ADHD, Homosexuality and Judgment


ADHD, Homosexuality and Judgment


My adopted son has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. His biological father had it which gave him about a 1 in 5 chance of getting it. It is thought that his condition is caused by a lack of a brain chemical that helps people maintain focus and control.
 
My son has a condition that inevitable causes him to sin. In the past he has had uncontrollable fits of rage that lead to verbal and physical violence. It is clear that from the very beginning of his life he has struggled with impulses that drive him to do things he would rather not do.
 
Watching this has given me a new perspective on Homosexuality. Scientific research has concluded that there are several factors involved in sexual orientation and most of those are well beyond the choice of the individual. Factors such as genetics, pre-natal development, early childhood development etc… Just like my son most homosexuals had no choice in the way their brain was going to work. In both situations people have nearly irresistible impulses to do what Paul seems to condemn.
 
The following article outlines some of the common theories and research on homosexuality.
  • This article references the story of two identical twins. One is so feminine he thinks he is a girl and the other is “all boy.” Both were brought up in the exact same environment.  Chances are strong that the feminine one will have a homosexual orientation.
  • Research has found that “Exposure to male hormones in utero dramatically raises the chances of being sexually attracted to females”.
  • There is a correlation between our physical attributes and our sexual orientation. Lesbians are more likely to have more masculine finger lengths, inner-ear functions and eye-blink reactions.
  • “Homosexuality runs in families – studies show that 8 to 12 percent of brothers of gay men are also gay compared with the 2 to 4 percent of the general population.”
I don’t intend to make any statements about where the biological factors begin or end. I don’t have that much interest in that debate but I have been convinced that biological factors are in play. It only stands to reason. Our bodies are not perfect and sometimes people are born with conditions outside of the parameters we call normal. Just because environmental factors play a role in sexual orientation that doesn’t mean the biological factors aren’t in play and vice versa. Just because some people can change their orientation that doesn’t mean everyone can and vice versa.
 
What is becoming abundantly clear is that most homosexuals did not choose to be the way they are. I imagine that a great many homosexuals would have flipped a switch to become heterosexuals as they began to process their sexual identity.
As far as I can tell there are two plausible options when viewing homosexuality from a biblical perspective.
  1. Paul condemned homosexual activity that exploited others but would not have condemned monogamous homosexual relationships if they existed at the time..
  2. Paul condemned certain kinds of behavior because same sex sexual activity is unnatural and goes against God’s design for humanity.
For those who would be terribly interested in exactly where I stand I think the stronger biblical argument is the on option 2. It still leaves me with some big questions. How big of sin is it to go against God’s design? God seemingly designed women to be shorter and physically weaker but does that make it a dark sin for a woman to embrace weight training?
 
So far I’ve found the biblical arguments on both sides of the issue shallow and unconvincing. Many of the arguments condemning homosexuality are no stronger than the ones made here. The arguments I’ve read that argue for monogamous homosexual relationships don’t adequately deal with Romans 1 or simply disregard Paul as a product of his time.
 
Some purpose that God would not judge people for behavior they can’t help. Some also conclude that because people are born homosexual it must have been God’s design. I don’t buy this argument. The truth is sin is still sin even if we can’t help it. My son’s brain is likely low on a brain chemical that would help him focus and control his emotional impulses. When he is violent or verbally abusive it is sin. My son was born the way he was but no one would say God designed Him to be more violent than other kids.
 
That being said I don’t believe God judges us all the same way. Jesus indicated that judgment is more severe for some than other because of the knowledge they had. I believe in judgment and that we are all judged relative to what we have been given in life. Those have been given much is expected. Those who have been given little less is expected of them.
 
I honestly struggle with this issue because I would have a hard time condemning people for doing what their body wants to do. In the same vein I look at my son through the lens of his condition. At the same time I wouldn’t want to compromise on God’s design for human relationships or convey to my son that he isn’t responsible for his actions.
 
If half the homosexuals in Canada got married it may have a minor impact on how society views marriage. It won’t have near the impact that divorce has already had on marriage. When I told some friends I’ve worked with that I was marrying someone I hadn’t had sex with they scolded me. When I told some relatives I was getting married they questioned why. Many people don’t believe in marriage because they don’t think it is worth the risk. It is the apparent failure of marriage in our society that has caused people to lose faith in it.
 
