Our concepts of “healthy” and “good” ultimately all stem from our religion or “worldview”, our “theology”. Without agreement of theology, we can expect no agreement on anything else, since our theology tells us how to interpret the world we see.
Nouns and Verbs
I’ve been quoted as saying that there is no such thing as “a homosexual”. And, frankly, I’m quoting that from Dr. Joe Nicolosi and Richard Cohen. But much ado was made about “Such were some of you” at the Restored Hope Network Conference this summer. They’re quoting a verse which says “Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you;” “but God.” I’m going to assume Christians will know what the “but God” part stands for. It would appear that “the Bible says there’s such a thing as a homosexual”. But our modern English definition of “a homosexual” as a noun and the Greek language’s definition of “a homosexual” as a noun are different. Let’s look at all of these words:
fornicator: a man who committed fornication
idolater: a man who idolized something other than God
adulterer: a man who had an extra-marital erotic sexual relations
effeminate: a man who submitted for prostitution
homosexual: a man who committed erotic activities with other men
thief: a man who stole something from another man
the covetous: a man who coveted a belonging of another man
drunkard: a man who drank to the point of intoxication
reviler: a man who insulted another man angrily
swindler: a man who cheated another man
See what they all have in common? “a man” followed by a verb. The noun part of the definitions are all “a man”. Now, truthfully, I’ve tweaked the list. Most of these can be “a human who”, but in the case of the “effeminate” it actually is specifically men, so I just adapted them all so it’s easier to see the distinction: Is the verb part a noun? Are our verbs what we are? Or are our being part, the noun part, the ‘man’ part what we are? and the rest what we do? I tend to think of it the second way. Especially, for men with pre-oedipal disorder, their homosexuality is mainly caused by a deficiency of feeling what they are. Teaching men who have been wounded in this way, that it’s what they are is counterproductive.
Another phenomenally bad teaching on Homosexuality claiming to be Biblical
I recently bought “Help! My teen is gay” by Ben Marshall – and forgot that I had, and it sat in my mailbox for probably a few weeks. In addition to large number of correct statements about salvation provided by Jesus Christ, Ben makes a large number of very simple logical fallacies. It’s also obvious that he understands very little about homosexuality: that’s apparently fine with him. I have wondered why the Church has been so severely misinformed about homosexuality and offered such bad advice, and now I know …They must have been listening to him… or whomever lead him astray from the truth when he wrote the book. Ultimately, his statements will lead people away from Christ, as they have in the lives of men I know. It’s up to men like me, apparently, to lead them back.
One frequent logical fallacy is inferring on the whole a property of the part, and also inferring on the part properties of the whole. Ben relies on such fallacies for his assertions. Another way to think about this problem, which we deal with in science & engineering a TON is of “specific” and “general” solutions. Ben quotes Jeremiah to say that the “heart is deceitful” and “who can understand it”. Perhaps there are some things which lie unperceived in our hearts, but to assert we cannot understand any emotions, any thoughts, I think is outside the realm of realism. As we’ll see later, we are explicitly commanded to do so. Yet, Ben’s conclusion is that “for the struggling teen, this means that there is no chance that he or she can know the reason for the choice to sinfully think about homosexuality.” So, I should mention here that Ben is apparently talking about “lost folks”. Maybe he’s right about lost teens, but what about saved teens? Do they not “struggle”? It seems like maybe he thinks they don’t, as we’ll see later on.
Ben says “the teenager who is dealing with homosexual thoughts and desires can only hope to be saved by receiving a cure that will take care of the heart problem, not just the symptom of homosexuality.” well… yeah, but the problem is for every Christian I’ve met whose eroticized same sex attraction was alleviated as the result of prayer, I know hundreds who’s weren’t. Are some not Christians? Probably. But for the most part, these men have been loving God, loving their neighbor as best they know how. I also want to address this from the general / specific angle. Ben writes “the only hope for the one struggling with homosexuality is to repent of personal sin and believe in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Uh.. the need for salvation through Christ applies to everyone. We might as well have struck the phrase “struggling with homosexuality”, and re-titled the pamphlet “Help! my teen is human.” When someone picks up a pamphlet titled “Help! My teen is gay”, from a church ministry, they probably want more than “tell them about Jesus”. I’m trying to imagine the Christian parent who thought, “oh, I never thought of that”.
