Do you understand how sexuality works at all? This is about *gender* preference. I’m so embarrassed for those of you who join these discussions and make these analogies that almost seen to be rooted in personality disorder but I’m beginning to realize that you don’t have the first clue about basic sexuality.

  • DR

    Why are we even responding to this anymore. It’s insane. I’m so glad these people show up though, they are such an amazing education for those who wish to believe this kind of thing is the minority.

  • Christy

    Yeah, I’m with Gary. Maybe some people think about a particular person while they masturbate (lust). Not everybody does. Being sexually aroused in and of itself is not a sin (despite the Church trying its damndest down through the age to convince us otherwise). Taking care of it yourself isn’t a sin either.

    Man. People got issues. Any chance we can get a national exorcism of all Puritanical baggage so that the collective psychological health of the country tips ever so slightly over to the healthy side?

  • Wendy Young Callaway via Facebook

    Lyn is my hero!

  • No. But we do sometimes have a “block’ option …. Yay!

  • Christy

    Woo-hoo! Can I borrow that for my next family holiday gathering? The block option that is?

  • Nan C

    Not built on rock? Here’s my take on things, from words believed to be Jesus’ own words from the Sermon on the Mount:

    1.Love God with all thy heatt and all thy mind and all thy soul. (a bit vague on just how to do that, but here’s a hint:)

    2.Love thy neighbor as thyself. (Huh. But he’s a jerk! Any more hints? )

    3.Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you (even do good unto them that spitefully use you – and that takes care of the jerk neighbor) And in case there were still questions as to just how to go about that:

    4.As you do it unto the least of these my brothers, you do it unto me.

    There’s yer rock. The very basics distilled down from a whole lot of words.

    (I’m still working on numbers 1 & 2. Also 3 and 4, I admit)

  • Wendy

    Amen Gary, amen!

  • Wendy

    Lyn, you really are my hero 🙂

  • Wendy

    Thank God!

  • Diana A.

    Too funny!

  • I have often wondered this myself, Cindy! Thanks for sharing it so articulately. I have asked this question of literalists a few times, and the answer I’ve gotten is that they had such good genes they didn’t have to worry about the health of the children. So I follow-up by asking if the only reason why incest is taboo in almost all cultures is simply because of the health the offspring–do we not value the family unit for other reasons? And, if that were true, then what about incest between sterile people? Of course it’s insane and splitting hairs, but that’s what getting caught up in the literalist/fundamentalist paradigm seems to lead to.

  • Saddened

    Although chilled and reaching for pepper spray as I read “The Word.”, I’m also extremely saddened by them. Those are the words of someone who has likely been broken by years of psychological, physical, and/or sexual abuse with a religious chaser; an unhinged, deeply repressed anger screams throughout “The Word.’s” writing. I cannot imagine what kind of journey would be necessary to salvage one such as “The Word.”, but as I believe in God, I do believe there is hope for him, but only if the shame and rage don’t destroy him first.

  • otter

    Kudos to you for your valiant effort, blessings for your generous story….

  • otter

    when I read posts from people who state that being gay is just behavioral, I always wonder if it is their OWN behavior that informs their assertion…..

  • candide

    Lyn. Do you ever post comments on HuffPo? Your pro-gay, theologically sophisticated voice would be most welcome in the exchanges that take place there in both the Gay Voices and the Religion sections. There are a lot of rabidly anti-gay, Bible-based bigots who post there. We need all the help we can get in confronting them. HuffPo has a huge readership, so what you say would have some impact. Cheers!

