May 22nd, 2011
01:00 AM ET
My Faith: How I learned to stop 'praying away the gay'
Editor's Note: Don Lemon is a CNN anchor and author of Transparent, a memoir .
By Don Lemon, CNN
"School day, time to get up, sleepy head. School day."
Although she's been gone since 1998, my grandmother's words ring in my head just about every morning of my life. That's how MaMe, as I called her, got me out of bed and off to my Catholic school when I was growing up and in her care.
But before I shuffled my way to the bathroom to begin my morning routine, I had to hit the floor on my knees to pray, just as I had the night before.
It was usually The Lord's Prayer ("Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name...") followed by asking God to watch and guide me through my day until I returned to the safety of my home that evening.
But MaMe (pronounced MAH-me) didn't know that at a very early age her favorite grandson had begun to pray, silently, that God would change him from being different, from having crushes on boys, from being more curious about boys than girls.
By age four or five, I was too young to sexualize my infatuations but I knew that everyone else, including my family and friends, would think it was wrong.
Perhaps it was the conversations I overheard from adults around my hometown of Port Allen, Louisiana, who'd mimic gay people, calling them "funny" or "sissy" or "fagots."
Perhaps it was Sunday mornings at our Baptist church, where preachers taught that liking someone of the same sex was a direct and swift path to hell. And that if that person would just turn to the Lord and confess his sin, then God would change him back into the person He wanted him to be - a person who only had crushes on the opposite sex.
All of which meant that, from a very early age, I began to think I was dirty and that I was going to hell. Can you imagine what that feels like for a kid who was just learning to read and perform basic arithmetic? It was awful.
And talk about guilt - I was a Baptist attending Catholic school!
I prayed the silent prayer for God to change me every chance I got until I started attending college in New York. That's when common sense began to take hold and I realized that no amount of prayer would change me into something that wasn't natural to me.
With my religious upbringing, I'd had the opportunity to study religious doctrine. But I learned from different perspectives, from Catholic Mass on Fridays to Baptist services on Sundays to vacation Bible school in the summer to Bible study with a Jehovah's Witness as a teenager.
As I got older I began to realize that all these people and institutions interpreted the Bible somewhat differently. I had a sort of epiphany: the Bible was about the lessons you learned, not about the events or words.
When I became old enough, intelligent enough and logical enough to discern the difference between metaphor and reality, everything changed. I realized that Jonah living in the belly of a whale was a parable written in the same vein as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saying that he had "been to the mountaintop."
Neither Jonah nor King had actually been to those places. They were metaphors for lessons for those of us who cared to absorb them.
So many of us, especially in the black community and in churches, tend to think that religious teachings happened word for word as they were written in Scripture. I think that's naïve, even dangerous.
That type of thinking - or non-thinking - keeps many religious people enslaved to beliefs that they haven't truly stepped back from and examined.
That type of thinking causes people who are otherwise good to shun and ostracize young gay people.
It causes people to want to control and change people who aren't like them. And who wants to be like someone else?
Imagine if we had allowed Christian doctrines and teachings that supported slavery, segregation and the subjugation of women to pervade our society all the way up until the current moment. What kind of world would that be?
Instead, we got on our knees, just as I did as a little boy, and prayed that slavery, segregation and the subjugation of women would end. In the United States, at least, those prayers have largely been realized.
I'm no longer the member of any church but I do believe in a higher power.
It's time for us, especially black people, to stop trying to pray the gay away and to get on our knees and start praying that the discrimination of gay people ends.
What we're doing to our young gay people now is child abuse. It's plain old bigotry and hatred. And if African-Americans don't know what that feels like in America, I don't know who does.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Don Lemon.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
Thank you Don for your courage, honesty and speaking the truth about who you are and what you have become. Some of the posters in this forum are the very type of hypocrite that The Lord detested; shrug off their comments like a old coat. There is no shortage of bigots and hypocrites (like the Pharasees of old) who hide behind religion and outwardly profess a virtuous life while on the inside they are rotten to the core. Your assessment that the black community, if anyone, should understand descrimination is spot on! For all the people out there that are quick to condemn, don't be picking at the speck of dust in my eye when there is a beam in your own!
