Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CHRISTIANITY AFFIRMS SAME-SEX LOVE

It might surprise many of you that I am a very theologically conservative Christian! I believe in the virgin birth of Jesus; the Resurrection; the Ascension of Jesus into heaven; His Sacrifice that covers over all of our past, present, and future sins. I also believe that the Bible is the Word of God that I take very seriously.

I agree with the late Rev. Peter J. Gomes who, in his excellent book, The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart, stated that when we read the Bible, we must take into account the text, the subtext, the context, what we bring to the text, and what we take out of the text. Reading the Bible is not for simplistic and arrogant haters who use it to affirm and impose their preconceived prejudices onto others, and use it as a hammer to in any way hurt or condemn anyone.

A Christian is called upon by Jesus to love and not judge others! The two Commandments Jesus gave all who would be His disciples are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength; to love our neighbor as ourselves! Period!

No Christian is subject to the laws laid down for Jews in the Old Testament! Anyone who uses the Old Testament to in any way trash LGBT people is either a very immature Christian or is not a Christian at all!

All Christians are given their salvation by the grace, or unmerited favor, of God! And we appropriate that grace by having unwavering faith in God, despite seen circumstances. Hence, those who preach a false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and what I call “genital theology,” are “missing the mark,” which is the very definition of “sin.”

Many people who condemn others, who seek to deprive LGBT people of equal civil and sacramental rights, are therefore not Christians, despite what they call themselves, and despite the fact that they may even attend church each and every week. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going into a garage makes you a car!

As I have often written, Christianity is very consistent with same-sex love! There is nothing in Scripture that prevents same-sex love and same-sex marriage! Indeed, love is essential to the Christian life, and that love is by no means to be restricted to heterosexual love!

Don’t be fooled by professing Christians, many of whom are mere haters, who “bear false witness” against Gay people, thereby contravening one of the Ten Commandments. They say such outrageous things that Gay people caused Hurricane Katrina, are destroying the institution of marriage, are “disordered,” etc. These allegations are foolish on their face, and only a very limited and hateful human being could assert them or take such allegations seriously!

I have been an LGBT activist for about twenty years and, as you might imagine, I have been verbally assaulted by assorted professing Christians accusing me of not being a Christian and not respecting “the sanctity of marriage." They refuse to see that it is heterosexually married couples that, by divorce, are hurting the institution of marriage and disrespecting its sanctity!

My wife and I are about to celebrate our fiftieth Wedding Anniversary, and we both are in agreement that we want same-sex couples to be allowed to get married if they so choose so that they can not only receive the many civil benefits that accrue to married couples, but also be enabled to experience the love and fulfillment like that with which my wife and I have been blessed!

But when LGBT people denigrate themselves by using hateful epithets as self-identifiers, or engage in publicly promiscuous behaviors, or relish in their being consigned to pariah status as sexual outlaws, those actions betray and thereby retard the cause of equality! Only meaningful organizational and grassroots activism, combined with the dignified comportment and the demand by LGBT people to be treated with the dignity that must be the lot of every human being, will we accomplish the goal of LGBT equality in this Civil Rights movement.

It won’t occur in my lifetime, but I truly pray that in the foreseeable future same-sex couples will be awarded the very same rights as heterosexuals now enjoy, and that those who choose to get married will be blessed with the happiness and fulfillment that my wife and I have enjoyed for the past fifty years!
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18 comments:

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

An ecstatic Happy Anniversary to you and Mrs. Eileen, Jerry! I'm emailing this excellent sermon of yours to Lt. Dan Choi in the hope it will (finally) raise his consciousness.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, Don Charles. Fifty years goes so much faster than anything I could have imagined. My very best wishes, Jerry.

genevieve said...

Happy Anniversary, Jerry. An excellent post. Couldn't have said it any better.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, genevieve! Have a wonderful, most blessed, Christmas and New Year. Best wishes, Jerry.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. I really needed to hear this today!

Jerry Maneker said...

I'm so glad, Anonymous! It means a lot to me that it is of help to you. You also might be interested in the Links section where I and others have written a lot about LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, as well as some of my previous posts. Best wishes, Jerry.

Anonymous said...

Okay I'm a 16 year old girl going crazy right now. I have this friend who used to be really strongly for lgbt rights but she got really envolved with her church and asked her leader about it and they said god despises the choice that lgbt make. I just cant comprehend this. she automatically believes that if you believe in lgbt rights you dont believe in god. Like what if she went mental and hallucinated jesus telling her to jump off a cliff. O.O SHE WOULD DO IT. I'm sorry I believe in god. He is wonderful. I prayed for my grandma to make it through an operation and she did. I will forever love him. I dont go to church. ive never been christened/baptised but i was brought up to believe in him. I CAN NOT FATHOM HOW SELFISH THIS IS, SHE DEBATES WHETHER OR NOT TO HAVE SEX BEFORE OR AFTER MARRIAGE BUT SHE IS SO STRONGLY AGAINST LGBT I'm sorry. I needed to vent and have someones thoughts on all of this. I trully hope nothing has offened anyone in this message.

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Anonymous: We can't underestimate how toxic most churches are regarding LGBT rights, and how they have hurt so many LGBT people and their families. Gay children have been kicked out and onto the streets because of these lies! Many Christians don't go to church, so you are not alone in this decision. One can be a devout Christian and never set foot inside a church. But I'd advise having a Christian friend baptize you. I baptized my wife and children in a pool, so you don't have to do it in a church. My very best wishes, Jerry.

drose said...