  • Lyn

    I just wrote a blog post on this, actually (here: http://rindle.blogspot.com/2012/01/on-claim-of-gay-as-choice_20.html if you’re interested). I’m not sure I got everything quite the way I wanted to say it, but here’s my observation. Every time someone comes and argues the “It’s a choice!” side, if they actually share personal experiences rather than just going with drive-by Levitical threats, they invariably share some experience where they turned down a same-sex encounter. So, yeah, I’ve concluded that the argument comes from two things– 1) bisexually oriented people who have chosen not to express anything but their heterosexual side (or have “repented” earlier same-sex behavior) who 2) conflate orientation with activity. Since, for them, homosexual behavior WAS/IS a choice that they have rejected and since they believe who you have sex with = orientation, they believe orientation is a choice. The rest of their argumentation, that gays and lesbians choose to act this way when they could act otherwise and are, therefore, rebelling against God’s plan, logically follows from this mistaken and somewhat narcissistic everyone’s-experience-is-just-like-mine base belief.

    This is somewhere where I totally fail to wrap my brain around the base worldview because I have yet to meet a woman I am at all interested in or attracted to, so thinking that there might be people whose sexuality is like mine, only in reverse, isn’t a reach at all. I know my sexuality isn’t a choice, therefore, I can’t claim any moral superiority for not “choosing” to be gay. I can’t claim any moral superiority for not “choosing” to be bisexual. Neither of those were choices I could have even made.

    But I’m thinking the people who are claiming moral superiority for “choosing” to be straight? I think they really are seeing it as a choice they made. It just isn’t the choice they think it is. It was a choice of what they did with their sexuality, not what their sexuality is in the first place.

  • Lyn

    Yeah, I don’t think any of us quite perfect any of those. It’s a good thing God doesn’t insist of perfection!

  • Lyn

    Well, regardless of whether you’re a creationist or an evolutionist, you have to deal with incest in the early human tribe. Incest taboos are interesting, because we tend to see them as universal, but what relationships are taboo varies widely from culture to culture. Go look at the history of Hawaii or Egypt and you’ll see they’re pretty blasé about sibling incest. Abraham and Sarah were half-siblings. Moses’ parents were close blood-relatives (she was his father’s sister) and their marriage was actually rendered illegal by the mosaic law. Not too long ago, it was pretty acceptable and legal for first cousins to marry. Now we look a bit askance at second cousins marrying.

    So I don’t actually have an issue with the literalist interpretation that there was sibling incest in the early human tree because the same would have been true evolutionarily, too.

    It isn’t until Moses that you get laws against incest and some of those laws are obviously dealing more with familial obligation and avoidance of the abuse of power rather than blood kinship (for instance, not marrying an unrelated woman who had been your father’s wife).

    I guess I’m weird, but when people throw the whole “But that would mean they committed incest!” I’m just kinda like, “Yes. And?”

  • Lyn

    I’ve been known to make comments here and there around the web, but the only HuffPo post I know I’ve commented on for certain was the news article about the new Indiana specialty license plate supporting the LGBTQIA teen outreach organization, the Indiana Youth Group. For the most part, I was focusing on why the IYG is needed, not the theological problems of the anti-gay rhetoric being tossed around.

    I’ll try to make it a point to be more proactive when I do end up at an article there in my day.

  • otter

    Well that is probably an accurate analysis in a lot of cases. I claim Gold Star status but I know several women who were married, had kids and did not identify as lesbians until later in life. At the point their attraction to women developed, they decided that to force themselves to stay married to men would have been a dishonest choice and a disservice to all. It was not something they did lightly and the ones I know managed it without too much drama. This notion of rejecting sexuality with one gender as sinful and accepting the other as righteous arises from an utterly false paradigm that is being driven by a self perpetuating spiral of archaic values, flawed translations, judgment, guilt and fear. And it can result in dishonest, unsatisfying relationships …..imagine yourself or your child marrying someone who is forcing themself to act straight! Straight people would be so much better served by joyfully celebrating gays who marry each other! Doesn’t anyone stop and THINK how horrible it would be if a gay person married a straight one under false pretenses??

  • dan

    Actually LK, I almost prefer your approach. I know your opinion right out front and can easily avoid your church, and you. With ‘welcomming’ churches, people often don’t know the opinions of the leadership until they have spent alot of time in the church and built relationships. That can lead to a lot of heart ache.