Well said dude. The hate is there and its wrong, God calls us to love, people, Neighbors etc U probably know the whole "who is my neighbor" deal. But that doesnt excuse the fact that it's wrong. I guess all im tryin to say is l"ove the sinn er hate the sin." You Cant tell anyone that tell anyone one that their going to hell thats Gods' Desciscion based on grace but u can tell people where self-destructive actions can lead You wouldnt let someone you love stumble into a fire or dive of a cliff it's the same scenario just spiritual. But i totaly feel you about the pharisees Silly religion I think... It was again well said
To Don Lemon,
Be patient, be very patient and pray to the one and only God,who has no partners,no sons,no daugthers, no
holy ghost,no trinity this is the only way to rid yourself from this evil.
It makes me very angry for people to say "to get rid of this evil". Why do you assume gayness is evil? You're an idiot.
But Jesus did have a boyfriend and got nabbed kissing him. Thats why they killed him for sodomy. Straight guys don't do sodomy/or kiss with other guys- think about it.
Site your evidence. Otherwise, begone.
Everything KC has said is true! Jesus appeared to me in a vision and told me all of this. He must have appeared to KC as well!
If you read the same Bible you like to quote, then you know that eating pork, shellfish, wearing cotton and polyester at the same time are said to be abominations, too. You can't have one without the other!
To only focus on the OT is to be as blind as the Sadducees/Pharisees of Christ's time.
Let me re-write your article:
I'm G-ay.....I don't believe God can change me into the man he wants. I don't believe that the word of God is the TRUE word of God...just some stories. I know what's right but I refuse "TO DO" wha't right in God's eyes so I'll just do my "OWN THING".
NO...Mr. Lemmon...your lifestyle is wrong...it says so PRETTY CLEARLY I might add in the Bible...BOTH in the Old testament and the New Testament.
You sound like your okay with going to H-ell b/c in your words "I'm not going to pray the g-ay away". You don't realize your not "praying the G-ay away" BUT "Praying that God will give you the strength, courage and wisdom to make the right choices and NOT act on your own desires". If in your words you can't change the way you are you CAN pray for God to allow for you to "die to self"....and live a Godly life as best as you can. That means to turn from ALL SIN that includes this lifestyle.
In addition all the other things you pointed out such as Sla.very and such...hogwash. First off the sla.very refered to in the Bible was more of an indetured servant. In addition it was a humane and compassionate type of servitude.
He Jesus was gay- really he was no joke.
You sir are a moron and a bigot.
You forgot to add idiot. He's all that and more. CW is even dumber than Adelina and HS. That's truly saying something.
You are sad, and I pity you for believing that tripe.
CW – Did you not pay attention to the article? You don't realize how many times I've heard of young kids trying to pray away the gay. Do you not think that if it were that easy to accomplish that it would not happen? Apparently you have no gay friends. "Gay" cannot be prayed away just like "Straight" can also not be prayed away. Do you think you could change yourself to be gay just because someone said you were evil and you needed to do so even though you didn't feel it normal to be gay. Straight is your normal. You can't change it even if you tried.
I know I'm on the "RIGHT SIDE". I'm very very fine with that.
@ Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,
Say what you want....Christians are always ridiculed....It was that way in Jesus's time and has never changed.
Reread my comments....I never said you could "pray the G-ay away" I SAID..."Pray to God to help make the choice to NEVER act on the wrong desires".
CW, I'm not ridiculing Christians. I'm ridiculing hypocrites, uneducated morons, and liars like you.
You're not even close to being a Christian. I know Christians. They're NOTHING like you. They help others, they give their time, their money, and their love to people who need it. You're nothing but a sham.
