If I Have Gay Children (Four Promises From A Christian Pastor and Parent)


Sometimes I wonder if I’ll have gay children.

I’m not sure if other parents think about this, but I do quite often.

Maybe it’s because I have many gay people in my family and circle of friends. It’s in my genes and in my tribe.
Maybe it’s because as a pastor of students, I’ve seen and heard the horror stories of gay Christian kids, from both inside and outside the closet, trying to be part of the Church.
Maybe it’s because as a Christian, I interact with so many people who find homosexuality to be the most repulsive thing imaginable, and who make that abundantly clear at every conceivable opportunity.

For whatever reason, it’s something that I ponder frequently. As a pastor and a parent, I wanted to make some promises to you, and to my two kids right now…

1) If I have gay children, you’ll all know it.

My children won’t be our family’s best kept secret unless they choose that.

I won’t talk around them in conversations with others. I won’t speak in code or vague language. I won’t try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, and I won’t try to spare the feelings of those who may be older, or easily offended, or uncomfortable. Childhood is difficult enough, and most LGBT kids spend their entire existence being horribly, excruciatingly uncomfortable. I’m not going to put mine through any more unnecessary discomfort, just to make Thanksgiving dinner a little easier for a third cousin with misplaced anger issues.

If my children come out, we’ll be out as a family.

2) If I have gay children, I’ll pray for them.

I won’t pray for them to be made “normal”. I’ve lived long enough to know that if my children are gay, that is their normal.

I won’t pray that God will heal or change or fix them. I will pray for God to protect them; from the ignorance and hatred and violence that the world will throw at them simply because of who they are. I’ll pray that God shields them from those who will despise them and wish them harm; who will curse them to Hell and put them through Hell, without ever knowing them at all. I’ll pray that they enjoy life; that they laugh and dream and feel and forgive, and that they love God and all people.

Above all, I’ll pray to God that my children won’t allow the unGodly treatment they might receive from some of God’s misguided children, to keep them from pursuing God.

3) If I have gay children, I’ll love them.

I don’t mean some token, distant, tolerant love that stays at a safe arm’s length. It will be an extravagant, open-hearted, unapologetic, lavish, embarrassing them in the school cafeteria, kissing them in public, kind of love.

I won’t love them despite their sexuality, and I won’t love them because of it. I will love them for the same reasons I already do; simply because they’re sweet and funny and caring and smart and kind and stubborn and flawed and original and beautiful—and mine.

If my kids are gay, they may doubt a million things about themselves and about this world, but they’ll never doubt for a second whether or not their Daddy is over-the-moon crazy about them.

4) If I have gay children—I have gay children.

If my kids are going to be gay, well they pretty much already are.

God has already created them and wired them, and placed the seed of who they are within them. Psalm 139 says that He, “stitched them together in their mother’s womb”. The incredibly intricate stuff that makes them uniquely them; once-in-History souls, has already been uploaded into their very cells.

Because of that, there isn’t a coming deadline on their sexuality that their mother and I are working feverishly toward. I don’t believe there’s some magical expiration date approaching, by which time she and I need to somehow do or say or pray just the right things to get them to “turn straight”, or forever lose them to the other side.

They are today, simply a younger version of who they will be—and today they’re pretty darn great.

Many of you may be offended by all of this, I fully realize. I know this may be especially true if you are a religious person with a particular theological stance. Perhaps you find the whole topic unsettling.

As you’ve been reading, you may have been rolling your eyes, clicking the roof of your mouth or drafting familiar Scriptures to send to me. You may be praying for me to repent or preparing to Unfriend me or writing me off as a sinful, evil, Hell-bound heretic, but with as much gentleness and understanding as I can muster: I really couldn’t care less.

This isn’t about you. This is a whole lot bigger than you.

You’re not the one I waited on breathlessly for nine months.
You’re not the one I wept with joy for when you were born.
You’re not the one I bathed, and fed, and rocked to sleep through a hundred intimate, midnight snuggle sessions.

You’re not the one I taught to ride a bike, whose scraped knee I kissed, and whose tiny, trembling hand I held, while getting stitches.
You’re not the one whose head I love to smell, and whose face lights-up when I come home at night, and whose laughter is like music to my weary soul.
You’re not the one who gives my days meaning and purpose, and who I adore more than I ever thought I could adore anything.

And you’re not the one who I’ll hopefully be with, when I take my last precious breaths on this planet; gratefully looking back on a lifetime of shared treasures, and resting in the knowledge that I loved you well.

If you’re a parent, I don’t know how you’ll respond if you find out your children are gay, but I pray you consider it.

One day, despite your perceptions of your kids or how you’ve parented, you may need to respond in real-time, to a frightened, frantic, hurting child; one whose sense of peace and identity and acceptance; whose heart and very life, may be placed in your hands in a way you never imagined—and you’ll need to respond.

If that day should ever come for me; if my children should ever come out to me, this is the Dad I hope I’ll be to them.

* Note: The word “gay” in this post, is used as an umbrella term, and refers to anyone who identifies themselves as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Questioning) . Though I certainly realize and respect the distinctions and differences, it was simply the word that would quickly and easily communicate within the context of the piece. It was the clearest and best way to address non-hetereosexual individuals in the post, by using a common term that would resonate with the average reader. Hopefully my heart for the entire diverse LGBTQ community is still clear in the writing.

213 thoughts on “If I Have Gay Children (Four Promises From A Christian Pastor and Parent)

  1. God has blessed you with insight and compassion and you in turn now give grace to children who are taught that God despises them.

    Many of these broken children come to the City o San Francisco in search of freedom only to discover that they have been programmed by their parents to self destruct.

    Stigma kills. That’s what it’s meant to do.

    • Ya, not scripturally sound there.

      I contend soft weak pastors such as yourself are why our churches are dying across the nation. As Muslim churches who murder gays grows rapidly.

      Young people get it when it’s fake. Your religion is fake. Your faith, suspect. I’d suggest you read the Bible a lot more. A lo

  2. God does not make people with same sex attraction any more than He makes people already addicted to pornography or cocaine. He doesn’t make us liars or cheaters.

      • You sir are a false prophet – believing that homosexuality is ok with God? And of course every sin is equal in the eyes of God! Even homosexuality, so yes it is right up there with lying cheating stealing, just like EVERY other sin. Face it. You just don’t want to hear the truth. I’m sick of people masquerading like they’re part of the Church when they are wolves in sheeps clothing and no one calls them out. Jesus called the Pharisees a brood of vipers, that didn’t seem loving did it? No, but it was, and you are just itching ears, not changing the world. Karen you are absolutely right.

