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Re: [ExExGayMinistry] Gay vs Goy?

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  • Scott Cruse
    You make some good points, Alex. I ve been through the first scenarios myself, sometimes more than once. As for the third, I haven t exactly adopted a liberal
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 1, 2004
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      You make some good points, Alex. I've been through the first scenarios myself, sometimes more than once. As for the third, I haven't exactly adopted a liberal anything goes theology, but when I do go to church, those are usualyy the kinds of churches I go to, just so I can worship freely without having to constantly keepmy guard up.

      nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:This group, as most of you know, was initiated for the many looking
      to integrate a Bible-based Christian faith with their sexuality. As
      stated in the description we agree with the growing number of
      biblical scholars and theologians who became increasingly
      unconvinced by what has passed as "anti-gay" theology and believe
      that Christian hostility towards homosexuality and homosexual
      relationships rests entirely on an interpretation of the Bible that
      in many respects is open to question.

      Moreover, it has been my personal experience that either Christian
      people who happen to be gay learn to integrate a theologically-
      sound, committed Christian faith with their sexuality, or one of the
      following three scenarios will generally occur:

      (1) REPRESSION AND DENIAL: With the first scenario they continue to
      repress or suppress their sexuality. Instead of learning to lead
      honest and authentic lives -- before God, before man and before
      themselves -- they succumb to the pressure of conformity and
      denial. In doing so, what they're often really saying is: I'm now
      more acceptable to myself and to the people around me. But sadly
      and unfortunately, they don't usually feel that way in the long
      run. Even increasing numbers of Christian counselors now readily
      admit that "ex-gay" ministries (and those who ascribe to anti-gay
      theology) are trying to force people into a mold that doesn't really
      fit and the results often lead to depression, addiction and
      sometimes even suicide. According to one professional Christian
      counselor: "When people repress their orientation, in order to make
      all that work, they [often] hide under layers and layers of
      incredibly destructive behavior." He concluded by
      saying: "Ultimately, it kills." And if it doesn't physically kill
      you, it will slowly eat away at your soul.

      (2) LEAVE THE CHURCH: With the second scenario, in the wake of
      discovering that the promise of change is a false promise, they
      throw out the baby with the bath water. They conclude that if the
      Bible doesn't say exactly what they were told it says then any and
      all turning to Jesus isn't worth anything at all. And unable to
      separate the two, in hurt, in anger or in disappointment, they
      tragically end up leaving the Church and their rich faith
      altogether, trading off the Kingdom of God for a life of God knows
      what.

      (3) ADOPT A LIBERAL "ANYTHING GOES" THEOLOGY: With the third
      scenario they seek a group to give them comfort and find too often
      that only the theologically liberal are willing to take
      the "outcasts" in. I call this adopting an "anything goes" kind of
      theology. The formerly more orthodox believer then, although slowly
      and reluctantly at first, begins to adopt the beliefs of the group
      that is willing to accept him or her. The old ideas and beliefs are
      so closely associated with the group that inflicted the rejection
      that they avoid them at all costs. And the rich gospel they once
      joyfully embraced becomes so watered down one couldn't find it with
      a magnifying glass.

      These are the scenarios that have befallen most of the Christian gay
      people I've known over the past 20-plus years. And I think the Goy
      website is a text book illustration of what I described above and a
      pretty sad smoke screen for the real issues involved.

      In the final analysis I think homosexuality can probably best be
      defined as the naturally occurring ability to fall in love with a
      person of the same gender rather than with anyone of the other
      gender. As such, and as any straight person would know from their
      own experience of heterosexual orientation, it cannot be reduced to
      a matter of genital nerve ending stimulation and body parts. It's
      the same un-asked-for experience for heterosexuals and homosexuals;
      only in the former case the person of affection is of the other
      gender and in the latter case the person of affection is of the same
      gender. Experientially, it's the very same core need, the very same
      gift of God. It's about an involuntary enthusiasm of romantic
      response in the presence of someone seen as wonderfully "other," as
      mystery, as precious "differentness" from one's own sense of self,
      as complementary beloved. And it's about a deep longing for that
      person in his or her absence. It is a lack that nothing but the
      beloved can supply.

      [For a brief review of the passages often used to endorse "anti-gay"
      theology refer to posts #3001-3005]

      -Alex


      ---------------------------------
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    • Ex-Gay Watch
      I also found Alex s points helpful, but I disagree that anything goes is a liberal theology. I have observed that an anything goes attitude is solidly
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 1, 2004
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        I also found Alex's points helpful, but I disagree that "anything goes" is a
        "liberal" theology.