When evangelicals get divorced as much as anyone else how can they possibly say they oppose gay marriage to preserve the family. If we really cared about the family then why aren’t we any better at staying together? I really can’t stand the hypocrisy. Divorce is one of the greatest sins of our time because it causes all manner of problems for people that linger on through future generations.
I don’t think there is much real concern for the preservation of the family. I believe most Christians oppose gay marriages because they think homosexuality is a sin in a class all its own and God will judge the nation if we give it legal endorsement. I think this is misguided as well. As I look at the scriptures they seem indicate that judgment is stricter for those who know better.
 
Matthew 11 (NRSV) 20 Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
 
John 9 (NRSV) 39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, “We see,’ your sin remains.
 
If 1/4 of the marriages in the church fail and we know God hates divorce (Mal 2:16) where then would judgment fall? I think it is easy to condemn homosexuals because we like to think we are standing up for truth and we pick issues that cost us nothing in the short term. The church has bigger issues and if it is truly concerned about divine judgment it ought to puts its own house in order.
 
My experience with my son has given me a new perspective and has forced me to look at the human consequences of my theology.  It has forced me to ask some keep questions.  I want to be faithful yet loving, compassionate and understanding.  At this point I’m not sure what that will look like.

  1. #1 by Marc on October 17, 2005 - 5:03 pm

    Good post. This is a difficult topic to address and you have done it honestly, sensitively and with an open mind.

    The issue of “condemning people for doing what their body wants to do” is indeed a difficult one; I struggle with it too. Condemning actions (as opposed to people)is not an unusual thing to do–it is done regularly in and outside of the church.

    A man’s mind/body, it sometimes seems, is not ‘wired’ for monogamy, resulting in a variety of things, including lust, infidelity and worse, all of which are condemned without much fuss. In other words, doing what my body wants to do is one of the reasons, for instance, we have such a high divorce rate.

    I’m not convinced that “this is the way I am” or “this is what my body wants to do” is a legitimate moral argument.

    But then I’m just writing an armchair, off-the-cuff response to this post…

  2. #2 by Marc on October 17, 2005 - 5:05 pm

    I should proofread before I post:

    That part abouta man’s mind not being wired for monogamy was meant as an example of condemning certain heterosexual practice, even though it’s what “my body wants to do”.

  3. #3 by Jerry on October 17, 2005 - 10:31 pm

    Lately, I been struggling through the homosexual issue (and the use of the bible for that matter). I too, don’t know where it’s going or what it will look like, so I’ve been trying to see it from both sides.

    You said, “So far I’ve found the biblical arguments on both sides of the issue shallow and unconvincing.” This makes me wonder, if homosexuality can easily be or not be a sin, why choose the negative?

    What I mean is, (and this is probably a terrible example, but I’m not feeling creative today) if your shoe could either be sinful or not sinful, why condemn the shoe? Why not be positive and say, “Shoe, I have no reason to say you’re a bad shoe. Therefore, I will be positive and praise you for being a good shoe.”

  4. #4 by joseph on October 17, 2005 - 11:02 pm

    First, I have to echo agreement with Marc’s observation re: men just don’t seem to be hardwired for monogamy.

    Second, from a different perspective, I can sympathize a bit with your feelings about your son. Our second daughter has Down syndrome (about which there is no argument that it is genetic – it is in every cell of her body – Trisomy 21).

    Somewhere at the heart of the matter I face the question: Can I love you and yet face some truth that there is something (insert euphemism here) “wrong”, “not quite right”, about you. If someone thinks it is impossible to hold those two thoughts together, I say it is part and parcel of some parents’ journey

    It’s not “your fault” we say, that’s just the way you are, There is brokeness in creation, and it shows up in all sorts of ways. My daughter has a few behaviors which are “natural” to her, but are not helpful for her. Do I love her? Would I not give my own life for her? Of course. But I see every day the effects of this brokeness, and I know it is out of love that I pray and work and do all I can to try to move her out of those natural inclinations which are part of her brokeness. Sin? Judgement? I don’t know.

