Jon for President!!

Gay Choice?

Let me start by saying that to be gay is not a choice. No one chooses to be gay. No one "chooses" what they know will be mocked and condemned by their schoolmates. No one "chooses" to opt out of  99% of humanity, and limits their choice of life-mates to the 1% left over (tho I hear for men it is 1.4%).

Indeed the only "choice" that is made is to choose to embrace a gay identity after years of struggle. Same-sex attraction is not a choice, or at least not a choice that was offered fairly to refuse or accept. But let's talk about some other things that were not choices.

We didn't choose to have particular physique; to be a slender or soft or athletically inept boy, or a strong or boyish or athletic girl.
We didn't choose to have a greater emotional capacity or interior life.
We didn't choose to react to tragedy with feelings of fear or self-loathing.
We didn't choose to have a parent who belittled us, who mocked us, who compared us to others who were better than us, and whom they were disappointed that we were not like.
We never choose shame, or abuse, or neglect, or abandonment as our parent’s way of dealing with us.
Yes, how our soul responded to these is "choice", but not an explicit one, and not one that a child should be held accountable for. Amen?

You know, it's possible to win an argument and still be wrong. If you have no love for the other person you're debating with, all you do is make enemies and never (really) bring change to a situation. And if you “win” your little battle, but who will tend to the casualties? There still remains a field strewn with wounded spirits and souls in conflict, not to mention the defiant, strong-willed ones still standing.

What good is it to tell someone that they're a sinner just so that they can go to Hell? If you use science and religion (and Scripture) to prove your point, those who admit that your case has merit are left without hope. Martin Luther said that the purpose of the Law was not to drive us to despair, but to make us thirst for God's grace and mercy. And yes, you will see me use Scripture, freely and with delight, but not to beat someone down with proof texts, but rather to offer them mercy, hope, and the Love of God (without minimizing God's Justice and Holiness).

Pain. This is the recurring theme of the testimonies of ex-gays. Pain from alienation. Pain from the fear of being mocked or cast out. Pain from not wanting this "gift" of being attracted to the same sex. And horribly sometimes, pain from abuse or molestation or rape or abandonment. If you want a gay person to open up to you, then sincerely, with a desire to really listen and not judge, ask them about their pain. It will overwhelm you.

It seems to me that it is wise to recognize pain-killers. Pain-killers? Yes, homosexuality at it’s core is a pain-killer. A minister very wisely said, "Addictions and compulsions come when we try to medicate our pains out of our own resources instead of God's", to which I might add "both consciously and unconsciously".

You know, there is a biological factor that can have a bearing on our participation in the world of men and women... the intrauterine environment. Simply put, much of how "male" or "female" your body will be is dependant on the balance of androgenic and estrogenic hormones in your mother's womb during your sojourn there. Being a feminine looking or acting man (or contra masculine/woman) is not a predictor of homosexuality, but it WILL influence how others respond and react to you, and that you will have "choices" to these reactions thrust upon you.

But enough of this psychologizing about homosexuality. Can we choose to leave homosexuality or is choice denied to us? My dear ones, please believe me when I say indeed you can choose to return to your birthright, to the sex you were born, to a larger world filled with many more choices than you ever thought possible. The path is narrow, the way is steep, but the resulting peace is worth it.

These are the keys to the Doors of Return. ("Return" is a good way of describing it; "change" implies going from one state to another, "return" says I was never meant to be here.)

1) God. No, not the amorphous "higher power whoever you conceive it to be". I mean GOD. The God of the Book. The God who knows you, Who loves you, Who wants your return.

2) Jesus. You'll have to confront Him sooner or later. Is He just a great Teacher, a religious fanatic, or the Savior of the world?

3) Forgiveness. And here I do not have so much in mind all the sins you and I have committed, but rather forgiving the ones who have injured us. Yes, personal confession is healing and right and good. But forgiving others is what unleashes God's power to transform lives (and not just our own lives either).

4) Christians who know your past and struggles, but who still want to hang out with you anyway. Christian fellowship and friendship is supernaturally healing. And no, I don't mean sympathizing, compromising christians. I mean christians who know that they are "recovering sinners" just like you. Spiritual pride has no place here. Our sins might be different, but we're still all sinners saved by grace. (By the way, it's easy to test for good christians. They're the ones who believe that Homosexuality is a sin, and who are glad to have you over for dinner... often.)

5) [optional] A good ex-gay ministry if you can find it. Being with others who share to same journey is very strengthening and has insights that others can't know because they haven't been there.

[Insert: My wife has just read what was written so far and told me that the "solution" is nothing spectacular or insightful and that I should rewrite it. But that's the glorious point of it! God's way IS simple, easy to understand, and inexpensive (except for the high cost to our pride). Healing does not require us to cross mountains. We only have to do what the Bible says... believe, repent, be forgiven (and forgive others), fellowship with other believers. Does something have to be clever to be true?]

Now I know about the other ways of return. NARTH and their affiliated organizations make a good case for secular healing. But what if it is a "spiritual" illness that we are dealing with? Can human
science and remedies cure soul sickness? And there is the larger question of those who choose not to be "healed".

And that's also the glorious, and tragic, point of it. God allows our “no's” to stand. He allows us to reject Him, His Son, our salvation, heaven, hell... the whole works. It astounds me. God won't make us go to heaven or deliver us from the bondage of sin unless we ask Him to. But, oh, what an unthankful heart it is that would refuse such pardon and provision; especially since it has been purchased for us at such high cost!

Revelation 22:11 - "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; he that is filthy, let him be filthy still; he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; he that is holy, let him be holy still."  It really is about choice you know. To be what you do (existential, without God); to do what you are (to sin because you're a sinner); to receive what is given to you (Christ's righteousness and God's forgiveness); to be Holy Spirit led (because God calls you to higher service). Choose wisely, grasshopper, especially knowing that your choice will stand for a very, VERY long time.


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