Let he without sin cast the first stone, you unmitigated BIGOT!
Site your sources, or quit posting drivel.
In Christian brotherhood it's not called "bigotry", it's called accountability. If one Christian is trying to "pray the g-ay away", and another corrects them by telling them that they need to trust in God to take away their sinful desires (being a drunkard, lusting after anyone other than their opposite-gender spouse, etc), that is a practice of accountability.
Don claims Christianity, and CW is simply keeping in that line. Nothing wrong with his post...but that's ok that you call it bigotry. The Bible clearly states that if you are not a believer, the ways of the Cross will be foolishness to you – as it obviously appears to be the case.
It's funny how quickly the world attacks. I do not know Don personally, so I can't completely back you up,...but I would say that, for the large part of the populace, this would be accurate. I'm not sure exactly how we communicate this in a Christ-like manner...it may be that our only ways is to say it exactly as our discernment leads us.
@ Jeff: You can put a dress on a pig and call it what you want. Bigotry and ignorance are still bigotry and ignorance. Whether you call yourself a christian in the face of this sort of thinking or not.
I am not ridiculing Christians either, but your surety that you are right because someone disagrees with you is sadly closed-minded. I grew up being taught all that religiousese, but that's all it was – empty words without meaning for living. We all live complicated lives, but you are trying to make all life simplistic. Open your mind to let in some thought.
Bigotry: "intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself" I am not intolerant, I just don't agree. If you are truly a Christian, then it is a matter of accountability. You wouldn't help a recovering alcoholic by offering them a drink...would you?
Never thought you were ridiculing anyone...just posting your thoughts on the matter. No harm done...no offense taken. Just because I don't share your point of view doesn't mean I can't listen to it thoughtfully and respond.
Please understand, the term "closed-minded" gets thrown around just about as much as "intuitiveness", and is just as non-quantifiable by the masses. You can call me closed-minded, but I could call you it as well for failing to agree with my point of view. Neither are actually correct. We have both made our stances and have decided on our own personal systems of belief. You claim I am trying to make life simple, and I believe that it is: Love God, love man. By which, I mean that I am willing to put another's needs above my own. I opened my mind long ago to Science and realized how empty it was – full of conjecture and theory, but lacking any real substance. Quite frankly, it seemed so much simpler to accept the fact that God made everything, that to imagine that it happened by a mystical series of events that only leaves me with an unsettling reality that there is no purpose in life. Further investigation into my faith yielded to me that the Christian faith is, in fact, Truth.
well done Don.
The only problem with this article is that it doesn't go far enough. I can't tell you how many Christians I know who, when they grew up and started thinking for themselves, became aware of one or more major flaws in their Christian teaching. They then "modify" their Christian beliefs, jettisoning the flawed teaching and keeping the rest. The problem is: it's ALL nonsense. I can understand how hard it must be to accept the whole thing is a human creation, but I think deep down more people know it than are willing to admit it. That's why all the carrying on about "faith" happens. Faith is believing something when there is no evidence to lead you to do so, and that is just about a textbook definition of foolishness. Any time someone asks you to accept something on faith, it is often totally ridiculous, like drinking blood (or pretending to based on your particular brand of Christianity) or in the case of bigotry, morally repugnant (like discriminating against black people, or women, or gays.) If someone asks you to believe or do something based on faith you should run the other way! What "faith" really means in the Christian religious context is believing something because someone else told you it is true. No one believes in Christ because they have met him, found independent evidence of his existence, etc. They all believe the story that someone TOLD them. (Or more correctly, they all believe PARTS of the particular version of the story that most fits the rest of their views.) There is not a single Christian on earth that is a Christian because of Christ. They are all just following someone's version of "faith" as previously defined. These same people would go to great lengths to tell you they are smart, independent thinkers, and not easily fooled, and in most contexts that is probably true. However, in the religious context they have been brainwashed since early childhood and live in a society they fear would shun them if they broke out of the foolishness of their religious upbringing. It's probably just as hard to "come out" as a former Christian as it is to come out as being gay. I know because I was raised a Christian and now recognize Christianity is utterly false and yet I still don't dare make a big stink about it because doing so would cause irreparable harm in my personal and professional relationships. People don't like being called stupid and basically every time someone wakes up and realizes Christianity is just as stupid as any other religion they realize all the people who still believe are in fact acting stupid. I don't mean to use such a negative word but what else can we call it? Anyway, the result of all this is, sadly, that the stupidity continues. Thankfully, it is mostly harmless and in most cases people do modify their religion to suit their beliefs and over time the religion itself changes to suit the needs of the society in which it operates. It's only when the fundamentalists who believe that there version of the truth is somehow superior, being direct from God, are in charge that we have problems... like bigots and terrorists.
