Will and Grace Go To Westboro

I started writing this post a long time ago, as this issue has floated around in my mind for years. The decision of the Supreme Court prompted me to edit it once again and post it today.

I am confident that there will be disagreement on this issue, as there has been for decades in America. My intention is not to inflame the argument, but propose that we can change the tone of the conversation altogether. I welcome comments and dialogue in agreement or disagreement. This is not a sermon, it’s the start of a conversation. However, inflammatory remarks, hate-speech, or bigotry (towards gay people or Christians) will not only not get your commented posted but will also get you labelled as spam. There are lots of places online where you can be a jerk. This ain’t one of ’em.

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There’s a scene in season 2 of Will & Grace (you know, that show in the late 90s that got everyone all riled up about the pending homosexual takeover of the world) where a cop/security guard asks Will how to know if someone is “a gay.” After a brief exchange where the cop shyly gives vague yet complimentary details about a “certain man” he knows, Will walks away while coyly saying, “Yeah…I’d say someone is gay.” The audience laughs as the cop kinda-sorta checks Will out as he walks out the door. As it turns out, the “friend” the cop had asked about is himself. Or so it seems.

Or maybe not. We can’t be sure.

In this brief exchange, one of the points of Will & Grace is driven home. There are lots of gay people in the world, and they might just be us. Either way, the time for not talking about it is over. We need to just accept that we/they/he/she may just be “a gay.” Or so the show not-very-humorously (in my opinion) suggests.

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Westboro Baptist Church is famous for picketing soldier funerals and other events as a way of communicating that “God Hates Fags.” In fact, their website is http://www.godhatesfags.com. If you visit that site (and I don’t recommend that you do if you’ve eaten recently), you’ll find they have some sister sites, too. The list includes http://www.godhatesislam.com, http://www.godhatesthemedia.com, and http://www.godhatestheworld.com. Located in Topeka, Kansas, Westboro has become an icon of hate in America. Disavowed by most Christians, they stand (almost) alone in their hate-filled message where they preach more about what they’re against than what they’re for.

On their website, they gloat that God has killed over 6600 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, that they have conducted over 50,000 protests, and that the members of their church have “lost 0 nanoseconds of sleep over your opinions and feeeeelllllllings.”

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I have to confess that I have never watched an episode of Will and Grace in my life. I also need to confess that I have never attended Westboro Baptist Church and, if I’m honest, think it’s a stretch to call that gathering of individuals a church in the Biblical sense of the term.

As a dude who works in a church at a time when the Church universal is torn over how to reach the homosexual community without abandoning long-held biblical convictions, there are a few observations I would like to make. Wherever you are on the Will & Grace/Westboro spectrum, I think these things will make sense and can be things we all agree on.

Either that, or everyone will hate my guts upon reading the rest of this blog post.

1. The Church Should Not Completely Shut Out the Homosexual Community
To be fair, most churches are not as hate-filled and bigoted as WBC. This is a good thing. By the same token, most churches are in the camp of being unwelcoming, stand-offish, and condemning toward the gay crowd, even if on accident.

Most congregation’s leaders have not discussed what they would do if a gay couple visited. Which means they haven’t talked about it with their church family. Which means the church is left to think whatever they want to think. Which means the leaders aren’t–well, you know…leading.

Like the security guard on the sitcom, most church leaders are afraid to have an honest discussion about homosexuality. It’s too controversial. We might run people off. If we permit gay couples to attend our church, we struggle with feeling like we are approving of their behavior, which the Bible preaches against.

The problem is (and I’m proud to say I serve a church that has thought through these things) we don’t apply that with any other sinful behavior that exists in our congregations. If a drunk wants to attend, they’re welcome. If a couple gets a divorce and remarries, we don’t shoo them away. Why is it that we put an invisible sign on the front door that says, “We Love Everyone! (except gay folks)”

Do we believe the church exists to introduce people to Jesus? Do we believe Jesus can change hearts, no matter what shape they’re in? Do we think that some folks are off limits to the Gospel? The church’s answer to these questions should influence how we treat all people, not just some.

