Recently another AC contributor, John Myers, and I decided that we would work together on a project in which we would dialogue with each other regarding our differing viewpoints on homosexuality. We have been trying to figure out how to format the discussion, and we decided that we would incorporate some of our email correspondence into the articles, as we both think that it flows well that way, and it’s like having a natural conversation, as opposed to doing an interview-type format (although we may incorporate that avenue as well as we go along).
So here we are, after each of us has published a bit of background information on ourselves, ready to start digging in. We both hope that our readers will take the time to read both our views as we go along, otherwise we will not be attaining our goal of each side gaining new understanding of the other.
I am going to start off here by sharing my response to John’s intro article, which can be found at www.associatedcontent.com/article/1959924/a_respectful_dialogue_of_opposing_viewpoints.html .
Hi John….I read your introduction to our dialogue. Some of the things you wrote about touched on some of the questions I have been wanting to ask you, such as your experience with the church, and with other Christians. Obviously, you have been hurt by the way the church has expressed its stand on homosexuality, and also by the way other Christians (unfortunately, too many!) can be so judgmental and unloving in their stand against what they perceive to be sinful actions. I am very sorry for that. And I have to be honest, I have been guilty myself of being hasty in judging others at times, or being obnoxious in the way I share what I believe, especially in my younger years. And I hope that I have grown up enough in those areas that I do not continue to do that, because that is not the way that God would have His children act. I am still working on it; I am not perfect by any means, but I truly try to understand why people do what they do instead of just automatically write them off as losers.
I guess what I would say to you in that respect is, people don’t necessarily mean to be obnoxious or judgmental when they are expressing things they strongly believe in. I’m sure you know how easy it is to let emotions get the upper hand when you feel strongly about something and you are trying to get someone to understand. And if people did not care, they would not bring up certain things in the first place. I guess what we all need to do is try to read between the lines, and see if the person is sincerely expressing their heart because they care, or if they are just plain being obnoxious and judgmental! And some people don’t know how to express themselves properly, even when their intentions are good. Just something to consider.
I don’t like it, either, when people try to cram what they believe down my throat, whether it’s their spiritual beliefs, political beliefs, or other opinions they have. It’s one thing to have a good discussion every so often, but when a person is constantly harping on you for something over and over again, that just is not respectful. There is a right way to share one’s faith, for example, and it is not by constantly hitting people over the head with the Bible, or preaching at them—-and certainly not going up to someone, especially if they are a stranger, and telling them out of the blue that they are going to Hell if they don’t believe in Jesus! That makes me cringe, to think that there are actually Christians who do that.
It is very sad that you did not feel you could be honest with your best friend and felt you had to cut the relationship off cold turkey, but considering his family’s attitude, I can see why you did. But maybe now, after 20 years, you could at least let him know why you did, so he would know…..and maybe he would understand. Maybe he would even be open to friendship again. If he was really your friend, he would not just write you off, even if he does not agree with how you live. Your sexuality is not the whole of your being, after all.
It is unfortunate that his family has cut themselves off from others as they have. Many Christians have that tendency, as the Bible does talk about not being “of the world.” However, that has to do with heart attitude, not so much outward things. Jesus never told His followers to retreat from the world; we are to “be IN the world, but not OF the world.” As His followers, Christians are to “go INTO the world and make disciples.” That is the mandate that Jesus gave us. And you are right; by their not having anything to do with the rest of the neighborhood, they put out a very judgmental vibe to others. That’s very unfortunate. And it’s unfortunate that, since they were your only contact with devout Christians when you grew up, that you ended up having a negative perception of all Christians. I hope that, in the future, you will have opportunity to get to know other Christians who truly “walk the walk” and don’t just “talk the talk.” Talk alone means nothing. And something to keep in mind is, just because somebody claims to be a Christian does not mean that they are in fact a Christian. The term “Christian” gets used very loosely, I think. ( To readers: For more on this subject, go to
Being a true Christian is about putting Jesus first, and following Him as He teaches us through His word.
More on your own spiritual journey……you have shared that you were raised Catholic. Was your family devout in their faith, or more casual in observing it? What has your own spiritual journey been like? What is your perception of God, and your perception of the Bible? Have you ever sat down and actually read the Bible for yourself with an open mind and heart, and asked God to speak to you through it, setting aside your own preconceived ideas of what it says? Or have you just let other people’s ideas of what it says cause you to form your opinions?
I appreciate your being open and honest about your experiences, and the perceptions you have. And I am interested in knowing what perceptions of yours have been shattered, as you shared in your intro, concerning Christians, since reading some of the articles I linked you to. (Note to readers: One of these links is as follows:
www.associatedcontent.com/article/1468935/the_churchs_response_to_homosexuality.html. Other links will be shared in future articles.)
Thanks for trusting me enough to want to engage in this dialogue; I am trusting that your intentions in this are for the good as well. I am looking forward to hearing more from you.