  • Line Merrette Vincent

    I am a professional translator (not in the field of religion though) and I also took one year of theology at the undergraduate level (they call that a “certificate” here).

    The Bible I know is the French one (I am a Franco from Québec) mostly the ecumenical version (TOB) or the everyday French ones. (Not all French Canadians are Catholics, by the way. I have been a Lutheran for many years. Off topic.)

    My ex mother-in-law is in a church associated with the Assemblies of God (but the problem is more widespread than that, to many “evangelical” confessions). They rely on the Louis Second translation, which dates back to 1910. I can understand many people my age and older know whole chapters by heart, BUT since 1910, our knowledge of old civilizations and languages has progressed and new sources have also been found.

    But they disregard this and stay attached to their old version. It has a lot to do to their fundamentalist, verbatim viewpoint. I for one am not a fundamentalist. It seems to me as if they are adoring a book, i.e. an old version of the Bible.

    Also, I find fundamentalists put too much weight on the Old Testament (and the exotic punishments therein). Didn’t Jesus accomplish the law for us? Where is the “glorious freedom of the children of God”? Where is the “not man or woman, free person or slave, etc.”?

  • Line Merrette Vincent

    Louis Segond, sorry.

  • Lyn

    I love the movie “For the Bible Tell Me So” for revealing the problem of a gay person in a straight marriage. Two of the people presented were in straight marriages and the stories of their struggles is heartbreaking, for all concerned.

  • Wowie wow wow. The difference between consenting queer adults and the rape of children incapable of consent is pointed out to you, and you come back with ~vegetable and feet fetishes?~ Do you seriously want to dissect and condemn every single fetish, no matter how harmless, that could possibly exist? Because we would be here for months.

    Also, way to equate my sexual orientation with a fetish. Nice attempt at invalidating my humanity, but no cigar.

  • Hi John,

    Thanks very much for your blog and recent piece on the new form of Presbyterianism coming out of the “Fellowship.” Most troubling is the violence being stirred, again, by the unwillingness of religious bodies (existing or soon to be formed) that refuse to understand how their exclusion is complicit in the hatred that exists towards others. How could faithfulness ever be seen as a catalyst for violence; a prime indicator for me that something is truly amiss in a particular choice or direction.

    As an openly gay man who was ordained in 2005 in the PC(USA) and serves an inner city ministry in NYC for people marginalized into homelessness, poverty, and invisibility there is no such thing as loving others while hating their sin. I continue to hear that directed toward me and others and find the inherent smugness weary and ignorant. There is only loving others.

    And this discussion of the “gay issue” or “gay ordination issue…” We are not an issue – none of us. Calling human injustices and discriminatory practices issues is a deft way of turning people into objects and manipulating them at a distance as if they were not living breathing creations of a loving God but pieces on a game board. It is an attempt to comfortable “play God.” (Clearly a game humans lose.)

    I think this “objectification of people” is some form of a spiritual and mental illness that feeds the erroneous belief that to be faithful we need to be divisive and dismissing toward others different than us. Faithful is still what it always was – loving one another because we are loved by God. It includes the challenges and work of finding understanding (not tolerance) of one another, and using that love and understanding to walk together on a spiritual journey destined for love and justice, clearing the path of small and narrow loyalty tests. Benchmarks designed to disguise the fear and sadness that oozes from them.

    I believe that God is greater than all these ways we find to distance ourselves from one another: read distance ourselves from God. For any move away from one another is a move away from God. I believe we can come together, especially in the PC(USA) and find ways to bring The Word to those that still suffer. Not The Word of “This or That” – but The Word that calls us to love our God with all our heart, soul, and mind – and one another as ourselves. In the case of some of us, maybe we need to try loving one another better than we love ourselves.


