Friday, September 3, 2010

BEING GAY IS A GIFT FROM GOD

Several years ago, I wrote the following article that is slightly edited for reprinting here:

Gay-affirming congregations understand the Gospel of inclusiveness that puts all of us in the same tent for worship and ministry.

To be able to love another person is a gift from God! As human beings we have the capacity to love another person, putting that other personís feelings and interests ahead of our own. This is agapao in the Greek and is the word Jesus uses when He commands His disciples to love others.

Yet, in addition to agapao, there is also eros and phileo. Eros is love based upon pleasure and phileo is love based upon reciprocity of feelings and actions. In other words, phileo occurs when one loves the other if that love is reciprocated and doesnít love the other when that love is not reciprocated. Most of the world operates on eros and phileo! Christians are called upon to exercise agapao!

However, in our intimate relations, eros is also very important! It is the bonding of two souls and bodies in love that is faithful and enduring. The Gay couple well understands this bonding!

Troy Perry was a Pentecostal-Baptist minister at a very young age. He knew he was gay and tried to smother his feelings. He even attempted suicide! Fortunately, he was found after slashing his wrists, taken to a hospital and survived. He then realized that God doesnít create someone whom He can sit around and hate. God created Troy Perry, just like He created all of His gay and lesbian children! Troy Perry went on to start the Metropolitan Community Churches which particularly ministers to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities. They are world wide and have an Internet site.

The Bible doesnít condemn same-sex love! In a previous article I wrote in the "Sacramento Valley Mirror" in which I have a weekly column entitled, "Christianity and Society," I elucidated the passages traditionally used to condemn Gay people and showed that they dealt in a context of the need to propagate, with idolatry and exploitation, as well as with acts against nature where heterosexuals engage in homosexual acts undoubtedly to various pagan deities. Nowhere in the Bible is same-sex committed love condemned!

The last bastion of the civil rights movement is the stigma and exclusion of Gay people from our churches and from our secular society. Yet, they can be seen to be a gift to us from God in that, despite their terrible persecution, many remain steadfast in their loving relationships. Despite all of the barriers set up by Christians and non-Christians alike, many remain in committed relationships.

Being constitutionally Gay is not a disorder any more than having brown eyes is a disorder! Most Gay people have been born that way and like the old Sunday School saying goes, "God doesn't create junk!"

If you're Gay, you have been blessed by God in that you are capable of loving another human being. The most dangerous people in the world are those who either have nothing to lose or who are incapable of loving others. There is no reason not to assume that God blesses the monogamous Gay couple every bit as much as He blesses the heterosexually married couple!

As Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees, we make void the Word of God by our traditions (Matthew 15:3,6,9) Mere fallible human beings interpreted the Bible to condemn same-sex unions! Mere human beings call being Gay an "affliction" and Gay sex as "intrinsically evil."

Many Gay people walk around with guilt and shame because they think that they are condemned before God and their fellow man. Read the Bible with new eyes, taking account of the most recent biblical scholarship (See, for example, The New Oxford Annotated Bible), and see for yourself that God created you just as you are and He affirms and loves you just as you are. God shows far more grace than do mere human beings!

If you're Gay, you have been given the gift of the capacity to love by God, your creator. Don't take that gift lightly and don't deny it as a gift from God.

You have the capacity to love another human being, and nothing is more sacred or godly than that.
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6 comments:

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

Jerry,

It's always a good idea to post affirming essays like this one, because the Bible bigots never stop distorting Scripture and making LesBiGay Christians feel that they are defective and doomed. We are the "eunuchs born from our mother's womb" that Jesus Christ spoke of (Matthew 19); we and our Transsexual brethren are blended male and female in one body, an approximation of the mirror image of God. Laws laid down for binary gender males and females to follow (whose heterosexual attraction is as inherent to them as homosexual and bisexual attraction is to us) never applied to born eunuchs! And as you've so eloquently pointed out, the Levitican laws do not apply to ANY Christian, regardless of sexual orientation. I cringe every time I think of how badly Scripture is being taught in most churches.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, Don Charles. As you know, I place the blame for most all of the suffering visited upon LGBT people on most of the institutional Church, many of whose clergy bear false witness against LGBT people; ignorantly and/or mendaciously misuse Scripture to the point where so many LGBT people commit suicide, are assaulted, and are even murdered.

No LGBT person, and no decent person for that matter, should give any credibility to any such churches by their attendance and money. It's far better, and Godly, to worship God at home, rather than be part of a "church" that knows nothing about the Gospel of grace, the Good News, that solely emanates from the finished work of Jesus Who loves His LGBT children whom He created in the first place, just the way He wanted. Best wishes, Jerry.

genevieve said...

Great post, Jerry. It didn't take me long to realize that God created me as a transgender person. Encouraging others that God loves them and created them is a mission of mine. You're absolutely right that no money or time should be given to a church that denigrates LGBT people or anybody for that matter.

Genevieve

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, genevieve! Best wishes, Jerry.

FQ said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Rev. Jerry.

I love my sexuality and my identity. It is a gift from God.

Jerry Maneker said...

You're very welcome, FQ. And your sexuality is, as is your very life, a gift from God. No LGBT person should take seriously anyone else's rhetoric that tells them differently! Best wishes, Jerry.