It is unfair, if not outright wicked, to condemn or judge somebody for who they are without ever walking in their shoes. And it is arrogant, if not dishonest, to pretend to understand something that is beyond human comprehension. Sadly, that’s what conservatives have done to the gays in the name of Christianity. They judge the homosexuals and say vile things about them without knowing what it feels like to be attracted to same sex.
The Bible says in Isaiah 40:28 that God is the Creator of all the earth (and that includes the gay people, by the way) and his understanding no one can fathom. In 1Corinthinans 2:7, the word “mystery” is used to describe God. If that is not enough, in Romans 11:33, the words “impossible”, “unsearchable”, “inscrutable”, and “unexplainable” are used in various Bible versions to describe God.
If, as Christians, we truly believe in the above Bible verses that God is, indeed, mysterious, then we must accept the fact that there are certain things about God and his creations that we just cannot understand—and for a man to be sexually attracted to another man in a world full of beautiful women is one of such mysteries. The fact that we don’t understand it is not a reason for us to be self-righteous about it.
Trying to frame a sexual orientation we don’t understand as a “choice” doesn’t make sense. To say that homosexuality is a choice is tantamount to saying that being left-handed is a choice, or being a midget is a choice. There are people who are left-handed in a world where most people are right-handed. But we don’t question their humanity. We would not say to the left-handed, “You better start using your right hand or go to hell”; nor do we say to the midget, “You evil midget, you better get taller or you go to hell”.
Yet some Christians, by their intolerance and discrimination, have questioned the humanity of gay people as if they were not created by God! How arrogant of us!
I’m a Christian. I’m not gay. But I do have gay friends and I love them wholeheartedly. I have heard their stories, some of which moved me to tears.
My friend, Fred, is one of them. He was former pastor of a popular Presbyterian Church. I remember the day he invited me for lunch, saying he was going to make an important announcement to the congregation but wanted to give me a heads-up as a friend.
“I’m gay. I don’t even know if I’m still going to have my job after telling the church, but, Peter, I’m tired of running away from myself”.
With tears in his eyes, the married father of three told me about how he had always known himself to be gay, but have had to pretend otherwise. Why? Because of the hostility and godless discrimination against gay people.
Needless to say, his wife was devastated. The congregation was shocked. Some left the church in protest, others called for his resignation. He was insulted and called names. Not surprisingly, he resigned shortly after.
I have known Fred for almost seven years and I’ve never seen a more loving and caring minister. He is a very thoughtful and compassionate man. Having served with him in different situations, I knew Fred would not hurt anyone. Therefore, for him to have come out after so many years knowing full well people are going to feel crushed, especially his children and wife—that tells me there’s something about being gay that a straight man cannot understand. Otherwise, what sane person would want to bring such opprobrium upon themselves, not to mention jeopardize their own career?
It makes me wonder: What would it take for churches to learn to accept people the way God created them? Why can’t sanctimonious Christians just humble themselves and admit that homosexuality is something beyond their comprehension instead of arrogantly playing God? How embarrassing to the Christian faith that those who are supposed to model the love and compassion of Jesus are the ones sowing the seeds of hatred against gay people! Where is the love of Christ?
The world would be a better place if we start loving and stop judging.
Peter Opa, a writer / speaker, lives in the Bay Area. *To protect his identity, the name of Fred was changed.