        • Do you know how you as a parent would deal/treat your child should he/she be homosexual?
          Can you imagine the emotions you may have, should the child you rebuke/reject kill them-self?
          Are you a person that believes in the type ‘counseling’ to attemp to’reprogram’ and/or convince your child they should not be, or are not homosexual? Would you be willing to live with that child who would be emotionally and psychologically scarred and damaged for life?

          • Very well said! My oldest son is gay and I have supported him from age 15 when he came out til now at age 25! He’s had a much easier life because I chose to support him instead of trying to “change” him! He is who he is and he’s my child and I will never turn my back on him.

          • Yes I would love my child without condoning their sin. THEY would be welcome in my house anytime however the people they are sinning with WILL NOT.

            Too many seem to think they are accountable to their children and society instead of God.

              • No I don’t accept it at all which is why there would be no gay lovers of theirs in my house.

                Thankfully all my children turned out normal.

            • So I am in this category. I am am only child, adopted at birth, ran from being gay for many years, had 2 wives and 2 children. I acknowledged to myself 15 years ago but never to my Mom. However, 3 years ago she confronted me and we talked. She told me “I want to talk to you now because when you die I will never see you again because I’m going to Heaven but you’re going to Hell because you are queer” She then told me “I do not want to hear anything about a partner or whatever you call them, not ever, and I want to know nothing about your life” So, for 2 years, we chatted daily on the phone, as I called her daily to check on her because her husband of 33 years was dying of Parkinson’s and she was very stressed as his caretaker. Mind you, I had always called at least once and week prior to his illness. In 2015, I married the love of my life, after Marriage Equality became law, and have never been happier! Honoring her request, I never made mention of him or our life together. In 2016, she found out from relatives who had kept it from her. She wouldn’t accept my calls for a week, then when she did she told me she had disinherited and disowned me, and that neither I nor we are ever welcome in her home. She said she removed me from the will because my marriage presented ‘legal problems’ for her and she couldn’t risk just ‘anyone’ getting their hands on her money.
              Sad story….we were close for so many years, now I call her about once a week, we talk about the weather and her new home, and her golf games….but never a word about us or me, and she hasn’t called me since March of 2016.
              I could NEVER do this to one of my children! I love them 100%, with all my heart and could never not! I don’t care how much trouble they get into, who they are married to or if they are gay or straight …I fathered them and I will ALWAYS love them regardless.
              “Having a gay child does not make you a failure as a parent. Refusing to accept your gay child does”

        • For the sake of any children you have or may have in the future, I pray that they will be heterosexual; the last thing an innocent child needs is a hard-hearted parent who will hand that child a stone when (s)he asks for bread.

          • Did the child ask for bread? I thought the child asked for approval from the parent to pursue a lifestyle that is inconsistent with God’s will for his life.

            • David Kolbinsky:

              Your problem is you are so full of horse manure that the mere mention of your name draws flies.

              I’ve been a Christian for fifty years; I’ll thank you not to take it upon yourself to school me in future.

                • Sure I’ve read the Scriptures. What about you, David? Do you eat pork? Shellfish? If married, have you and your wife ever had sex while she was on her period?

                  Don’t play the “read the Scriptures” game with me. I promise you you will lose.

                  • I’ll not so sure about that… you have to be able to decipher what is history, poetry, law, what is meant metaphorically, the difference between the New and Old Testament and the laws that have been updated (i.e. Romans 14:20 for the shellfish thing) This is what people get so easily tripped up on, Jesus professed love for all people yet he is the final judge in your actions. Meaning, that he will love you until he has to judge you (death). In doing so, we as Christians are not supposed to judge people on earth unless they are of our own church/religion. Love is the name of the game. Loving all people regardless of sexual orientation, or any other things that we disagree with. But that still doesn’t mean that I have to agree with them in their actions. You may not have always agreed with your parents growing up, but you still love them.

                    • ooooh how very convenient! So you can pick and choose what category to put things in, and it just magically happens to align with your own bigotry. Must be nice to have such a flexible book you can wield around to judge others. Oh wait, is judging others in your personal version or not?

                  • Don’t play the expert with me either because you will lose.

                    In Matthew Jesus said God created humans male and female. Not transgendered.

                    He said a man was to have a wife(he differentiated wife from man). Not another man.

                    Homosexuals deserve to be treated kindly but condoning or approving of that sin is wrong just as with any other sin.

        • You’re being a pharisee, the type that while Jesus was around with his entourage of thieves and prostitutes teaching the world to love and overthrowing the establishment of religion as a bunch of rules and cultural conventions held so tight to these traditions that they were the first to call Jesus blasphemous. You’re letting your obsession with rules and social conventions distract you from what is important: that Jesus is love.

          • You missed a very salient point. His entourage consisted of “former” thieves and prostitutes. When they met Jesus their lives were changed as they repented and were made new in Christ. Judas was the exception, and you saw how it ended for him.

        • Is eating pork a sin? Wearing certain fabric perhaps?? What did Jesus say about homosexuality? Your God will love the homosexual just as He will love the murderer, no? So, why so angry? Does your God want you to be so angry and filled with hate?

          • He said that marriage was between a man and wife.

            Jesus is God the Son. He agrees with God the Father.
            God the Father in his law says homosexuality is an abomination.

            The food and ceremonial laws were for the Hebrews in the Old Testament.

            The moral laws such as do not murder and those against sexual immorality are still in effect. Now we have grace if we ask for forgiveness but you cannot practice homosexuality and be a Christian no matter what you say you are.

            • What kind of God puts conditions on your life and writes in a book how he treat you when he meets you based on the criteria he set for you to live your life?

        • Exactly. Love. It’s the number one rule. Love ALL PEOPLE, good, bad, friend, enemy, and yes, even gay. These are human beings we are talking about. If you believe in God, then I assume you believe in love-since that is the basis of Christianity, and if you can’t love your neighbor just the way they are, then YOU are failing in the eyes of God and teaching false doctrine.
          And also, who are you to judge anyone? Who are any of us to judge anyone? That is God’s job and His alone. Your job is to love. That is all.
          And if you want to tear down another person or judge or scrutinize or slander, fine, but keep your mouth shut and do it in your head and when you face God later, you can tell Him why you failed at the one, simple thing He asked you to do. Learn to love man. I promise you’ll feel better.

          • Exactly Natasha, very well said. It’s no wonder church membership numbers are dwindling, people see all these judgmental supposedly “Christians” and don’t want any part of it.
            Jesus’ commandments were to love God and each other. People don’t choose to be homosexual anymore than you choose to be heterosexual, it’s how God made them! Love one another people, we don’t need you judging anybody. By the way, I’m not gay and neither are my children, I would accept and love them if they were tho. This is an excellent article!

