By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) - Timothy Kurek’s motivation to spend a year pretending to be gay can be boiled down to a simple conviction: it takes drastic change to alter deeply held religious beliefs.
The experiment began after a lesbian friend opened up to Kurek about being excommunicated by her family. All Kurek, an avowed evangelical Christian, could think about, he says, “was trying to convert her.”
He was quickly disgusted by his own feelings, more pious than humane.
In fact, Kurek was so disgusted by his response to his friend that he decided to do something drastic. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, he would pretend to be gay for a year. The experiment began on the first day of 2009; Kurek came out to his family, got a job as a barista at a gay café and enlisted the help of a friend to act as his boyfriend in public.
The experience – which stopped short of Kurek getting physically intimate with other men - is documented in Kurek’s recent book “The Cross in the Closet,” which has received international attention, landed him on ABC’s "The View" and elicited some biting criticism.
The book is the latest entry on a growing list of experiential tomes revolving around religion. They include Rachel Held Evans’ recent “A Year of Biblical Womanhood,” in which the author follows the Bible’s instructions on women’s behavior and Ed Dobson’s “The Year of Living Like Jesus,” which had the author “eat as Jesus ate. Pray as Jesus prayed. Observe the Sabbath as Jesus observed.”
For Kurek, his year as a gay man radically changed his view of faith and religion, while also teaching him “what it meant to be a second class citizen in this country.”
A yearlong lie
For years, Kurek says, the only life he had was “his church life.” Being an evangelical Christian was his identity.
He was home-schooled until seventh grade, almost all of his friends were from church and his social life was a nightly string of faith-based events, from church sports to a Christian Cub Scout troop. “It was the only thing I was used to doing,” said Kurek, who attended Liberty University, the largest evangelical university in the world, before dropping out after freshman year.
Kurek grew up in an “independent Baptist church.” “We were evangelical,” he said, “but we were more conservative than evangelical, too.”
His churchy lifestyle led to some deeply held views about homosexuality. Most evangelical churches condemn homosexuality as sinful. Many rail against certain gay rights, like gay marriage.
“I had been taught to be wary of gays,” Kurek writes of his beliefs pre-experiment. “They were all HIV positive, perverts and liberal pedophiles.”
Those views began to be challenged in 2004, when he first encountered Soulforce, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, on Liberty’s campus. The group made the school an important stop on its cross-country tour targeting colleges that they alleged treated LGBT people unfairly.
Kurek was struck by what he had in common with the protesters at Liberty. “It really impressed me that people who were coming to push their agenda were able to do it and be so nice about it,” he said.
His doubt about Christianity’s condemnation of homosexuality, Kurek writes, was “perfected” in 2008, when a close friend recounted the story of coming out to her family and being disowned.
“I betrayed her, then,” writes Kurek. “It was a subtle betrayal, but a cruel one: I was silent.”
His recognition of that betrayal, he writes, led him to believe that “I needed to come out of the closet as a gay man.”
“I believe in total immersion,” Kurek says in an interview. “If you are going to walk in other people’s shoes, then you are going to need to walk in your shoes.”
To ensure the purity of his project, Kurek says, he had to lie to his deeply religious family about being gay, something that troubled him throughout the year.
“I felt like they loved me but they didn’t know how to deal with me,” he says. “They didn’t understand how to handle having a gay brother or sibling.”
In the book, Kurek recounts learning that his mother wrote in her journal that she would rather have been diagnosed with cancer than have a gay son. That experience and others left Kurek feeling outcast by people he loved, confused about his new life and conflicted about past religious beliefs.
Kurek was living a lie. And even though he was conflicted by his family’s reaction to his new lifestyle, he was longing to be honest with them.
It’s no surprise that the “The Cross in the Closet,” has spurred strong reaction, especially from the LGBT community.
“I feel for the gay community of Nashville, and for every person who trusted Kurek enough to flirt with him, hang out with him, and confide in him about their lives,” wrote Amy Lieberman on the blog Feministing. “If I were in that community, I would feel so betrayed right now.”
In a Huffington Post blog post titled “Pretending To Be Gay Isn’t The Answer,” Emily Timbol, a religion blogger, expressed a similar opinion: “What's sad is that every interaction Timothy had during his year pretending was fake.”
“He was welcomed under false pretenses, acting like someone who understood the struggle that his LGBT friends faced,” she wrote. “He did not.”
But Kurek says that that was not his aim. “This isn't a book about being gay, I could not write that book, I am not qualified,” he writes. “What this is about is the label of gay and how that label affected me personally.”
Throughout the book, Kurek emphasizes that distinction. While much of “The Cross in the Closet” is about the struggle to understand the gay community, which he tries to address by enlisting a friend to act as his boyfriend, much of it addresses how his former church’s community – and family – reacted to his new lifestyle.
“I am actually not friends or in contact at all with 99.99% of the people that I grew up with or the churches that I grew up with,” Kurek says.
Kurek says he isn’t opposed to interacting with people from his "former" life. When he has run into members of his old church, he said he generally has quick, cordial conversations and moves on.
