Monday, March 7, 2011

BEING GAY IS A GIFT FROM GOD

ADDENDUM: With so many Gay and left-wing bloggers affirming, albeit begrudgingly, the recent Supreme Court decision affirming the Phelps' clan's right to protest the funerals of military personnel killed in action, I just wonder what the Supreme Court decision would have been, and what Gay and left-wing reaction would have been, had that clan, rather than publicly despising LGBT people, publicly despised Blacks or Jews? Regarding externalized and internalized homophobia, this question is well worth pondering!

From now on, I'm going to sporadically post articles, urging you to please read prior posts and assorted articles in the Links Section of this blog.

The following is a slightly edited article that I wrote many years ago that I feel is appropriate to reprint here:

Fortunately, in many communities there are gay affirming congregations. They 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 person's 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 doesn't 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 doesn't 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 or even discussed!

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."

When done in a context of monogamous mutual love, the Bible doesn't affirm or condemn homosexuality. Indeed, the Bible is silent on this matter!

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 donít 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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4 comments:

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

Jerry,

With every appalling development like that horrendous Supreme Court decision in favor of Fred Phelps, it becomes harder and harder for ministers like you to deliver the Savior's inclusive message of love to LGBT folk. The more they hear society affirm its view of them as "faggots, "dykes", "queers" and "trannies", the more they reject the "Christian" teachings that have savaged them so cruelly, and the deeper they sink into a morass of internalized shame. Satan is relentless in his persecution, but God has not forgotten and will not forget his gender-neutral children!

Jerry Maneker said...

Amen, Don Charles!!!!

T.J. said...

Jerry, this concept of God giving you the capacity to love another human being is a FANTASTIC way of looking at one's orientation and helps me in my continuing growth to accept and embrace my gayness. Great site. I also discovered the Progressive Christianity site a year or so ago and have enjoyed reading those articles as well. God bless you! Yours, T.J.

Jerry Maneker said...

God bless you, too, T.j! What you wrote means a great deal to me. My very best wishes, Jerry.