    I think that she and your son, more than the rest of us, await eagerly the “redemption of our bodies”.

  5. #5 by Leighton Tebay on October 18, 2005 - 8:29 am

    Jerry:

    You have articulated my friend Phil’s position. In the absence of something abundantly clear why not come down on the side on grace. That is a challenging point because I really like grace.

  6. #6 by becky on October 18, 2005 - 8:33 am

    I’m not seeing the connections — and if they are there, they’re a bit tenuous. While I usually appreciate attempts at using analogies, I’m not sure it works here.

    Then again, the whole debate over this particular issue is causing some “issues” of my own to deal with — and I’m running out of energy.

  7. #7 by Marc on October 18, 2005 - 8:45 am

    Jerry: that’s an interesting way of looking at things. I hadn’t thought of that. My immediate response would be “isn’t it better to err on the side of caution”, but that assumes that condemning something is more cautious than embracing something. If I think about it a bit more, condemning something isn’t necessarily the better, more careful choice than grace when it comes to areas of uncertainty. Very interesting. You’ve given me something to chew on.

    Becky: the connection is this: we condemn many actions that are related to “who we are”. Why is it OK to do so in some cases (e.g. marital infidelity) but not in others (e.g. homosexual relationships)?

    At this point I’m not arguing either way on the morality of homosexuality. We condemn a lot of actions that may be traced back to genetics; I am just wondering why homosexuality must be untouchable in this respect.

  8. #8 by becky on October 18, 2005 - 11:49 am

    I still don’t buy the whole “men aren’t hardwired for monogamy” argument, so the connection still doesn’t work (for me, anyway). I think that’s a horrible way to think about the not-so-fair sex — and it leans toward condoning inappropriate behavior.

    And the argument that it’s better (“to err on the side of caution”) and condemn rather than not — that doesn’t fly with me, either. I’m not nearly as good as a judge as I make myself out to be! Using that argument has all sorts of implications — such as (warning: rabbit trail) It’s okay to have the death penalty, because chances are you’re punishing someone, somewhere, sometime who did the crime. It’s not as important if you murder someone innocent.

    And before I’m branded a pluralist — I’m not one. I just think we should investigate the reasons behind certain things happening before we paint our condemning strokes over them.

    Besides that, I’m probably reaching. Anyway, it’s an interesting (and courteous) discussion of an often touchy subject. I know both sides of the issue are passionate. My problem is communicating my passion about it without alienating and isolating those who don’t agree with me.

  9. #9 by Marc on October 18, 2005 - 12:36 pm

    Becky: I think you may be misunderstanding what I’ve been saying. I’m not arguing that men should be promiscuous and act on their desires. I’m arguing the opposite: that just because my body wants to do something doesn’t mean that I should act on it or that it is moral to do so. I’m not sure how that says anything negative about the “not so fair sex”.

    Interestingly, it is because of the “err on the side of caution” argument that I oppose the death penalty. There’s too much uncertainty in the legal system (e.g. David Milgaard’s wrongful imprisonment) to justify the death penalty (there are other reasons too, but this is definitely a big part of it).

  10. #10 by Gil on October 18, 2005 - 3:45 pm

    Interesting post LT. You might be interested in a sermon a friend of mine wrote that is loosely related to the discussion here (especially given your interest in Paul’s letters). Let me know what you think.

    http://khora.typepad.com/khora/files/romans1-2.pdf

  11. #11 by Jerry on October 18, 2005 - 10:10 pm

    I asked Becky if I could put her argument into different words. She said, “Go to it.”

    My heart goes out to those, and the families of those, who suffer with genetic deficiencies.

    On another note, I think it is irrelevant to create analogies explaining WHAT KIND of sin something is before that something can be proven WHY it is a sin.

    And if this something is proven in the future to not be a sin, these analogies will be understood only as prejudices adding to the many sins of our past as a church.

  12. #12 by Marc on October 18, 2005 - 10:40 pm

    I have the feeling we’re talking about different things here. LT indicated that he struggles with condemning someone for doing what their body wants to do. All I’m saying that doing so is not unusual and is not exclusively done towards homosexuals.