    Ray Bagnuolo, Minister PC(USA)

    New York City

  • Otter

    BRAVA! I wish I could tell you how impressed I am by the people in this thread. It seem to me that Lyn. and all who see the damage anti gay views are doing to the faith they love, are the true followers of Christ. I left the Church YEARS ago disgusted by the condemnations and shallowness. Listen to the ugly rhetoric of conservative politicians, espescially to the field of GOP contenders. To a man, they all agree that corporations are worthy of legal standing and yet they support denial of basic rights to their gay family, friends and co workers. I don’t want to drag politics in here and lower the tone of the dialogue, but these candidates are seriously giving Jesus a bad rap. The most pious of them even pledges to dissolve legal same sex marriages if given the power. Causing the kind of suffering Lyn so accurately describes ought not be on the WWJD top ten list, but the whole field has signed a pledge in which they promise to do EXACTLY THAT!

    I take lyn’s comment one step farther……not only will you answer for spiritual abuse you DO yourself, I believe that the suffering andabuses you let go un confronted will also come back to haunt you.

    thank you, John for the forum

  • Diana A.

    Boy, you just live to be nasty, don’t you?

  • Diana A.

    Amen. Thank you Russell.

  • Diana A.

    I’d like to see God get a hold of you. Maybe then, you’ll drop your judgmentalism.

  • Diana A.

    You bad, Peet!

  • Diana A.

    The thing with smoking is that nonsmokers who don’t live with smokers can tell someone is a smoker by how that person smells. My mother was a lifelong smoker. I lived with her until she died. I would go out with nonsmokers who would complain about how they could smell my mother’s cigarette smoke on my clothes. I, myself, never smelled anything.

    Mom died and I haven’t lived with a smoker since. As time has gone by, I have become enormously sensitive to the scent of cigarette smoke. When I’m on the bus and I’m sitting near a smoker, I can tell. When someone lights up near me, I find the scent offensive. Now I understand those nonsmokers who complained about my mother’s cigarette smoke.

    God calls whoever he damn well pleases to preach, pastor, and lead. Human sensibilities have never stopped God from doing so and never will.

  • Diana A.

    I love what you’ve written here. Especially:

    “Truth…God loves us all…period! This means He delights in us, He favors us, He longs for companionship with us, He believes in us, He loves us. Do I disappoint God sometimes? Of course!; much like my children have disappointed me. But I will never believe they deserve an eternity of unending torture for not being perfect. I cannot even fathom ever feeling such hatred towards any living being…let alone those I love. And guess what…my love pales in comparison to the love of God for me, and ‘you, and you, and you as well’.”

    Yes! I don’t have children but I have loved others, passionately. And it always brings comfort to me to know that as passionately as I have loved others, God’s love for them and for me makes my love look like rank indifference in comparison.

    “The prostitute who washed Jesus feet with her tears did not find herself a “sinner in the hands of an angry God”. Neither did the thief, the tax collector, the adulterer, etc.” Yes, again! One should always look to how Jesus treated those who were regarded as the big sinners of the day to understand how God really responds to our sin. I have always found the story of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21-35) to be particularly illustrative.

  • Diana A.

    Loving this!

    “Here’s the thing, if ‘The Word.’ has his way, the Puritans would blush at the world’s strident aestheticism. After all, even if a man is faithful to his one partner (presumably a wife in this case) and never looks at another woman his entire life he still can’t be completely without lust–I mean, if she wasn’t at least marginally attractive the sexual interest wouldn’t be there.”

    “As I walk through the valley where I harvest my grain,

    I take a look at my wife and realize she’s very plain.

    But that’s just perfect for an Amish like me.

    You see, I shun fancy things like electricity….

    …I’m a man of the land, I’m into discipline.

    Got a Bible in my hand and a beard on my chin.

    But if I finish all my chores, and you finish thine,

    Then tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1699.”

    Sorry. I couldn’t resist bringing Weird Al Yankovic into this.

  • Diana A.