2. The Church Should Live in the Tension
I don’t think the church fixes people. I think the church is for everyone. I think Jesus is for everyone. And I think Jesus fixes people. All sorts of broken people. Like, you know, me. Do I believe living a life of homosexual behavior is biblical? No, I do not. But I also don’t think it’s the job of the church to hate. I don’t think it’s the job of the church to exclude. And I don’t think it’s the job of the church to fix. I think that’s Jesus’ job. And I believe he can do it. The gay community doesn’t like it much, but there are lots of testimonies of people who did not want to live a homosexual lifestyle who, by God’s grace, are no longer.

Bottom line: I think you can disagree without discriminating. And church folk, hesitate before you jump on the “Yeah, but every time I say ‘I disagree’ they play the ‘intolerant’ card!” Realize there has been decades of hate spewed forth from the church on this issue, so cut the homosexual community some slack. it’s kind of like you growing up assuming Muslims hate your guts just because you live in America. It will take decades of loving reactions to correct the fear and anger induced by decades of hate.

Is it a tension to reside between loving everyone and permitting behavior? Sure. But I think it’s a tension we should live in. And I don’t think many Christians choose to do so. It’s easier to be completely permissive or absolutely closed off. Let me say that again: it’s easier to be completely permissive or absolutely closed off. We can be Rob Bell or we can be Westboro. But in choosing either of those courses of actions, we miss opportunities for Jesus to do his good work.

3. The Church Should Do What Only the Church Can Do
The front lines of the homosexual debate are currently located in voting booths and court rooms all over the country as the marriage equality discussion is held nationwide. As of this writing, 11 states have legalized gay marriage. Undoubtedly, more will follow. Eleven countries have nation-wide legal gay marriage. Dozens more (like the U.S.) allow it in certain regions. The Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government can make no law banning same-sex marriage, and states are one by one going to make legislations of their own on this issue. Allow me to say something that some may not want to hear:

Gay marriage is going to be legal in most, if not all, of the United States of America before most of you reading this are dead. For some, this strikes fear in your heart. But there have been a lot of things that have happened in the good old U.S. of A. that has struck fear in the collective heart of the church. And yet the Gospel of Jesus Christ is alive and well, in the United States and all over the world.

If I am completely honest, I do not fear the advancement of marriage equality in America. In fact, part of me wishes we’d just get over the fighting so we can change the tone of the conversation. That’s really my point.

As it is now, the reason it’s so hard for the church to relate to the homosexual community is because we are most known for it’s political opposition of marriage equality. When we say, “I do not support homosexual behavior,” most gay folks hear “We hate you,” because they don’t understand why they don’t have the same legal rights as heterosexuals, and why we are standing so firmly against it.

We live in America. You can have an opinion on anything. You can speak up about your opinion on anything. You can vote however you want. But on this point, I feel like politics aren’t the best venue to have this conversation. It’s too loaded. Let’s move this conversation within the confines of the church, and do what the church does best–introduce people to Jesus and let Him convict individuals of sin. That goes for those who practice homosexuality (1 Timothy 1:10) and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine (same verse).

Conclusion:
Let me repeat myself plainly. This is a controversial issue and I want to be clear: I believe the Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is wrong. Since I claim to love and serve Jesus, the Bible is the authority of my life. I have people in my life I consider friends who are gay. But I don’t get to say, “Nah, no worries…you’re good,” with them because they’re my friend any more than I get to say, “it’s okay, I’m born with the tendency to lust after women, so God understands when I cheat on my wife in my mind.” That’s not how it works. Jesus is either in charge or he’s not. I want him to be in charge of my life, my beliefs, and my life.

It is because he’s in charge that I pose the following questions. These truly are questions I wrestle with, not conclusions I’ve drawn. I invite you to wrestle, too, even if that means challenging long-held personal assumptions.

  • Have you ever met a gay person and really heard their story?
  • Have you ever tried to understand their viewpoint like you would any other person?
  • Is your view of homosexuality more influenced by zeal for a political position or by the Scriptures? That is, all the Scriptures, not just those that declare homosexuality to be wrong (of which there are fewer than a dozen, even if one counts liberally)
  • Is it possible for the church to change the conversation with the gay community? If legal marriage rights were extended to homosexuals would the church, in effect, be able to remove a huge obstacle and begin to converse with homosexuals about faith without the political division being the main talking point?
  • In public do you condemn Westboro’s actions but in private silently agree?
  • If you are gay, do you hate all Christians with the same kind of hate you accuse them of? Do you lump them together as one voice? Should you?