But some of the new distance is by choice. When Kurek’s mother told a friend in her church that her son was gay, the person said Kurek’s sexuality could jeopardize his mother's standing in the church.
The evangelical community has remained fairly mum throughout much of the reaction; most responses have come from Christians who are in some way connected to the LGBT community.
Though Kurek goes to church less now, primarily because he has yet to find one that feels like “home,” he says he feels more religious “in the biblical definition of religion.” He still considers himself a Christian, although no longer evangelical, and says he is interested in attending the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in the future.
Kurek quotes James 1:27 from the New Testament: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
There’s no mention of organized religion in passages like that, and Kurek says it’s the institutions of religion that worry him most today. He talks about his once robust church life as a distant memory.
Living as a gay man jaded him to religion, he says, though he has not surrendered all of his former beliefs. Yes, Kurek says, he is struggling with certain points of his theology, but he has been looking for the right church. “I am trying to figure out what place in the body of Christ I fit in,” he said.
As for his original goal, to radically change who he was, Kurek says mission accomplished. He says he has conquered his prejudices of the LGBT community and is happy with the person he has become.
“If anybody had told me back then who I would be or what I would believe now,” Kurek said, “I would have thought they were completely insane.”
For example, Kurek now thinks homosexuality is completely acceptable.
His family is happy to know that he is not gay, says Kurek. He has a new set of friends. And he lives in Portland, Oregon, where he moved shortly after finishing his experimental year.
The author plans to donate part of the proceeds from his book to help LGBT homeless youth who have been rejected by their families.
He is now at work on a book proposal for a follow-up to “The Cross in the Closet.” The book will be about the years after his experiment, transitioning back to honest living while continuing to engage the LGBT community.
“I want to tell more stories,” he says “and humanize the people who Christians always want to look at as labels.”
I base my opinion on mother nature. All species first objective is to multiply.
Some interesting research has come out that suggest that ho.mose.xuality is response to overcrowding. A colony of rats when put into to small of an enclosure will begin to exhibit previously unobserved ho.mose.xual behavior.
Actually, I think the first objective is to survive. Can't reproduce if you aren't alive.
Biologically all species first objective is to reproduce and grow *as a species*. This doesn't mean that all members of each species must reproduce. Look at bees, wolves and any number of other social animals and you'll see that the overall survival of the species is promoted in an environment in which not all members of the species reproduce, but they work together to support the overall growth of the species.
That said, I think the whole appeal to nature idea is a bit of a crock anyway, but it doesn't prove anything one way or another about hom'ose'xuality.
Seems like a dick move to me. I don't understand why religion and empathy so rarely go together. Couldn't he have just applied one of the basic tenants of the new testament to the situation and avoided all this? "Do unto others..."?
Can't sell a book that way I guess.
M seems to know alot about ohers dikks. Or he just likes going solo.
Agreed. Seems like he over reacted to the situation with his friend coming out of the closet. Yet, he will sell some books so stupidity pays.
2 Peter 3:16 – ...in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Everywhere you look nowadays you have people who are trying to interpret the scriptures. And they are only doing so to their own destruction (meaning their interpretations are false, and will only lead their soul to hell). And the things they are interpreting is not the truth. To have the truth and to know truth, you must get your information from God. All other sources of information is false. And how do you get your information from God? Answer: By getting it from true sent preachers, from he whom God has sent, from God's ambassadors on earth…
2 Corinthians 5:20 – Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
And that is precisely why the world is so confused today. People are trying to read the bible for themselves and get their own understanding. When the bible has never told you to do that. Instead it has told you to listen to the sent preacher. Your own personal understanding of the scriptures matters not. The only understanding and interpretation that matters is God understanding. And you can only know God's understanding by getting it from the sent preacher. All other interpretations are false….
For example, I recently stated the bible says "being gay is an abomination before God" (and it does indeed say that in Leviticus 18:22). But immediately, a number of people replied back to say that is not true. They then proceeded to explain to me that they have a more "modern" understanding of the scriptures and that the scriptures meant something else, blah, blah, blah. And that is precisely my point. People are coming up with their own twisted and false understanding of the scriptures, and their interpretations are false, and will only lead their soul to hell. To know the truth, you must get it from a true sent preacher. And all true sent preachers get their info from God. Note that the info provided by Google is false. The info provided by Wikepedia is also false. And the reason for that is because those people who have provided that information are not saved and are not true sent preachers. But are only sinners and unbelievers and atheists who are controlled by Lucifer. And it is Lucifer's job is to mislead you and to deceive you. So don't expect to find truth on Google or Wikepedia. The truth is not there. You will only find deception. The only true source of information is the true sent preacher (as he gets his info from God). All other sources of information are false…
You may choose to disbelieve what I am saying and may choose to continue relying on your own personal understandings, but rest assured, your own personal understandings will only send your soul to hell. On Judgment Day, you will be judged not by your own personal understanding of the scriptures, but by God's understanding of them, and by what he had meant. And you can only know God meant by getting it from the preacher, and not by reading the bible for yourself. And if you have not listened to the sent preacher and have switched your own understanding to be the same as his understanding, even as his understanding is the same as God's understanding – then you're going to be in trouble come Judgment Day. As all those who have false understandings (false beliefs) shall be cast into the lake…
NO ONE believes every word of the Bible. They just pick and choose what they like and ignor the rest. YOU are no diferent.