Ben quotes Proverbs 17:9 to say the heart is deceitful, and then basically ignores any contribution our emotions can make, refusing to even name them. In the practical exercises section towards the end, he lists 8 references to Proverbs, but skips 4:23, “keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life”. I began to get the sensation that Ben heard some lecture he liked, and found what scripture could support it and didn’t take actual observations of actual homosexuality, and the effects of various approaches into account when he wrote this. Well, some of us don’t get the luxury of closing the book on our ‘gay’ like he does when he’s done with this pamphlet. Some of us are stuck with reality.
Another easily recognizable logical fallacy is affirming the consequent. Ben says “Romans 1:18-32 clearly states that homosexuality is the result of mankind exchanging the worship of God the Creator for the worship of the creation.” I’ve already covered that one here.
By reading scripture, or maybe proof reading his own work, Ben could have realized his errors, or at least taken pause from publishing, because his logical fallacies lead him to contradict himself and scripture.
On page 29 he says, “no human can know or understand the heart of any other human”. Yet on page 32 he says “bringing to your teenager the truth that he or she is not alone in this world … will be a relief”. Now, his conclusion is right, but he has asserted that he could not know it. After all, if he can’t know the heart of another person at all, how could he predict what emotion the other person will experience. Ben has stumbled on basic empathy here; I’m not sure he realizes it.
In addition, Ben asserts to the parents that “first and foremost, you need to remember that you did not cause your teen to partake in homosexual behavior. If you find yourself feeling as if you have caused your teen to fall prey to this sin…” and then he comes up with an excuse. Yet, Jesus says “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” in Matthew 18:6. If Ben is correct, then this scripture from Jesus is apparently not useful in “teaching, training, correcting and rebuking in righteousness”, and now he has a much larger exegetical problem. I take this warning from Jesus very seriously. Apparently, Ben does not.
Now I want to go back to basic emotional competency, because it’s clear Ben has none. Scripture describes what we call “core emotions”: joy, anger, fear, sadness. You might recognize scripture about these, “do not sin in your anger”, “do not be afraid”, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another…” in Romans 12:15. Yet, Ben’s grasp of emotions seems to be “feeling good” and “feeling bad”. In doing work with men over just a few years now, I find it very common that men with eroticized same-sex attractions have trouble distinguishing emotions. Well, ok, men in general have more trouble than women. They use general words like “I feel good”, “relief” or “I feel horrible”, as Ben does on pages 37 and 47. Having the emotional intelligence to say “I feel content”, or “I feel shame” or “I feel sadness” is for the moment outside of their grasp.
I submit that a recognition of these basic emotions is a prerequisite to being able to fulfill commands like “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” in Romans. This is a great description of something called “empathy”, when someone else feels along (the same thing as) someone else; i.e. reflecting their emotions. This entire activity seems to have been dismissed by Ben with his statements about there being “no chance” someone could understand someoneelse’s heart, let alone their own. There are definitely unknown areas in our emotions, but are we entirely unknowable?
Richard Cohen describes in his book, “Coming Out Straight” that he regularly sees an increasing emotional distance between same-sex parent and child. In other words, a child may develop homosexuality as a result of an unhealthy emotional connection with their same-sex parent. This happens when a parent does not empathize with their child. The parents seem “distant”, or “tuned out” to their child feelings. Some researchers have found a lack of empathy from a parent literally causes a feeling of dying in infants. Empathy is that “feeling the same thing as” stuff, that Ben asserts is impossible. Ironically, Ben has already claimed this emotional distance is likely to happen. In fact, according to him, it may be the set up for the parent ever reading this book in the first place! In the opening paragraphs of the book, Ben describes a teen who tells his dad, Jon, that he’s gay. It goes like this, “Jon heard very little after the phrase, “Dad, I think I’m gay.” Jon tried to grasp what was going on, but it was too much to handle. He had no idea what to do or where to turn. Can you identify with Jon? If you can, believe me, you are not alone, This booklet is designed to be a guide for any Christian parent whose son or daughter reveals that he or she is gay.” Check out these phrases, “heard very little” “what was going on was too much to handle”. These are common descriptions of a parent checking-out emotionally, checking-out of empathy, being swallowed up in their own sense of inadequacy, their own persistent sense of failure. Right here in his own introduction, Ben Marshall has defeated his own argument by admitting that the parents of gay teens would have the exact problems that the same psychological researchers he so adamantly denies can know anything find happens, and he is apparently completely oblivious to it.