If Will and Grace were to really go to Westboro Baptist Church, it’d be a mess. There would be signs, shouting, shoving, and certainly police intervention. News stations would cover the fallout. It would be a disaster. However, to this point in our nation’s history (and, more specifically, in the narrative of the church), the consequences of our collective action have not been much better. There’s very little civil dialogue. Misunderstanding reigns. Both sides (I regret that they are still understood as such) are stand-offish and hold false assumptions about the other, resulting in distance and cynicism.

We live in a world where we have Will and Grace and Westboro Baptist and every other viewpoint in between. I’m not so naive as to think that this will change any time soon. However, I do believe that the church has a unique opportunity to change the tone of the conversation.

This is an opportunity that the church is long overdue to seize.

34 comments

  1. I think there are two major obstacles/hindrances that will continue to make conversations between Christians and the homosexual community divisive and difficult: a large portion of those who are homosexual believe they were born gay so how is it possible to declare something a sin that you’re supposedly born with (as some people want to compare homosexuality to race which is incorrect); also, there are many Christian churches/denominations that actually embrace homosexuality and allow homosexual members to serve in leadership roles. How does a Christian church that states correctly that homosexuality is a sin, like any other sexual sin, reconcile the truth of God’s word with what the homosexual community perceives as a discrepancy among churches that accept homosexuality as permissive? But aside from those hurdles, your main point is what is necessary: introduce people to Christ and His word and let Him do the transforming work that humans are unable to do🙂

    1. I read this for the first time last night, and in my enthusiastic support of the opening of this dialouge Im afraid I misspoke. When I said there was no reply necessary, I was dead wrong. There are lots of replys, thousands of them in fact, that are necessary to not just open the dialogue, but to work through it. As individuals, as families, as youth leaders and as church leaders.

      This particular topic is very close to my heart becasue I am passionate about reaching out to what some call “fringe” or “at-risk” teens. In plain languge, I hang out with the kids that hate church. Because of this I have gotten to know, and grown to love many gay teens. Because of their openess, I have learned a lot about them, and a lot about their church experiences. 99.9 % of them are negative on some level. They immediately feel out of place. Some are told they could be “cured” or “fixed”. Some are told they cant “accept Christ” until they renouce their gay lifestyle (not necessarily referring to a physical or sexual relationship). Some are avoided by other students who act as if they were a leper who’s “disease” could be caught if they came too close. Many are genuinely loved by some of the most loving and Godly people I know, but still sense that the Christian folk just dont approve of them.

      I confess, the whole deal has left me scratching my head. I know what scripture says, but after hearing their stories, and getting to know their familes, and living life beside them I have come to the conclusion that they were indeed “Born This Way”. Before you flame me dear Christian, let me confess that I was born this way too. I was born with a propensity for selfishness, an addictive personality, a tendency to be easily offended and I could go on an on. But when I was invited to my very first bible study 18 years ago, I was not asked to come to a study for people who were selfish. Or addicted. Or short tempered. I was simply invited.

      We have to stop STARTING with peoples sexual orientation!

      In an early episode of GLEE, this issue is addressed quite openly. If you dont watch GLEE or havent scene the episode “Grilled Cheesus” I would encourage you to do so. Even if you hate show tunes and are easily offended. Now I’ll warn you, I’m a pretty open minded kinda gal and was personally offended by parts of the dialogue in this episode, so prepare yourself. But watch it anyway. In just a couple of lines one of the main characters (Kurt Hummel) delivers a heart-felt monologue that if you REALLY listen is what the LGBT community wants us to understand. And it isnt rooted in rebellion against God, it is rooted in confusion and pain.

      Here is an excerpt:

      ” I think God is kind of like Santa Claus for adults. Otherwise, God is kind of a jerk, isn’t he? I mean, he makes me gay and then he has his followers going around telling me it’s something that I chose. As if someone would choose to be mocked every single day of their life.”

