I recently read an article “My Ex-Gay Friend” by Benoit Denizet-Lewis on NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/magazine/my-ex-gay-friend.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1). Narrative, well-written (but too much personal opinions to be categorized as unbiased) describing his interview of his ex-gay friend, Michael, who is now going to a “Bible” school in Wyoming. Of course, it was followed by now 96 comments, mostly from other homosexuals who are offended by Michael’s statements.
I want to mention few points that needs to be addressed before people take personal offense on what is said on this very controversial topic. There is a basic ground rule of debate. It’s so basic that I even remember to this day from my debate class in high school: Define the terms. This is why affirmatives have a major advantage in Lincoln-Douglass. If it’s evident that reciprocal argument is not contingent with the defined terms, it can almost be nullified. As I define the scope of Christianity’s perspective, the once offended might find out that we are NOT on the same page and the issue is actually more grand than a personal offense.
1. Christianity believes that there is God, the Creator with the Purpose: This means that the truths and understandings of this earth (and heavens) is beyond our logic, emotions, and “truths.” This goes without saying that we believe that there’s Someone who is a lot smarter than us and who defines what is Right and Wrong. Also, that truth is not relative and personal. This is why Christians cannot see the “I’m born this way” argument. In what way? The way you defined as you experienced this life? Or the design by which the Creator said He made you. Since it is very easy to have only a personal experience’s scope, finding Truth is actually a life-long process to hone our senses and mature beyond the physical world to understand His perspective more.
2. Christianity believes in eternity after this life: I will not say that this justifies every “mean” things Christians said/did in history (because a lot of them are evidence of failing human nature and/or lack of mature understanding of God). To say that Michael lost all the care and positive feelings towards the interviewer and his ex-boyfriend is also a harsh accusation and calling all Christians emotionless robots. Instead of cursing back, we have to wonder what, why, and how Michael can take such strong stand against his happy old life, his friends, and love of 10 years. He’s searching for Truth that remains true for the eternity. This explains the confidence of Michael and Christians in sharing their perspectives despite the fear of rejection or hatred. Thus, their journey on this earth has a purpose of finding God and sharing eternity with Him… beyond defining “sexuality” or the right to say that they were right (why would the church welcome Michael so much if it was purely the argument of who’s right?).
3. Christianity believes in failing nature of men and deception of the enemy: Mentioned by two previous points, as we hone our sensitivity, we become more aware of the extent of our weakness and temptation/deception of the enemy. I believe, the more aware people get about anything, the more eager and urgent we become to make others aware. No? Read any previously banned novels on government’s brainwashing tactics or watch any documentaries revealing the secrets of anything (fast-food manufacturers’ tactics or CIA’s secret tests). Thus, as we grow more spiritually aware of this earth, we boldly let others know even though they might see us as psychos. We know of our tendencies to seek approval of men rather than God. We know of our tendencies to avoid confrontation and keep morality relative and to ourselves. We know of our tendencies to do what feels right than put effort to search for what’s right. The more we know, the more we fight against it. We are just trying to keep our senses awake.
I cannot speak for every “Christians” or even churches you have encountered. However, this is the foundation of being a Christian, a Christ-follower. We study the recorded History to see the evidence of men’s and God’s nature and characteristics, spiritual events that left marks on status quo of men’s relationship with God, and to give respect and due-authority to God and seek out His direction. Thus, it is hard to find a resolution or compromise with someone who is not using same debate definition.
You might say that my spiritual conviction is a lie and fake. Or that I am in denial of reality or crazy. I do not and will not say that your experience and feelings are fake or the result of delirium. Like Dave Chappell said, to denounce someone as crazy is the most awful thing you can say to another. It is basically to say that he/she will never be understood. I know that you used your logic and experience to come to your conclusion.
With this being said, if you believe that 1) there is God, the Creator with the Purpose of His creation, 2) there is eternity designated for us to live after this earth, 3) we have a tendency to interpret everything in our favor, and 4) homosexuality is Right, I would ask you to, first, check your definition. Then, because I know that change of perspective cannot be achieved by theoretical discussion, I am simply asking you if you really believe 1-3, I would confidently challenge you, for the sake of both of us, to ask God straight-up what’s up.