Another log on the fire. Hell is hot, Bill. Enjoy it!
However, I would suggest that you embrace your "non-belief" in a outward manner. There are more of us than you think!
So what do you believe in?
Bill, I hear you. I am a Christian and I hear you. I know people who have "stepped away" or "fallen away" or simply "opted out" of the Christian walk. It actually makes a LOT of sense to me. For me, it really reinforces just how incompatible Christianity is with the way the rest of the world lives. I think the challenge for a great many Christians (especially in this rich nation that we live in) is that WE (myself included) want so much to hold onto the way of life that we used to know, the priorities we used to have, the way we used to consider relationships, etc., before we entered into this Christian life. It's like a two-way street with traffic going in opposite directions. And the more people try to BLUR the lines, or compromise on seemingly unimportant issues, the more it raises a red flag... but that is a good thing. In Jesus's own words (well, English translation, anyway)... "If the world hates you, remember that it hated ME first." (John 15:18)
For my fellow Christians, I would encourage them with this verse. Remember – there will be incompatibility. We should not be surprised by that. Ridicule, persecution, resistance, none of it should come as a surprise.
And for those who call themselves Christians who have only found acceptance, tolerance, comfort and peace... well... I would say... either 1) brace yourself, cause your testing's about to happen... or 2) maybe your brand of Christianity looks a little bit too much like the rest of the world. There SHOULD be a distinction.
Not really sure why CNN posted this article. You decided you were going to do what you wanted to do no matter the teachings of the Bible. That's fine, lost of people do the same thing, but just say that and do try to make it some noble cause. I've had friends tell me they think God wants them to leave their wife, or go crazy in debt, or any of a number of things that are wrong, but again, you are free to make your choice.
That darn "free will" thing is a double-edged sword, eh? The Bible states that we should do everything "in love", and that on the day of reckoning we will be accountable for every word we have said. On that day I know I'm going to have to answer for a lot of things, many of which will hurt like crazy. I don't want to add any more to that list. Speak the Truth in Love...not just in tough love or in truth...but in Love. 😉
Jesus was gay it is clear if you read the book.
And the other half of the haters say that Jesus was shacking up with Mary Magdalene......yer a dick.
That is a lie. The Lord Jesus Christ rebuke you!
It's true, Jesus told me, in a vision!
Cite your info, or quit posting heresy. Watch those flames...there is an unforgivable sin ya' know..??..
hi , i'm 4... when i grow up i want to be gay
I supose that all scriptural commands are just metaphorical. I mean lets live free of such restraints as don't commit murder, don't lie, cheat, steal, and commit adultry. I mean come on, God doesn't mean any of it and he wouldn't want me to feel bad about myself. Not only that but we all know that God wouldn't dream of actually judging us, I mean after all judgement and hell and heaven and the devil, all of it is just metaphorical. Really, you can trust me, I am such a strong Christian...
DJ- have you ever eaten a shrimp- if so get out your thong your are going to hell with a bunch of gays!
How to take a moderate position and try to turn it extreme. Still you fail. That's not what Lemon said.