      Wow. He has a good point. That would be kind of a jerky thing to do.

      It would kind of be like setting an unattainable standard for ALL of us of (perfection) and then telling us that if we dont attain it, we go to hell. If that was the end of the story, it would be an EXTREMELY jerky thing to do.

      But heres the deal. God isnt a jerk. He built a bridge in the form of a cross to get us from falling short to heaven. THAT’S the point. The point is really NOT if homosexuality is a sin or not. If we start there, we will NEVER get an opportunity to tell our gay and lesbian friends what Christ has done for us. Because the truth is that even if they stopped living a gay lifestyle, they would still be sinners. They would still need Jesus. Every day. Just like me. Just like you.

      So instead of “loving the sinner but hating the sin” how about if we get over ourselves?

      What if we just became transparent and told people about our OWN brokeness and what Jesus has done for us personally?

      What if we let God slowly, gently, and lovingly change their hearts as ONLY God can do, and just treat our gay friends with equality and respect in the meantime.

      What if….after years of shouting and holding signs and proselytizing we just shut up for a while so some healing could occur?

  2. Important point from your thoughts, Titus: The conviction that homosexuality is wrong and the gospel are two separate things. This is important to remember.

  3. Titus, for the most part I agree with you, but KimP has hit the nail on the head. As people saved by “Grace through faith” we better not be exalting ourselves and looking down on others, for we all share the same sinful nature. As the Church we are to be graceful, loving, and most of all Gospel centered. Homosexuals, along with many other sinners like myself, should be welcome in our churches to hear the gospel call, and be loved. But the truth is, that is not what the fight is over. The battle at this point is not that the country should be tolerant and therefore the church be tolerant and loving (which you and I agree we should be at least loving), but that we should embrace homosexuality as normal, healthy, and righteous. With that in mind, as this movement continues to grow, we are kidding ourselves when we think that if we are just loving and open we can somehow get past this. The bottom line is that the Church (meaning believers) will be persecuted for adhering to Biblical standards, we will be mocked, scorned, and certainly at some point (maybe not our lifetime) do it under penalty of law. So what should we do? Exactly what you have proposed, share the gospel, love and serve sinners, be intentional about reaching out to the homosexual community, and when the persecution comes, endure it with joy and consider it an honor to be worthy of suffering for Christ and the cause of His Gospel.

    Thanks for your heart and ministry, brother. I pray for you daily!

  4. Thanks, TItus. I have had very similar thoughts for the past few years, spending sometime researching this topic in my studies. The questions that remains for me at this point is, “Where is the church?” I am fearful that most of the evangelical community has/had put “all their eggs in the political basket” when it comes to interaction with the GLBT? community. What else is the church doing? If I were to ask how many ministries you know that interact with what the West calls 3rd World countries, how many could you name? Now, how many ministries can we name that interact with GLBT? community at any level? (I only know of two because of the time I spent researching) I am not saying these things to “bash” the church in any regard, these are questions and ideas that I have asked myself over and over again. It begins with building a bridge and then crossing that bridge (yes, Christians should be challenged to be the first to act in this area) in order to start having a conversation: listening, caring, seeing the imagio dei first, and loving without the desire to change. Often we expect members of the GLBT? community to walk through the front doors of our church, although many members associate the church as the primary opponent to their orientation and lifestyle. I encourage all churches to have the conversations that Titus mentioned and be prepared to answer the question, “What is our church doing?” The answer will look different for each church and each community, by no means am I advocating that each church needs to start a ministry or outreach program. Perhaps it’s starting with having a speaker coming in who has interacted with the GLBT? community, perhaps its offering glasses of water at a gay pride parade. In the words of Chad Thompson (former practicing homosexual and author), “whoever loves first, wins.”

    There are some great books that have really helped me to widen and deepen my perspective on this issue: Love is an Orientation (Andrew Marin, see also The Marin Foundation), Is the Homosexual My Neighbor (John Stott), Welcoming but not Affirming (Stanley Grenz) and Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would (Chad Thompson).