        I have observed that an "anything goes" attitude is solidly entrenched in
        many (not all) conservative churches. The attitude is manifested in various
        combinations of some of the following:

        -- materialism: an unchallenged acceptance of the overaccumulation of
        property and what most of the world views as wasteful luxury: three-bedroom,
        two-car homes; multiple computers; home theater; shelves stuffed with rarely
        used possessions; high credit card bills; no savings.
        -- prosperity theology,
        -- support for the death penalty, no matter how racially and economically
        inequitable it may be,
        -- support for tax-the-poor and me-first social and economic policies,
        -- support (in Florida, for example) for a constitutional amendment giving
        parents sole authority over their children and nullifying government action
        against child abuse,
        -- contempt for the environment, treating conservation as a "New Age" cult,
        -- support for war and torture as early responses to a conflict,
        -- patriotism embodied not in respect for human rights and free speech, but
        in idolization of the American or Confederate flag.

        To be sure, one can find "anything goes" attitudes among some liberals.
        These might be manifested in such things as:

        -- inadequate intervention with friends involved in sexual addiction, unsafe
        sex, or substance abuse,
        -- support for abortion with no restrictions whatsoever.
        -- materialism, misdirected patriotism, and war (see above -- liberals and
        conservatives frequently suffer from the same issues)

        I feel that it's unwise to toss around the "L" word too "liberally"; most
        complaints that I hear about liberals are strawman arguments, and so are
        some of the complaints that I hear about conservatives, when the complaints
        are applied too broadly.

        Regards,
        Mike Airhart
        Ex-Gay Watch
      • xaipete_adelphe
        Wow, Mike, good post.
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 1, 2004
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          Wow, Mike, good post.
        • nyguy_1225
          As usual Mike, I very much appreciated your thoughtful post. Just a few added thoughts: I never intended to argue for or against liberals and
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 1, 2004
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            As usual Mike, I very much appreciated your thoughtful post. Just a
            few added thoughts: I never intended to argue for or
            against "liberals" and "conservatives," per se. I think the
            word "liberal" or perhaps not being liberal enough, often carries
            with it heavy and heated connotations these days. To not be liberal
            is often associated with or perceived as being judgmental. And the
            word "judgment" gets even worse press than not being liberal.

            The word "judgment" gets bad press because it's believed that all
            judgment is judgmental (perhaps very similar to the way the
            word "conservative" is often perceived as judgmental). But the fact
            is all judgment is not. When we say judgmental we generally mean a
            kind of "holier than thou" attitude, a kind of self-
            righteousness. "I'm better than you" and we rightly hate that
            because it savers not only of self-righteousness but of a kind of
            hypocrisy -- and we rightly hate that too. But is all judgment
            judgmental? Because some people are self-righteous, does it mean
            there is no righteousness? Or that there is nothing that is right?

            I think we need the categories of right and wrong. I don't think
            morals are all purely individual, purely relative, or purely
            subjective. If one says that, then he or she has no judgments
            whatever. And I don't think we can live in that kind of world. If
            there is no judgment except what is judgmental then we have no
            values. There would be no way to say this is better than that. Or
            this is worse than anything else.

            It's like the multiculturalism attitude that says all cultures are
            of equal value. But are they? How could a feminist who believes in
            the dignity of women look at the way women are treated in Iraq or
            Afghanistan and say that such a culture and civilization is of equal
            worth when it would deny the very dignity, the freedom and the
            liberty that belong to this culture which has shaped us and made us
            what we are?

            We can't resist judgment in this sense because if we resist judgment
            then we have no values. "There was no king in Israel and every man
            did what was right his own eyes." This verse is repeated numerous
            times in Scripture. There was a prevailing "anything goes" kind of
            attitude and it didn't work. Sooner or later we come back to
            say "this" is better than "that." Not because one is holier than
            thou, not because one is self-righteous, but because one believes in
            what is right and what is true, and what is true is not the same as
            what is false.

            When I said people who do not integrate their faith and sexuality
            often adopt a liberal "anything goes" kind of theology (maybe I
            should have simply omitted the word liberal because of the
            connotation it carries and just said "an anything goes kind of
            theology") that is not to say I endorse legalism or that we should
            not be able to exercise the wonderful freedom we as Christians have
            in Christ.

            On the contrary, in and around Romans 14, Paul addresses a church
            embroiled in disputes and controversies over behavior and
            lifestyle. The church is made up of Christians he sees as "weak-in-
            faith" and Christians who are "strong-in-faith." He clearly
            identifies himself among the "strong." He sees the "weak-in-faith"
            as those who are less able or willing to trust in God's grace alone,
            without adding restrictive rules and regulations about diets and
            days as requirements for proper Christian lifestyle.

