The Gay Issue: My Convictions

Below is a quote from Steven Den Beste (I found this quote here) that speaks very clearly how I feel about my choice to state succinctly my convictions regard same-sex attraction (he was speaking of a different matter altogether):
There comes a time in every man's life when he has to choose sides. I have chosen my side. I am comfortable with my decision. I do not think everyone on my side is a saint... Sometimes a man with too broad a perspective reveals himself as having no real perspective at all. A man who tries too hard to see every side may be a man who is trying to avoid choosing any side. A man who tries too hard to seek a deeper truth may be trying to hide from the truth he already knows. That is not a sign of intellectual sophistication and "great thinking". It is a demonstration of moral degeneracy and cowardice.
This past Saturday there was a lively debate on my Facebook page (when ever isn't there). Friend of mine on the Religious Right responded to a linked article on my Facebook page by Kathy Baldock, "The Ten Lies about the GLBT Community..." that I posted on Facebook. She said, "It sounds like you may not consider homosexuality sin or are critical towards those that do." (sic) Those words really stuck with me throughout the weekend. Another friend of mine who came up to visit said to me, "Ray why don't you just put your position out there?" His question, too, has stuck with me. I guess the answer to his question is this: I'm afraid. I have no problem being classified as a left-wing liberal. After all, maybe Jesus was (tongue-in-cheek). The truth of the matter is that I know to cross this line will put me at odds with a lot of evangelicals; many of whom are friends of mine. I know that to say that I have not been convinced by scripture, science and clear logic that same-sex attraction is a choice will really cause some to question whether, in fact, I am a follower of Jesus, or if I have become jaded in my convictions. That scares me. Honestly, it is frightening. That brings up another issue entirely that I won't touch on here. goes the leap...

If it is not a choice, it is my conviction that  it unjust to expect a person to deny their sexual attraction. I find it unloving, irresponsible and cruel to tell teens--my fifteen year old niece being one of them--that they are an abomination destined for hell.  It is wrong for the Church to lead the charge of hate and vitriol concerning folks with same-sex attractions. It is wrong to disown family members and friends because their sexual orientation is not to your liking. Finally, it is wrong to drag the name of Jesus through the mud to codify bigotry, hatred or simply fear and ignorance. 

Martin Luther warns that it is "neither right nor safe to go against conscience" and I could not agree with him more.

I am certain that I do not know it all; I do not have all of the answers so far as this topic (or any topic) is concerned. But I know that God has shown me what is required; what is good. It is good to Do Justice. It is good to Love Mercy and it is good to Walk Humbly before God. It is good to love folks and leave the judgment and conviction to the only omniscient and perfect God. (Click here for more depth on that)

Let me state clearly and succinctly my position, lest there be any ambiguity:
  • I believe that the Old Testament has enumerated many things that are abominations that we no longer see as such 
  • I believe that the debate around this issue is still growing and evolving
  • I believe that science is clear that same-sex-attraction is not a choice but rather "normal"
  • I believe that same-sex-attraction has more to do with biology than with choice
  • I believe that folks with same-sex-attractions can be bona fide Christians
  • I believe that folks can disagree with my position and still be bona fide Chrisitians
  • I believe that we all win when we stay in our lane and love; leaving judgment and convicting to God.

I submit this humbly, lovingly and with great conviction.

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Anonymous said...


victoria said...

I definitely disagree on the biology standpoint (although I know that same sex attraction isn't just a random choice someone makes. Not that I disagree with your conclusion. We are called to love everyone and I adore my gay friends, there's no difference to me.

But I can't get with your conclusion that homosexual behavior is no longer a sin. But you won't catch me ragging on just gay folks. Almost everyone sins sexually at some point. It doesn't put our salvation at risk but we are called to be righteous as Jesus is righteous.

Ray McKinnon said...

Hey Victoria! I appreciate your comments. I think my biggest point is to the degree that we have seen it as outdated to use the scriptures to codify slavery, discrimination against women and non-Jews or the prohibition of certain foods, then logic seems to conclude that the same can be applied to the sin of homosexuality. That just seems so rational to me.

Regina said...

Well here ya go Ray, quickly because I have to keep playing mommy!

As for the bilogical stand- No way is it a choice to be gay. I releate that to the fact that I myself am very open minded, however could never make the choice to be gay myself. Its not something that you wake up and choose to do. Simple-
I love that you at least note that the old testement is totally outdated. I dont claim to be an expert in the scripture, however anyone can see how so much is open to interpertation. I also cant quote the exact verses but am so aware of ones that are outdated or would never be accepted today. One as simple that stated man should not wear blended clothing- SO no more cotton-poly blend! If so we go to hell? Also, one stated that man should never approach the alter without 20-20 vision! UH OH! How many out there wear contacts!The old test also is down with slavery however I doubt that anyone feels thats ok these days....I have such issues with the ones that say gay is wrong simply because "the bible says it is" I suppose because these are the same people I look at and KNOW they cheat on their wives but gay is wrong huh? The ones that have killed others (remember where I have worked) but gay is worse? People that say they are true christians but cant accept another for their differences? I dont feel contradic is a sufficent word here...I guess all in all, I hate to hear people pick and choose what they want with being a christian. Its all in or nothing. And I say all the time, if Jesus is the great guy that I hear he is, will he REALLY condem someone that loved and live a honest life doing good for others,caring and believing he was the only god to hell? Seems like that would make him not such a cool dude after all huh? So in the mean time, I will just watch people pick and choose the parts they feel are more of an abomanation, and I will just continue to be a good person at heart....

Anonymous said...

Your fourth paragraph is the most important one. Most everything else is discussion and debate.

If a church is telling someone they're going to burn in hell for any choice they make, they need to lay off it a little regardless of whether it's true or not. We should all be working together to become incrementally better. Families should not be throwing their children out into the cold for any reason but rather loving them unconditionally.

Maybe with support, a gay family member can overcome this particular predisposition. Maybe they'll try and fail. Maybe they will choose not to try. We just need to support them in their trials, and ask for their support in overcoming the things we struggle with ourselves, whether that be alcohol, overeating, depression, pornography, ignoring our spouse in favor of watching sports all day, etc.

Everyone has a problem, and everyone needs support to learn how to deal with their particular problem.

mommapolitico said...

Ray, my friend, as I said earlier in the twitterverse, you are no slouch! This is perhaps one of the best explanations of my own position as well. Raised Catholic, 12 years of Catholic school, yet found that most of my gay and lesbian friends are good people, genuinely moral people, who cannot be possibly doomed to eternal damnation. A right and just God, the God I was taught in all those years, would not reject my friends and family members for loving one another.

There's that old adage that God doesn't make mistakes. As you said, if it isn't a choice, which I do not believe it is, based on the science available and my own friends' stories, then they are every bit as much a reflection of God's image as I, my hubby or my kids are. Judge not lest ye be judged, after all.

Beautiful piece of work, friend. Thanks for that.

Ray McKinnon said...

Thanks for the comments, folks. God's peace and let's (no matter our positions)commit to love and live loved!

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