        • Sorry that you are probably living in the closet, since you are so angry. Why do you care if someone is gay? Just keep your bias to yourself. Do you condemn all of the fat obese people in your church or circle of friends, please do so, being fat is the same as being gay by your condemning standards, the free grace of christ dying on the cross, not of ourselves must not be enough to cover our sins….pity. So what level of perfection gave you reached that keeps you so holy??? Creeps like yourself who judge others so harshly will be condemned with no mercy by God.

          • What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

            5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

            8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

            11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.

        • People like you, mcelvins, and Karen are EXACTLY what’s wrong with so much of Christianity today. You all have apparently not studied the actual context of the clobber verses that you all utilize to “clobber” the LGBTQ community with; all of these said verses having to do either with pederasty, ritual sex with male pagan temple prostitutes (common at that time in the Ancient Near East and the Ancient Greek culture), or with attempted gangrape of angels. Also in regards to Sodom and Gomorrah, Ezekial spelled out plainly what “the sin of your sister Sodom” was…

          As for calling out Pharisees? That’s what you all are being with your self-righteousness, your needlessly condemning others, and being sticklers for rules and tradition…sound familiar in regards to Pharisees? It does to me. Also, anyone not in the Roman Catholic Church (including me) also has the verse thrown at us Protestants/non-Romam Catholics about “having itching ears”, so your rhetoric about itching ears is meaningless. Go find you something better to do with your time than needlessly condemning and pointing your fingers at everyone else.

        • Until it is YOUR child. Then what? I cannot believe anyone would deliberately choose this lifestyle and it is not what we would have chosen for our beautiful, intelligent miracle child born after years of struggling with infertility. She is everything to us in spite of her gender issues.

        • Why are you so mad and confused? Well I’m sick of people like you masquerading like they are part of the Church and call Jesus their Christ. You sir are the hypocrite and pagan. You are the sinner, with all your hate and angst. Jesus would find your kind the vipers!

        • You are absolutely correct. If this pastor was really a pastor that read and studied the Bible he would know that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. We must pray for him. These aren’t my words but Gods.

        • No sir. You’re the false prophet if you think God is anything other than love. What’s the name of your church? I just want to make sure I don’t accidentally go there lol.

      • So true, I do have a gay son, he was raised in a very loving home of faith, but he is gay, simply because he is, nothing made him gay, nothing influenced him to be gay, he is gay just as he is white. He knows his father and mother love hom deeply and support him 100%. We know he is blessed, I have never shyed away from telling people his orientation. If wicked Christians hate and condemn him they can steer clear of me. But I will never allow him to be stigmatized or branded in a negative light. SO PROUD OF MY GAY SO SON!!! He is secure, successful, and above all sound on who he is, a good 24 yo man!!!!!

      • John, I think what she was trying to say is, God loves us but does not take lightly ANY of our sins and we all have them. Obvious ones are easier to call out than less obvious ones. We can still love each other for all that we are including that fact that we are sinners in need of a Savior but that isn’t the same thing as celebrating sin and acting like God didn’t call sin to be wrong and against Him…He forgave it but He requires us to make a decision to repent and follow His ways. It is conditional even though His love isn’t. He knows we will fail so He died in our place but He does know whether or not our heart is to try to repent or to defiantly stick to what we want versus what He wants. You know He did give us His Word and those sins are defined even though others are defined in other places. There are the typical couple of ‘paragraphs of sin’ [you know them]which are what they are and we can’t say they are not unless we make ourselves God trying to redefine right and wrong according to what WE want it to be instead of how He told us it is. If He hadn’t called homosexuality sin, it would be fine just like pride would be but He calls them sin…amongst other ones. I think it angers people to see the twisting of scripture. Not anger at the homosexual. Just some thoughts. This is a tough subject. Christians want to sound loving and be loving but they get pinned down about judgement when they are just repeating what God said. Many DON’T do it in a hateful way. They just don’t like to see anyone twist a scripture to suit their lifestyle and say it’s ok when it is not. But then none of our lives are. The difference is we should all be recognizing our sin as sin and be trying to turn from it instead of celebrating it.

      • Hey John, so if your children is what gives you “meaning” and “purpose” why are you a Christian?

        If your okay with your children to never inherit the kingdom of God then why believe In a God you don’t believe in?

        You’re either all in or your not, and Word of God doesn’t contradict itself.

        You’ve believed a lie, God doesn’t create people gay, and if He does as a pastor please prove it in scripture, because my goal and purpose in life is to Love God, and know God.

        Because saying that God created gay people, is to call God a liar.

        So if you want to hold to this belief, by all means do. Just please don’t represent Jesus doing it.

        With much love John

        • “With much love John”

          Sorry, buster, but posting six paragraphs of hate and then signing them “with much love” is not only a contradiction in terms but if it reflects badly on anyone at all it is YOU.

          • You missed a very salient point. His entourage consisted of “former” thieves and prostitutes. When they met Jesus their lives were changed as they repented and were made new in Christ. Judas was the exception, and you saw how it ended for him.

          • Disagreeing and calling someone out on their contradictions and lack of Biblical argumentation to back their claims is not “hate”. Its basic argumentation. Because an answer makes you feel bad doesn’t make it hate. If negative feelings resulting from dissenting points of view are considered hate, lets just end western society now.

          • My “base” happens to be the Word of God, but I’m not naive to say that these words could
            of have been mistranslated.

            So if you can prove that they are, and prove that homosexuality is scientifically a biological property in the natural process of things.

            Then do so freely.

            My personal testimony of my homosexual tendencies, was from being , molested and “experimenting” with my friends as a child.

            That’s the only kind of sex I’ve experienced, so therefore it’s what I am attracted to. But it’s not romantically in anyway, just sexually.

            So “baseless” I would call a stretch.

      • While I have fallen to my sinful nature with another man outside of marriage, albeit not fully, I do believe I committed adultery and have asked God for forgiveness, which He, Who is Love, has given me. I haven’t since committed the same sin, after promising God I would “sin no more.” I live a grace-filled life as a single woman. I love my friends who are attracted to those of the same sex, but I encourage them to turn back to a grace-filled single life when they commit adultery, finding God’s forgiveness. I am also disabled, so life is very difficult at times. I, too, am rejected frequently for requesting help from those who think I’m too young to need assistance. God didn’t will that I be disabled due to neurochemical imbalances or hereditary autoimmune disorders and God didn’t will that my friends have an attraction to the same sex due to hormonal and neurochemical imbalances. He did allow it to happen, though, and honestly, I don’t think I’d have such a good relationship with my Lord and God if he didn’t allow me to overcome my challenges with the Free Will and virtues he bestowed upon me. As a heterosexual person, I am just as responsible for turning away from the sin of adultery as my homosexual friends. Is it hard? Yes! But I couldn’t claim to be a child of God unless I obeyed him. I’m happy in the single life, which is hard for most people to believe in a secular culture that largely promotes death, deceit, adultery and taking the name of Our Lord and God in vain. While God created some of us to be fruitful and multiply, he also called some of us to be faithful servants in the single life.

