Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More to Anonymous

I want to thank you, all, for your words of kindness and affirmation. When first I read the comment I responded to in my last post, I reacted by simply deleting; then I felt compelled to respond. Now, as you see, Anonymous has responded in the comments to that post.

Anonymous, I thank you for writing again and not simply hiding out in the face of all the comments here.

I most certainly believe in sin. I believe that the world is broken, and that we human beings are broken, and that we need the love and saving action of God in Jesus Christ in order to be healed. I preach about sin to my congregation, certainly (not every single week... but often enough to get their attention).

Where you and I differ is that I do not believe same-sex love and the sexual expression of that love are sinful. I will not go into the biblical exegesis here; suffice to say that biblical literalists (which you appear to be) pick and choose which portions of the scriptures they wish to enforce, while claiming they are being faithful to the whole thing. This enterprise, ultimately, is bankrupt.

You sound young to me. Whether you are young or old or middle aged like me, I encourage you to read some viewpoints other than those to which you have been exposed thus far. Read "Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality" by Jack Rogers for a start. He does a wonderful job at explaining the tiny handful of verses that are used against people like me. Do not take my word for it; obviously, I have a dog in this race. But Jack is a lifelong Christian, a professor, married to a woman...someone with absolutely no reason to take his positions beyond his understanding of scripture.

Peace, friend.


KJ said...

Anon does not sound blessed by his faith. Peace, Anon.

For someone genuinely interested in learning the perspective of other believers that are in contrast to Anon's view, the Soulfoce video "There's a Wideness in God's Mercy" by the late Lewis Smedes can be helpful. Dr. Smedes, a leader and teacher in the Reformed Church was far from liberal in his understanding of Scripture, but was called to reconcile what he knew to be true about GLBT believers that he knew personally, with the stereotypical beliefs of those who think they have full insight into what Scripture has to say about the topic.

However, Anon's heart and mind will likely not be changed unless he troubles himself to get to know the targets of his angst and prejudice, and sees them as fellow travelers. Jesus saved diatribes for those who thought themselves more holy than others, all the while changing the lives of those derided by the "religious" simply by loving them.

KJ said...

I forgot to add that the Smedes video is available at the Soulforce website (soulforce.org) in the "Resources" menu.

Anonymous said...

First, you are a living example of all that Christ hopes for us to be. The eloquence with which you respond to even those who persecute you leaves me speechless. As the anonymous poster to whom you responded with the post "Choosing Life", I just want to say that it was God's hand that led me to you...at that moment I did not know what the next would hold. And every day I am working to choose life. The hateful anonymous poster is representative of those who drive me to that dark place, all the while claiming to do so in God's name, and you are the instrument God chose to help deliver me from that dark place. I know who I would rather be on judgment day.
Thank you for blessing this life.

aka Anonymous (1)

janinsanfran said...

For a window on the very ordinary lives of a couple of the many faithful LGBT people among us, may I suggest a guest post I did today at Time Goes By? I believe, quite simply, Jesus calls us to love each other. We all have to work at it. And we are helped and held up on the journey. What else is there, in the end?

Diane M. Roth said...

great post again, Cecilia. You are patient and kind. It burns me up when people accuse us of not believing in sin, simply because of this issue.

Anonymous said...

I just ordered this book from Amazon "Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality" by Jack Rogers and it is a great book thus far. Coming from a conservative evangelical background it helps to read other teachings on this issue (I would highly recommend the bookd to Anonymous). Also, I have been really impressed with the love displayed to Anonymous on this site (1 Cor. 13). God brought me to this site right at the perfect time in my life.

Anonymous said...

"You sound young to me. Whether you are young or old or middle aged like me, I encourage you to read some viewpoints other than those to which you have been exposed thus far."

Well, since you've brought up I must respond.

I'm not young, I'm 50. I have 8 years and two degrees in theology, plus 20 years of pastoral experience. I'm quite well-read on both sides of this issue.

I have a deep love for the lost, the confused, and the broken. Homosexuality is far from being my hobby-horse. I just happened to wander into this discussion awhile back and decided to give a more orthodox/conservative perspective, since that's been clearly missing in all these blogs.