Ben’s solutions for homosexuality also fails the specific / general test. His instructions for the parent are to ignore that anything other than the child could have caused this, writing of the “sinful heart”, “this condition is not due to some outside force that victimized your teenager in some way. It is because of the passing down of a sinful nature from Adam that your teenager has a tendency to sin in the area of homosexuality.” Now, there are several things wrong here. 1) If we got a sinful heart from Adam, then Adam is the outside force – and so is the parent. 2) Satan lied about God’s nature to Adam. Since there was no sin in the world before this moment, I’m going to label Satan as an “outside force, victimizing your teenager”. And 3) this “you’re gay because you’re a bad thing from the inside” blame is actually what contributes to many men’s origin of homosexuality in the first place. Why?
Homosexuality is, as the author says, the sinful hearts attempt to feel better. But feel better because of what? “Shame-trauma”. Shame is distinct from guilt. Guilt is “I’ve done something wrong”; shame is “I am something wrong”. Guilt is entirely appropriate in a Biblical worldview, and I don’t intend to explain why here. But shame… shame is very different. Ben quotes David as saying “I was conceived in sin”, but David also wrote “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Genesis tells us that in our created form as male & female we are “very good” and “made in the image of God”. Specifically, the shame underlying homosexuality tends to be around genderedness. Now, this is predominately pre-Oedipal disorder homosexuality I’m talking about here, but it’s the significant factor in 80% of men’s homosexuality. When a man feels like there’s something wrong with “being masculine” (as distinct from “being feminine”) we call this gender shame. We always encourage men to embrace their genderedness, after all, gender is part of the image of God. More on that later. This is why we use phrases like “man” and “woman” instead of “person” when referring to an individual. This is why we refer to an individual as a “son” or “daughter” of God, not a “child” of God, which Ben does on page 35.
Another major cause of “homosexual” “feelings” is childhood sexual abuse. This is well-known; I won’t go into it here. But, keep in mind that Ben says “your child was not victimized”. In the case of incest, remember Ben says “the parent did not cause the teen to sin”.
Ben’s advice will also provoke some fledgling Christians to leave the Church. Let’s see how that’s unfolded in the lives of men I know. You start with Ben’s recipe that the child admit they feel horrible. Ok. horrible is not a feeling, it’s a “judgement”, but skipping that for a minute. Ben’s instructions are for your child to “twist” their worship back to God … cause you know, fallacy of affirming the consequent, have them think really hard about how God sees what they’ve done, and if you’re at this point, they’ve been taught how Ben sees it, not necessarily God, so I’m not sure how much good that will do. Then recognize your child feels “horrible” and “sorry”, then when they make a true “confession”, “this confession should then lead to a drastic change in the teen’s life. There should be a complete 180-degree change in most areas of his or her life.” Ok, he’s moved on to using “his or her”, so that’s good. But the reality is, Jesus will keep working on us until the day he returns. It’s these kinds of “pray it away” approaches, clocked in spirituality that ultimately drive ‘gays’ out of the Church. When they try this man’s recipe, and it doesn’t work, it will begin to erode their faith. And I’ve met those to whom it has. They aren’t going to get in much of a debate with you. They’ve “already heard it”, “tried it”, and “it didn’t work”. Why? Because the approach they were offered was based on logical fallacies and a near complete lack of knowledge on the subject. Please Church, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t give instructions. Lead to Jesus, great, then let Jesus lead them to me, or help them take the short cut.