    • Let go of your judgement. It only brings pain to you and to those around you. We are here to love each other, even others we don’t understand. If you can bring compassion to this world, you have made it a better place.

    • Karen.
      You are disgusting.
      I am the father of a gay child. She is beautiful, kind, loving and Christian. She was born gay just as you were born ignorant, judgmental and with an ugly spirit.

        • I agree about people who are ignorant and insensitive and clearly do not have the love and mercy of Christ in their hearts. I have two gay daughters who I am extremely proud of. They are sensitive, kind, generous of spirit and KNOW HOW TO FORGIVE! The younger of my daughters just finished her first semester at college and achieved Dean’s list, with a 3.66 GPA.
          My daughters are Christians however they cannot find a church with love that will embrace who they are.

          • If you were in southern ca, I have a church for them. sanctuaryesco.org
            It is the most loving church. Accepting we all have issues and letting the Holy Spirit work his way to what changes we need to make.

            Yes accountability is there. But so much love as well.

          • Kate – Check out a few Episcopal churches in your area. Also United Church of Christ. Some of the few denominations that seem to understand that love is love.

        • There’s nothing wrong with being gay or being ignorant. Gay is just one of the varieties people come in. Ignorance is simply *not knowing something*. I am ignorant of how the inside of my computer works, but if I wanted to, I could *learn* how it works, and then I wouldn’t be ignorant anymore. Ignorance can be cured…except that some people prefer their ignorance and will hang onto it stubbornly in the face of information that could cure it. And gay doesn’t need to be cured.

        • Well, that makes you responsible for your ignorance …. it is a fact that people are born gay. do some homework. Even the conservative denomination Im a part of
          (The CRC) has acknowledged it is an orientation not a decision for a long time

        • Well that is your opinion, one that I used to share, and intellectually holds little water. Hopefully you meet some people along the way that help you to think about this issue differently. Life teaches you many things, keep your mind open. My biggest wonder at this time in my life is why people even care if someone in gay?

        • The argument that someone chooses to be gay is the poorest I’ve ever heard. In this world, I don’t know anyone who would choose to be anything but cisgender and straight. The world is a living hell for LGBT people; and honestly, I feel like I’m a good example of why it is absolutely not a choice. I realized I was bi when I was 15, I’m now 19. I was brought up in Baptist churches, where my youth pastor taught us that the only correct response to homosexuality was disgust. That it was vile, horrible, and basically the worst possible thing you could ever imagine. All of my friends harshly judged anyone from their school who *might* have had feelings for someone of the same sex. One girl once said it made her want to vomit when she thought of “those sick people”. My parents are the same way – though over the years my mom has softened a little. I can’t even imagine what it would be like if I were to come out, but I know it would be terrible. I don’t hate my sexuality anymore, it’s a part of me, but I still wish I were straight. Several times, I have tried to “change myself”, and it never works. This is who I am. I would never, ever choose this for myself. Not once did I make a choice to like girls. Not once did I decide “hey, this looks like fun, I’ll try it because I’m an immature kid who wants to be different”. This is who I am, I can’t change it, and honestly, I don’t want to change it anymore because this is how God created me.

      • The difference is that if Karen wanted to, she could change and leave behind ignorance and judgmentalism, and have her spirit transformed, while your daughter’s sexuality does not *need* to be changed.

      • As with McClevins…….this is why the world is such a hateful place. It truly shows what is in THEIR hearts and NOT that of their maker. IF any of my children decide to be gay, for a lack of better terms, they have our full blessing as well as our creator. I feel sorry for people like Karen and McClevins. Hate and judgement are a heavy burden to carry.

        • Reflecting God’s judgement as a fact or stating it is hate? I think you can love someone even if you don’t agree with them….in whatever way that is but it doesn’t make what they do right. It just means you still love them and they still love you. This isn’t about love or hate it is about what God has declared right or declared wrong and the list one way is huge, the other way is Jesus who is the only right[righteous] one.

          • You cannot “love the sinner and hate the sin” when the sinner IS the sin. Gay is not something I do, it is an intrinsic part of who and what I am. I could no more choose to be straight than you could choose to be gay. To say homosexuality is a “choice” infers that you at some point decided to be heterosexual. When was that, exactly? What grade were you in? If it is “unnatural” why do several hundred other species show same-sex mating pairs? If it was just a rebellious human “decision” why would penguins, or dolphins, or chimpanzees or flamingos or vampire bats or any of the other species bother? I know, I know. If you insist, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that it’s a choice, you can pat yourself on the back and feel all righteous for making the “godly” choice while the rest of us poor schmucks can go to hell for not being as good as you.

      • Chet, did you jut judge Karen for being born ignorant, judgmental and ugly spirited which you equal as undesirable as your gay son???? Confusing.

    • If nature can allow children to be born with both male and female genitalia, then as I see it, it is likely that males can be born male on the outside, and female on the inside and vice versa.

    • Thank you sooooo much for letting us know what God does and doesn’t do. You obviously know very little about him. But don’t give up. He wants to be known and he gives grace to the humble. God bless you.

    • And how do YOU know this.
      And what does drugs, pornography have to do with being gay..
      No one chooses. I guess you were so lucky to be born straight.. (Smh).

    • Aren’t we fortunate to have amongst us on who presumes to know how God thinks. It’s obvious from your post that your programming is intact. I have been a devout Catholioc most of my life .. had a problem with church politics and tried out every other cuhrch in existence only to end up back hom in the Catholic church after I was finally able to get that there is a distinction between the church (social organization and business) and the faith. I know God. I have spent a lifetime in close contact. God does not make mistakes. Homosexual people are not mistakes. Just because you haven’t yet reached the place where you can see this, you can’t see it yet. I encourage you to please refrain from judging others whose behavior you understand not at all and remember what we were taught through Jesus and then use it! I remember what He said about who we are to judge. I remember whe He said we are to Love. If you are going to spit out regurgitated rote material, pay attention to what’s coming out of your mouth, please. Look around you, Sister .. times are changing .. the world is changing .. there is something amazing and beautiful hpapening all around us and if you continue to judge people you are going to miss the whole beautiful thing. God Bless You!

    • Karen, Addiction to drugs and pornography are completely unrelated topics…these are choices. Homosexuality is not. You do know homosexuality was never spoken of by Jesus Christ as far as we know, correct? There is no documentation thereof, and biblical references to homosexuality are contradictory to one another, as well as scripture commanding us to love and not judge. In the end tho, what will matter to God? Your opinion based upon your interpretation, or that you accepted differences without condemnation, and left the rest to Him?