You CHOOSE to pick verses that put gays down. You CHOOSE to ignor the Golden Rule.
Observer… If you think that and believe that then you're more ignorant than you're aware of. There are literally billions of people in the world today who believe every word of the bible. Just because you're an unbeliever, that doesn't make everybody else one...
Observer... Your opinion about the so-called "Golden Rule" is false. You have a false interpretation. If you had gotten your info from a true sent preacher, he would have told you that was the case...
Definition of "true sent preacher" – one who tells me what I want to hear, and reinforces my feelings. You're welcome.
So @Perfect Truth, you never told us why your interpretation is the correct one. You do understand that you are interpreting don't you?
"There are literally billions of people in the world today who believe every word of the bible"
No they don't or they would be stoning their children to death for talking back, they would be stoning adulterers to death, they would support slavery, and wives sleeping with their brother in laws if their husbands couldn't give them a child. Every christian picks and choose what they want to believe in the bible. Just look at all the greed, gluttony and killing in the world to understand the that truth.
Based on your advice, we should be stoning adulterers, enslaving our neighbors and selling our daughters. The idea that we should take all that stuff literally may make you feel all warm inside, but it makes religion look bizarre and unrealistic. If you insisit that god is a controlling, insecure, violent, god, who demands inhuman standards of obedience, constant ego-stroking, and imposes eternal agonizing punishment for the lest deviation, you won't win any converts. I know, actually winning converts isn't your goal. Your goal is to testify, and be validated by people disagreeing with you. Which is fine, but you could get the same disagreement by demanding that people worship a clown, or the flying spagetti monster, opposition and rejection is not validation, even if your teachers told you it would happen.
You do realize that your "true sent preachers" are also interpreting the bible in their own ways as well. The bible has been reformed and changed so much, stories have been removed some have been added. Who is to say that the bible as we know it now is the exact thing that was taught long ago? No one can. You were not there, you do not know what was said. So don't presume that by stating true sent preachers makes you any better than the modern interpreters of the bible. And i agree with Observer, i whole heartidly doubt that you follow every single passage in the bible. Even your arguements are pick and choose. Please don't bother writing back as i feel no need to listen to your poor attempts to defend yourself or sway me.
So billions of people believe in unicorns and talking animals? Do they also believe, for instance, that someone BECAME a king when they were both 8 years old and 18 years old?
Why not read the Bible if you want to quote it?
To "midwest rail", "Andrew", "Pete", and "Rbnlegnd101"…
All of you are perfect examples of people with false understandings. Thank you for highlighting that fact. If you're interested in truth, feel free to reread my post again. Beyond that, I won't respond to ignorance...
"All of you are perfect examples of people with false understandings. Thank you for highlighting that fact. If you're interested in truth, feel free to reread my post again. Beyond that, I won't respond to ignorance..."
You are one arrogant person to believe your interpretations is the right one especially since so many have shown your interpretation is wrong.
Once again, Perfect Truth; you spout Perfect Bullschitt
"And all true sent preachers get their info from God."
As Christian clergy we proclaim the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.
In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:
-to affirm that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;
–to embrace the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;
–to declare that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;
–to celebrate the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;
Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.
""being gay is an abomination before God""
This is how uneducated about the bible this poster is, Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests.
"They then proceeded to explain to me that they have a more "modern" understanding of the scriptures and that the scriptures meant something else, blah, blah, blah."
The writers of the bible didn't know anything about sexual orientation because it wasn't studied until 19th century which is why their comments are relevant for today. The experts have proven that heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."
@Perfect Truth = spawn of "Rev." Jim Jones
To "D", "Observer", "Pete", "YeahRight" – and all the other fools who want to add themselves to the ilst…
In my original post I stated…
…"Your own personal understanding of the scriptures matters not. The only understanding and interpretation that matters is God understanding. And you can only know God's understanding by getting it from the sent preacher."…
…"The only true source of information is the true sent preacher (as he gets his info from God). All other sources of information are false…"
…"And if you have not listened to the sent preacher and have switched your own understanding to be the same as his understanding, even as his understanding is the same as God's understanding – then you're going to be in trouble come Judgment Day.…"
You guys are some truly ignorant people. What part of the above do you not understand? Or is my statements too much of an "adult equation" for you to figure out? Clearly you guys have cognitive problems. Because if you understood the above, you wouldn't be asking me such stupid questions…
This is my last response to ignorance...
"To "D", "Observer", "Pete", "YeahRight" – and all the other fools who want to add themselves to the ilst…
In my original post I stated…
You guys are some truly ignorant people. What part of the above do you not understand? Or is my statements too much of an "adult equation" for you to figure out? Clearly you guys have cognitive problems. Because if you understood the above, you wouldn't be asking me such stupid questions…
This is my last response to ignorance..."