Under-sexed and over-eroticized
You’ve probably heard someone say that our culture is “over-sexed”, but truthfully, the word “sex” has become so overused that it has itself become a euphemism. In fact, I believe modern American culture has become under-sexed, though I am selecting a particular sub definition of that word. The other sub definition you would understand to be “erotic”, or the bow-chicka-wow-wow kind of erotic pleasure. That, on the other hand, has infiltrated into aspects of our society it was never intended. Erotic imagery is included in standard entertainment, and erotic attractions are used as “attention grabbers” in advertisements for other products. So, what most people mean when they say “over-sexed”, I call “over-eroticized”.
So why select that definition of sex to separate out? Because the word sex has a definition the others don’t: “of or respecting the differences between the two sexes” … realizing there are more differences between the sexes than just our genitals. God created an entire fabric of gifts to bestow upon the sexes, differently. Not as though one sex is better than the other, no, but that we’re complementary to each other.
My definition of sexual includes the psychological make up as well. In that regard, our modern American culture is under-sexed. I think in part because a movement began in the mid-1900’s as a result of Darwinian philosophy. Specifically, the movement began to devalue femininity, under the guise of enhancing femininity. Darwinian philosophy taught that the “fittest” or “strongest” survive, and apart from a Biblically-guided man to cherish his mate like Christ loves the Church, men began acting like male animals, and treated women as if they were nothing but animals. As Gloria Steinem finally said “we are becoming the men we wanted to marry”. I believe it’s unfortunate that these women were unable to find the value of their God-given femininity, and instead eschewed the blessings God had prepared for them, as though they themselves believed femininity itself was not valued.
Either way, our modern American culture devalues the unique gifts each sex has to offer, I.e. sexuality itself is repressed. Activists decry the differences in pay between men & women, neglecting to provide a valid theological or mathematical formula for why it would be good for all women on average to work as hard or as long as men. I might as well draw a line over freckle density and make a fuss about inequality with any arbitrary formula and selected precision as if it were immorality itself. As femininity now attempts to reassert itself in a shadow form, masculinity is becoming devalued, or worse, demonized.
This situation creates a perfect storm of sorts for increasing eroticization of same-sex attractions. Lacking healthy same-sex models for our children, they persist in a sort of androgynous stage for too long, they fail to see differences between the sexes as valuable, and don’t “get” what it really means to be a sexual being, before the erotic drive kicks in. And since our culture is over eroticized, it kicks in early. Erotic expectations and innuendo run roughshod over healthy expressions of physical affection.
Have you ever heard a sermon like this? “I know Paul says we should great each other with a holy kiss, but that was part of their culture and it’s not part of ours, so the appropriate command here is great each other with a holy handshake.” I gotta tell you, that’s a simple theological fallacy, and the counter example is easy. In our culture, erotic intercourse is expected early and without a lifetime commitment. Surely that hasn’t become ‘ok’? Let me dig a little deeper. God created the sexes, and he also created the erotic. He created them for a purpose and defines rules about how to use them. He also created non-erotic affection, as demonstrated in scripture many times over. Now, if God gets to make he rules about what is and isn’t allowed for erotic activities, doesn’t it make sense that He gets to define which activities are erotic and which ones are not? Or do we get to change His rules by moving the line with our “culture”? I think in that context, the true answer is clear. Culture may be important for understanding the meaning of scripture, but it doesn’t get to alter God’s law about morality.
In other words, I’m saying culture has corrupted the Church, and we need to return to Biblical standards for our affectionate behavior. Granted, Christian men do tend to be more physically affectionate than their secular counterparts, BUT both generally have an extreme dearth of natural, healthy physical same-sex affection. By taking the lessons from our culture, men have been taught that a desire to kiss or snuggle with a friend is a “gay feeling”, instead of a desire to express healthy male affection. According to Christian marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman, “physical touch” is one of our 5 love languages. Instead of focussing on healthy ways to do heathy touch, he spends most of the chapter on this love language explains that it’s not the same thing as sexual intercourse. And according to his research, about 20% of men have physical touch as a primary love language, but it is being starved in our culture, and in particular – in our churches. Yet, men still long for physical contact, they seem to only be able to justify it in percussive motions, like tackle football, or a slap on the butt.