@DJ: The ethical standards you reference in your post did not originate in your scriptures. They existed long before your religion. They are secular in their origin and religions "borrowed" them for their scriptures.
While you refer to some of the ten commandments, they, too, are just a few from 613 commandments given to Moses. Even Orthodox Jews ignore many of them – especially about stoning one's children for talking back. Why, then, do you concentrate on a few of the 10 plus 1?
WHEN I WAS YOUNG, THE IDEA OF GAY CROSSED MY MIND, I WAS SURPRISED IT HAPPENED EVENTHOUGH I HAVE NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT. COULD IT BE THE EVIL THOUGHTS THAT THE EVIL ONE HAS PUT INTO OUR MIND?I BELEIVE SO, SO I PRAYED TO GOD TO TAKE MY LIFE BEFORE THIS EVIL THOUGHT COME INTO FRUITATION. GOD HAVE MERCY ON ME AND NOW THIS THOUGHT IS BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL AND NEVER HAUNT ME AGAIN..TURN TO GOD FOR HE ALLOWS THINGS TO HAPPEN ,IT IS OUR INITIATIVE TO BEG HIM FOR HELP HE WILL SET US FREE. ACKNOWLEDGE GOD IN EVERYTHING YOU DO AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT.ACKNOWNLEDGE GOD IS GLORIFYING GOD. HE WILL MAKE YOU HOLY FOR HE IS HOLY. DO PRAY , FOR GOD IS WAITING FOR YOU TO SEEK HIS HELP.
Jesus was gay- that was him calling you and you goofed it up.
Did you ever pray to stop shouting at everyone?
Thank you. The power of God and the sincere longing to live an obedient life will change one's life. Your testimony is appreciated. If someone refuses to humble himself before God, he will suffer the consequences of a guilty heart. Living the life of a gay person is not happy.
@opinionated – I'm gay and very happy. How dare you assume that gay people aren't happy. You obviously don't know any.
MAN, I DON'T KNOW. YOU SURE SOUND GAY TO US.
Are you yelling in order to make yourself to believe this s*&it?
Thank you for a great post. I hope many poeple like yourself will turn to God to help with this type of situation.
Jesus was Gay.
Jenny, You're messed up.
Jenny, I would watch what you say. Blasphemy is not something to take lightly, especially blasephemy against the Savior and King of the world.
Cite your info, or quit posting heresy. Watch those flames...there is an unforgivable sin ya' know..??..
Yup..them fires are HOT!
How about doing something productive instead of wasting your time praying? Just a thought.
Hate on faith...way to go. Even Atheism is now a religion – with "self" as God. Now isn't that a bit arrogant?
"self" is god in satanism, not atheism. Look it up.
Actually, I'd say few things are more arrogant than suggesting that some all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and all-forgiving higher power that created this infinite universe, where the Earth is a speck of dust, is focused so intently on what we do, on this tiny dot. And that all-loving / all-forgiving being apparently hates gay people. But there's no contradiction there whatsoever, right?
As specifically defined, you are correct. The things most Atheists don't want to admit is, that by saying "there is no God", means that you hold all knowledge. Deity is often defined as the amount of knowledge one possess, so Atheists are indirectly claiming deism. That is the point of my post.
The more accurate statement that Atheists *should* be making is that they do not believe there is a God.
Yep, we all know how those perverted 4 year olds choose to be gay. /sarc
Great piece, Don.
What a terrible article.
Why? Did it make you have to think?
Or did it differ from the lies that your "religion" tells you?
One night, celebrating Passover, high on Shewbread and drunk on wine, in the Garden of Gesthamane, Jesus and Judas were caught "kissing," arrested, hauled off to jail, judged in a Jewish court, quickly convicted of Sodomy and crucified side by side as Sodomites.