As a former minister you would know that God continues to speak to us, to show us new truths, the fact you can't understand that shows you do not understand the teachings of the bible.
I always wonder at Christians who quote Leviticus enev though they ignore most of it. And when they choose Paul over Jesus.
- Perfect Truth
Yes we all are so ignorant and you have the right answers and anyone who disagrees with you is a fool, sinner, satanist, forsaken, or whatever other term you wish to use. Yet here you are quoting Leviticus which was removed from the modern bible...once again proving my statement that the bible has been changed and reformed. Yet you won't see that things change and thus must your views. As Paul said "God continues to speak to us, to show us new truths, the fact you can't understand that shows you do not understand the teachings of the bible." That statement pretty much sums up all the arguement to prove all your previous statements false.
Michelle… I won't respond further to all that ignorance being spouted by other posters, but I am curious about your post…
Please elaborate on what you mean by "we Christians ignore the rest of Leviticus" (as though the rest of Leviticus is going to change the statement God made that being gay is an abomination). Trust me, it won't. And I can provide you with many more scriptures elsewhere that confirms what Leviticus says….
Also please elaborate on what you mean by we choose Paul over Jesus (as if Paul's words were somehow mean and hard on people, when Jesus' words were nice and loving). A lot of people have that misconception. But trust me, there is no disharmony between Paul and Jesus. They were in perfect agreement at all times. And I can prove it. So please elaborate…
First, why don't you give us people who don't already believe as you do why we should care what your religion or your "holy book" says about anything, let alone people that, according to your believe, should be stoned to death.
In regard to my previous post:
When I say that Cristians ignore Leviticus, the most obvious example is that Christians ignore the dietary laws therein. It is confusing to me when Christians call the Bible the unchanging word of God and then ignore huge chunks of it as if they know better.
Regarding Paul, I am amazed when Christians use Paul as justification for hate and treat others as less than themselves, when it seems to me that when Jesus said to love each other, that that should carry more wieght. Paul was not editing Jesus, and nothing he said can cancel anything Jesus said.
Declare victory and then RETREAT. Well done.
Michelle… Thanks for responding back. The bottom line is you have a misunderstanding of the scriptures are well. And if you had gotten your info from a true sent preacher he would have told you that.
First and foremost, those laws in the Old Testament were written to Israel (who were the Old Testament church and saints). Those laws do not apply to us today in the New Testament. The New Testament laws were indeed built upon the laws of the Old Testament, but many of those Old Testament laws applied only to Israel. For example, the dietary laws you mentioned. Back in the Old Testament there were indeed restrictions on what you could eat and not eat. But such laws do not apply to us in the New Testament. In the New Testament, it says that all things are good to eat because they are sanctified by the the word of God and prayer…
1 Timothy 4:5 – Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
Regarding your statement that people uses Paul to justify hate and to treat others less than themselves, when Jesus said to love each other. At no time has Jesus ever told us to love sin, nor has he ever told us to love those who commit sin. Instead, he has specifically told us to separate ourselves from such people. And I can give you countless scriptures to confirm this.
Nor can you separate the words of Jesus Christ from the words of Paul and vise versa. For every word spoken by Paul were also the words of Jesus Christ. Simply because ALL scripture was given by the inspiration of God. So it was God who told those men what to write, and they were not writing from their own understanding. And who is that God who inspired Paul to write those things? Answer: Jesus. Even back in the Old Testament, notice how the words "Lord" and "God" were always used together when referring to God. But in the New Testament such linking stopped. For example, Exodus 20:2 states, " I am the LORD thy God"… Why didn't it just say "I am God"? Plus, there is only one LORD. And his name is Jesus. So Jesus is that very same God who existed back in the Old Testament. And he is also the same one who inspired the prophets to write about him. He even had the prophets to prophecy about his coming – although his actual name wasn't given until the NT when he angel appeared until Mary and told her his name should be called JESUS. So Jesus have always existed and he didn't just pop into existence when he was born on earth. And it was his words and his sentiments that inspired the prophets about what to write across. And to confirm this, the words of Apostle Peter puts the final nail in the coffin…
2 Peter 1:20 – Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
So what the apostles wrote (including Paul) was not their private interpretation of things. Instead, they wrote only what they were directed to write by the Holy Ghost. And who is that Holy Ghost? Answer: Jesus. They are one and the same.
So I hope this helps to clarify some things for you, Michelle. And if you had gotten your info from a true sent preacher, he would have told you the exact same thing. As for anyone else who now desires to respond to this post, save your breath. I won't even respond back to you…
Jeesus never said we had to love sinners? Jesus told us to love. Did Jesus tell us we were excused from loving sinners? Because EVERYBODY is a sinner. Even you. If we applied that standard, who would be worthy? Don't bother responding, you can't backpedal that.
Please provide a list of "true sent" preachers, along with verified evidence that they were "truly sent".