  5. While I think you have made some really good points. We do need to change the tone of the conversation, AND we should not be playing politics with the issue.
    However, on the matter of the church’s view on a homosexual “couple’ attending, you make the comparison of an alcoholic. I think the better comparison would be the man who is actively and publicly having an affair outside of his marriage. Would we welcome him with open arms? Would we brush it off because everyone sins and allow him to take part in leading classes at church? No of course not. Why? Because he is “continuing to sin”. He is choosing a lifestyle of sin. Our church has dealt with this very issue. The homosexual couples who are choosing a lifestyle of sin would be dealt with just as the heterosexual couples are. We will not judge them for the fact that they have these desires…but we will ask them not to give into them or rationalize them. Finding ourselves desiring things that are not good for us is a universal experience for all humankind. How we deal with ourselves and each other as we try to avoid such pitfals is the key to understanding and compassionate fellowship. Just my opinnion. Peace.

    1. Thanks for reading, Sheri. Your comparison is an accurate one with dozens of others equally accurate. The point of unrepentant sin serving as a test of fellowship would undoubtedly lead to lower church attendance across the board. I know I’d be missing some Sundays. May we strike the balance between outreach and church discipline wisely.

    2. Good clarification Sheri,

      I agree with your distinction and fully understand your thoughts. This is where the tension lies in the conversation between the church and the GLBT? community. The question remains, how do we begin the conversation with this couple whose attending, when they would view their orientation as their identity rather than a choice? Several members of the GLBT community have heard the phrase, “hate the sin, but love the sinner.” The intentions behind this phrase are well placed and, to a degree, express one of the main messages of the gospel—unconditional love. However, if members of the GLBT? community hear this phrase differently, they don’t perceive their lifestlye/orientation as a sin, therefore what they hear is “if you hate the sin, then you hate me,” since it is not a sin, but their very identity and everything that they are.

      I do not have answers to this question, nor am I trying to criticize your comments to any degree. You have a valid and accurate point and the church should not forsake their beliefs or doctrines to any degree, especially in today’s culture. I am merely attempting to offer the counterpoint that may be expressed from members of the GLBT? community.

      Thanks, I look forward to reading and hearing your thoughts on this. Blessings.

  6. 1 John 3:11 NIV
    For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

    Thanks Titus for being bold and courageous.
    Miss you.

  7. Titus, you rock. This post so perfectly illustrates your wisdom and giftedness and just plain gutsiness to lovingly take on the viewpoints across the spectrum. To challenge us all to grace and listening to each other is so so badly needed. Can’t wait to share the link.

  8. I applaud your desire to “get over the fighting [about the advancement of marriage equality in America], so we can change the tone of the conversation.” This is a very admirable goal. It also appears to me that you would like to see more LGBT people in your church. This, also, is a very admirable goal. However, it is a goal I think you are unlikely to attain. If you believe that homosexuality is something you do, not something you are, and you believe it to be a sin; then I don’t think you have to worry about how to treat openly LGBT people in your church. I don’t think you’re going to attract many, or possibly any. Closeted LGBT people, maybe. But then you wouldn’t know that they were homosexual, so you wouldn’t be reacting to anything. What I mean is that, just saying that being LGBT is a choice puts you at odds with the experience of what it is to be LGBT. In my experience, it is only straight people who say that. I know no gay people that think they weren’t born that way. Sometimes straight people understand it better when they are asked, “When did you “decide” to be straight?” Oh, never? Well, it’s the same when you’re not straight. So, if you start from the premise that being straight is more holy than being gay, which is certainly the right and privilege of any church to do, I think you’ve lost the LGBT audience already. And, even if you do choose to believe that homosexuality is something you are, which would make an LGBT person feel more understood and accepted, then you are still faced with having to tell them that what they are is an abomination before God. You state that you want to take the conversation out of the political arena and move it to the church, to be loving enough to attract LGBT people, so that Jesus can convict them of their sin and change them. Honestly, I don’t think you are going to find many takers. In the end, you take on faith a certain judgment of LGBT people, and your justification is a Bible whose other admonitions and instructions I doubt you follow in every instance. I understand that, if you believe homosexuality to be a sin, and you believe (against all documented evidence) that someone can be “turned” LGB or T by exposure to other homosexuals, then current events must be quite disconcerting. I believe that, as the years go by, these fears, which to me seem quite unfounded, will dissipate. As the global community at large continues to move into acceptance of the LGBT community on its own terms, my prayer is that the church will be able to expand its understanding and acceptance. Thank you for starting a conversation that moves us all closer to that end.

