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3376Re: Digest Number 384

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  • nyguy_1225
    Feb 1, 2005
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      That may have been your experience which is valid and to be
      respected. But to imply that was or is the experience for everyone
      would be an error. I was not only an "ex-gay" Christian but I was
      an "ex-gay" ministry leader. In that capacity I got to know scores
      and scores of gay Christian people who through a variety of
      circumstances had come to know a powerful and loving God and
      sincerely wanted to walk "rightly" before Him and were led to
      believe that Christianity and homosexuality were incompatible. It
      was a community of caring and sincere people who were seeking after
      God with honest and genuine hearts. I know that because I was one
      of them.

      Becoming a Christian for me was life-changing experience in many
      positive ways. And God placed wonderful and sincere Christians in
      my life as a new believer who enveloped me with the love of Christ
      and did everything they could to help me get firmly planted in the
      faith. And I, like a sponge, soaked up everything I could from
      them. And since they were loving and God-seeking people they taught
      me wonderful things about God and the Bible. But they also told me
      that one could not be both gay and Christian. They didn't "clobber"
      me with Lev 18:22 or the few other passages often used to endorse
      antigay theology. They were loving people. But they shared with me
      what they had been taught about these passages from those who taught
      them Christianity. And since the statements seemed clear enough on
      the surface neither of us had reason at the time to question them
      further or to better understand the historical context or situations
      and circumstances to which they were written. The simple fact is I
      took my Christianity seriously and wanted to walk obediently to an
      awesome, loving, gracious and merciful God -- like a child would
      want to do with a loving father. Once I came to see, however, that
      anti-gay theology rested entirely on a prejudicial and uninformed
      reading of Scripture rather than sound exegesis and it did not
      reflect the heart of God or his word, I had the courage to not only
      embrace this for myself but to teach it to others. And frankly,
      I've seen scores of people, both straight and gay, slowly change
      their thinking on this issue when given the chance to look closer
      and more deeply.

      Some of us understand "the fear of God," a phrase we repeatedly come
      upon in the Bible, not as a cowering terror, dread and trepidation
      before a vengeful, ruthless and hardhearted God, but rather as a
      reverent awe of an incredibly loving and wonderful God. It would be
      incorrect, if not insulting, to imply that everyone who embraced
      anti-gay theology did so for the same reasons you did.

      -Alex


      --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
      > Sorry Alex, I cannot agree here. I do believe that many of us
      held onto anti-gay ideologies out of fear. I know I certainly did.
      I was scared to death of what might happen to me should I open my
      mind for a second to the idea that I could be Christian and gay.
      What I (willingly) believed (anti gay theology) was a way for me
      to 'feel in control' of a situation that was definitely out of my
      control. It was *only* when I let go of my own need to control;
      when I fell back into the arms of God, not at all sure that I would
      be caught; that I experienced true freedom and started to come into
      the light.
      >
      > I put us all in the same boat. We are *all* fear-driven
      creatures, grasping at those things that we can never have. This
      remains true for me and I suspect will while I am alive on this
      earth. I am not judging the anti-gay Christian any more than I
      judge myself for my (current) inabilities to 'let go and let God.'
      >
      > And I do believe that perfect love casts out all fear - every time.
      >
      > Peace,
      > James
      >
      > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      >
      > <<Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the
      idea
      > that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They may
      > *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their
      actions
      > are based in the desire to control; and this desire to control is
      > based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear.">>
      >
      > Not all the time. Let's remember that most, if not all, of us
      were
      > also anti-gay Christians at one time. We were Christians who were
      > misled and believed the lie that any and all expressions of
      > homosexuality were categorically incompatible with Christianity.
      We
      > believed this lie because we believed that the people who taught
      it
      > to us knew what they were talking about. We didn't believe it and
      > hold on to this theology for reasons of malice or control. We
      > believed it because we sincerely believed at the time that it was
      > the truth.
      >
      > Fortunately, when we realized Christian hostility towards
      > homosexuality and homosexual relationships rests entirely on a
      > prejudicial and uninformed reading of Scripture rather than God's
      > revealed word, we adjusted our thinking and our theology. But if
      > you can't "come to the table" with the idea that some anti-gay
      > Christians are very well intentioned, you're not being objective
      or
      > fair. If we all bought into it, and we have personal experiential
      > knowledge of being gay, and it took many of us a long time to
      > realize that anti-gay theology is not biblically sound, how much
      > more difficult is it for those who have no personal experiential
      > knowledge of being gay to see the errors of their theology. Don't
      > put them all in a box. You'd only be guilty of doing the same
      thing
      > that many of them erroneously do to us.
      >
      > -Alex
      >
      >
      > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, JC <roo7861@y...> wrote:
      > > Sorry guys... but I cannot even "come to the table" with the
      idea
      > that anti-gay Christians are often very well intentioned. They
      may
      > *believe* that they are, but that does not make it so. Their
      > actions are based in the desire to control; and this desire to
      > control is based in fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear."
      > >
      > > Having grown up in a fundamentalist family, and having been
      > educated in an evangelical college and seminary, I say from my own
      > experience that some of our more conservative brothers and sisters
      > are often not ready to let God do the saving of individuals and of
      > the creation. There is this need to manipulate that is based in
      > doubt and fear and not the sovereignty of God.
      > >
      > > When I rest in the idea that Jesus is the Lord of all, then I
      let
      > go of my own desires to control what does not belong to me.
      > >
      > > My Two Cents,
      > > James
      > >
      > >
      > > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      > >
      > > <<If you were to be able to just take every viewpoint he has
      > (except
      > > his view on homosexuality), you would have to conclude that he
      is
      > > pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love. I challenge you to
      remove
      > > his viewpoint on homosexuality and see if you would not agree
      with
      > > his position on most everything else. If not, then who is
      > following
      > > Christ's teaching and who is not?>>
      > >
      > > Jerry, take a closer look. The arguments of the anti-gay folks,
      > > like Dobson, are often very well-intentioned, but their goals
      and
      > > objectives seem to be different from those of Jesus. The
      > arguments
      > > have to do with very secular concerns: control over chaos,
      > majority
      > > rule, fear of the other, fear of the unknown, and an
      idealization
      > of
      > > a family unit that Jesus himself never lived or idealized.
      > >
      > > -Alex
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Jerry" <BearJER@J...>
      > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Once again my point was proven over and over again because a
      > > person cannot express anything but left-wing views on this site
      > > without being attacked. Do you think Jesus would respond in
      such
      > a
      > > fashion? Definitely not! You talk about James Dobson spreading
      > > hate? How so? For a person to speak about his understanding of
      > > what the Bible teaches is not hatred, unless it contains hatred
      in
      > > words or deeds. It may be wrong, but it is not hatred unless he
      > > hates people and advocates hatred. I see no evidence of that at
      > all
      > > in what he teaches. If you were to be able to just take every
      > > viewpoint he has (except his view on homosexuality), you would
      > have
      > > to conclude that he is pro-family, pro-God, and advocates love.
      I
      > > challenge you to remove his viewpoint on homosexuality and see
      if
      > > you would not agree with his position on most everything else.
      If
      > > not, then who is following Christ's teaching and who is not?
      > > >
      > > > Jerry
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Jesus said it: "Do unto others as you
      > would
      > > have them do unto you."
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      >
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