In fact a very close member of my immediate family is gay. He works the clubs as a drag queen and is in demand across North America. I love him very much, and have discussed his "orientation" (choice really) with him a few times. When he's honest he says he knows it's wrong, and he even says he wasn't born gay, he chose it. He also says most gays know that too, they just won't publicly admit it. It's not politically correct in their community anymore. (Funny how that used to be mantra of the strident gays a couple of decades ago. "I wasn't born this way, I CHOSE IT!" All flipped over now, hasn't it? Evolution of thought?)

Anyhoo, he was very wounded as a young man, as I'm sure many on these blogs were, and said that he found the love he was looking for in the gay community. Ironically, though, because the gay community is so promiscuous (most gays admit that), he's had his heart broken again and again. But he's still too stubborn to repent.

Sad. I still love him and pray for him.

BTW....Smedes went off the rails on this one.

Cecilia said...

It may be that your close family member chose homosexuality. However, that is rare indeed, as any perusal of the literature (psychology and psychiatry) will reveal.

For myself, I desperately tried to choose heterosexuality, for more than 20 years of a marriage to a man I truly loved. I tried, not because I believed being a lesbian was wrong, but because I thought it was too late for me, having chosen marriage at a young age, and i didn't want to break my covenant. I wept and prayed and begged God to stop me from falling in love with women for all those 20 years. When my husband, with great love and compassion, decided he would be the one to end the marriage (perhaps because he knew my heart was not able to rest with him), it was a release from prison into a new life. (Truthfully, I didn't feel that at the time. Rejection stings.)

So. Your anecdotal evidence with one family member tells you that people choose it. I tell you, I tried to choose to be straight. God, ultimately, said to me, It's OK. Be who you are. Love me, and love whom you love.

Pax, C.

Cecilia said...

And I said you sounded young because in your first comment you called me a stupid dyke. I assumed you were a college aged male. I am shocked that someone with 20 years in the pastorate would speak to another human being that way.

Pax, C.

Cecilia said...

And Smedes is a great and compassionate scholar and theologian. You simply disagree with him.

Pax, C.

Anonymous said...

For starters Cecilia, that was not me who called you a stupid dyke. That must have been a different anonymous. I only entered this discussion about a week ago. So perhaps my response here was mistaken, since I thought your poster was referring to me. Clearly there's been another, rather abusive anonymous that's being confused with me.

I'm the anonymous of late who has been quoting Scripture at you galore, SHOUTING, as you say, desperately trying to get you to see the truth, though I have clearly failed.

I would never call anyone a stupid dyke. I may come on strong because of my convictions but I don't believe I've ever used malicious terms in any of my posts. That's not my style. Most of my arguments have been basically Bible verses, not slanders.

I'd give you an actual name to differentiate me from this other guy, but you've apparently had enough of my input. So fair enough. I'm moving.

Oh, and BTW. I can assure you that the God of the Bible -- Jesus/Jehovah -- never told you that it's okay to be a lesbian. That would be clearly contradicting what He told many generations in the past, and God remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever. He doesn't change His views for culture, and He doesn't change them to accommodate or soothe us.

Anonymous said...

BTW. Having been confused with some other jerk, I now see the value of using a name, even if it's not my own. I will do that in the future.

Sorry this other guy (and he's not me, the 50 year old pastor) has been so mean to you. I disagree strongly with your understanding of Scripture and this issue, but I can assure you I wouldn't stoop to name calling.

Blessings. (no need to post this)

Cecilia said...

I'm glad you aren't stupid dyke guy. You must have started posting just as he stopped, and you both signed, simply, "Anonymous." I would choose a name for myself if I were in your position... why not "Paul"? ;-)

Anonymous, we disagree. We disagree. You think I will have a rude surprise at the pearly gates, and I think you will have one. Most likely there will be surprises in store for all of us. But I believe in a gracious God, and I trust in my savior Jesus Christ, and I minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. Let's commend one another to that divine care.

Pax, C.