My heart sinks when I hear Christian leaders relegating those who crave love expressed through physical affection to wonder down to their local gay bar in search for the perfect boyfriend who will only want to cuddle. The healing process from homosexuality actually speaks directly to this hidden dichotomy: that there is no such thing as a “gay feeling”; we have two God given desires: same-sex attraction, and erotic attraction, and the lines between them have been blurred. How do we draw the line between them? Perhaps stop pretending that pop culture gets to determine what’s moral or not.
Christ prayed that we would be known for our love for each other. I think it’s proof we’ve failed when two men with their arms around each other’s shoulders in public are immediately suspected of being a gay couple, instead of immediately suspected of being Christians.
4 meanings of “Love”
One of the fullest descriptions of love from the the Bible, and so many of the clarifying scriptures are written in Greek, it’s useful to know what the 4 words which get translated into “love” in our street / nut language of English are:
storge: You experience pleasure as the result of something. “You make me happy.” I.e. I love banana pudding and roller coasters. This word is not used in the Greek New Testament.
phileo: “Brotherly” love. This is familial love. Empathy is creates this, a feeling of sameness and belonging. Phileo is not used frequently in the Bible.
eros: Erotic pleasure. Calling this “love” in English is a euphemism. It’s a feelings.
agape: This is the big one, the “highest command is to agape the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind.” kind of love. The “agape your neighbor as yourself” kind of love. The “holds no record of wrongs” kind, and the “We know God agapes us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” The core of agape is working to do something good for someone not because they’ve earned it, but because you choose to do good things for them. It’s a choice, not a feeling.
So which definition of love are Josh and Kevin using in the first episode?
Progress on the Republican Party of Texas Platform!!!
Unlike New Jersey Republican governor Chris Christie, who simultaneously banned talking therapy for minors who wanted to pursue maximizing their heterosexual potential and maintained the legality of cutting their balls off, Texas Republicans have adopted a plank to the state party platform to not ban therapy for unwanted same sex attractions. Since the info has come out, we’ll now reveal that spearheading this effort was good buddy Jeremy Schwab, founder of the Joel 2:25 online support group, and assistant casting director for our very first production here. We fully support Jeremy in his common goal, and ask for prayers from the Church to support him as he now faces the onslaught of the gay lobby who hates that we have these freedoms. While we were successful in adopting the party plank, there are those in the party who still do not understand what we mean, including he chairman, and basically governor perry. We still have an uphill battle to get out the truth, and hold the elected representatives to the platform when the vote comes this session.
Fisher inadvertently supports the gay lobby while proclaiming “not born that way”
I read an article by Bryan Fisher on barbwire.com entitled “The Latest in Scientific Research: There is No Gay Gene”. I applaud him for taking the true stance that ‘gay’ is not how we are born. I say ‘we’, because I used to be gay. Well, ok, ‘gay’ is not a thing someone can ‘be’, but I’ll leave that alone for the moment. That propaganda has been used to sway many in our country to accept homosexuality as a healthy alternative to heterosexuality. However, there were other arguments in the article that I believe -inadvertently- support the gay community’s belief that regardless of what some preacher says about science, gay must be how they’re born.
In the article, Fisher wrote …”sexual preference in behavior is clearly a choice, a choice which no one is compelled to make.” I actually disagree that behavior is always a choice (John 8:34), but is “sexual preference” “clearly” a choice? Aside from those who’ve taken on a false gay or bisexual identity as a rebellion against Biblical culture, those who identify as gay will (correctly) demand respect for the fact that they did not get to chose whether to “feel gay”. In reality, I’ve learned that our gay “sexual preference” is the result of “needs for love that haven’t been met and emotional wounds that haven’t healed”, to quote Richard Cohen. As I learned to get my needs for love met in God-honoring ways, and healed my emotional wounds through many years of guided therapy and support groups, my attractions changed. Knowing they did not make a choice to feel gay, most gays will agree with the underlying presumption that the two possible choices are biological and choice, and believe biological, defeating the author’s stated purpose.