Instead of dealing with the truth, the Apostles, led by Peter, had to tell his followers something, so they concocted the "Betrayal" by Judas, who supposedly said "he is the one I will kiss." Supposedly Judas couldn't just say to the Roman Soldiers he was expecting, "Oh, good, you're here, he's the one I am pointing at."
And that is according to the gospel of Jenny. Jenny who's blinded by the sin of PRIDE, aka ego which Erase God Out. No truth in you. Beyond sad and pathetic.
There is more evidence to support the occurrences in the Bible (the way they are recorded to have happened) than there is to support the idea of any other faith in existence, and yet this type of garbage still comes to the surface.
I demand proof of your claims. Substantiate your nonsense.
Why should she? You can't support any of your claims.
Believing that the events of the Bible are metaphorical is so much easier than believing that they actually happened because it requires no work, no thought, no actual logic. It is incredibly easy to say something is false and dismiss it, but to be willing to ask the tough questions and seek answers, to be willing to put it to the test and dismiss it if you find it false, and still come out believing it in the end – that brings about belief that is worthwhile. Mr. Lemon, your assertion that the Bible is metaphorical is nothing short of lazy. Presenting it as fact is an insult to everyone in the world who actually makes the effort to believe in something.
Do you consider "belief" as a path to truth?
Quite the opposite – discovering what is true is the only path to worthwhile belief.
@Andrew: The only way to "truth" and "fact" is through verification of evidence. Verified evidence does not require "belief".
I think Faith is commitment in the abscence of logic, thought, and work. By definition. Once you start to apply logic, you are in a realm other than faith. Both are fine, but Faith tries to be logic and fails. It does just fine as it is. Still, I prefer the rational.
@Erin – if you have verified evidence, what reason would you have for not believing in it? "Belief" is not the same as blind faith.
@Andrew: Please explain the difference between belief and blind faith.
Did it occur to you that the bible was written long after the events that are recorded in it, how can you possibly believe that these events are verbatim truth. Please tell me how Noah fit every animal in the world onto a boat and explain why there is no archeological proof of a worldwide flood. I'm not saying don't believe anything in the bible but these stories were written for people with a much simpler understanding of the world. As mostly educated people, some of you I'm not so sure of, I think it makes sense to take the big picture from the stories in the bible instead of focusing on irrelevant details that are very likely untrue.
I never understood how a gay person could be religious or believe in a God that, according to scripture, doesn't want you and thinks your whole existence is wrong. If I were gay and had been taught to believe in God and his word throughout my upbringing which then would lead me to understand that my whole family, friends and support system all thought being gay is wrong and goes against all that God "teaches", I wouldn't support that kind of vitriolic movement in any way, shape or form. To each his own, I guess. I just don't understand it.
That is sound reason to turn your back on the church, but spirituality is another matter. The connection one feels to a higher power, and need for a greater connection, is much stronger, more instinctive, than rejection on the part of kith or kin.
Outside, even the sciences agree with Jesus. Sperm plus sperm does not produce. Neither does egg(s) plus egg(s) produce.
What part of these truth are you still going to deny?
When you realize that all religions are man-made attempts to understand the world and control others- it becomes much easier. God doesn't have a problem with Gay people otherwise he wouldn't be creating them. "Religious" people do. It's their problem not mine.
What part of your "point" matters in the slightest, HS? Do explain why you think your little science lesson proves something about this issue. I'll wait.
God created me in his image. I'm gay. I'm also a Christian. Does this make God gay? Most folks who use the bible to spew their hate pick and choose which passages to quote from, mostly those in Leviticus 18 and 20. If you feel that Leviticus is the way in which to live your life, you also should not eat pork (Leviticus 11:7 talks of pork being unclean. Leviticus 11:10 the eating of unclean food is an abomination) Leviticus also requires that no priest serve the Lord unless he was physically perfect (Leviticus 21:16-21) nor are they required to marry virgins (Leviticus 21:13).
Judge lest yea be judged.