Michelle… I have to go offline now and this is my last post. But the following are some interesting scriptures I bet you didn't know about hate. In short, it is evil and is wrong to hate that which is "good". But there is nothing wrong with hating that which is "evil"…
Psalms 97:10 – Ye that love the LORD, hate evil…
Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of the LORD is to hate evil…
Psalms 139:22 – Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
Luke 16:13 – (Jesus speaking ) No servant can serve two masters: for either he will HATE the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Luke 14:26 – (Jesus speaking) If any man come to me, and HATE not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Deuteronomy 32:41 – (God talking) If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.
Zechariah 8:17 – And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
Therefore, not all hate is bad. It depends on what you are hating. If you hate that which is evil, then that is a good thing...
Michelle… since reading your last post, I'll issue this one final response before I go offline…
You're still caught up in false interpretations. That is the root of your problem. Yes, Jesus did tell us to love our neighbor as ourselves. But the real question is, who is our neighbor? Do you even know the answer to that question. I pledge you do not. The "neighbor" Jesus was referring to was not talking about your next door neighbor down the street. Nor was he talking about "humankind" or your "fellowman." And that is the false impression that many have. Instead, Jesus was referring to "the true sent preacher". For he's the one who watches for your soul. He's the one who's helping you to be saved. So you're supposed to love the "true sent preacher" as thyself. And how can you love the true sent preacher as yourself if you don't follow his instructions and do what he tells you to do? And what are his instructions? The first thing he's going to tell you to do is to get away from sinners and to get away from evil people who can drag you back into the world. And this is confirmed aplenty in the following scriptures…
James 4:5 …know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
1 Corinthians 10:21 – Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils. Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.
2 Corinthians 6:14 – Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Revelations 18:4 – And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
2 Corinthians 6:14 …for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing…
2 Thessalonians 3:6 – Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us...
1 John 2:15 – Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...
People who are unsaved are of the world. They are of the devil. They are not of God. We're supposed to love their "souls" and want them to be saved (by praying for them and telling them the truth). But we're not supposed to love the things they are doing, nor condone what they are doing. Nor are we to be partakers of their evil deeds. For if we partake of their evil deeds, then we will go to hell right with them. As the scriptures in James 4:5 states (shown above), we're not supposed to even be "friends" with the world. God forbids it. For if we are "friends" with the world, then we are friends with God's enemy. And that makes us an enemy of God. Which means we'll go to hell…
I sometimes wonder if we should encourage more Christians to become J Dubs. They are a pretty docile sort: they don't get into politics – they don't even vote; they don't over-breed; they rarely take up spaces in college enrollment; and they don't compete much in the financial/economic/business world. Those pesky front-porch invasions are annoying, but perhaps are a useful trade-off to get them out of public policy and government.
Heck, I might even volunteer to hand out tracts for them!
"First and foremost, those laws in the Old Testament were written to Israel (who were the Old Testament church and saints). Those laws do not apply to us today in the New Testament. The New Testament laws were indeed built upon the laws of the Old Testament, but many of those Old Testament laws applied only to Israel"
Hey look this stupid christian is cherry picking the bible, just like all the rest but they are too blinded by their personal prejudice to get it. All of Leviticus doesn't apply to christians today.
". That is the root of your problem. Yes, Jesus did tell us to love our neighbor as ourselves. But the real question is, who is our neighbor? Do you even know the answer to that question. I pledge you do not. he "neighbor" Jesus was referring to was not talking about your next door neighbor down the street. Nor was he talking about "humankind" or your "fellowman." And that is the false impression that many have. Instead, Jesus was referring to "the true sent preacher"."
Actually you do not understand that phrase at all. You are listening to false teachers. It's about in getting to know Christ, we'll discover a God worthy of our whole-hearted love, and our neighbor will see that love in us. That is what the scripture about. When you have hate in your heart which you think is "ok" you are also showing that you don't love God with all your heart, because that love would come through and you wouldn't be able to hate. All you are doing is twisting the scriptures to justify your prejudice interpretation of the scriptures.
" If you hate that which is evil, then that is a good thing..."
The problem becomes what you define as evil might not be and what you define a good could be wrong as well. Christians throughout history have shown they have different definitions of both. ;-)
The verse that I find more appropriate is from Romans: "Professing to be wise, they became fools!"
Well, form the sounds of this guy's book, it sounds like it's the old bigots who are being shown to be the "fools" around here.
I find it refreshing that this man took the time and made the effort to attempt to truly understand what it means to be gay- especially given his upbringing and how he was taught as a child, I think it shows amazing intelligence, compassion, and integrity. I wish there were many more people out there willing to go so far outside their comfort zones to educate themselves.... I do wish he could have been able to learn about the culture without having to lie, but I understand why he did it. Good for you, Timothy. Don't let the haters get you down. I look forward to reading your book.
His effort is commendable, I agree, but he freely admits that he cannot really understand the experience of *being* gay, just of *being treated* as a gay person. He could never come out to himself, for example, whereas admitting or accepting oneself is a very long and tough struggle for many. So, I think it's important to maintain that distinction.
