Shaun wrote: I have a brother who is a psychiatrist and also gay. He didn't
want to be
gay-struggled with all his might to cure himself and hid it from his family
for many years. He underwent psychotherapy and drug therapy and was ( and
still ) is on antidepressants as a result of the struggle with his
sexuality. A few years ago he decided to "come out", (much to the
consternation of our parents) and be openly gay. He is not overjoyed with
his choice, but he is at peace within himself.
Don P: It's nice that he is not suffering anymore
I can assure you that being gay is not something he chose to do and he was
unable to find a "cure". What gave him this predisposition? He does not
know-and he is a practicing psychiatrist. I would say science doesn't know
either. What we do know is that it seems much more fundamental than those
who say its simply a "preference", like a taste for chocolate ice cream, or
a "lifestyle choice".
Shaun: Frankly, I struggle with the rather clear OT injunction against
homosexuality. Before I was aware of my brother's struggle, I used to
blithely think that gays should just simply stop being gay. It might be
tough, like breaking the smoking habit, but it was doable. In the light of
what I know now, I no longer think so.
Don P: I know it may make things easier to see the scripture as changed in
order to allow acceptance. Remember that acceptance does not necessarily
disregard sin. One first admits to a sin then asks for guidance and
forgiveness from God. It may not be right away as with any prayer, but
eventually, if one believes, God will guide you. But if one does not admit
that it is a sin then it will never change and God may not be so forgiving.
If I murder someone, even by accident, God will not forgive me if I don't
ask for it or I just deny that it is a sin. I never said that every gay
should just stop nor be punished legally in some way. What I said was that
it is a sin and that we should encourage them to stop by leading them to
God. Some may give up and think this won't help but lose of faith does not
wash away sin. Regardless of the sin we must point errors out to our
brothers. We must accept them as sinners and forgive them for their actions.
But again we must encourage them to seek God's help, even if it takes a
lifetime to overcome.
Shaun: I think that Don and likeminded persons should get to know a variety
persons who are actually gay, before he makes pronouncements on this issue.
Those who take the time to know people who are gay are usually not so quick
to conclude that this is a simple matter of telling gays that they should
Don P: Actually I've known at least 50 gays in my lifetime, including some
family members. I grew up in Oakland CA, just a stones throw from their
Valhalla. I never said that anyone would stop sinning just because one
points it out. But does this absolve our responsibility to care for our
brothers? If you truly care for someone, as you would your kids, you point
out their errors and explain the right way. Even someone 80 years old would
tell his 60 year old child what they did wrong. This does not mean we
should hate them, thereby sinning ourselves. When Christ said to be
tolerant, he did not mean to ignore sin, but rather be forgiving and
supportive. Everyone sins and as brothers we need to care enough to say
what's wrong. Help to lead them in the right direction. IF they cannot stop
sinning then we can only pray that God will forgive them. But even when they
don't give up, we still have a responsibility to encourage change. IF your
mother or father were an alcoholic would you not encourage them to stop? If
they didn't stop would you give up trying to help?
I'll let you guys have the last word.
Thanks for your time and perspectives on this matter.
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