Friday, June 23, 2006

How can God, being Love, condemn anyone?!

Answer: We condemn ourselves. God loves us and no matter what we've done, how far into darkness we've fallen, He wants to save us. He loves us like a loving father or mother does who may see their son fall into bad company, drugs and jail and it hurts them but they still love him. In the same way God loves us and He does not "write us off". We write Him off. We're the one's who disregard love for others, and want nothing to do with Him, taken up with just our own desires, just like that son who knows his parents love him and he is hurting them but his own desires overcome any love for them he may have left and he continues to hurt them. Maybe even to the point where he truly doesn't care anymore and his parents are so hurt, they maybe even turn away in tears, but they still love him, they just can't take the pain he's causing them. That son has fallen into darkness, or worse become darkness, the son is the one who is distancing himself by his choices. And I think it may be like that with God, just like the parents, except His love is even greater, and us, the son. But also at any point the son/we can turn around, know love, have love and by thus be truly sorry for his/our hurting of others to the point of desiring to give restitution and thus be redeemed.

God is like light, and evil and Hell is like darkness. Darkness does not really exist on its own, merely it is the lack of light as cold is simply the lack of heat and that is why there is a limit to how cold or dark it can be, but no limit to how hot or bright. Hell and evil are simply the lack of God and we go to Hell when we refuse to have God in us, when we refuse to be with him. When we refuse to know love for others and in doing so love for God. Just like a son who refuses to stop the drugs, to stop hurting his parents, and to refuses to accept their love, help and redemption.

Where their is light, in equal proportion, there can be no darkness. If we truly know love, we truly know Jesus/God who is the Light of the World and we will be with Him in life and death. But know only selfishness and lose love, reject God and the light and I ask what happens when you turn off all light? Darkness. And if we become darkness we obviously can't be with God who, metaphorically, is light. Ultimately we have been given free choice and we choose. Yes we are affected by desires and fail sometimes, I certainly do too, I struggle and I ask you pray for me as I will pray for anyone who asks it, but we can choose in our soul. And say God gave you cards that you are born insane and you cannot make rational choices? I don't believe God will judge you spiritually on those as they weren't really your own, if he did how could that be love? But He will know your soul and your heart and judge on that.

(Isn't someone born with homosexual orientation, who cannot help that a bit similar? For discussion next post.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How can a homosexual be a Christian?!

A common question I get, when I reveal that I am a Christian, whether from straight Christians or gay men or women who aren't.

Most people are asking that because they believe the Bible and God explicitly states that homosexuality is a sin and thus homosexuals cannot truly be Christians.

Honestly, I struggled with this as well and due to it tried quite a bit to NOT be homosexual, once I realized what the feelings I was having since 12 or 13 years old were, as of course I want to be moral and because I believe life has meaning (else, logically, why should we as humans exist?) and I believe that meaning comes from God in its purest form. So of course I wanted to please God and fulfill whatever meaning and purpose I have, and if homosexuality was completely against it and would keep me away from God I wanted nothing to do with it. So originally I beat myself up emotionally whenever I felt these feelings towards other men, I truly hated myself and caused much internal damage and had much aggression to others. But I realized quickly this was not leading to a positive place, including contemplating suicide, that whatever else God/Our Creator was, he is love and does not want to see his creations self-destroy or harm others and his plan is for the greatest and ultimate benefit to us. And after all the tears and suffering and praying to God to show me how to stop being homosexual (mind you I didn't ever have sex but that didn't change the face I felt the way I did about men), I opened the Bible and it fell open to Matthew 19, my eyes pulled to 11-12.

Matthew 19:11
Jesus answered, "This teaching does not apply to everyone, but only to those whom God has given it.

Matthew 19:12
For there are different reasons why men cannot marry: some, because they were born that way; others because men made them that way; and others do not marry for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Let him who can accept this teaching do so."

(I checked many Bibles and later found variations of this concerning eunuchs... Could Jesus have been speaking metaphorically, as he did with parables? Could eunuchs include homosexuals in the Eyes and Word of God?")

What a revelation immediately after praying!
So with these realizations I was comforted, enough with the self-destructive self hate, if I was gay there had to be a good reason for it as well, especially if, as I believe, God made me so. And when I asked myself, by two people loving and committing to one another, with God as their witness, are they doing any harm to anyone? I could not find a single person they were harming, unlike adultery where the other party is hurt horribly or bestiality where the animal has no consent and is used. That changed everything.

If you believe in an Almighty God then you must believe He created everything. Including me. We are all children of God, He loves us all and wants us to be close to Him. And if someone is born smarter, blind, with keen eyes, deaf, or gay, there is a reason for it. We don't get to choose the cards God gives us but we get to decide what we do with them. If He wanted us to obey He could have made us like machines and command us, right now He could. But we "ate from the tree in Eden" and he has given us the gift and curse of Freedom of Choice as well as all his other gifts. Your hand, your genitals, your brain, they can be used for beneficial purpose, for God's purpose, for good, or they can be used for destructive purpose, against God, for evil. Similarly if I was born with a gay brain or with more aggression/passion that a normal person, I can use it to benefit others and do love, God's will, or to harm others or myself and do wrong, against God's will. But God does not make useless creatures, they have a purpose all. So I began the search for mine.

First and foremost, logically
1. How could God make a homosexual man if it was evil?
2. If he could then that would mean he makes people who cannot helped being damned? That certainly goes against scripture and love. He loves and wants to save everyone and anyone can be saved or choose Him and to do His Will. So he wouldn't.

