December 8, 2019
The title of this blog post is how my grandson opened up a big debate on Facebook last Friday morning. He said he was asking the question for one of his friends.
I knew that Jay would get a lot of comments on that topic, and indeed he did. I decided to make a short comment, too. I replied, “Tell your friend to read his Bible. The Bible is very clear about homosexuality. However, Jesus said we could be forgiven for any sin if we would repent (meaning to turn away from).”
That’s all I intended to write on Jay’s question. But by the time I got ready to go to bed Friday night, Jay had already received over 40 comments on the question. My granddaughter, Summer, got in on the debate and wrote several comments. In one comment she said to Jay, “Ask Paw Paw (me) about a paper he had to write on homosexuality when he was in seminary.” I had just discussed that paper with Summer a few months ago.
Before Friday was over, I had gotten several phone calls about homosexuality. So before I went to bed, I announced on Facebook on Jay’s string of comments Friday night, and on my own post early Saturday morning that I would be writing about homosexuality on my blog post Sunday morning.
I just started blogging about September 18th. I do two posts a week; one on Sunday and one on Wednesday. I didn’t intend to write on really controversial topics, but posts on inspiring and uplifting topics. Nothing too preachy. But the topic on homosexuality has received so much attention by Jay and me that I felt it would be helpful for many to read my views on the subject.
Let me begin with my paper on homosexuality that I wrote in seminary 35 years ago. My class had a professor who assigned the whole class to each write a paper on what we thought about homosexuality and state all the reasons and research we had done to come to that conclusion. He began by telling us he had made an appointment with a pastor at a nearby homosexual church for the class to come down and hear the pastor’s views on the subject. We were told there would be a question and answer time after the pastor’s comments.
So the class went to the homosexual church, about 25 of us. We met in the fellowship hall where the pastor had prepared refreshments. The pastor was very cordial and told us he had entertained seminary classes, and other groups of people who were interested in knowing more abut homosexuality, for years. He said he would talk to us awhile then answer questions we may have. He said no question or comments were off limits–that he had heard them all and had been called every ugly name one could imagine.
The pastor started by telling us he was one of four children born to the same parents, and all four grew up together in the same house. All the children were born during a five year period in their parents’ marriage. He said his three siblings were heterosexual. Then he said that he realized as a very young child he liked boys – not girls. He said his parents became aware of his homosexual tendencies when he was very young. His parents were rather well-off professional people, and took him to several psychologists to see if anything could be done to change him into a heterosexual. His parents definitely did not want him being a homosexual. The preacher went on to say that all the psychologists his parents took him to told his parents there was nothing they knew of that could reprogram him to become a heterosexual.
So the preacher said, “I’ve been a homosexual all my life. I was born that way.
The preacher looked to be about forty years old and said he had been married to a man for ten years, they lived a monogamous life and were very much in love with each other. Then he said, “I believe with all my heart that God has blessed our marriage, and even ordained it.” He went on to tell of all the good things he and his husband were doing in the city and in the church; charitable work and several other good things. I didn’t doubt that he was a good citizen.
Then the preacher asked if anybody had any questions. I had several questions I had written on a piece of paper that I wanted to ask him, but I was going to let the other class members ask their questions first. Not one other person asked a question.
Then I said, “I have a few questions.” He asked, “What’s your first question?” I said, “Do you believe the Bible is God’s word?” He said, “Yes, I believe some of it is. But I believe that most of it is outdated. Especially the Old Testament.”
Then I asked, “So you do believe in the New Testament?”
He said, “Yes, some of it.” I said, “Then would you explain what Jesus meant in Matthew 5:17 and 18 when He said that He had come, not to destroy the law, but had come to fulfill it, and that not one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The preacher said, “That’s just a scribal gloss. No I don’t believe it.”
Then I asked, “What about Paul’s writings to the Romans and the Galatians where he named lists of sins, including homosexuality, that he said was wrong. Could you explain that, please?”
The preacher said, “I would like to answer more questions, but I have a dental appointment and need to leave.”
So after we left the homosexual church, my good friend, who I was riding with, said, “I have a Catholic Priest friend back in Texas. He says the Catholic Church dates their beginning all the way back to the apostles, and that they have Tradition all the way to this present age. Let’s see if we can find a Catholic Priest who will talk to us about this assignment.”
So we went to a Catholic Church and the priest said he would be glad to talk to us about our assignment. He was a real nice old man, about 70 years old, and told us he had been ordained for 40 years. We told him what we had learned at the homosexual church. The priest asked us had we asked the homosexual preacher about homosexuals not being able to be fruitful and multiply, not to procreate, as God commanded married couples to do?
I said, “I had that question on my list, but the preacher did not give me time to ask it. The priest said, “That’s just one reason God does not ordain same sex marriages.”
The priest then said, “I want to play the devil’s advocate with you two guys a minute. Suppose people are born homosexuals. Does that give them the right from God to act on those homosexual impulses? What about pedophiles? Most of them, when they get caught, say they were born that way, with a predisposition to like young children sexually. Does that justify their sin?”
Then the priest surprised us. He said, “I can tell you from personal experience about suppressing sexual desires. I have never had sex in my life. When I was a lot younger, sometimes that urge would cross my mind; it’s only human nature. But I would always remember my vows to God to live a life of celibacy, because I was married to Christ and His Church. That’s my family. I have learned to crucify the flesh.”
Then the priest told us the most important thing I would learn from all my research on homosexuality. He said, “The Catholic Church considers it to be a mortal sin to practice homosexuality. But Christ can forgive us from all sins, if we repent. And we Catholics also believe in the power of baptism and the Eucharist.”
Then my friend and I visited two different psychologists. They both told us basically the same thing that the homosexual preacher told us; they knew of no way to make a homosexual a heterosexual.
My friend and I then spent a whole day in the library researching homosexuality. It was slow work, since this was way before the internet. Our research turned up mixed results. Some scientists believed people were born that way; others said it was caused by environment.
So now we were ready to write our papers. On my paper, I cited every biblical scripture I thought relevant to homosexuality. I told about my library research, our visit to the homosexual church, the psychologists, and of course, our visit with the Catholic Priest.
I said in my paper that after reading all of Paul’s writing on sin of all kinds (including homosexuality), that he said to his readers, especially in Romans and Galatians, “Don’t judge these people (sinners), or you are no better off than they are. We are here to preach to them (the sinners) the Gospel, so that they can be saved and go to heaven.”
So the conclusion to my paper was this statement: “After all my research, I have come to the conclusion that practicing homosexuality is a sin. But my thought is this: is it any worse than any other sin? And my answer is no; therefore, it is my belief that God will forgive us of all sins, if we repent.” (Then I referred to a footnote of the Greek word for repent, explaining that it meant to change one’s mind).
I’ve pastored for 50 years, during which I have met several homosexuals. Many of them have approached me to talk about their homosexuality. All but one of them told me they thought they were born that way. The one who didn’t tell me that said she didn’t know why she was that way. She grew up in orphanage homes and was raped many times by men and women. She eventually ran away, and married a man. Her marriage did not work, so she left her husband and lived with a homosexual woman. She told me, “I’m all messed up and don’t know what to do.” I’ve been knowing her now for many years. She called me a few months ago to talk to me and ask me how I was doing. We had a nice talk, and I told her I was still praying for her.
So, I conclude my blog post by saying: God loves ALL His creation. He is no respecter of persons. None of us is perfect. ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
Jesus said, “People will know that you are Christians if you love one another.”
God Bless You,