> From: Kamilla Ludwig <email@example.com>
> Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
In speaking of gay issues, Kamilla spoke of
"the clear injunction of God's word in both the Old AND New
At the risk of becoming a lightning rod in a pointless debate, I
confess that I am uncomfortable with this statement---uncomfortable
beyond Kamilla's use of it.
I am uncomfortable because I have made similar statements many times
in my life only to find my understanding of what the clear injunctions
were changed. Since we are all human beings on a journey, I presume
that others experience that regularly. That indicates to me that I
should be careful about black-white claims (I am not saying we should
not endeavor to understand, be informed, and speak truthfully). It
demeans God to treat scripture superficially as I have (and still do
as people on this list are likely aware), making the God's word sound
like an axiomatic mathematical system.
Further, I suggest that the things about which we are most confident
are the things on which we are most vulnerable to being deceived. This
is where we can look past the plank in our own eye to find the sliver
in our neighbor's.
We read the scriptures through a tradition that tells us how we should
interpret scripture, which scripture passages are important, and which
passages are not (e.g. how do we take the sermon on the mount). The
conservative evangelical or fundamentalist tradition is just as much a
tradition as others, perhaps a more dangerous one because its
self-image of being free from tradition makes it particularly
vulnerable to self-deception.
To give an example of how a tradition informs us, for those Americans
on the list (British and Canadian readers are exempt), particularly
those who condemn people or actions on the basis of "the clear
injunction of God's word," Do you celebrate Independence Day? If so,
scripture says you are celebrating rebellion against God. "Everyone
must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no
authority except that which God has established. The authorities that
exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels
against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted,
and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves."
May we all celebrate that fact that Jesus lives and calls us to a new
life. May we also humbly accept the fact that we are creatures with
more blind spots than we can ever be aware of, and may we conduct our
discussions accordingly. May I live up to my recommendations to others.
> No one can cure themselves. Only God can do that. Nevertheless, being
> agents with free will we do have the capacity to choose whether or not to
> act on those desires. I am not gay, I am a heterosexual woman with a
> strong sex drive but I can choose to remain celibate because I have free
> will but also because I rely on the Paraclete's help. Personal
> experience is never the rule to rely on when deciding something is sinful
> or not.
> I do know a variety of gay persons. Those who struggle with their
> desires and those who cerebrate them. Some of these people I have known
> for years. Knowing sinful people who struggle with sinful desires
> doesn't change the clear injunction of God's word in both the Old AND New
> Testaments. God doesn't tell us to embrace sin because we can't cure
> ourselves. But it does impel us to stand in solidarity with those who
> struggle against sin and point to the truth for those who celebrate their
> sin for we know that we are all, without exception sinful and fallen
> Since your brother is a psychiatrist, he surely knows the consequences to
> his physical health of acting on his homosexual desires. Is that
> something you really want to embrace on his behalf?
> On Tue, 14 May 2002 10:26:54 -0400 "Shuan Rose" <email@example.com> writes:
> > 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.
> > 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".
> > 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.
> > I think that Don and likeminded persons should get to know a
> > variety of
> > 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
> > stop sinning.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > [mailto:email@example.com]On
> > Behalf Of JW Burgeson
> > Sent: Monday, May 13, 2002 9:12 PM
> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Cc: email@example.com
> > Subject: RE: Is there a gay gene?
> > >>JB: "I did argue that since it is NOT a "chosen" orientation, and
> > that seems to be fairly well established now with he probably
> > exception of
> > the Exodus people, that arguments for "rehab" and "you can refrain
> > from the
> > behavior" are only valid if one can show that the activity , itself,
> > is
> > sinful in God's eyes. And to do this one needs to argue from the
> > scriptures."
> > Don P: "Again you contradict yourself. You say it is not
> > necessarily
> > environmental or genetic, but you say it is not chosen. Then what is
> > it?"
> > JB: ??? It may have been that I wrote something (not the above) in
> > haste and
> > thereby wrote incorrectly.
> > My argument is that since it is not (except in a few cases)
> > "chosen," it is
> > necessarily determined by either genetics or environment or some
> > combination
> > of the two, at least in most cases. Knowing a fair number (probably
> > a dozen
> > or so) gays and lesbians, the genetic factor seems most likely. But
> > that not
> > being a scientific sample, I defer to the studies. See my website.
> > "In fact, it is a well established psychological fact that problems
> > caused
> > by genetics can be reduced by both pharmaceutical and psychological
> > treatments."
> > If you mean one can be brainwashed by torture or other aversion
> > "therapy,"
> > of course, I'll have to agree. But perhaps you are speaking of
> > something
> > different here?
> > "It is usually the "chosen" ones that are not. The reason of course
> > is
> > obvious to anyone open minded. If you choose not to accept the
> > treatment
> > then it won't work."
> > Makes sense, but what evidence do you claim as grounds?
> > "I am not judging those that are "afflicted" but unless you tell
> > them they
> > are wrong then so are you."
> > OK. You claim I am wrong. Give me grounds for this claim. Just
> > making it
> > does not persuade me (obviously). Start by citing one or more
> > obvious
> > mistakes in the sources on my website that argue as I do.
> > Specifically, look
> > at the arguments given in my friend George Hopper's website. His are
> > easy to
> > understand.
> > " To help someone commit a sin is a sin. And the same holds true
> > when you
> > look the other way while sin is committed."
> > Yes, I agree. But I do not think all HB is a sin. Tell me why I am
> > wrong.
> > Don P:With faith in His word
> > JB: As Don P interprets it, of course.
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger:
> > http://messenger.msn.com
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