    “why is it that people who think all sex is sinful can’t wrap their minds around the fact that God thought it up in the first place!”

    Oh! The disgrace!

  • Gary

    Best summary on what is our primary purpose and calling I may have ever heard. And I love the wit thrown in with it. Bravo…well done.

  • Gary

    I agree with you Lynn. I also kind of shrug and say so? (Though I am a Theistic Evolutionist in my beliefs)

    But the point that is so great about Cindy’s post is the way Adam and Eve are touted as “God’s design” and therefor the ONLY biblical standard, all the while being oblivious to the fact that if they were the ONLY biblical standard…then they must accept incest as part of that standard. All kinds of theological holes crop into such “biblical standard” thinking, not the least of which is why would god later forbid and condemn such an integral part of His creation design? Did He change His mind? “Thou shalt not have sexual relations with a member of one’s own family because OOPS, I kind of messed up that part in my original biblical standard.”

  • LSS


  • c’mentista


    Rev 21:8 and 22:15 call sexual immorality – as in any type of fornication or lustful actions or thoughts – sin. That covers gay sex. Any place in the Bible that condemns sexual immorality is speaking not only of man to woman relations, but man to man and woman to woman relations as well.

  • Will

    c’mentista, you are saying that gay people are mentioned in Revelations under the term ” sexually immoral.

    But a case could be made that certain Bible-thumping, holier-than-thou, stone-throwing types are mentioned in that same paragraph. File them under cowardly, vile, idol-worshipping liars.

    8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

    Revelation 21:8 New International Version (NIV)

    W. W. J. H.

    Who Would Jesus Hate?

  • Gary

    The only thing you can show is that sexual immorality (whatever that is) is condemned here. You don’t get to put your spin on it and declare it to mean homosexuality because it clearly doesn’t.

    But I agree that whatever a sexual sin is (hint: it involves violating the law of love) it is applicable to all sexual relationship types.

  • c’mentista

    NO, I’m not saying what you say I’m saying. I’m saying that homosexual ACTS are included under the umbrella term ‘sexually immorality”. Those who practice homosexual ACTS are acting in a sexually immoral fashion. These days those who participate in these acts, however, just say –“oh I’m programmed that way from birth ” its my identity. But you know, that’s not the Biblical view. I’m stating the BIBLICAL view. Your’e stating the post 1970’s secular view and insisting it’s God’s view.

    What Would Jesus Hate?” — Sin

    He didn’t condemn the woman caught in aduterous fornication, but he did speak to the sin she committed when he said “ “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)

    Notice how ever how she didn’t protest, “but I’m an “adulteress”, I was born this way, it’s my God given identity, I can’t help it, hey, who are you to tell me it’s sin or to stop doing it……..

  • c’mentista

    Its not my spin its called sin in many places in Scripture

  • c’mentista

    never said that.

  • c’mentista

    1 John 2:16–For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

    so much for “God given lust”

  • c’mentista

    You don’t know how to study.

  • Sharon Bowler

    I think every person alive has either broken or been tempted to break each and everyone of the 10 commandments. Sure, most haven’t killed anyone. And I suspect a lot of us haven’t committed adultery. But when you know the words of Jesus you know we really have.

    However, those of us who are not gay or any of the other letters on the rainbow alphabet are not tempted to do those things.

    For example, I am not even slightly tempted sexually by women. So, that leads me to think homosexuality is a different thing than sin. Because I sure know I am tempted to steal, dishonor my parents, covet, not love God, etc.

    My 2cents.


  • Will

    Thanks Sharon. That is a very well thought out distinction.

  • Andy

    I can understand everyone’s frustration with this comment.

    But…I wonder if ad hominem responses are the best way to respond to such a comment? If you really believe this commenter has made erroneous claims, why not engage with the arguments he has made and demonstrate exactly why they are wrong? The latter is surely a better way to argue, would give more credibility to our position, and seems slightly more Christian to me… (I say this as a massive hypocrite, fully conscious of the fact that I regularly resort to ad hominem attacks on a regular basis).