This is probably why many other religious folk believe it's a lie that God makes homosexuals, it has to be a choice. Well, I can say as a living homosexual that certainly not the case, I felt attraction to men since puberty and I still do after the best in psychological and psychiatrical therapy. I still have choice to have sex or not and for 25 years of my life I remained a virgin, choosing to use sex for what I believe is God's purpose, love (which also means commitment), and thus only give that that to someone who I love and commit to and does the same to me.

How many straight people can say that? That they have CHOSEN to remain a virgin till love and commitment, otherwise called marriage? I have. Thus, as homosexual am I so immoral?

Thus the only remaining option he has made me gay or allowed me to genetically develop gay for His purpose, and that purpose must be good.

3. But if that is the case, and he creates homosexual men and women for his good purpose, then how can His Word the Bible say otherwise?

Either it can't and is being misintrepreted (very likely) or something in my logic is flawed and there must be a way to stop being homosexual (quite possible too, but then show me how to stop being at your core [orientation, not sex], homosexual?).

It is this Biblical question that sent me searching and reviewing scripture. And I realize something, if you interpret the Bible purely literally, it may not make sense and if obeying those laws makes you disobey Jesus's and God's Law of Love then you will be doing wrong. Look at people who say "God Hates America" "God Hates Fags" "God Hates You". Something is wrong there. God is love. This will bring me to the next blog tomorrow, but in the meanwhile on the topic of the Bible and homosexuality here are some links to balanced views both ways. Read with an open mind and ask what is love.

P.s: A good man told me recently I had a choice and even if born gay I should have chosen celibacy and "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve; homosexuality is wrong because God commanded us to Go Forth and multiply", but if that command was given to apply to every individual and not mankind in general then man or woman who does not have children is doing evil, all forms of intimacy and sex, e.g. that are demonstrations of love, but does not lead to procreation would be evil / against the command, and wouldn't it also mean celibacy would be against God's teaching and evil? Sickeningly, it would make promiscuity the most moral thing. Do you think that is correct or do you, like me, think the Adam and Steve defense is misguided and that once the human race in general / anyone in the human race is procreating that that command is fulfilled and other individuals can be celebrate or marry as they choose and God gives them the capacity to. Sex is about love and commitment, not just procreation.

The first link below is excellent debating homosexuality in regards to Christianity, both sides, but I must add that while I tend to agree with William Herzog, I believe the Holiness Codes were perhaps given by God to the Jews out of love to make them unique and different from their neighbours and thus draw attention to God, the same way we Christians now do by our behaviors and character of love, hope and faith. The old law has been fulfilled by the new.

Both sides scriptural debate:

One of my favorite articles on Homosexual Morality in general:

Evangelicals Concerned:

Conservative Christians for a Just and Respectful Response to those who experience same-sex attraction:

Bridges Across:


Opening the River In Eden - The Core Message

Dear Friends,
Welcome to the River In Eden. Hopefully this turns out well as a place where we can all discuss with the purpose of helping each other in all matters, especially of faith.

I am a gay Christian, and I am writing this blog to all people about valuing others and having compassion and love and consideration especially in sexual matters, as well as to speak to other Christians who may doubt a homosexual can struggle to be faithful follower of God and to the gay (and not gay) men and women out there struggling with life. And that's all of us eh? ;)

The core of what I want to say is Love for one another is the greatest thing and the main thing humanity should strive for regardless of religion, and that goes way beyond romantic or sexual or friendship feelings, although it may include or oppose that, but I mean seeking to always do what is beneficial to others first, yourself second and to avoid hurting others and yourself. e.g. Going with someone else you like while already in a commited relationship with someone else would hurt the person you commited to and thus be unloving, selfish and wrong.

Also if you believe in God, I ask that you believe God is love and hope, as the Bible states in 1 John 4:7-8 and 1 John 4:9-10, even if you don't that those are the virtues we should try to have. To Love each other. To do unto others as you would have them do unto you and not the reverse. Also if God is love (consideration, compassion) then if one really does do what is really love you do automatically do God's will and if you really know love (for other people/mankind), you know Him, regardless of any other stated beliefs and differences.

I believe in the Bible (if anyone knows source please tell) there is a passage that goes something like this ;

"If a father feeds his child, clothes his child and educates his child, that child may still not have known love and even with all this things, may have been neglected. But if a father loves his child then because of that love he will provide and fulfill all his child's needs. He will he feed, clothe and educate his child and his child will know love and not be neglected."

This is shows how the Law of Love, that Jesus gave in the New Testament, is supposed to fulfill all other laws of The Old Testament, and he gives us the free will to obey it and Him or not (because does obedience out of force/because you have to really make you good? Or is obedience out of dedicated love more noble? You can see which God wants by Him allowing us the choice to disobey.)

Similarly, no matter what logical ethical rules we may or may not have we may still not do good, but if we truly care for one another, and I mean truly by always considering and doing what is beneficial for others and avoiding hurting others in spite of feelings or circumstance, then we shall truly do good, for God is love and hope. God is not hate and not despair such as that brought by utter condemnation of someone rather than consideration and helping that person. And doing something that is destructive, such as taking all hope away from someone, such as completely condemning a gay person rather than helping them, is not love. In fact, complete condemnation makes some feel it's useless to thus try to be good anymore and can do anything they feel because, after all, you've told them they condemned anyway. I may be completely wrong, but I ask you please consider these words and let us find the beneficial truth together.