            In Paul's day, one of the biggest controversies in the church was
            over laws about observing diets and days. In our day, perhaps the
            biggest controversy is over homosexuality. The "weak-in-faith"
            today add restrictive rules against any and all expression of
            homosexuality as a requirement for Christian lifestyle.
            The "strong" today do not insist on adding such rules and
            regulations and they better understand the freedom that Paul said
            Christians have in Christ.

            Paul says that the stronger Christians should welcome the less
            mature into the fellowship. And he says the "strong" should welcome
            them without doing so only to argue and force them to change their
            views. In Paul's day, the "weak-in-faith" was in the minority. In
            our day – so far as homosexuality is concerned – the "weak-in-faith"
            is still the majority. And according to Paul, the majority should
            not try to use its power position to impose its view on the
            minority. In our day, that means that the anti-gay Christians
            should not force Christian gay people to adopt an anti-gay doctrine
            or else find themselves excluded from the fellowship. Of course,
            the opposite is true too. The broad-minded minority should not
            practice aggression against the narrow-minded majority. Paul's view
            is that the liberty of the Christian assembly should be able to
            embrace divergent views and practices without a feeling that they
            must be resolved or that a common mind must be achieved on every
            point of disagreement.

            But even though Christianity is truly wider, richer, fuller and
            deeper than any one person or group's expression of it, that does
            not mean there are no judgments. It does not mean there is no right
            or wrong. It does not mean that we can't and shouldn't say this is
            better than that. And it doesn't mean that "anything goes" really
            goes. It didn't work in Bible times (or in any other time in
            history, for that matter) and I don't think it works now.

            -Alex
          • nyguy_1225
            I can appreciate the sentiment, Scott. How heart wrenching that so many of us who are gay and Christian have spent years in our churches (of all places!)
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 1, 2004
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              I can appreciate the sentiment, Scott. How heart wrenching that so
              many of us who are gay and Christian have spent years in our
              churches (of all places!) feeling a need to have to "keep our guard
              up." But I'm happy to hear that you survived the "war," for far too
              many others have not. Thankfully churches of every denomination are
              taking a fresh look at this issue as they are increasingly becoming
              unconvinced by traditional "anti-gay" theology so that more and more
              gay people can feel less and less of a need to be guarded (or
              closeted) when attending church.