    To practise what I preach, my own two-pence would be to take issue with the line: “Why on earth would God reference homosexuality six times if it wasn’t a sin?” and the subsequent reasoning. I’d ask ‘The Word’:

    (a) How he can speak in such certain times of ‘God’, a being who is outside time and space, making references to something in a book which is the product of centuries of human reflection?

    (b) Whether the argument by numbers really works? There are more than 6 references in the Old Testament to God ordaining or supporting war, for instance…vs only maybe 3 or 4 in the New Testament which exhort believers to peaceful behaviour. Should all Christians then support war, because there are so many more references to war than to peace?

  • Sandra Larimore

    This is addressed to Mike Moore.

    Hi Mike,

    I can certainly see some problems with some of the things that “The Word.” said. However, I agree with some basic principles that he stated. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that God created anyone to have sex with a person of the same gender. Like “The Word.,” I can understand that some people have the desire to do so and I can sympathize with people who have such a desire and such a struggle. It is a difficult thing to deal with, and people (no matter what issues they are dealing with) must always be treated with gentleness and respect, but I can’t agree with the push to legitimize that desire.

    Can you pinpoint what it is that makes the words of “The Word.” “dangerous”?

    Why do the words of “The Word.” trigger your most primal fight-or-flight response? Why does he make you think of the stranger offering candy?

    Do you believe that God created anyone’s sexuality for fulfillment in homosexual sex? The Scriptures say that woman was taken out of man and that a man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. Nowhere in the Scriptures does God leave room for sex outside of marriage and nowhere does he leave room for marriage between two people of the same gender.


  • Bill Steffenhagen

    I started reading “The Word” but I just had to quit. The writer’s mind and spirit is so tragically fu…..er, messed up that it was becoming too convolutedly depressing to continue beyond the third paragraph. His points (so many points) could be taken apart one at a time, but John has already done that so admirably with all his writings that I can save my effort….AND my better nature angel. Fight or flight? This time, I have chosen the latter.

  • (disclaimer: not Mike.) This particular comment of “The Word.” didn’t trigger my fight-or-flight response, but similar comments often have, at times leading to panic attacks. Because it was words just like those that haunted me and fed my self-loathing for years and trapped me in a psychological hell spiraling eventually into a suicide attempt; hearing words like those bring up memories of hearing my loving parents talk about how gay people deserved it when they died, and the terror that they might find out about me and likewise wish me dead, and the self-hate and sense of worthlessness that led me to self-harm as self-administered ‘punishment’ for being wrong as a person. Hearing words like those from church gave me years of depression and doubting my faith and considering the fearful possibility that God hated me, and feeling inferior to my Christian peers and envying their ability to be good people without trying.

    It was the darkest, most painful part of my life and ended up pushing me further from God. I’ve since reached a much better place of acceptance and affirmation both from family and my current church, my spiritual life is doing great now and I’m constantly and eagerly striving to be more like Christ. But things like that comment bring me back there to that dark place with all its psychological and spiritual torment. That’s where the threat and the fight-and-flight reflex kicks in. I’m guessing it’s the same for Mike.

    “I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that God created anyone to have sex with a person of the same gender.”

    Apart from how it’s demeaning and inaccurate to reduce gay relationships to sex alone, the way it would be to do the same to straight relationships, take sex and gender out of the equation for now, and look at it another way: Do you believe that God created anyone to live a life of unwilling, celibate singlehood devoid of the chance at any romantic love or sexual fulfillment? Because nowhere in the Scriptures does it say that either. “It is not good for the man to be alone,” it says instead, the only thing in the creation story that God declared to not be good.

    Asking whether God created people to have sex with the same gender seems to be taking the letter of the law over the spirit of the law, which Jesus often spoke against. I doubt God created people to have sex with particular people; I think God created people to have sex as an offshoot of a loving relationship. Since most people are straight, for most people this would only be achievable with the opposite sex. But the opposite is the case for those who are gay.