Second, Fisher wrote “If homosexuality is biologically determined, then the rest of us don’t have much choice but to accept it as a sad and unfortunate reality.” First off, the conclusion that we would accept something as a sad reality doesn’t mean it couldn’t have existed. In fact, learning to accept our sad reality – and grieve it – leads us to healing, and ultimately ‘change’ (Matthew 5:4). Richard Cohen summarizes the discovery of modern psychotherapy that the main determinant in whether psychotherapy would be successful is whether the client is able to get in touch with their emotions by saying “you need to be real and feel in order to heal”. – the dude spent years coming up with rhyming ways to make underlying truths memorable. Denying reality because we wouldn’t like it is merely suppressing truth. Making an argument against accepting reality is not going to influence anyone working from a rational foundation.
I think Fisher may have conflated “genetically-determined” with “healthy”, and in our fallen world, that is not the case. The simple counter-example to the argument is the plethora of genetic diseases which are the result of genetic abnormalities, such as sickle-cell anemia. In steps Texas Governor Rick Perry who says he thinks gay is a genetic abnormality like his predilection for alcoholism. Rick, buddy, glad you’re overcoming the alcoholism, but please stop spouting off about stuff you don’t understand with your useless conjectures. There can never be a scientific argument that anything genetic can be healthy or good because science cannot make any statements about what’s healthy, good, or worth-it, those require a statement of purpose and science cannot give us a purpose. Only Theology can make statements about purpose and therefore make statements about good/healthy/ or worth it.
One argument Fisher makes I know that many are sympathetic to is “homosexual conduct is clearly harmful to human beings in any number of ways, not the least of which is serving as the leading cause of HIV/AIDS, which can leave young men disease-ridden and destined for an early grave. We don’t want that future for anyone.” But, I’d highly suggest doing research into what men are willing to do for “love”. Take a look at the death rates of soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan, for instance. They’re significantly higher than ‘gays’ with AIDS. When seeking to love or protect those they love, or defend the rights of others, men regularly make choices which have much higher death rates than AIDS. I do personally know several men who made their decision to “maximize their heterosexual potential” as a result of a boyfriend or close friend who died from AIDS. But when they do, they belie that fact that up until it happened to someone close, they were willing to ignore the risks, which were readily knowable, in pursuit of what they believed was love. It may have been emotional dependency, or codependency, but they’ve been taught that’s what “love” is.
Again, I believe Fisher found and is promoting the correct and true reality that ‘gay’ is not in-born, but unlike me, most people can’t evaluate the merits of a scientific report, and will trust their friends over someone they don’t know. As an argument, it’s much more powerful to be able to say, “it doesn’t matter if it’s genetic, because even if it’s genetic that doesn’t mean that it’s healthy or good, or that it’s ‘love’. One needs a theological argument to make statements about what’s healthy and good and worth-it, and my God loves you so much, it was worth-it to Him to lay down His life to save you, just as you are.” The trouble with Christians (and I’m one), I’ve found, is ever backing up that statement with enough agape and phileo love to actually win over someone who has been neglected, shamed, abandoned, exasperated, or possibly sexually abused, or that they even need to be bothered by it personally. Please join me in trying to win over the Church to demonstrate the kind of love that ‘gays’ -like me- need to meet their needs for love and support us as we heal our emotional wounds.
God’s command is “love”, not “tolerate”, (Mozilla / Firefox)
Recently, Brendan Eich “resigned” because of his contribution to support Prop 8, in which a slight majority of Californians agreed with God that marriage consisted of a man & a woman and not two members of the same sex. It is strongly believed that he was “encouraged” to resign by the company, and now some have started a boycott of the Firefox web browser which uses Mozilla.