Emily, you've got it backwards. You hate Jesus and Christians. Tell the truth for once in your life. While you are at it, Jesus told us to stay humble (aka meek). How is your ego going full throttle being humble?
HeavenSent- lot of assumptions you are making there- I'd say it's YOUR ego running wild. Why the need to tell everyone else that they are wrong?
Oh, boy, that's a laugh. HS lecturing others on being humble. Why not just get Donald Trump? They're equivalent in terms of ego. HS is not as pretty, though.
You are excusing your action by purposely misunderstanding scriptures.. You quote old testament law, which God did away with to justify sin condemned in the new testament. All sin is alike in the fact that it feels good, feels natural to us, feels like this is just who I am. Men don't commit adultry because of rebelion, they do it because we just naturally drawn to those curves. It is 100% impossible to be committed gay and a christian in as much as it is impossible to be a committed liar and be a christian. The moment you choose to justify the sin rather than resist the sin and seek God for grace to over come the sin, we enter into a state of rebelion which if persisted in leads to judgement. I would rather be found in my final days on this old earth in a tooth and nail struggle against sin and seemingly loosing, than be found all cozied up to the sin, embracing it, and condemning God with every word out of my mouth.
Lev 16 was about the presentation of offerings...not about whether or not he could be a priest. Beyond this, let's make one thing clear:
Jesus' commands in the NT expand upon/clarify the original intentions of the OT. In Matthew 15 (v.1-20) Jesus clearly tells us to not be so hung up on tradition because we should be far more concerned about what comes out of our mouth, rather than what goes in it.
Let us not forget Matthew 22:36-40 – the greatest commands are to love God with everything we have, and to love our fellow man. To love someone is to desire to meet their needs before meeting your own.
@DJ: hold up there bud...Jesus didn't squash the OT. He even clearly states that he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17-19). The OT isn't invalid, the NT simply clarifies it where we as God's people have gotten "too focused" on specific parts of the Law that we've forgotten to LOVE others first.
I agree with pretty much everything else you said...but for those that are less interested in truly reading what you said, you may want to clarify the term "committed". I believe this is akin to "hardness of heart", rather than something committed out of the occasional "slip". All sin is a choice, but we still need to recognize that some people, no matter how much they claim the Cross, will still "choose" sin. Which path are they truly on?
"How is your ego going full throttle being humble?" I don't know; how did YOU get to be the Official Voice of Jesus? Are you ordained? Are you even mentally competent?
"But bacon tastes good! Pork chops taste good!"
Thanks Don for writing such an important piece that definitely conveys some of my feelings. I think of church as being a refuge, a vessel that reengerzies my spirit and being. The discrimination of someone because of who they chooses as their partner should not be a weekly sermon. This does border on bigotry and it is so pronounced in our churches. Because of this many of us have stayed away from church. I miss church and desperately and would like to return but I do not wish to hear the weekly declarations against the gay lifestlye. Our society is facing more paramount issues that need to be addressed. We are capable of better and we need o do better.
jl, just being in the flesh is sin. With that said, Jesus told us to stay humble and not pay attention to the ways of the world. We are only on earth for a short time and eternity is forever. Believing yourself to be g-ay, is not being humble (meek) and focusing too much on the ways of the world instead of pay attention to Jesus and what He wants for you and what He wants from you.
"jl, just being in the flesh is sin." So we should all kill ourselves? Aren't you the freak who said the snake didn't talk, Satan was a ventriloquist? Your grasp of Scripture is fumbling at best and ludicrous at worst.
"We are capable of better and we need o do better." Thank you JL. I SO hope that's true!