    But you ask a good question: why is any particular action sinful?

  13. #13 by Leighton Tebay on October 18, 2005 - 11:19 pm

    Gil:

    I took a look at David’s sermon. I’m not sure I see the same connections between idolatry and homosexual behavior.

    Marc:

    I think you ask a good question. If we believe something is ethically wrong we should probably see some harm come to someone in the short or long term. I think premarital sex is wrong even though scripture isn’t abundantly clear on the issue because I see the downside to children being conceived outside the bounds of a complete family.

    Why would God care about people of the same sex having intercourse? Where is the harm?

    Some people suppose it erodes the foundation of the family. Others say it goes against God’s design of procreation (something we need less of on our planet now). Perhaps it leads people to have too much intercourse (without risk of preganancy) and would contribute to the spread of disease. Perhaps homosexual activity opens people up for spiritual oppresion.

    I’m not saying I buy in to any or all of these but they are often thrown out there.

  14. #14 by Jerry on October 19, 2005 - 2:07 am

    Hey Marc,

    At the risk of sounding repetitive, here goes…

    If you were a declared homosexual getting married to another man, can you or anyone else (beyond speculation) say this marriage will absolutely cause more harm than an average, healthy heterosexual marriage?

    Here’s a different scenario: I know you’re a married man. If you had sex with a woman who is not your wife, can you or anyone else (beyond speculation) say “marital infidelity” will absolutely cause more harm than an average, healthy heterosexual marriage?

    DO you see the difference here?

    Though the two senarios I’ve created may be in the same class for portraying the consequences of natural desires, I think they differ because no one has been able to come up with any credible evidence to convince society that homosexuality is worse than the average, healthy heterosexual marriage.

  15. #15 by Jerry on October 19, 2005 - 2:09 am

    WHooops! I totally didn’t mean to capitalize “DO”. Sorry.

  16. #16 by Marc on October 19, 2005 - 9:28 am

    Jerry: I DO see the difference there. :)

    However, and perhaps I need to go back and read all the previous comments, I don’t recall the issue of harm being in question (but maybe you’re just using it as an example). I think my arguments have been amoral with respect to homosexuality, as the only thing I’ve been arguing for is that the fact that “it’s what my body wants to do” has historically (including recent history) not been grounds for approval of any particular action (aside from, I suppose, involuntary bodily functions).

    Now we’re getting into it deeper, though. Is “sin” defined as “something that is harmful”? I mean, is that how we determine what is sinful and what isn’t, by determining whether or not it will cause harm? And over what period of time? Do we need to see immediate results? What if the harm isn’t visible in a lifetime or two lifetimes?

    I’m not being facetious–these are honest questions.

  17. #17 by Jerry on October 19, 2005 - 1:42 pm

    Marc: I LOVED your questions. And I can easily tell that you’re not being facetious. Ya, what else, other than harm, could make something a sin? Oooo, deep! I like it. If you have any more insights in this area, please let me know.

    I’m not saying homosexuality shouldn’t be talked about here. If the disclaimer, “If homosexuality is a sin,…” was placed before the comments I’ve been reading I would have considered them differently.

    The fact is, if homosexuality was universally understood to be created by God, this conversation would not be happening.

  18. #18 by Jadon on October 19, 2005 - 3:10 pm

    Jadon:

    Gil, That sermon link seems interesting. You might be interested in a post I wrote that addresses this too:

    http://mindismapping.blogspot.com/2004/12/approaching-social-change-and_15.html

    Becky: Are you sure you read Marc correctly? I know this topic can be quite complex.

    Jerry: I don’t think LT or Marc are trying to put the cart before the horse here. These analogies are frames of reference or springboards to analyze and appraise this particular situation. They are imperfect, of course, since they don’t diffentiate between incidental or causal results, but they are not meaningless.

    Perhaps the unflattering construction creates a misleading impression it shouldn’t have. Fair enough. To determine whether homosexuality is even a sin, though, requires examining our comprehension of the issues at hand.

  19. #19 by Jadon on October 19, 2005 - 3:36 pm

    The fact is, if homosexuality was universally understood to be created by God, this conversation would not be happening.