I love how everyone on the left preaches tolerance yet wants to bash the conservatives for not applying it. The responses to these posts prove that the definition of tolerance has changed over time. Tolerant use to be that 2 sides could agree to disagree and move on showing respect to each other. Now it’s, if you don't agree with me, there is something wrong with you and such little if any respect is shown. The greatest lie satan ever pulls over mans eyes are getting you to believe he doesn’t exist. The Bible is more applicable today than ever. While there is still time, repent and believe. Not my words, but Christ!
1 Peter 4
vs12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a]
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
It is, unfortunately, hard to be tolerant of someone who would have your fiance deported because they want it to be illegal for the two of you to marry. I agree it's ideal when respect can be shown, and I have had disputes over this with people from a wide range of political views, but to expect someone to nod and smile when you've just declared you want to take their rights away is asking a lot. For a lot of people these issues aren't a theoretical debate, but a struggle for survival.
Oh for christs sake. Your cult is the one that is killing everthing that's right in the world. All religion is mindless obedience to some deity that never once has shown itself to the world. Faith, as you folks see it is delusion.Stop talking to yourselves in prayer and get out and live life. Get free of those mind-numbing preachers and their lies.
your quotes are only applicable to those who accept the authority of the source
"The Bible is more applicable today than ever."
Really, more applicable to us than to the people it was originally written for? That's like saying that Shakespeare didn't write for Elizabethans, but for us.
You make an interesting point, though I think most are guilty of defining tolerance as "agree with me", not just liberals, left wingers, or what not. And to "get right" with God, based on the New Testament, you need to accept Jesus Christ. I believe that HE paid the whole price for my access to Him and Heaven, and that HE is the one that will guide me in my ways. THAT is also in the Bible. And further, the gospel of Matthew is very clear that ALL the laws and the prophets hang on these two things; loving God with everything and loving our neighbors as ourselves. History has proven we ALL struggle with these two things and too often want to push dogma, church doctine, and our own interpretations of the Bible in front of these two things, to our error.......and yet it happens over and over again......
sam stone… If we all have a right to accept and reject things at will, then why should we accept your nonsense…
"The Bible is more applicable today than ever. While there is still time, repent and believe. Not my words, but Christ!"
The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).
It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.
Timmy should just come out of the closet and stop all this silly stuff.
I admire Timothy's courage and conviction. As a gay man, if he had befriended me, I would not have felt betrayed. I'd hope his friendship would continue long after his year was over. There are many who stand behind the beliefs preached, even though they are not comfortable with them. They know there is a conflict between the "love" that is idealized in Christianity and the poison they preach about gays. Mr. Kurek did something about it. In my book, he rocks.
I would have felt briefly betrayed, but assuming all else remained equal in the friendship and my real name wasn't used in the book (that'd be a biggie) I'd have got over it and appreciated it was for the greator good.
Alternatively, he might have started here:
Wow what's next, pretending to be black by wearing black face? What he did was wrong.
So there's this book, written in the 60's "Black Like Me"
Have you any better ideas about how to experience the LGBT community and the prejudices against them?
The KKK should do exactly that.
"Have you any better ideas about how to experience the LGBT community and the prejudices against them?"
Just curious, but are you saying pretending to be gay for a year is the same experience as being gay for life?
Actually, that's been done, although not with blackface. In the late fifties or early sixties, a journalist from the south took, under a doctor's supervision, high doses of a drug that can, as a side effect, give a white person black skin.
He then traveled across the south by pass for weeks, and sometimes hitchhiked, to see what it was like.
The book (and late movie) is called "Black Like Me."
Someone did that many years ago; his book was quite influential in the civil rights battle of the 60’s
Google “Black Like Me”
There was a man who actually did that and he wrote a book about it called, "Black Like Me". Very interesting read.
A simple point of order for all those saying he shouldn't have done this, or shouldn't have lied –
Perhaps if hundreds of millions of ignorant hômophobic fundiot nutters didn't advocate and legislate discrimination against gay folks, he wouldn't have had a reason to do this.
One question: How many people accepted Jesus Christ as thier Savior because of your stint as a gay man?
First: He's left the evangelical church, so your point is moot.
Second: as the article says, converting people is not the be-all-and-end-all of being Christian (or shouldn't be, if one wishes to follow the bible).
Third: How many souls can he save now—people who are seeking G_d, but cannot tolerate a church that hates them—as opposed to when he followed the belief that those people belong on the outside?
YES accept Jesus, join a church, and give them all your time and money.
Accept Zeus as the true god.
Maybe a lot of people will take what he's learned and choose to remain Christians, feeling that they can accept gays for who they are without having to give up their faith because of it's outmoded bigotry?
Part of saving souls is letting people know when they do somthing against the will of God. This means not what you think but what the Bible says. Also we all need to understand true Christians will hate the sin and love the sinner.
Timmus: One question: How many people accepted Jesus Christ as thier Savior because of your stint as a gay man?
That does not seem to have been his aim. If you criticize, address the points actually made, not those you read *into* what was written.