    1. Ruth…thanks for your thoughts. I’m afraid I wasn’t clear on two points you raise.

      First, I never make the assertion that homosexuals choose that orientation. In fact, I compare my own orientation to lust after women as an impulse that I must control in order to honor God–who forbids that act–as well as my wife. So it is the homosexual behavior that I am saying the Bible teaches against, not the orientation.

      Second, I do not start with the premise that being straight is more holy than being gay. I think we are all pitiful creatures on our own merit and in desperate need of salvation. I need it. The straight guy who’s cheating on his wife needs it. The teenager girl sleeping with her boyfriend needs it. The housewife hooked on prescription medication needs it. We all need it. That’s what I believe the Bible teaches. I do NOT think gay people need fixed more than straight people. I think we all need fixed by Jesus, not ourselves.

      Again, I am very appreciative of the dialogue and welcome it. But I fear I wasn’t clear on these two points and wanted to clarify after reading your comments.

      Sincerely, thanks for reading and for your thoughtful remarks.

  9. Interesting blog. As someone who personally knows your heart, Titus, and as someone who is both a homosexual and a Christian, I applaud your effort and appreciate the topic being brought up so peacefully and thoughtfully…even if I disagree with you on a few points.

    1. Thanks for reading and for your honesty. Would love to dialogue in another venue if you are game. Hit me up on FB sometime. I am sincere in wanting to advance this conversation past the present tone.

  10. Hi Titus, this is the first time on your blog. I enjoyed this post–it encompasses many things I wish I were brave enough to write about but chicken out on, as I currently work within SBC; and many, if not most, of my friends and colleagues condemn Westboro yet silently agree and prove it through their actions. This issue tears at my heart, because many of my students I work with struggle with their sexual identity, and many of my friends do too. The struggle mostly has to do, in my opinion, with the way the Church has reacted. We’ve got to do this better. How? You outlined it. Great job.

    1. Thanks, Heather, for the kind words and for stopping by. This is a new venture for me, but I’m pumped about the connections it affords. Connections like this one! I appreciate the feedback and hope we can all advance the dialogue in our various tribes with humility, wisdom, and Christ-likeness.

  11. Thank you so much for saying what has needed to be said for so long. I wish more people would speak out like this and quit making the homosexual community feel hated by the church community. I don’t feel that’s what God wants. I miss you at FCCF.. God bless you and your beautiful family.

  12. Titus, I appreciate your efforts to clarify the statements you made in your original blog, but to me your arguments don’t hold water. I think our problem in trying to understand each other is that I cannot put my faith in a G-d who would create LGBT people, and then want them to completely abstain from something as fundamental to the human experience as sex. And you have no problem believing in that G-d. You say that you condemn the act, not the orientation, but asking people never to act on their natural sexual impulse (and if you agree homosexuality is not a choice, then that impulse is natural for them) is not the same thing as asking them not to work on the Sabbath, or commit murder, or covet their neighbor’s wife.

    As for your clarifications, comparing your lust for multiple women to an LGBT person’s desire for a specific mate (and remember the topic of your original post was marriage equality–so you’re talking about denying LGBT individuals the right to commit to one person) seems specious to me. You can’t compare your abstinence from having sex with multiple people you are attracted to to expecting a homosexual person to abstain from having sex with anyone they are attracted to… ever. And I don’t see what any of that has to do with whether or not you perceive homosexuality to be a choice.

    Secondly, if you think straight sex is more holy than gay sex (and you do think that, as you believe that one is sanctioned by G-d and the other is strictly forbidden), then it appears to me–and it appears so to me because of what I said about G-d in the first paragraph, so I get it that you might not see what I mean–that you think that “being straight” is more holy than “being gay.” I don’t see how your clarification answers that.

    As I said, though, I think our problem is that we are starting from a very different premise, and that takes our understanding of the supporting arguments in very different directions. As I said in my earlier post, I do applaud your desire to start the conversation. And I thank you for that.