Your choice as to whether to use the Firefox browser is up to you, but let’s not forget the Southern Baptist boycott of everything Disney because of their policy of providing medical insurance for live-in same-sex partners in the late ’90’s. It didn’t work.
If we are right in our belief that eroticized same-sex attractions are caused by traumatic shame and attachment loss events in a person’s past, events which were strongly tied to the person’s concept of themselves as a gendered being, or to the concept of the “other than self” as a gender, then what does it look like for us to “love our neighbor as ourselves”. In Matthew 5:4, Jesus says “blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”. In his book, Shame and Attachment Loss, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi summarizes same-sex attractions as a form of pathological grief. If God intends on blessing those in grief with comfort, perhaps we should extend comfort to these men & women. Each of us has been created in the image of the loving God, the Most High, the Lord of all creation. He loves us and died for our sins; there is no room for real shame in the Christian life. In Gay Children, Straight Parents, Richard Cohen gives many examples of how to go about loving someone who is gay-identified. I personally love some of these examples: invite them to dinner and don’t talk about being gay, invite them to a sporting or camping event with the guys (remember to pay extra attention to whether they feel connected and accepted by the group), explicitly affirm their gendered physical appearance, great them warmly and with physical affection, act in an absolutely trust-worthy manner, invite them to social events. Let them bring their gay partner? Sure! (Their gay partner is your neighbor, too.).
Remember, “whoever loves the most and the longest wins,” again, Cohen.
C.S. Lewis, phileo & homosexuality
Was listening to an audio recording of C.S. Lewis talking about “The Four Loves” today from 1971. In it, when talking about “phileo”, he said
There is lately a nastier bit of evidence that the experience of philea is not universal: If you speak of it with any seriousness, you are now quite likely to be suspected of homosexuality. This is extremely revealing… [It proves] is that they’ve never known friendship or never known eros. I appeal to everyone who’s known both to bear me witness that in some ways nothing is so unlike a friendship as a love affair.
Until modern times, male friendship expressed itself through kisses embraces and tears. This behavior might be connected with a repressed erotic element, but no one with any historical sense could expect this was always so. The truth is what is eccentric, what needs explaining was not the demonstrative gestures of old friendship, but the apparent coldness of ours. This modern repugnance of close physical contact with my own sex may be diagnosable as pathological.
The Gay Lobby’s succeeding plan to end religious liberty
The gay lobby, well, look ok, there’s not like a list or something, but check out the SPLC’s announcement to ban all sexual orientation change efforts “SOCE” across America.
They’ve first passed a law in California in November, 2012. That’s what got my attention. Before, that, my attractions had changed; I was just going to close that chapter on my life and maybe help mentor a support group or two. But they actually made the therapy I’d been through illegal, well all of it, good & kooks, for minors. Knowing what I know now, I wished someone had the knowledge to diagnose my symptoms when I was a minor. It would have made this entire process soooooo much easier; so many emotional wounds I would never have gotten, so many needs for love which could have been filled sooner. What about all those boys in California like me? I realized I couldn’t stay quiet with my testimony; I had to stand up and defend our religious freedom. I needed the Church to know the truth, instead of languishing in assumptions.
Then, instead of following his religious faith and vetoing a similar ban in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christy wholeheartedly endorsed a ban there as well. No small coincidence. See.. those of us from the South, well, we kinda think California is crazy. But New Jersey? What happened there? Turns out the most prominent Christian therapist who constantly succeeds in SOCE is Joe Nicolosi, who works in California and most of his practice is minors. And the most prominent Jewish therapist is based in… you guessed it: New Jersey. Oh, also, they’re just suing him.
While the whole nation pondered whether it was appropriate for Penn State to lose so many wins because of what Jerry Sandusky did, New Jersey gay lobbyists were inventing testimonies to ensure that once they sexually abused a child – they couldn’t get help.
Do we support coercing children into SOCE? NOOOooo! Do we support bashing gays or bullying? NOOOOooo! But come, on. You’d think even Chris Christy could just say, “hey, religious liberty is cool in New Jersey.” but noooooo.