How many people wore purple baseball caps because of his stint as a gay man? Probably none, because that wasn't his goal. Neither was getting people to accept jesus. His goal was to understand himself, the LBGT community, and the rest of society a little better. It sounds like he made progress in his actual goal. He was interestred in spiritual development, not selling subscriptions to his church.
"And he lives in Portland, Oregon, where he moved shortly after finishing his experimental year."
He'll fit right in in Portland.
Everything loose rolls west.
And long may it do so.
"Everything loose rolls west."
Really how is supporting local business "loose?"
"Keep Portland Weird is about supporting local business in the Portland Oregon area. We want to support local business because they make Portland stand out from other cites and make it a more unique place to live. They do this by providing consumers a wide range of products that represent the different cultures that make up Portland. Local business also have pride in our city and are driven to make Portland a better place to live and enjoy."
I live in Portland too, and he WILL fit right in here. We may be a Weird city, but we are a loving and open city, accepting of people of all walks of life except those stemming from hatred.
This is interesting.
When this topic was posted with a short video back on October 17, there were a TOTAL of 191 posts.
Given that this happened during the run up to the election and there was no accompanying story, the reaction today surprises me.
With Dan Merica's story this topic is now at 2.851 posts and counting in little more than 24 hours.
Is this a testament to the context provided by Dan's story?
The evidence would suggest so. Kudos to Dan Merica for making this compelling to a lot of people.
@I'm not a GOPer...,
Not sure what it means, but for my part, I don't usually view or comment on the "video-only" articles on here.
I also almost never comment on a video only article. They actually kind of pis's me off (perhaps unfairly, but I don't like video).
yes, I am less inclined to look at them too. It supports the argument that the contributed essays make a difference here.
@I'm not a GOPer...,
Agreed, that makes sense.
Thank you for the kudos. Appreciate it.
To those who claim being gay is a "lifestyle", what? Please define the "lifestyle" that applies to all gay and lesbian people? I know G/L doctors, accountants, data analysts, computer programmers, mailmen, lawyers, truck drivers, farmers, musicians, and yes, hairdressers. It is safe to say that the lifestyle of a gay truck driver is MUCH closer to that of a straight truck driver than that of a gay hairdresser. "Lifestyle" means the way you live your life–do you pay your bills on time? Do you donate to charities? Are you a good neighbor? Do you spend within your means? Do you go to sports events or arts events or nightclubs, or stay home? I don't know any two gay'lesbian people who have the same "lifestyle", let alone one that applies to all of them. Their "lifestyles" are more like those of their straight neighbors in the part of town they live in, than by fellow gay people.
I've never agreed with that phrase, either.
I'm conflicted. I understand his desire to see how things go for himself, but lying is still a sin and one that hurts more than just yourself. I really think this was misguided but with good intentions.
So, Christians could never infiltrate criminal organizations as cops, become intelligence agents for their countries, or go undercover as journalists if it meant keeping their secret from their family?
"Christians could never ..."
According to their own rules... apparently not. Unless, of course, one interprets 'bearing false witness' to make it okay.
There are many, many situations in which lying is not a sin. Indeed, I'm aware of nothing in the Bible (Old Testament or New) which states that lying is always a sin, nor of anything in the Magisterium which so teaches.
Now, lying for selfish, personal gain is a sin. But even there, let's say a person was, for example, a French resistance fighter during WW II and was captured by the Germans; if that person lied about being part of the resistance, even if only to save his own life from evildoers, was that a sin? I think there's a good case that it wasn't.
Or in more modern times, how about a person who is in the Syrian rebellion lying about that after being caught by the Syrian army? Is that a sin?
Moving on, lying to save an innocent person is not, as a rule, sinful. Indeed, it can well be regarded as praiseworthy. The person who hid Anne Frank and her family springs to mind immediately.
I'll let you fill in the next example yourself.
Just curious, but doesn't Leviticus 19:11, specify not to lie at all, or is that just for Israelites? If so, then what did Jesus' death do to allow certain types of lying, but not others?
This despite peoples reservations is a good thing. This man is trying to show people how to really live and really love and what that means. This does not make him a fake or a mean person. Just the opposite. Someone willing to live through something they dont have to makes them a kind person at heart. This is the way we all need to be...willing to try to understand others lives, issues, problems. That is what love stems from...trying to understand other's needs and to be able to build compassion. Through that comes change.
I think christians should address their own copious lying before judging someone else on that particular sin
I'm a little bit torn over this.
On one hand, I think it was a brave thing to do, to challenge one's own deeply held convictions in this way, to alienate his own family (cutting himself off from the support of loved ones) to do so, and being willing to change.
On the other, dishonesty can only lead to hurt feelings.
Ultimately I think it is easier to forgive than that same year lived in hate.
I was thinking the same thing. How could he do that to his family?
It couldn't have been easy for him. But then, he learned valuable lessons, and they still live believing it is better to have cancer than a gay son...so, really, his biggest crime against his family is not helping them out of their hatred.