    • Omg really being gay is not the same as being a drug addict or a person addicted to porn. Please become educated before you make statements. I will pray for you

  3. Your heart was, indeed,delightfully clear. My father was a deeply religious man, simple,, unpretentious, hardworking, and deeply loving. I am adopted and I’m fairly certain a lesbian wasn’t on his shopping list for a child. To discover this about his beloved daughter was very much an unexpected, and unwanted, shock. Still, he suggested I go on home (I’d moved out by then) and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever hear from him again. I did. He pondered and he prayed, and he cried a little, and then he called me. In that firm, sincere voice that led me through childhood he said, “I’m not sure exactly how I’m supposed to handle this, but you are my daughter, I would rather see you on my doorstep than anyone else, and I will always love you.” Thank you for being that kind of dad.

  4. Wow! I cried through most of that. You are such an amazing man! So beautiful a soul! What a great dad! What a special loving, big-hearted, tender, giant of a man in the spirit. I am 66, gay and only out the last few years – rediscovering myself and going through a healing process. There are deep wounds and much anger. I find your blogs are medicine to my soul and bring such healing and love. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  5. Pingback: Something worth reading | actimom

  6. Amazingly beautiful. I often tell my affirmed daughter the same bible passage you quoted in #4. God made her transgender for a reason. This was his plan and path for her. We can speculate why all we want but he is the only one who truly knows. Thank you!

  7. My daughter is Gay and some of our family is overjoyed that she can now get married to her best friend and partner….the biggest criticism came from a family preacher who does not know her well..he told her if she doesn’t repent and change her ways.she will not be accepted into the Kingdom of God ….it did cause a big divide in our extended family…those who embrace her do it lovingly and openly and those who do not….well they sit silently by , skirting the topic…content in the fact that….it didn’t happen to their child….The way I view it….it’s their loss and if their Christian ways keep you from knowing my daughter and her fun loving spirit….her deep love for animals, the way she shares herself with others who are less fortunate…then maybe they should question the way they interpret their biblical messages. The entire saga played out has only clarified to me that God is watching and waiting to see how we react to those who have been oppressed . Bless those who have been enlightened….but there is much work to do and I am excited about it. Having read some of your recent posts a light was turned on, it is truly delightful to read your message and please please please keep it coming as it is very nourishing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  8. On this post all I get is a message: this page can not be found.  I tried the search, and get former blogs, but not this one. I appreciate your essays.

  9. Pingback: A Christian pastor on his hypothetically gay children | DiversityJane

  10. Why would one be offended by this Pastor’s position, especially a christian?

    However, lets make sure we understand what it means to be a loving Christianfather. A christian father’s primary goal is to get his children into heaven. Love is a sacrifice. If you don’t understand this simply look long and hard at a picture of christ crucified. As christians we are to work throughout our lives in striving for holiness. How? By trying to live our lives in persona christi, or, as another Christ. Now think of that cross that he hung on, now think of the cross you or someone else may have to be a in your life. For some that may be a same sex inclination. Loving someone as a father, the one charged with getting that child to heaven, would not include any message that would encourage them to act on an inclination that is sinful. Loving someone with the love of the GOd man, Jesus Christ, would mean showing extreme compassion and endless mercy for the person bearing the cross but certainly not encouraging the person, whoever it may be , to act in a way that does not align with the will of God.

    Here’s the challenge today, it’s the lie, the untruth, the new social doctrine that love thy neighbor is the greatest commandment. It is not. Christ said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord God with your entire mind, heart and soul; and that the second commandment is like it: love thy neighbor as your very self. To say that we are to love our neighbor (or our kids) is true. To say that we are to love our kids, our brother, sister, neighbor without regard to God and His plan for the human family is not true.

    Consider also, in God’s plan, for whom sexual intimacy was reserved. Was it reserved for any relationship? No it was reserved specifically for martial relations. Sexual intimacy had two purposes and if they become disjoined that’s when we run amok of God’s plan. Sexual intimacy through the goodness of God was made pleasurable and procreative. One cannot be separated front the other although the act doesn’t necessarily in the end lead to both. In fact most times it only leads to one but if we leave it open to both we are acting according to God’s will.

    Advocates for gay marriage truly believe they are being faithful to the commandment love thy neighbor when they recognize as spouses those who are emotionally and physically drawn to others of the same sex. But what about the first and greatest commandment, to love the Lord God with your entire mind, heart and soul? Is there any regard for God and His plan? Are we to ignore the first commandment and only regard the second? I cannot. Does a same sex inclination make someone homosexual? Or is it when one acts on that inclination that makes a person a homosexual? One is sinful the other one is a cross to carry and is certainly not a sin.

    As a Christian I must ask if acting on a homosexual inclination is what God desires for my child who carries such a cross. I know the answer to that. Am I loving God when I ignore Him, the One who made the human family, as though He has revealed nothing regarding human sexuality and its essential properties? For Christians the answer is clear: no. We must take seriously the fact that whenever Jesus was asked about the topic of sexuality vis a vis marriage, he consistently directed us to read the pages of Genesis: “In the beginning” it was so. Like a red flag Jesus uses these first words of Genesis to teach us about marriage ( the only relationship in which sexual intimacy should be shared) and its divine construction. And so combined, the Lord’s two-fold law of love compels me to reach out to any whether it be my brother, sister or child who for one reason or another is not equipped for a natural sexual relationship in the confines of marriage, but love does not compel me to undo the divinely constructed reality of the sexual intimacy reserved for marriage.

    If I had a child with a same sex inclination I would try to get them any counseling they desired. I wold lead them to the true counselor. I would pray unendingly for them and not treat them any different then a child with a heterosexual inclination with respect to parenting for christian morality. Hopefully I would be able to instill a love for Jesus within them that included the correct understanding of where and when “sex” fits within God’s plan anyway; and this certainly is not outside of marriage. Since such an inclination could not lead to a marriage that fits with God plan of the at at the center of marriage I certainly would not be loving a child with a same ex inclination if I encouraged them to act on their inclination which would mean acting against God’s will. That would be encouraging sin.

    Consider the gosple of John chapter 8. Here we read about the woman who was caught in adultery. Her acts were sinful yet the God of mercy forgave her. However he did something very important before she left. He simply said “Go and sin no more.” That is how Jesus loved one who committed a sexually immoral act and that is how I would love my child with a same sex inclination with the God man’s love as displayed in that very example.

    I would also let my child know that we are all sinners who differ from different temptations. However we should always remember while our GOd is not a gullible GOd (He certainly knows what is in our hearts) fist and foremost he is a merciful GOd who understands our struggles and wants us to eek him in all of them. However to make my love complete, just as Jesus did with the woman caught in adultery, I would also pray that my child, through the grace of God, would be given the strength to “Go and sin no more”.