    True enough, Jerry! I think it falls into a grey category, which is why there seems to be so much emotion and difficulty surrounding it.

    Yet prefacing things with “if homosexuality is a sin…” would make things explicit but awkward. I’m not sure it would defuse the charged emotions that the subject evokes. Are there other ways to confront this?

    Marc: I think the problem is that denying some desires can create more harm than not. Ya know, the “erring on the side of caution”?

    Moreover, there is a subjective side to this issue too, which clouds the situation. It becomes harder to interpret the actions strictly based on gender or consent.

  20. #20 by Marc on October 19, 2005 - 3:39 pm

    Hmmmm…I’m getting a little confused here. At about 12:15 there were several comments, at about 1:00 there were a few less comments and one new one. Now I see Jadon has reworded his earlier comments. I didn’t realize things were getting so inflammatory!

    But I digress…

    Jerry: Being somewhat paranoid, I almost read your last comment as really sarcastic! Then I took a deep breath and told myself, “No, no, he’s being sincere.” That’s what I hate about discussions in comment sections: it’s often hard to read people. I’d much prefer to engage in discussion the way we did for much of Saturday afternoon and evening!

    Anyway, I can’t really offer you any more insights on the subject at this point. I hadn’t really thought about it until I asked the question. I’ll have to think about it some more.

    I’m beginning to realize once again how important it is to have some common ground on the underlying issues of a subject before it can really be discussed. In this case it’s a question of whether homosexuality is or is not a sin. I don’t foresee us coming to any consensus on that any time soon!

    Point being: it’s pointless to discuss condemnation of a certain action when the moral status of that action is still in question.

  21. #21 by Jadon on October 19, 2005 - 3:53 pm

    Point being: it’s pointless to discuss condemnation of a certain action when the moral status of that action is still in question.

    I think sometimes it has to do with language. Disapproval becomes “condemnation”, approval becomes “licence”, struggle becomes “wishy-washy”. Ugh! It becomes so…loaded it becomes so ineffective.

  22. #22 by Marc on October 19, 2005 - 3:54 pm

    Jadon: I don’t follow. I don’t deny that some desires create more harm than others.

  23. #23 by Jadon on October 19, 2005 - 6:24 pm

    Marc:

    I meant that restricting some desires may result in worse consequences than if they were allowed instead. Sorry that wasn’t exactly clear. It’s been…one of those days. *smile*

  24. #24 by Jerry on October 19, 2005 - 7:02 pm

    Marc, you beautiful man!

    “I’m beginning to realize once again how important it is to have some common ground on the underlying issues of a subject before it can really be discussed.” AAAAAAMEN!

    Point well taken over here. And yes, Saturday was the best!

    Peace

  25. #25 by Steve Bailey on October 19, 2005 - 7:54 pm

    Thank you for this great discussion. It’s wonderful that Christians are becoming more sensitive to the complexity of this issue.

    I am on the ministry team of a church were there are several same sex couples and know of wonderful same sex families who are raising great kids.

    It’s a great disappointment to me personally that there are those in my ‘tribe’ (Anglican) who have used this issue inappropriately to create destructive false dichotomies such as ‘bibically orthodox’ and ‘revisionist liberal’ and have taken away from the witness of the Gospel to the world.

    Let’s keep talking, focussed on Jesus Christ and His love, and on the integrity of Scripture as we practice it. If this is what happens, we will come to a higher understanding of God in all of this.

  26. #26 by Paul Johnston on October 19, 2005 - 11:05 pm

    Hey Leighton,

    I’m sorry to hear that your step son is stuggling with a condition that impairs his ability to respond calmly to stress. Hopefully, as he matures, with treatment and by his own desire and effort and with the loving support of family and friends, he will manage his condition so as to live at peace with himself and the world around him.

    Affirm what is best in him, give him hope for the future. Remind him he is loved and assure him if his emotional excesses lead him to trouble, you will be there to help him get out of it.

    Everyone is a little foolish/weak in one way or another. Share your weaknesses and fears with your step son. Let him know that we all struggle with just being and that he is neither alone or weird.