"I was thinking the same thing. How could he do that to his family?"
Yet his family couldn't even follow Christs teachings and couldn't love him for being gay. The family showed their true hateful chtistian selves.
Rick. Talk about hatelful. Look at yourself.
"Rick. Talk about hatelful. Look at yourself."
Really you don't think what the mother said about her son wasn't hateful huh? Well, that just shows how cold your heart is and why you're a follower of your christian cult.
Brainiac's only responces seem to be calling everyone else hateful for stating facts. I dont think someone as feeble minded as you is qualified to be called "Brainiac".
Ari3s, that's the reason I picked the name is people like you who pose as brainiacs on these blogs.
Perhaps he didn't reveal the ruse to his family because:
- He wanted to experience the full brunt of what a real gay person experiences.
- He couldn't trust his (seemingly vile) family members to keep the secret.
So some gay people are angry because this straight guy pretended to be gay? Please, gay people have been pretending to be straight forever and continue to do so, hypocrits.
Pretending to be straight to protect your life, job, and home is very different from pretending to be gay in order to try and understand gay people better. There is nothing hypocritical about people being upset about this!
Your a moron.....
The only reason gay people pretend to be straight is out of self-defense–of the very hatred this young man sought to expose. When you face being rejected, evicted, fired, or beaten up by those who discover you're gay, you sometimes have to hide it. This man did exactly the opposite–he purposefully exposed himself to all of these dangers when he didn't even have to. And actually most gay people applaud him for it. There may be a few comments in this thread saying otherwise, but generally gay people are glad he wrote about an experience to open the minds of those who hate.
Pete, you can quote all your verses out of context as you please, like the cults do. You just happen to be part of an atheist cult. The subject at hand shows that this man is a sham and that's all I'm saying.
"Pete, you can quote all your verses out of context"
No, I didn't. I am doing exactly what Christians do when they condemn gays. So now practice what you're trying to preach.
"The subject at hand shows that this man is a sham and that's all I'm saying."
Christianity is a sham and that's all I am going to say!
Pete, as you try to discredit the Bible with your foolishness, good luck with that. I'm simply addressing this story. Thanks!
Todd, you obviously are preoccupied with hate mongering and not this story, so your comments are just useless.
"try to discredit the Bible"
"Todd, you obviously are preoccupied with hate mongering and not this story, so your comments are just useless."
No, your comments are useless, that's the point.
Smithsonian. Get a life. I was just making a comment about this story.
"Smithsonian. Get a life. I was just making a comment about this story."
No, you weren't, you referenced a bible teaching below. The bile is just a book of myths.
Holy Kool-Aid Batman! Brainiac appears to be lacking in the thing he is named after! Please sir, do us all a favor and step out of the church and un-brainwash yourself, just a bit.
I can mention the Bible in my comment if I want to. Thanks Pete.
"I can mention the Bible in my comment if I want to. Thanks Pete."
And we have the right to show the bible is a book of myths. Thanks.
Brainless, it is very easy to discredit the babble. One doesn't have to try to do so. It does it all by itself. Outright falsehoods, just to start.
Pete,your idea of myth is fabricated in your own mind as you take verses out of context.
Which God? If I were you I would study the Bible for myself rather than let little minded people mislead me.
Brianless, I do know your babble. It's why I'm here. To poke holes in your so-called truths. You are a liar. You know it, we know it. You are just a scared little man, tying hard to believe that your pathetic life will continue after you die. In a nutshell, you are AFRAID of dying. Pascals wager applys to you, yes?
I do know your babble. It's why I'm here. To poke holes in your so-called truths.
If I were you I would not waste my time poking holes in the Bible. I would get a life and try to make something of myself.
The idea of lying to your family and going into LGBT community is certainly not evangelical or Biblical to begin with. What happend to honor your father and mother? He is a sham to begin with.
" What happend to honor your father and mother?"
And if he talked back to them about it then he should be stoned to death because your bible says so!
Pete you show collasal ignorance on your part. Get a life.
Ummm Brainiac the order to stone unruly children is as clear as day in the bible.... So yeah, he's right. However I don't expect Christians to actually read the bible, that would take away from their hate mongering time.
Really, guess you don't know your bible.
If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard. 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death."
Hate mongering? Look at yourself.
He knew it was only a temporary experiement and that he was going to tell the truth later–that is honorable and nt violting anything. In fact, he got his mother to expose her true colors and her hatred in a way that never would have happened without fibbing for his project.
Please see that the harsh punishments you speak of are old testiment where we lived under the "Law". We are now saved by Grace and are no longer "stoning" people. Please understand before you make rash statements and try to bring a division between people.
The harsh punishments were set up by God for the way he wanted the world run. It's the same God in the New Testament. The "Law" would still be in effect if Jesus hadn't got God to change his mind.
Observer… Please stop letting us know how ignorant you are of the scriptures. It's very annoying...
lol. Tell us Jesus didn't get God to quit requiring all the killing of people because they were adulterers, gay, etc.
Read the Bible sometime.
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