    I have excerpted part of this response from the “Greatest Lie” – Fr. Patrick Winslow
    Catholic News and Herald

    • You speak of something you have no true concept of. This is highlighted by the comment about getting your child counseling. Counseling is for help with mental issues or drug addiction, for discussing careers or legal matters. It is used to help someone through a difficult decision or make a change in their life. The problem is, as has been proven time and time again, counseling against homosexuality is a complete failure. This is because it is not something that can be changed, and not something that can be overcome. Simply put, it is who a person is. Those that say they have been “cured” are lying to themselves and everyone else. Or perhaps they are bisexual. Sexuality is a spectrum with people ranging from 100% straight to 100% gay, and everything in between. Is it genetic? We’re not sure. Are people born this way? Again, we’re not certain – but as a gay man myself, I can tell you that nothing in my life “led” me to be this way. I have loving parents. I have a brother and sister, and all three of us had an identical childhood. Ours was a typical, stable, loving home in which I played sports, worked on cars, cared for animals, built projects out in the driveway, and did everything else a typical boy would do. And for as long as I can recall, being attracted to men has simply been a part of me. Being gay is no more a choice, or a problem, than being left-handed. There is no “left-hand gene”. There is nothing about a persons’ life experiences or upbringing that makes them left-handed. It simply is.

      The more you spout the nonsense that being gay is just something a person is burdened with and is something to be overcome, the more you drive them away from faith. If you are a loving person who also has or desires an intimate relationship, imagine someone telling you that you simply need to work past that. Imagine being told that you just need to ignore your natural attractions and simply go without that intimate love for your entire life. To be truly alone. Imagine that, despite your attraction to the opposite sex, you were told to simply have an intimate relationship with someone of the same sex. That you had to force a relationship that was obviously fake and would most likely fail. No one should be forced into that situation. Homosexuality is not a problem. It does not hurt those involved. It does not affect any person around those involved, other than perhaps to show them true love, just in a different form. And as for children of same-sex couples, it has been proven through various studies and is widely accepted that they are no better or worse-off than children of heterosexuals, and their sexuality is not affected in any way either. A loving, committed, healthy same-sex relationship is no different than an opposite sex relationship. It is beautiful. And that is something God has no issue with.

      • Nothing you said here is based on the word of God. It is all the world’s way of thinking. There is really no reason to debate with a person regarding this subject, unless they are will to come under God’s authority and be willing to put our own” feelings” aside. God has made it so clear in scripture that homosexuality is a sin, even calling it an abomination. Not me judging, but the words of our Lord!! We have to decide whether we want to follow God’s plan and ways, or follow our own. This includes all sin, not just sexual sins. With that being said, we should love everyone, even those who choose to be in direct rebellion against God. However, loving someone does not mean that we say everything they are doing is “right” in fact, really loving someone, unfortunately sometimes saying, “brother or sister, what you are doing is wrong and it is damaging to continue in sin.” Does Jesus still love you, absolutely! And so should we christians. The word of God is so clear on this subject, this is not a personal conviction, not a gray area, not a “oh, he or she will grow in the Lord. This is black and white, our Lord is clear about men/woman/children and their relationships and sexuality. I would rather someone be honest enough to say, yes its wrong, but I’m choosing to live this way anyway. As a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit living in you, and he will guide you and tell you when things aren’t right. Listening to him is anther thing. If someone is a non- beliver, they are walking in darkness and do not know right from wrong. Truth, love, and blessings sent your way!

        • However, we are to love MOST those who are lost. (Not above God. But God, family, the lost, our sisters and brothers. I almost want to put family after those lost, simply because the lost, by far, need love more than family. Who should know they are loved.

          That was the lesson of the Good Samaritan who helped the man on the side of the road.

          It’s all over the bible.

          It matters not what laws you quote. (Or sins. None of us are sinless) If you truly love someone you allow the Holy Spirits to reach them, while we love them.

          Yes, there is accountability. However I don’t see anything on that post which says this person is a Christian. So, your pointing out they are not following God’s biblical plan, tell me, will that make them wish to come toward Christianity or run from it?

          If it was me, I’d run. Because honestly, we as humans can’t follow all those laws. (It’s why Christ died for our sins)

          We as humans can’t even fully, truly, selflessly love. That comes from the Holy Spirit.

          Basically, while the initial post was beautifully outlined, as well as this explanation as to loving God above all and how one should love people over legality, the responder jumped on counciling. I’m not sure why the initial person mentioned counciling. However I can say we all need someone to confide in. Thus a councilor. Are our words honey or vinigar? I am in no way saying someone shouldn’t stand firm in their belief.

          When the bible was written no one knew who was sleeping with whom. We shouldn’t know these things in this time. It is mine to keep myself accountable and God’s business to correct. In my opinion, no believer should ever tell a “non-believer” what they are doing wrong or how they are falling short.

          It is NOT their cross to carry. Yet. When Jesus knocks on their heart and then they accept. Then it will be on them to determine how to carry their cross.

      • I know one man who felt completely alone, but didn’t ever give in to his earthly desires, and he didn’t because he saw and knew that if he could sustain from anything that took him away from God, well then we would be able to also, love the sinner, hate the sin~

      • Until1973 the American Psychiatric Association considered homosexuality a mental health issue. So what changed? Our culture. In 1969 the Stonewall riots occurred and the gay “community” became politically active and put pressure on politicians. They also found politicians who would take their money. No science on the subject has been discovered. It is still xx, and xy.

        • No, it wasn’t just the culture that changed. Research improved, science advanced and past mistakes were admitted. If you have doubts, read up on epigenetics and homosexuality; this is recent research, pointing out that it isn’t entirely a matter of genetics, but of epigenetics.

    • Funny how John 8 was NOT actually in the first editions of the Bible. So, the validity of your quote from John is just as a deluded as the entirety of your post. Thank your God my children will NEVER have to experience your version of love. I hope to your God you don’t have any children. If you do, I am very sorry for them. You are a cruel and immoral human being. Shame on you.

      • Judaism has written and verbal teachings. The scholars feel that the “additions” in the later translations were these addendums.

        As I recall, there are also so many older codexes, that it is known with little doubt, what was inspired. Including those additions.

        Feel free to dig in and read up on this. It would be good to know why the Bible is as it is.

    • Very well put. I will teach my kids sexually purity within God’s plans, it’s up to them if they decide to follow that or deal with the consequences I will love them, give them grace but would never approved of any action going against God’s plan including living together before marriage (the world accepts this and I use to) or same-sex relationship.