    To put it another way, would you consider it more pleasing to God for a gay man to marry and have reluctant sex with a woman he neither loves nor is attracted to, than if he were to marry and have sex with a man in a mutually loving relationship and with whom he wishes to spend the rest of his life? Shouldn’t the morality of sex depend on whether it emerges from love or lust, selfishness or selflessness, rather than something as arbitrary as what parts each person happens to have?

    This is not a rhetorical question; I’m genuinely interested in how people might answer.

  • DrewTwoFish

    I say, “So what?” Why do Christians insist on clinging to an all or nothing take on the bible when it is clearly doing harm? When it runs afoul of the prime directive of loving?

    Gay people exist. Their need for intimacy and connection is just as real as yours. But no, this book must be served at the expense flesh and blood people standing in front of you in the here and now.

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  • That being said, I still say that homosexuality is a sin. In the same way that my own sexuality is a sin.

    In the same way eating shellfish is a sin. Is this really how we want people to spend their lives? Tortured by the useless lie of “sin”?

  • Guy Norred

    I am glad I noticed this comment. I hope others do as well.

  • I’m sorry that I only found this now, a few days into the discussion. That being said:

    It’s interesting that you say “I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that God created anyone to have sex with a person of the same gender.” That’s fine; that’s you. God apparently didn’t create you with that intent in mind. Others He did. Is it so hard to “wrap your mind around” the fact that someone might have been created differently from you? God is far beyond our understanding. This is one of those areas where straight people don’t really understand how things fit together. They don’t understand how what they see in the world as compassionate and loving doesn’t fit to how they interpret the Bible. So be it. The Bible specifically tells us there are many things we won’t understand. What are we to do?

    Love. Simple as that. If our interpretation of the Bible tells us to do something that is unloving, what are we to do? We do the loving thing, and hope that we will eventually understand. But if we don’t… that’s okay. We’re not called to understand. We are called to love.

    (I’m a gay Christian who met his ex-wife in Bible College; I was counselled for being gay, “cured”, and married her, telling her about my struggles the day we got engaged. We were married for ten years before we divorced… at first I was planning celibacy, but that didn’t work. So I decided to come out… carefully, because I didn’t know what it meant. Then I met my now-husband, had have been together for 14 years… we moved to Canada to get married eight years ago. We are happy, healthy and fulfilled. I loved my ex-wife, but my current marriage is more what God intended as a marriage.)

    This is what I see as the fundamental problem of what “the word” said: it assumes reality and builds a complete picture around it, one that is completely internally consistent (it should be, it is the product of decades of theological thought). But it is wrong. It does not align with reality. And that fact is illustrated by the fact that it is not loving and hurtful. In fact, it forces reality into the wrong shape, a square peg in a round hole. Most straight people don’t notice that it’s wrong… they are (or at least were) far from the points of stress. Gay people are the stressing points: we are the ones who are most twisted out of shape by that perspective. And we are thus torn from the church, from God, and ultimately from ourselves.

    The words might sound good… but they are fundamentally twisted.

  • That being said, I still say that homosexuality is a sin. In the same way that my own sexuality is a sin.

    I’m going to take issue with this statement. It is not true: and that is the basis of the issue. Your sexuality [or at least the word’s] is wrong because of what is done with it: the wrong focus or the wrong timing or the wrong understanding. But it could be “right” if you wanted. What you’re saying about homosexuality is that it is fundamentally wrong, which is completely different. You at least have the hope that your sexuality can be expressed in a way that is righteous… even within your legalistic framework. But that is not true of homosexuals.

    “Your own sexuality” is one of hope. What you’ve made of homosexuality is a prison.

  • And that being said to “the word”… this note is for Mike: it is not just you. But unfortunately there are enough like “the word” that they have driven those like you away from the church.