    God has blessed you with the charge of helping form the minds and attitudes of two young men in need of guidance. How lucky you are. So many spend so much time and effort persuing goals far less noble and worthy.

    Blessings to you and your family.

  27. #27 by little bear on October 20, 2005 - 9:50 pm

    I just love this discussion. Look how many comments there are without anyone resorting to ignorance or inflammatory comments!!! You don’t see that often where this topic is concerned.

    I’ve been struggling with this stuff for quite some time. My first thought has been that regardless of the whole “sin or not a sin” argument, the general “christian” response to the homosexual issue has been counter productive and contrary to Jesus’ approach.

    My second thought is similar to LT’s on divorce. God hates divorce and yet we’re fine with it, I’ve even seen christians bless it. Yet we condemn homosexual behaviour with very little understanding of the complexity of the matter. It seems very disproportionate to me.

    In my church we spent a lot of time discussing the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” and how the fruit of that tree was never meant for us to eat. Who am I to judge others?? I wasn’t created with that burden in mind.

  28. #28 by Jadon on October 21, 2005 - 2:32 am

    Shhh…don’t jinx it! *smile* We were doing so well…

    regardless of the whole “sin or not a sin” argument, the general “christian” response to the homosexual issue has been counter productive and contrary to Jesus’ approach.

    No kidding! That’s why I think there should be a sign in every church that says (as a reminder), “X # of days since a stupid Christian response to homosexuals.” It’s amazing how many times people fall into the more…predictable routes, too.

    I think some of the anxiety towards homosexuals by Christians comes because family life and gender relations are more strained or insecure. Sometimes homosexual issues can be cumbersome and disruptive, and it hits a nerve. It’s also not…traditional, and people associate traditional with good.

  29. #29 by Paul Johnston on October 21, 2005 - 8:57 am

    If a behavior or orientation and not geneticly encoded, then I assume homosexuality is produced envioronmentally albeit with some being more likely predisposed than others.

    If it isn’t genetic, then it isn’t immutable.

    This being said then it seems reasonable to me to examine homosexuality as behavior/orientation and decide wether or not as a society/envioronment we wish to promote and affirm it, given that it would be reasonable to assume that to do so, would likely increase homosexual expression.

    Of particular concern to Christians is the question of homosexuality and sin. If the Chritian case can be made that homosexuality is not sin, make it and affirm and encourage the behavior as righteousness. If it is sin then make the case and condemn the activity, not the activist.

    It seems to me that some brothers and sisters who make the case for homosexuality based on secular themes of freedom, rights of the individual and tolerence have missed their first responsibilities as Christians.

    As for the uncontrollable impulse arguement I do not think it stands upon closer examination. Some are driven to acts of great violence and immorality seemingly beyond their control yet I doubt anyone as a consequence would choose to affirm the pedophile, the serial rapist or murderer.

    Actions/behaviors must be allowed to speak for themselves. Individual circumstances should have a mitigating affect on our response but if the action is wrong, let us be clear and say so.

    Finally almost all arguements, whatever the perspective or issue, have some degree of merit. Let us bring forward what is most resonable in our positions and examine and critique what is most reasonable in the positions of those with whom we disagree. In this way highly emotional and contentious issues can be discussed calmly, without rancour.

  30. #30 by Jadon on October 22, 2005 - 7:13 am

    Paul:

    If it isn’t genetic, then it isn’t immutable.

    True, but if it is ingrained or intractable, at what point does management (i.e. celibacy) or modification (i.e. redirection) become counterproductive or even useless? Some consider that an argument to at least allow it, even if not enthusiastically.

    It seems to me that some brothers and sisters who make the case for homosexuality based on secular themes of freedom, rights of the individual and tolerence have missed their first responsibilities as Christians.

    However, it can spur some to consider an apt reappraisal of doctrine. Perhaps what we need is a distinctly Christian reasonable alternative, not just a choice between a Christian distinctive or a reasonable alternative!

    The issue here seems to center around irregular desire and action over uninhibited desire and action. After all, we are all broken, but not all of us have the same options. To assume otherwise may put us at risk for a double standard.

    Let us bring forward what is most resonable in our positions and examine and critique what is most reasonable in the positions of those with whom we disagree. In this way highly emotional and contentious issues can be discussed calmly, without rancour.

