Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kind of thought provoking

Worth reading this to the's a really unique take on this important issue.  I heard this passage a few weeks ago at my Elijah House class and finally bought the book; can't wait to hear what else the author has to say.  

"I don't want to be closed-minded or judgmental, but in good conscience I simply can't approve of the lifestyle. I personally believe it's a choice, not something predestined or forced upon anyone by anyone. I understand that parental upbringing is undoubtedly a big factor and that some people believe genes play a role in predisposing people to this orientation, but I also know that adults are responsible for their behavior, and the behaviors associated with this lifestyle are no exception. 

On the one hand, I believe that we live in a free country, and people should be free to do what they think is right. But on the other hand, I believe freedom has limits-one limit being where others are hurt by the chosen lifestyle. And this lifestyle, there can be no mistake, is hurting a lot of people. Families are being torn apart by it, and churches and denominations too. 

Everybody has an opinion on this controversial lifestyle, but I believe God's opinion is the one that matters most, and there is absolutely no question what God's opinion is according to the Bible. This orientation and the behaviors associated with it are thoroughly condemned, especially by Jesus. He was very compassionate toward many groups of people, but there is one group he had an absolute and uncompromising commitment to confront and expose, and it was those who dishonor themselves and others as humans made in the image of God by engaging in this lifestyle and its practices.

When people choose this lifestyle, they often cut themselves off from everyone who doesn't agree with them. They end up being assimilated and absorbed into closed communities where only their own voices and views are heard, and everyone who disagrees is mocked and condemned, often with very strong language. They often see their community as superior and become incapable of speaking respectfully to or of those of us who cannot in good conscience agree with them. Some of them go so far as to claim that God made them the way they are, pushing onto God the responsibility for their own choices and behaviors. 

Some, after giving themselves over completely to the lifestyle, have a crisis of conscience. But when they want to leave, their leaders and peers depict their changing perspective as a betrayal and pressure them to stay, often using fear tactics to intimidate them and keep them in their community. Special ministries have formed to help people exit the lifestyle, recover from the abuse and pain the community has been known to impose, and be reoriented to a healthier life and perspective. But even with professional therapy, many people feel they have been wounded for life by what they've experienced, and many, looking back on their years "inside," compare the lifestyle to an addiction. 

Spokespeople for the lifestyle can seem very educated and scholarly. They claim that their position has a long history behind it. They often quote scientific studies and back up their assertions with emotional anecdotes. Sometimes they seek to gain sympathy by claiming they are being mistreated and persecuted for being outspoken about their views. But they tend to ignore other strands of history and scientific research that contradict their position, and they ignore anecdotes that don't fit with their predetermined conclusions, and they minimize the persecution they inflict on others. 

Advocates are eager to recruit others into their "love" as they call it. Many organizations raise huge sums of money to recruit youth and children into their chosen way of life, and they have been extremely adept at using media-radio, TV and now the Internet-to gain an aura of credibility and legitimacy. They organize huge events and mass rallies to celebrate their growing clout and demonstrate that they are proud of who they are and what they stand for. Everyone knows how much influence they have in our political system, and how one political party in particular panders for their votes. But look at the countries where this lifestyle runs rampant, and you'll get an idea what our nation will be like if some of us don't have the courage to stand up and speak up. Wherever this lifestyle spreads, a whole host of social problems inevitably follows. 

Yes, activists may use the word love to justify their behavior, but those who disagree with them are seldom treated with love. Many of us have already faced the scorn of the activists who promote this chosen lifestyle and defend it as legitimate and even godly. For doing so we have received hate mail peppered with a wide range of threats and abusive speech, with many calling for our damnation. But even so, we have learned that we must not respond to hate with hate; we must love these people and seek to help them, even though we do not approve of their behavior.

You've probably realized by now that this parable isn't talking about "the gay lifestyle" but rather "the judgmental lifestyle," the kind of "take-the-splinter-out-of-your-brother's-eye" religiosity that Jesus talked about in the Sermon on the Mount. (If you didn't realize it, try going back and rereading it in that light.)"

Andrew Marin. Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community (p. 12). Kindle Edition. 

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