              -Alex

              --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, Scott Cruse <chrunemyr@y...>
              wrote:
              > You make some good points, Alex. I've been through the first
              scenarios myself, sometimes more than once. As for the third, I
              haven't exactly adopted a liberal anything goes theology, but when I
              do go to church, those are usualyy the kinds of churches I go to,
              just so I can worship freely without having to constantly keepmy
              guard up.
              >
              > nyguy_1225 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:This group, as most of
              you know, was initiated for the many looking
              > to integrate a Bible-based Christian faith with their sexuality.
              As
              > stated in the description we agree with the growing number of
              > biblical scholars and theologians who became increasingly
              > unconvinced by what has passed as "anti-gay" theology and believe
              > that Christian hostility towards homosexuality and homosexual
              > relationships rests entirely on an interpretation of the Bible
              that
              > in many respects is open to question.
              >
              > Moreover, it has been my personal experience that either Christian
              > people who happen to be gay learn to integrate a theologically-
              > sound, committed Christian faith with their sexuality, or one of
              the
              > following three scenarios will generally occur:
              >
              > (1) REPRESSION AND DENIAL: With the first scenario they continue
              to
              > repress or suppress their sexuality. Instead of learning to lead
              > honest and authentic lives -- before God, before man and before
              > themselves -- they succumb to the pressure of conformity and
              > denial. In doing so, what they're often really saying is: I'm now
              > more acceptable to myself and to the people around me. But sadly
              > and unfortunately, they don't usually feel that way in the long
              > run. Even increasing numbers of Christian counselors now readily
              > admit that "ex-gay" ministries (and those who ascribe to anti-gay
              > theology) are trying to force people into a mold that doesn't
              really
              > fit and the results often lead to depression, addiction and
              > sometimes even suicide. According to one professional Christian
              > counselor: "When people repress their orientation, in order to
              make
              > all that work, they [often] hide under layers and layers of
              > incredibly destructive behavior." He concluded by
              > saying: "Ultimately, it kills." And if it doesn't physically kill
              > you, it will slowly eat away at your soul.
              >
              > (2) LEAVE THE CHURCH: With the second scenario, in the wake of
              > discovering that the promise of change is a false promise, they
              > throw out the baby with the bath water. They conclude that if the
              > Bible doesn't say exactly what they were told it says then any and
              > all turning to Jesus isn't worth anything at all. And unable to
              > separate the two, in hurt, in anger or in disappointment, they
              > tragically end up leaving the Church and their rich faith
              > altogether, trading off the Kingdom of God for a life of God knows
              > what.
              >
              > (3) ADOPT A LIBERAL "ANYTHING GOES" THEOLOGY: With the third
              > scenario they seek a group to give them comfort and find too often
              > that only the theologically liberal are willing to take
              > the "outcasts" in. I call this adopting an "anything goes" kind
              of
              > theology. The formerly more orthodox believer then, although
              slowly
              > and reluctantly at first, begins to adopt the beliefs of the group
              > that is willing to accept him or her. The old ideas and beliefs
              are
              > so closely associated with the group that inflicted the rejection
              > that they avoid them at all costs. And the rich gospel they once
              > joyfully embraced becomes so watered down one couldn't find it
              with
              > a magnifying glass.
              >
              > These are the scenarios that have befallen most of the Christian
              gay
              > people I've known over the past 20-plus years. And I think the
              Goy
              > website is a text book illustration of what I described above and
              a
              > pretty sad smoke screen for the real issues involved.
              >
              > In the final analysis I think homosexuality can probably best be
              > defined as the naturally occurring ability to fall in love with a
              > person of the same gender rather than with anyone of the other
              > gender. As such, and as any straight person would know from their
              > own experience of heterosexual orientation, it cannot be reduced
              to
              > a matter of genital nerve ending stimulation and body parts. It's
              > the same un-asked-for experience for heterosexuals and
              homosexuals;
              > only in the former case the person of affection is of the other
              > gender and in the latter case the person of affection is of the
              same
              > gender. Experientially, it's the very same core need, the very
              same
              > gift of God. It's about an involuntary enthusiasm of romantic
              > response in the presence of someone seen as wonderfully "other,"
              as
              > mystery, as precious "differentness" from one's own sense of self,
              > as complementary beloved. And it's about a deep longing for that
              > person in his or her absence. It is a lack that nothing but the
              > beloved can supply.
              >
              > [For a brief review of the passages often used to endorse "anti-
              gay"
              > theology refer to posts #3001-3005]
              >
              > -Alex
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > Do you Yahoo!?
              > Friends. Fun. Try the all-new Yahoo! Messenger
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • xaipete_adelphe
              Amen to that NY Guy. We really do have something to be thankful for when we attend a worship service and don t have to worry about being gay bashed. It s
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 2, 2004
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                Amen to that NY Guy. We really do have something to be thankful for
                when we attend a worship service and don't have to worry about being
                gay bashed. It's time for the Church to start loving again.
                Judgment without Love, Grace, Mercy = Death for all.

                At any rate I'm personally glad to see Christianity even taking root
                in the gay community, though witchcraft is fast encroaching into the
                teen community in the Memphis area, as well as teens in general.
                Wicca is really taking root in the minds and hearts of teenage kids
                in America, but the crazy thing is the one organization you would
                think would be all over it--AFA--is NOT.

                -Jacob
                jwbrashe@...
              • dixibehr@aol.com
                ... Alas, the AFA seems to have an agenda--one the confuses cultural conservatism with Christianity. IN a certain state, a dear friend of mine, devout
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 2, 2004
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                  In a message dated 6/2/04 7:43:56 PM, jwbrashe@... writes:


                  > but the crazy thing is the one organization you would
                  > think would be all over it--AFA--is NOT.
                  >

                  Alas, the AFA seems to have an agenda--one the confuses cultural conservatism
                  with Christianity.

                  IN a certain state, a dear friend of mine, devout Christian, generous, and a
                  self-made man, served in his state legislature. The local affiliate of the AFA
                  gave him a "family values" rating of only 30%.

                  Why?

                  Because he voted to ALLOW discussion of riverboat gambling on the floor of
                  the Legislature.

                  No, he was NOT for it. He thought then and still does think, that it's a
                  stupid and even counterproductive idea for revenue rasing. (Obviously, he voted
                  against it when the question was called.) Nevertheless, a legislature is
                  suppsoed to be a deliberative body, and religious scruple is NOT a reason for
                  prohibiting debate of an issue.

                  Even IF the AFA thinks so.

                  BTW ,in 1997 the AFA sponsored Michael Johnston as the star of a national
                  touring ex-gay dog and pony show. It opened in my city (Phoenix)--and closed in
                  the second one, despite the big plans.

                  Last year (or so) Johnston's own ex-gay Kerusso Ministries closed when he
                  went into a treatment center for sexual compulsives.

                  Seems that all the time he was a professional ex-gay, he was organizing
                  all-male orgies where he infected the participants wtih HIV. (I distinctly remember
                  hearing him say in public that he had AIDS when he was here.)

                  Bedfellows sure make strange politics, don't they?


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