    Well said.

  31. #31 by Tanya on October 22, 2005 - 10:30 am

    I haven’t read all the comments for this post so I’m just going to say what I think about all of this.

    I have an uncle who is gay. He was raised in a christian family…treated the same way as the rest of his siblings, two brothers included. He is now living with his “partner”, who…I must admit is a very nice guy.

    My thoughts are that I can’t judge them. In the end my judgement will not get them into heaven. Only God has the right to judge…not me. I’ve been trying over the past year to not be judgemental towards others. I don’t have to accept what they do, or how they live, but I do have to love them for who they are…God’s own creation. Hate the sin, love the sinner.

    I don’t agree with their lifestyle, but I still have to love them both…unconditionally, no matter what.

    Those are my thoughts, thanks.

    Tanya

  32. #32 by scotty on October 22, 2005 - 12:16 pm

    Great discussion people. Too bad I missed it – stupid inorganic chemistry :( – LT, great original post. Much to digest.

    Later…

  33. #33 by Marc D. on October 22, 2005 - 1:32 pm

    Hi Leighton,

    Great post. We are certainly thinking along the same lines. I also like what Marc and Joseph had to say. Joseph’s post was very poignant, sad, yet hopeful.

    Here is where I stand, I am convinced that there is a biological component to homosexuality, yet I am equally convinced that it is a sin. Further, though I think that Gay marriage is wrong and sinful, I think that Gay marriage should be allowed here in the states. I just don’t see how taking away someone elses rights is going to impede the rights of others. Further, we are a pluralistic nation, it is simply wrong to force people to cowtow to a set of moral beliefs they do not hold. People cannot be forced to behave Christianly.

    -Marc D.

  34. #34 by Paul Johnston on October 22, 2005 - 2:10 pm

    Brilliant response, Jadon. Particularly the fact that you quote me three times. ;)

    In reading your comment a couple of responses occur to me.

    Firstly, I think that Christians ought not to shy away from being “distinctive” in their responses. Our priority is to reconcile beliefs and values that are inspired by the Holy Spirit and reflect the will of God. Sometimes these directions will be easily reconciled with human culture and sometimes they will strongly contrast.

    In the end all we need be sure of is the spirituality.

    Therein for me is where the real dilemna exists. Christians, dishonestly refer to themselves as a homogeneous group, when in fact we are a factionalized family, splintered and at odds with one another. How do we expect to understand the word of God and test its spiritual authenticity when we are a cacaphony of competing and sometimes cruelly contradictory voices.

    I cannot believe that we are effecting God’s Kingdom on earth when we cannot even reconcile among ourselves.

    For me your notion of “apt reapppraisal” cannot be conceived until Christian faiths re-unite, speaking with one voice, to one God, through one Spirit.

    As for this particular issue, I agree wholeheartedly with Tanya. Let us edify what is best. Let us judge our behaviors and choices as a right relationship with the Holy Spirit directs us. Let us also seek to encourage others to make similar choices if we are certain of God’s command. Yet for those who choose to disagree, let us show compassion, grace and support. Let us show in love, the face of Christ.

    As for judgments of individual persons, let us agree to leave that to the Lord. May he have mercy on us all.

    Grace and Peace to you.

  35. #35 by Andrew on April 29, 2010 - 12:41 am

    I just wanted to let you all know that as a homosexual with ADHD, I can’t say I’ve ever felt more accepted or at least welcomed into any source of religious community.

    I discontinued going to church after eighteen years of being a Christian because I just could not take the abuse of my character. For being the only one who has to walk in my shoes, I must say that I am the only one who could possibly know what it’s like. If it is thought that God created us individually, then I think it’s a huge demon to most Christians causes to constantly be slamming homosexuals down into the dirt. Who is anyone to judge the work of the God who created us? Perhaps we should accept that we don’t know everything, and maybe there is a bigger plan that we don’t see here.

    If we believe that God created us, then we cannot judge his work. I can say that I was not given the decision of who I was attracted to, just as I was not given the decision to be diagnosed with ADHD as an adult.

    Thank you all for being an open-minded breath of fresh air.

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