Saturday, October 15, 2011

BEING GAY IS A GIFT FROM GOD

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 am reprinting 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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18 comments:

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

Jerry,

Here is a related Scripture from the Gospel According to Mark that all Bible bigots should take to heart:

MARK 7:1-13
Now when the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Him, they observed that some of His disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed hands. . . . so the Pharisees and scribes questioned Him: "Why do Your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders, but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?" He responded: "Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts!' You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition."

He went on to say, "How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! For Moses said: 'Honor your father and your mother,' and 'Whoever curses father or mother shall die.' Yet you say: 'If a person says to father or mother, "Any support you might have had from me is qorban"' (meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things!"

Embedded in all of the Savior's teachings is the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would wish to be treated!

Jerry Maneker said...

Beautifully relevant, Don Charles! Jesus says that there are people who make void the Word of God by their traditions. Moreover, there are professing "Christians" who make void the Word of God by their preconceived prejudices; bear false witness against LGBT people in the name of God; thereby heap condemnation on themselves by so doing. Best wishes, Jerry.

Gift Giver said...

I completely support your advocacy.
I also think that the LGBTQ community needs to work harder on proving that they are not about sex and violence but also about individuality, personality and love.

-- http://www.gaygift.org/
your source of unoffensive gifts for gay men

genevieve said...

Don Charles, Jerry; I talked about this with my wife. She and I say that God loves everyone. We are born as we are.

I've heard so many arguments condemning GLBT people, and I refute those arguments quite a bit.

genevieve said...

Excellent comment, Don Charles. There's a lot of this going on. When those who defend "traditional values" by condemning LGBT people shows they hypocrasy.

Jerry Maneker said...

That's great, genevieve! The more the lies are refuted, the more the cause of equal rights will be moved forward. Best wishes, Jerry.

Pfalz prophet said...

I don't believe the Bible is silent on same-gender love. 1 and 2 Samuel are almost explicit about David and Jonathan's relationship. Solomon confirms it by his scathing denunciation. What about Naomi and Ruth? Less explicit, but no lesser commitment there. Finally, look up the original text of Jesus' healing of the slave of the centurion, there's an intimacy there that is inescapable.

Now, on to another mattter: I'm trying to publicize a film series I'm hosting in the Chicago area. How may I enlist your network in getting the word out?

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks Gift Giver and Pfalz. Pfalz, just give me the information about the film series, and I'll be glad to post it on this blog. I'm sorry to both of you for the lateness of my response, but for some reason your comments didn't appear in my email and I just saw them in the comments section of my blog. Best wishes, Jerry.

Jessica said...

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Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Jessica. Best wishes, Jerry.

Anonymous said...

Im Christian and I can't stop crying about some of the hate I keep hearing comming from some Christian churches.

I'm outraged by it.

I feel like the gay vs conservative
debate is tearing the fabric of society into two bits as well as individual hearts.

Thank you for addressing this with the kindness and respect that it is due.

Jerry Maneker said...

God bless you, Anonymous, for your very kind words. Best wishes, Jerry.

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

Matthew 19: This is the only Scripture that really matters when discussing whether or not LGBT status is sinful.

Jerry Maneker said...

Exactly, Don Charles! Everyone, particularly LGBT people, should read Jesus' statement that he says when He is asked about marriage: "For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb...." (Matthew 19:12)

Faris Malik http://www.well.com/~aquarius/ deals with born eunuchs in great detail and provides its context. I also urge all LGBT people who have any doubts that their sexual orientation is normal, and is in no way condemned in the Bible, to read Malik's site.

dawaynecostello said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. As a gay christian with my mother a pastor of a church, I understand the struggle with coming out and living a fulfilled lifestyle. But it does get better, and when you begin to understand the God Loves Us so much and accepts us the way we are our lives become so fruitful and worth every second of it.

check out my blog
www.dawaynecostello.com

God Bless you!

Jerry Maneker said...

God bless you, too, Dawayne, and thank you so much for your kind words. Best wishes, Jerry.

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

I'm never happy to see LGBT folk fall back on the newly popular catchphrase "it gets better". That is not what Jesus Christ taught us! He taught that we must work to make the world better.

We must endeavor to treat one another with respect. We must not become complicit in ignorance and its byproduct, injustice. We must stop going along to get along! If you appreciate the work that Jerry Maneker is doing, the best way to show your appreciation is to start doing the same work.

Uplift your LGBT sister and brother! Demand that every Christian Church teach the true Gospel, the only Gospel: The Gospel of Grace. Spread the Good News that God does not make "queer" human beings, and that He really does love all His children equally.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, Don Charles. There has been no civil rights movement that hasn't gone through its "season of suffering," and the LGBT Civil Rights movement is no different. Showing dignity and self-respect, and engaging in meaningful activism are the only ways to gain equality, and right now, with all the frivolity and self-aggrandizement that's out there, I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Best wishes, Jerry.