Hi Jerry,

I could not find your email, so I thought I would leave a post:

My name is Dani Rosenkrantz and I am writing to ask for your help spreading the word about a research study focused on allies of sexual minority groups!

The study is being led by Dr. Nikki Jones, an Instructor of Psychology at Colorado Mesa University. It is our hope that with this study, we can contribute to the understanding of the experiences of the developmental process allies go through, and develop a measure to assess this process.

Your participation is essential to achieving our goal, so I hope that you will help us advertise the study in each of your organizations!

In order to participate, participants must be 18 years old, and living in North America. If you can help us, please share the link below and participants will be directed to the online survey:

https://coloradomesasbs.us.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_ahLVYKN7hvKKJso

Thank you very much in advance for your time and assistance! We hope to represent the experiences of a diverse group of allies, so please feel free to encourage allies of different racial, ethnic, gender, age, and other backgrounds to participate.

If you have any question about this study, please contact Nikki Jones, Ph.D., (nnjones@coloradomesa.edu) Instructor of Psychology, in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Colorado Mesa University or Melanie Brewster, Ph.D (melanie.brewster@tc.columbia.edu), Assistant professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University. This research has been approved by the Colorado Mesa University Institutional Review Board (12-08 ).

Thank you for your participation! Please let me know if you need any further information!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Dani Rosenkrantz

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Drose: I hope this helps you in your work. Best wishes, Jerry.

edited by Artie Van Why said...

a video I made in support of marriage equality.

On YouTube:

and yet
http://www.youtube.com/user/Avanwhy/featured

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Artie: This is an excellent, sophisticated, succinct video presentation that I hope gets very wide distribution!

Thanks for sending it to me, and I urge all who link to it to widely distribute it to people on their mailing lists. Best wishes, Jerry.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to put my opinion out there, I think it's wonderful how much we focus on God's everlasting love because it is fundamental. The other important fact is that not only is God a God of love He is also a God of justice. He has given us ways to live because He loves us and wants to protect us and He knows whats best for us.

It says in 1Corinthians 6:9

Or do you not know that the unrighteousb will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,c 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

It's pretty black and white that God did not design us to live in sexual immorality. I will never judge homosexuals because we are not to judge, we are to love.

But I believe in the Word of the Father, He wants the best for us and He loves us but he is also a just God.

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Anonymous: You are citing a faulty, and relatively recent, translation (undoubtedly the RSV). If you read the older translations, such as the KJV, you will see that "homosexual" is not at all mentioned. Moreover, the Greek words used in the verse you cite, as well as all other biblical verses, have nothing to do with Gay people. If you want to learn about this issue, I suggest you read, "Gay Christian 101," by Rick Brentlinger, as well as some of the links on this site. Best wishes, Jerry.

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

Not to mention the fact that the Levitican code, which "Anonymous" is obviously affirming, has never applied to Christians! Blogger Alicia Banks is so right about people quoting the Bible who never actually sit down and read what it says! And have you noticed how blog trolls who boldly condemn LGBT status are often shy about identifying themselves by name?

Jerry Maneker said...

I absolutely agree, and I've noticed, Don Charles. Also, I very much doubt that those who send in such anti-Gay messages actually bother to find out how they're wrong by checking out articles and/or books that I recommend to them. They've already made up their minds, and are closed to any view that shows that those views are wrong, unbiblical, dangerous, and unGodly. Best wishes, Jerry.

Anonymous said...

I read your article and wanted to say that the sacrifice Jesus, the incarnated God, made did not abolish the moral law, i.e. we as true believers into Christ should not murder, steal, or practice sexual immorality. What was done away with was the religious regulations, such as the dietary, clothing, washing laws etc. The instructions of the apostles are clear.

If you look at Romans 1 which was written by the apostle Paul, who was indeed filled with thr life giving Spirit of God, he warned us not to involve ourselves in homosexual practices, do not defile ourselves and not use our bodies to dishonor God and the temple of God, which we are.

God created male and female for the building up of the family, to procreate and raise up new saints for his kingdom. You're right when you say that divorce is a violation of Gods holy law, no one could argue that... Its sad really, but thay argument doesn't justify homosexual acts.

I know through personal experience that one can have homosexual thoughts and not put them into practice, it is this flesh, our fallen nature. We are not to revel in them and fulfill the lusts of the flesh, but rather reprove them and cast down every imagination, everything that exalts itself above the perfect knowledge of Christ and God.

Again, Jesus did not abolish the law, but fulfilled it but does that mean we continue in sin sense we are saved by grace? Absolutely not! Grace is many things, it is Christ, our portion, of the triune God living in us as the life giving Spirit. Grace is not an excuse to sin, that was never the intention of Christs or the apostles teachings.

I trust that if you open up your spirit to Gods spirit and pray, you will find the truth. Be blessed, walk not as children, but be wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. In Christ, Jeremy

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Anonymous: Regarding Romans 1, it is crucial to read the whole context of the verses to which you allude by reading Romans 2:1 which tells all of Christ's followers not to judge even people who first turn their backs on God. Moreover, the word "homosexual" did not get coined until the late 19th Century, so the notion of inherently Gay people was not dealt with in the verses to which you refer but is dealt with by Jesus affirmatively in Matthew 19 when He talks about born eunuchs. Gay people are made by God just as Straight people are made by God; being Gay is certainly not a sin and is not to be confused with promiscuity. Best wishes, Jerry.