      PS I have family members who are gay still love them but they know my beliefs and I expect the same love and respect I give them which is Christ like love.
      PS again…. Sam sex orientation use to be considered a mental health issue….. then in the early 70s a whole bunch of psychs. Determined it not before any testing!!! I think there were probably those of Same sex orientation psychs who didn’t want the label of mental disease!!!
      PS again I have struggled with many different sex sins including this one but thanks to Jesus he has healed me of this and made his ways priority in my life!!

      • Let me put it to you this way Betrina, it’s people like you with your judgmental attitude that drove me from Christianity. You will do the same to your children. Children of today have the correct mind set as I see it and are leaving the churches in droves. The second largest classification of religious order in this country now is Agnostics and Atheists! It is just your attitude that is spawning this mass exodus. Numerologists have determined that if this trend stays the same then by the year 2025 the largest order in this country will be Agnostics and Atheists, not Christianity!

    • Well said Charlie, Gods word is very exact and precise, Love the Sinner, not the sin, no one is saying not to Love, or put down or degrade, but we’re to pray for those who struggle, if we pick and choose from Gods word to fit our lives and lifestyles so we can justify things in our lives, then what we’re saying is Christ dieing on the Cross was all in Vain, his Death meant nothing, He paid the Ultimate price for our Freedom.

  11. Reblogged this on Listen Softer and commented:
    Since it is possible to “reblog” posts that we resonate with, I want to take advantage of that tool right now.

    You see, I’m asking one particular question more often these days: How can I/should I/will I add my voice to the discussion relating to the LGBT community? What’s more, how can I be a voice of love, affirmation and support, while at the same time not alienating those who hold positions different from mine? I’m not entirely sure this second question is possible, given the current level of debate in our country and our churches, but I hope it speaks to my motivation.
    I am motivated by Christ’s love here – a love that chose to selflessly enter into our pain and brokenness, a love that graciously suffered in order to do something we could never do ourselves, a love that conquered death by bursting forth in resurrection life, a love that is freely given to ALL because we are ALL worth it!
    No amount of suffering that I may endure as a result of lending my voice to this conversation will compare to the suffering of those who have self-identified as LGBT. Whether they have come out or kept silent about their orientation, they have witnessed the angry rhetoric and felt the smug judgment pouring out of the church. For all the ways we have been unloving and unwelcoming, I want to say I’m sorry. For all the ways we have hindered a member of the LGBT community from experiencing the unexampled love of God, I am truly sorry. For our knee-jerk reactions revealing our lack of compassion and empathy, I am deeply sorry.

    Now, read this beautiful post from a Pastor who can say it much better than me.

  12. I walked away from my faith years ago due to many double standards. Gossip is ok but LBGT is a ticket to hell. Now as a mom of a transgendered mtf daughter someone shared this with me. At first I was “oh no here we go, pray for their souls to see the light and repent”. Instead, I was moved to tears by your compassion and acceptance. I’d be tempted to attend church even if yours was in my town. Blessings to you and your family

  13. Thank you for including all of the LGBTQ at the end of the article. I am the proud Mother of a trans son, female to male, and I need to read more of what you just said.

  14. “God has already created them and wired them, and placed the seed of who they are within them.”

    One exquisite sentence… for we are all God’s children.

  15. Thank you, John, for your words. My brother is gay, and I knew the hateful rhetoric that flew around the churches I grew up in weren’t really what Jesus was saying. I’ve been waiting to hear what Jesus would say. After I read this, I sent it to my parents and my friends with LGBTQ family members.

    I love my brother no matter what. No matter if he is gay or straight. No matter if he pushes me away or hugs me close. He’s my brother.

    I had a conversation with a colleague recently and he asked, “Well, don’t you pray for your brother to eventually become straight?” I responded, “I pray for my brother to have healthy relationships. I pray for him to have friends. I pray ultimately that he knows Jesus loves him. The main priority on my list of prayers for my brother is that he knows God.” My colleague didn’t understand that, and that’s okay.

    It’s life-giving to know that other people, such as yourself, understand. My brother is a person. He is not an issue. And I love him because he’s my brother. Thank you for illuminating that.

  16. If the world had had more pastors and fathers like you, so much hurt and pain could have been spared. I have a five year old and when she was born, during those long days and nights of nurturing and loving, I came to the same conclusion: that we will love her, no matter what, for all of her life.
    Last year, we lost our baby boy. It is beyond me to understand how people choose to remove their children from very lives on account of sexuality issues. As a parent who longs and will have to live with my boy’s absence all my life, I simply do not comprehend the coldness of their hearts.xx

  17. I was once told by a parent of young children, “If one of my kids turns out to be gay, I will kill myself.”
    This is a great source of grief for me. I grieve for those kids who already are who they are. And no matter who they are, they know on some level that just being who they were born to be could possibly be so repulsive to this parent as to cause him to take his own life. I want to lash out at him in judgement and blame, yet I know this parent to be a devoted dad who loves his children. Instead I grieve for him, for one so emotionally and spiritually wounded as to be constitutionally unable to accept his children as they are unless they fit into the very small box he has decided they must fit into.
    I pray God’s healing grace upon this family. I pray that this dad’s frozen heart be melted by God’s love. I pray that these good children, made perfectly in God’s image, find self-love in God’s love, no matter how God’s image manifests in who they are. May they know peace in their own skin, no matter what.

  18. There were some things I totally agree with however you’re overall concept was one I just can’t agree with.

    Love them…yes always with unrelenting love.

    Pray for them….everyday for protection as well as guidance…you can’t “pray away the gay” that’s ridiculous, however you can pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to be at work in their life because ultimately they will be the ones answering for their mistakes just like I will be the one answering for mine.

    Don’t let it be a taboo topic. As a youth leader I want my kids to feel free to tell me anything! I would never in a million years put them on blast nor try to bring condemnation[PS that is super dangerous and anyone, especially teachers of the word would be strongly judged for that] but if they ask, I will state what I believe politely but without sugar coating it either. As a leader, if you don’t even stand for what you know is right, then how do you expect the youth to stand up too.

    The truth is I love your intentions to have pure love for people without condemnation but to allow or even encourage any sin as a leader or man of God is wrong.

    This film is super corny and likes alittle low budget but the perspective its asking Christians to come from is beautiful and uncompromising.

    Please please please watch this with an open heart and feel free to question any of it! http://youtu.be/tbPu2rtmDbY

    • I started watching the film, but it’s so full of ridiculous statements – for one, you can’t equate homosexuality with adultery and come to the conclusion that therefore because you not born an adulterer you cannot be born homosexual. Trying to vindicate such an argument by confronting people on the street is so wrong too. It catches people off guard, gives them no time to think about the matter deeply and bullies a response out of them, which the film seems to suggest is now proving the point. It’s the way the fundamentalist church operates and it is not godly or Christian, in my opinion.