  • Thanks to your comment here, Guy, I’ve noticed it. If I can make it work I’ll turn it into a blog post so everyone can see it.

  • Always-Becoming

    John, I hope you will work this into a blog post. Guy’s story is much like mine and probably a majority of us who came up in the faith, entered puberty and then faced the terrifying prospect of a miserable existence to come.

    My first sexual attractions were at church camp. His name was Mike and he led worship with his guitar…his amazingly well-muscled arms were difficult to ignore. His smile melted me. His fiancé had beautiful, long blonde hair which I wanted in the worst way to cut and style. No joke. I was 12 years old.

    I continued to grow in faith and thought; “this will pass.” At age 21 I took the next “step of faith” and married a lovely woman thinking; “Now God will know I mean business! Faith without works is dead, right!?” We had 2 beautiful children, thanks to the gorgeous guys who danced around in my head while we, ehem… consummated the marriage.

    Many years in somewhat high-profile public ministry later I found myself with a dilemma. I was now in my late 30s and had come to know in my heart of hearts that I had been deceived by (mostly) well-meaning teachers and church leaders to believe that the way God wired me was bass-ackwards.

    I hid away my gifts as a singer/songwriter communicator for many years, because I simply didn’t have the energy to deal with all the “the word” types out there. I felt alone and shamed among my own people. Many simply donned their white robes and walked away.
    That was then. I’m grateful for opportunities like this to give young Christian, gay men and women some hope!

  • BarbaraR

    Now I have to ask: what happened since your late 30s?

  • Always-Becoming

    I am happily (legally) married to the man I met almost 14 years ago (one year after my divorce was final.)
    I am once again involved in Christian ministry, primarily as a lay leader at the moment but considering other options. My kids – now adults- are both thriving (and grateful to have their dad back after all those years that I was “checked out.”)
    I’m in my mid-50s now. I’m grateful my ex-wife was able to move on finally. It was bad enough to have this sprung on her, but the ex-gay movement was not only damaging to those of us with same-gender orientation. It gave a great deal of false hope to the innocent spouses, making it ever so difficult to move past the “bargaining stage” of grief; the “if only I had…” or ” If he would just….”
    Today, I love, more than ever to share the good news of Christ’s atoning death on the cross! I serve a risen savior!

  • Hey, just real quick: I’ve published a book containing some 30 letters of the sort in which you (so rightfully!) take such interest. Not … hawking my book, or whatever, but … that’s what in it, and the stories are mesmerizing/heartbreaking/inspiring (as is your own here, for sure–which I sincerely want to thank you for sharing here):


  • BarbaraR

    Great story! Thanks for sharing.

  • Always-Becoming

    Thanks, John!

  • Always-Becoming

    My pleasure, Barbara.

  • DrewTwoFish

    Right on. (Groovy?) I’m repeating myself but sometimes I think if my hair were on fire but that “interpretation of events” did not line up with some Christians’ understanding of the word (“Your hair is clearly not on fire”) then I would be left to go up in flames.

  • DrewTwoFish

    Thanks for this. I wish was able to move past the wasted time I spent in the ex-gay mind set as successfully as you have.

  • Always-Becoming

    The time I spent there taught me a great deal. Unless we learn along the way, we can never show another the better way.

  • DrewTwoFish


    It sounds like you were in it a lot deeper: marriage, children. I have a friend like you. I must admit I find it hard to wrap my head around that. Maybe I’m just a little bit gayer than the both of you. Ha ha.

    It appears that you got out a lot sooner too.

    I lost my faith in the process. I hope that I can warn some earnest young gay Christians not to throw away their lives on some warped theology.

  • Indeed. And “groovy” works. (I’m showing my age.) But do not worry about repeating yourself. The message needs to be repeated. (I worry about the same thing… and find that often people miss key points (if only because they don’t want to hear).

  • DrewTwoFish

    And I see that Sandra has yet to respond.