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Friday, September 12, 2008

On Tollerance

Before I loose this idea, I wanted to convey the thoughts from a conversation I had earlier today. Here's a story of a fictional conversation based on the conversation I had earlier. I was posted the question, "What are your thoughts on homosexuality?" I replied, "It's an abomination." Unfortunately, at that point in the conversation, this topic stopped in preference for another topic.

A few minutes later, my colleague came back to this issue posing a hypothetical situation. "Let's say your cousin was gay, what would you think."

"Well, I wouldn't let him bring his boyfriend to sleep over at my house," I replied.

"But I thought Christians were supposed to accept each other no matter who they are." Obviously my comments struck him as uncaring.

But I disagreed, "No, I would accept him. In fact, I love him. I love everyone because they are, like me, created in God's image. It's not him I would oppose, but his actions."

"But I thought homosexuality was genetic."

I chuckled at his comment and replied, "How exactly are two homosexuals supposed to pass on those genes? I imagine this is one anomaly that natural selection would have eliminated for uselessness."

He acknowledged the humor and irony in his statement and then we moved on. "I thought that people couldn't control whether or not they were gay."

"Sure they can." I probably paused a bit too long after saying that before I continued as he felt confused. "I will admit that it might not be possible for someone to stop having homosexual thoughts and desires, but thinking and doing are two quite different things. If they weren't, I'd be dead right now." At this point, I probably paused too long also, because if I had stopped there, I think I would have confused myself. "I had a number of suicidal thoughts a few years ago in my depression during the period of time when I abandoned God. Also, some other people would be dead because I also had a number of homicidal thoughts. It isn't what a person thinks that makes him (or her) gay, it's what he (or she) does."

I needed to leave, so the conversation was about over. Before parting, I pointed him at Romans 1:18-32 for him to notice that homosexual lust is one of the consequences of abandoning God. I believe western culture in general has done a mighty thorough job at pushing God out of their lives, out of their schools, workplaces, government, history, science, art, literature (am I missing anything?) and for most, out of their homes and hearts. It is not unexpected that these desires arise in a society like ours. There's a good bit other wrong just as described and it's only likely to get worse.

As for some of my comments, here's some Biblical representation:

"Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." Leviticus 18:22 (NIV). Other translations call it "an abomination", "abhorrent," "a detestable sin," "disgusting," "a hateful sin," and in one, God personally says about this, "I hate that." Most of the English translations say "abomination."

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35 (NIV).

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (emphasis added) Galatians 5:22-24 (NIV).

And if you've forgotten how to pray, perhaps this would be a good starting point: Matthew 6:9-13. "This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'" (NIV) I will note that if you do address God with this prayer, you might want to contemplate your own habits in the field of forgiveness.