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?