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A Letter Shared

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  • nyguy_1225
    I ve been having an interesting off-line exchange with one of our members who have chosen to write to me privately. Since what follows is one of my own
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 7, 2002
      I've been having an interesting off-line exchange with one of our
      members who have chosen to write to me privately. Since what
      follows is one of my own personal letters I feel the liberty to post
      it here and believe it may prove helpful to some of our other
      members. However, in the interest of respecting the recipient's
      privacy I have removed any reference to his or her name.


      I appreciate and respect your take on this matter. However, I must
      say that in over 20 years over being involved (sometimes directly
      and sometime indirectly) with "ex-gay" ministries, I've never seen
      anyone "change." I know a number of former leaders of "ex-gay"
      ministries who maintain the same. I have, however, known many who
      have claimed to "change," wrote about it, preached about it,
      appeared on television, published books on it and have shouted it
      from the mountain tops. However, the overwhelming majority these
      people who had claimed to "change," sadly -- and in far too many
      cases quite devastatingly -- changed their tune as the years went by.

      I also know of people who have for one reason or another become
      involved with homosexual behavior or activity and who through
      healing relationships were able to resume their heterosexuality.
      But this is different than cases of those who truly had a homosexual
      orientation. Now, I don't want to say never, never, never.
      There's always somebody out there who claims to have changed and I
      don't know every human being's heart. I am not saying things are
      impossible. But I am saying the most realistic expectation is that
      people who are Christian and are homosexual are probably going to
      remain homosexual. And we've got to stop insisting that
      they "change."

      And with regard to Jesus' statement, "According to your faith be it
      unto you," I think one must be very careful about taking this (or
      any other passage of Scripture) out of context and applying it in a
      literal or wooden sense with no regard for the context, the spirit
      or the intent of the passage. There are people who believe all
      kinds of things about themselves, about God, about others, about the
      world, about Christianity, etc. That does not necessarily make it
      so no matter how much "faith" they may have. That is not what real
      faith is nor is it the faith that Jesus spoke about. I read of an
      instance just this week of a man who jumped from a building fully
      believing he could defy the law of gravity. Sadly, his "faith" did
      not make it so.

      As R.C. Sproul so beautifully put it: "If God speaks, he must use
      words to do so. Words express thoughts, commands, descriptions, and
      the like. The problem is that words and sentences must be
      interpreted if they are to be understood. It is far
      more than a matter of translation, for while translation gets at
      what God says, we are still left with the question of what God

      If you truly believe that the Bible speaks against any and all
      expressions of homosexuality then you have a responsibility to obey
      that. One cannot and should go against one's conscience -- unless
      and until such time as they may get newer or more accurate
      information that enables them to change their mind. However, the
      fact remains there are increasing numbers of renowned and respected
      Christian writers, theologians and bible scholars who are coming
      forward to say the church has done a terrible thing in their
      attitude toward homosexuality and their treatment of homosexuals --
      and that they must go back now and re-examine the issue.

      Churches have often been bastions of tradition and bulwarks against
      change. That may seem reasonable given our reliance upon texts
      written several millennia ago and liturgies used for centuries.
      Some of the most divisive fights in churches are often ignited over
      change. But change stands at the center of Christian belief. Not
      change for change's sake, but change that leads to new life.

      The very last letter that John Wesley ever wrote was to urge William
      Wilberforce to, "Go in the name of God and in the power of his might
      till even American slavery, the vilest that ever saw the sun, shall
      vanish before it." Let's not forget than even over half a century
      later, American Methodists split their church, north and south,
      because many Methodists were still using Bible verses to defend a
      system of slavery that Wesley had called "that execrable villainy
      which is the scandal of religion." There
      are increasing numbers Christian thinkers, theologians and bible
      scholars, who are infinitely more well-versed in Scripture than you
      and I will ever be, who believe we have a parallel situation today
      in the use of Bible verses to continue the oppression to
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