    1. I have had issue with that same thing in the past. I do believe that people are born gay. But I also wondered why God would do that. But He never said this life would be easy either. And He never said it would be fair. We will have struggles in this life. Its what we do about it that matters. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Just a thought.

    2. Ruth,

      I think you are right…we are starting from very different premises. I very much appreciate the tone of this exchange, though, as I do believe it is healthy and a good exercise to have. I thank you for your honesty and your civility.

    3. Sorry I am little late, okay, very late to this particular conversation, but not to the subject, having been in homosexual relationships/desires over 45 yrs ago. I only now became aware of your blog through the Houston article you wrote, well stated by the way Titus!
      This is a good conversation and needs to be more openly discussed (apart from our personal biases that so easily conflate our own arguments), with a solidly Biblical rational.
      So I believe the Bible teaches that all people are born in sin (except Adam & Eve of course because they were never born, were created without sin, chose sin before having children and we are all descendants of Adam, Romans 5:12 and therefore thoroughly ‘infected’ with sin).
      The sin that we all are born with will take any number of ‘inclinations’ due to our environment (parents, culture, personal desire, circumstance, etc.) and I would say that sin also changes over time, again effected by many different influences. I thank God that He started those changes in Me in my early 20’s and has had a great deal of patience with me as I have struggled with being a follower of Christ, not just in my ‘sexuality’ but in every area of life!!!
      I think that is why it is so gravely important that we again take Jesus’ words deeply to heart that we ‘must be born again’ or ‘born from above’! We must humbly have our sins forgiven from the One we have sinned against, the only One who can truly forgive those sins, lived a life of complete obedience, went to the cross to pay for those sins and understands His creation much better than we do.
      God didn’t create anyone to sin, but He has given us a free will to choose. He desperately desires that we choose to come into His family, through Christ, so that He can make the changes in us that we need so greatly; changes in our desires, not just our actions. Actions are only results of our internal, sinful desires or for the believer in Christ by His enabling ‘heavenly’ desires to live as He has directed us in the Bible. Change the root and change the fruit.
      Not that the ‘orientation’ isn’t still there, we still have a body of flesh with its passions, but with time and the working of the Lord in our life and help & understanding from family & friends who want God’s plan for us and others, those desires can see change as we live a life that is in accord with God’s desires found in the Bible.
      Born in sin, but not unto sin. God has greater goals for us if we will just follow Him and Jesus is our example. With these kinds of topics, I always think of the woman caught in adultery (even the culture of that time had its flaws, for if she was in adultery, so was the man and yet he wasn’t dragged before Jesus). Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” A good balance as God always has! Obviously Jesus thought it was sin, but He is also a great proponent of repentance, redemption and a better life lived in Himself.

  13. I think that this was well thought out, and would like to re-read to take your points one at a time. I am a Christian that thinks the Holy Spirit does the conviction of ALL sin. It is the job of the church to be a hospital for sinners, not a country club of saints. I was born into sin, and am a Christian. I still sin, and will do it again. Thanks a lot Adam!!! Remind me to give that guy a kidney punch for listening to Eve. j/k
    I am wrapping my mind around the fact that no matter how uncomfortable I feel about letting gay friends or church brothers into our family’s bubble I let others into the conversation without as much internal fight. As a parent it is a duty to protect my kids. As the pastor of my house I also have to instill in our kids the idea that we are all sinners, and to instantly write off or make fun of a person for being overwight, a different religion, a different skin color, or a shade of gay is more hurtful than helpful or protective. Sin is ugly, in myself and others. I hurt a potential friend for confiding in me that as a married father he had and does suffer from same-sex attraction. I have avoided that conversation for over a year, but I shouldn’t. I want to show God’s love, because it was shown to me often.
    On a side note, I would not feel comfortable walking into either Rob Bell’s church or Westboro. They are both making potentially eternal damages. One gives false hope to the lost and the other is looking so angry and hateful that I am livid to hear the name Westboro.
    You have articulated this position very well, and it involves more thought and application.

    Thank you.

  14. Oh, and if you’re in Katy and Mayor Parker doesn’t take you up on the offer, I’d buy at Lupe Totilla’s or Chuys. No agenda, just fellowship and queso. CW

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