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  • But then what?

    2012 - 12.01

    Whenever I pay a visit to my hometown, it always takes me a few days to recover. Usually it’s because I see so many people who mean so much to me, and I miss enjoying their company on a more regular basis.

    Sometimes it’s because I’ve attended some type of religious service at an extremely conservative church.

    Last week was one of the latter. I’m not going to criticize the preacher because it’s not my church and I don’t have to go there ever.

    Suffice it to say I have NEVER heard the word fornication used during the sermon of the funeral service of an 88 year old lady. Or the phrase ‘ill gotten gains’. To the best of my knowledge, this wonderful lady had never participated in either.

    However, I do understand there’s a school of thought that when a preacher has an opportunity to share some hell-fire and brimstone with people who don’t normally go for that stuff, he feels compelled to take advantage of that opportunity. Even during the memorial service of a dearly loved lady.

    Here’s my question: what would the church have young men and women do who have grown up in the church and then in their late teens or early twenties they figure out they’re homos?

    The options I’ve heard of are:

    1. Pray the gay away. Repairative therapy has been widely discredited. Even Exodus International now admits that their process doesn’t work. Which leads to . . .

    2. Morph into a ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ type mentality where the homosexuality is acknowledged, but the individual is expected to live a life of solitude and celibacy.

    3. Send the person to worship at some other church where the members are all going to hell for promoting homosexuality, with the hopes that the Holy Spirit will somehow reach them and turn them from their wicked ways.

    4. Insist they move away and everyone back home live in denial. Maybe pretend the roommate is there only to share expenses.

    I guess the reason this has been on my mind so much is because I’m an example of someone who tried to ‘pray-the-gay-away’ with dismal results. And when I finally acknowledged the man I am, rather than living in the shadows in shame; life became even better than I thought it could be. And I tend to share that in a pretty big way.

    And everyone there knows that.

    So I’d like to offer an option #5: When you learn a child of the congregation turns out to be a homo, think of the life Brad and Ricky share and do what you can to guide them to that end. And do your best to leave managing Heaven’s Guest list to a higher power.

    Today’s Gay Agenda: Be thankful these denominations that do so much damage to young men and women are on the decline.

     

     

     

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    10 Responses to “But then what?”

    1. Nan Greenly says:

      Well said…thank you!

    2. Doc says:

      I once attended a funeral for a friend who was “unchurched” held at her mother’s insistence in the latter’s church. The pastor– no preacher– railed away at the many sins of the world including homosexuality and ended by concluding that the deceased was most certainly suffering in hell.

      Leaving aside for a moment the absolutely inappropriate use of a Christian pulpit to advance hatred, I realized that much conservative religion rests on reassuring its followers that they are God’s elect by excluding “the other” from their midsts and making certain they would never be welcome. I see this happening in the Barnsville congregation in which their son is denied confirmation– full membership in the congregation and his family is denied communion– full union with the church in Christ– because of a political position.

      But mainstream Christianity is coming to the realization and actualization that these exclusions are, well, unChristian and their responsibility is to deal with the “beam in their own eyes before attending to the speck in their neighbor’s.” So yes, many are thankful that demonations (oops, Freudian slip) denominations that do so much damage and misrepresent the Gospel are on the decline.

    3. Stephan says:

      To tell you the truth, I never understood “pray the gay way”. I mean, I have blue eyes. Should I “pray the blue away” ?
      On a bigger plane, I wonder if there are any people in churches who say, “can we please stop doing what we are doing, and look at what we have become?”. Some churches look more like the Soviet Regime that a Church of Christ.

    4. Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      There are in churches some very small minds.

      • Rita says:

        James – we ALL have the right to BELIEVE what we do without condemning ! I do have to agree with Jon and I believe the minds are getting smaller all the time – I just go on with my life and allow that and know to stay away from people who only believe that they are right. We are all in this world together.

    5. Avatar of Grandma Grandma says:

      Thanks, Mac. I adore you. I’ve known too many people who were born gay, resisted it for as long as they could, and when they finally accepted it for — and this is important for those homophobes out there — just ONE part of their lives, they still could not tell brothers or sisters or parents or other favorite relatives. It’s time we all got to be what we are, without guilt or shame. It is NOT time for anyone else to judge what they think we should be. Unless, of course, they’re perfect.

    6. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

      Thanks for the kind remarks. Doc, thanks for your comment as well. I don’t want to get too off topic being ‘the gay agenda’ and all, but an activist I like, Dan Savage, has used the phrase ‘spiritual abuse’ in terms of the guilt some religion uses to shame gay people.

      The term came to mind when I was at this service, because the parishioners seemed to just drink it in and then were all giddy afterward at what they’d heard. Reminded me of the woman who keeps going back to the man that beats the crap out of her, telling her she’s worthless and her existence is dependent upon him.

      If you want to talk perversion, I think the message humanity is evil and deserves eternal damnation is kind of perverted. I also think living the earthly existence with the sole purpose of ‘getting to heaven’ is kind of perverted as well.

      Now I’m gonna go give Ricky and kiss and tell him I love him. :)

    7. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

      James, you must have missed my 4th paragraph:

      Last week was one of the latter. I’m not going to criticize the preacher because it’s not my church and I don’t have to go there ever.

      While I agree there are many activists who insist churches change their doctrine, I’m not one of them.

      I complain endlessly about them forcing all of society to live by their ideals.

      And in this post, I was lamenting the fact that many young men and women are thrown away by their church when they figure out they’re gay.

      I disagree with their members in that I do not believe God throws away gay men and women, nor does he banish them to hell.

      Besides, if there’s no alcoholics or gay men in heaven, it wouldn’t really be heaven now would it?

      • NoDakSt says:

        Maybe gay people and all others who don’t fit in your narrow definition of Christianity want to be in the presence of God as well.

      • Rita says:

        Oh my goodness James !!! You are a very bitter and sad person – I will pray to my higher power for you to find your own peace and happiness in life ! It is soi sad to know you are such an angry person. May you find what you need in life ! Maybe you are really not what you believe to be and that is where your anger comes from.

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