But to HS: Jesus also told us to "Love our neighbors as we love ourselves", and it's one of the keystones of this so called "Good Book." So why do so many turn this into "Hate thy neighbor as much or more than you hate yourselves; torture those around you because you are tortured and cannot escape the pain"? WHERE DOES THIS TRANSLATION COME FROM??? I'm really very curious how such a blatant command can be blasphemed against with no apparent regard for Jesus' very non-subtle, non-metaphorical message. Spewing this hate-filled vitriol, regardless of what you consider right or wrong in your tiny heart, goes directly against Jesus' other words. Has He made you and His followers the Arbiters of Right and Wrong? "Oh yea, I sayeth unto you this line too, but thou just kinda sweepeths it under the rug."
And by the way, I don't "believe" myself to be gay, I am 100% certain of it, and I am 100% of this world 24/7/365 as are you. How can you possibly adhere to the belief that simply being in the flesh is sin and still live? Your every thought and movement, no matter how well-intended or altruisitic (as your gentle attempts to persuade us to believe your way obviously are), is sin? Praying, believing, breathing, is sin? What kind of loving deity would set this up as a reality, much less an inviting philosophy? If you're truly so concerned about paying too much attention to this world, get out of these reply rooms and go do some more biblical translations. I don't think you've mastered that art just yet.
I think it is critical to get the facts right in this case. I can attest to the fact that some of us have very ground memories unlike some and so i would dimiss the first respondants claim that his ciams are lies; i remember things i did when i was 3 yrs and 4 years old like they happened yesterday.
Now to the pressing issue, it is critical to also understand that the bible is very explicit as regards what God's views are on the subject of being gay. I think where Christians probably miss it is when they judge other people outside of their faith or condem for example the gay act. Inasmcuh as i am not in support of the notion that its alright to be gay, it is critical that the powers to decide who is wrong or right actually lies with God. The same Jesus we served told us: " He has not come to condemn the world but rather that he has come so that the world through him might be saved. He also said we should judge not so that we should not be judged.
So my word to my fellow Christians out there is that we should stop condeming others outside or within our faith for not walking in accordance to the dictates of the faith, but rather we should pray for God's guidance and healing. We should teach the love of Christ and His promises for those who believe in him for we are tantamount to hypocrites when we condem a gay person whist we ourselves are languishing in squalor of lust and sin. Again, the bible makes us understand that by strength shall no man prevail, so the salvation we have is obtain not by works but by grace.
Lastly, just like the issue of the adulterous woman that was taking to Jesus to confirm his positions as regards what the laws of Moses said about such a sin i.e (consequence of which is stoning to death). Jesus simply answer by telling them that if there is anybody amongst the crowd that is without sin, let him cast the first stone; evidently they all left and Jesus told the woman: "where are your accusers?" and she said there is none, He went further to say neither do i condem you but go and sin no more.
The healing and direction that we need in our life is rooted not only in the word of God, but with the encounter with HIm. Lets preach the message of love ,grace and mercy rather than that of condemnation.
Well said! Thank you for eloquently saying how I believe most Christians feel. I hate that so many people have been hurt by the church, and have turned away from God because of small-minded, bigoted people. God loves gay people as much as anyone else. Grace is a beautiful thing!
Thank you John for highlighting my thoughts/fears/beliefs of our hypocrisy. I am a black female who understands what it's like to be discrimated against. We should refrain from doing so because that is passing judgement and as Christians we do not have the right to do so without passing judgement on ourselves. I spent Saturday talking with my kids about "doomsday" and all these people who say they "figured it out" from reading the bible – NOT. I hope my children heard me when I explained God's Grace and the fact that judgement day comes for people who die every day of the week/month/year and we should be mindful of how we interact with others everyday because we don't know how or when God will decide it is our time...
John Aisabokhai, that was a mouth full of babble. Christians tells folks what won't get them into eternity with Jesus. You are insisting to allow people to do what they want to do while on earth without telling them that if they stay on that course, there will be no eternity for them.
Get some backbone with some salt and stop listening to the ways of the world.
Isn't it funny that HS surfaces after the predicted, promised doomsday has come and gone? Guess she was hiding out in her bathroom. Now that it's safe to emerge, she's back in all her glory.
What a freakshow.