  19. I wish people, and especially Christian people, were more reflective. Of course love is the right response for any son or daughter in nearly all circumstance. Of course teaching him or her to walk in righteousness is the right response for any son or daughter of godly parents. Righteousness is both a frame of mind and adherence to objectively moral principles. This, too, is hard to deny. The righteous frame of mind has nothing to do with sexual preference or orientation any more than it has to do with any other preference or desire. The righteous frame of mind has to do with subordinating our wills to the will of God. Pastor Pavlovitz presumably understands this; if he doesn’t, there are more issues with his pastoral stewardship than he is letting on here. Righteous adherence to objectively moral principles includes far, far more than rules relating to sexuality … but it surely does include those rules. Pastor Pavlovitz presumably understands this; if he doesn’t, there are more issues with his pastoral stewardship than he is letting on here. There is a degree to which sexual orientation is “stitched together in the mother’s womb,” and there is a degree to which it is culturally constructed. The mix can vary among individuals – each of whom is a unique child of God – but it is a mistake to ignore either aspect. There is no degree to which a disposition to sin is an excuse for sin, let alone a permission for it. Righteous parents understand this and are expected to teach it. Prov. 22:6. It is of interest that those who most readily reject the objective element of righteousness (adherence to a moral standard) also reject, often more secretly, the subjective element (the subordination of will to God).

  20. Pingback: A Voice of Love [Reblog: If I Have Gay Children (Four Promises From A Christian Pastor and Parent)] | Listen Softer

  21. As a 21 year old gay male I’ve grown up being nothing but discouraged by the hypocrisy of the Christian church, along with many others of my generation. Words like yours bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. Your kids don’t know how lucky they are. Thank you for shining a light in what is the darkness of hate and ignorance.

  22. You have richly blessed me Pastor John. I’m a mom to 5 wonderful, high-spirited, at times challenging kids; 3 daughters and 2 sons. 2
    Of my daughters are gay, and are treasured by loving partners. I’ve been wrestling with the burden of feeling I have to chose my devotion and love between my Lord and Savior and my amazing, gifted daughters. Your words John, are a balm to my heart.
    I think at the center of this heated, emotional ‘debate’ is the larger sentiment: ‘ hate the sin, love the sinner’. I agree we can each pick and choose Scripture that supports whichever ‘side’ one is coming from. To me, having read all these comments, and your blog, John, what resonates in me is this: God is Love. Unconditional love. God makes no mistakes.
    Amen. My heart is resting in this. I can love my Jesus without compromising my love for my daughters, and all my children.Many thanks.

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  24. John, I am so incredibly touched and grateful for your post. As a gay Christian I grew up in constant fear.

    I’m 51 now (a young 51 year old I hasten to add!) so things back when I was younger were very different. I grew up believing that my thoughts, feelings and attraction towards other men would send me directly to hell; this is what I was told by ministers, this is what I learned from the wider Christian community.

    I grew up believing I was not worthy of God’s love, I grew up believing there was no hope for me and this almost destroyed me as a human being. It took many years of working through depression, of pulling myself up from the gutter, looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself, you matter to Jesus; truly believing this took several more years. But, eventually I got there – amen to that. I’d like to reach out through this post to other gay Christians and invite you not to give up on Christ and your beautiful faith because others have instructed you that your authenticity will send you to hell. This is a big fat lie!!! It isn’t your sexuality that God is concerned with but how you conduct yourself as a human being. How you love and respect others; how you honour God in everything you do; how you give thanks and praise to Jesus Christ for all your blessings (yes all including your sexuality); how you share your insecurities, vulnerabilities and doubts with the Holy Spirit; how you surrender your life to the infinite unconditional love that is God Almighty.

    I have been in a committed, loving, stable relationship with my partner for 16 years now. We are in-love, love each other deeply, we care about each other’s wellbeing, we share our ups and downs together, we laugh, cry, we get angry, but we continue loving each other. We are a family without children. We offer the same to this world as any other loving couple out there; there really is no difference. If you are uncomfortable with two men (or two women) being in love with each other, well, forgive me, that’s for you to deal with, not me! But don’t be a hypocrite and project your inner prejudice back at me under the auspices and lame excuse that the Bible told you to do so. Your prejudice is your prejudice, stop using the Bible as a weapon to veil and mask your own deeply rooted feelings of discomfort. We are all God’s children, without exception. We are all loved by God. No one has a right to try and convince others otherwise.

    • You have brought me to tears with your sensitivity, your words and sentiments. Two Of my five children are gay. My daughter’s girlfriend just proposed to her and they will be married sometime next year. It is difficult to be a member of a church that I can’t openly speak about my children. I have an awful feeling in my heart and soul. I’m in knots. There are so many Christians that have a stance of being judge and jury. There is only one judge. And we know who He sic He is the Alpha and Omega; all loving. And as you say we are all children of God.
      I love each of my children unconditionally. That’s the way I feel God loves each of us.
      What hurts my heart the most, is that my children have pulled away from the church and yes perhaps from God as well because they are made to feel inferior, less then, sick -disgusting–by many who profess to be Christians. I cannot thank John enough for opening up this dialogue.
      One last horrible example-a woman from a church I previously attended, was outraged by homosexuality; she confronted my daughter, figuratively beating her over the head with Scripture.
      Truth be told: this judgemental woman’s brother committed suicide. He was homosexual.
      Where is her compassion? She considers herself a Christian!

  25. Thank you for sharing your heart. I have struggled for years and my family is Christian. They love me but don’t agree with my life as they say. I have spent countless hours, days, and years researching to verify that I am good with my Creator and I’ve found that I am just what you said. I’ve found strength in my seeking after our Creator and which we are told to do. I’m grateful more than you could ever know for your words that I just came across today.

    People are so driven with hate now days and I’ve been at the wrong end of that so many times. I’m grateful for every bit of hope I can see in this place and you have given me a little more today. I do not believe that the true heart of one that loves our Creator is Christian or Jew or any religion, I believe they seek to know and love our Creator YHWH and our Savior Yeshua, and they love others. You my brother are a great example of this love. I pray man made religion will falter and YHWH rise. May you be blessed.

  26. The Bible isn’t vague or unclear on the issue of homosexuality – it is sin. It’s not anything more or less than sin.

  27. I’d just like to stop and say thank you. As a 16 year-old, semi-closeted bisexual girl, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  28. I have friends and a close family member who are gay. They all are happy,, non-judgmental and live productive lives. They couldn’t be any more perfect if they were straight. We all should be concerned with being the best we can be and stop judging others by standard s we set.

  29. I don’t have kids but come from a loving family who happen to think that LGBTQ is a spiritual problem and may be prayed out. I asked my mum one day (I am a heterosexual divorcee) what she would do if I bought home a girlfriend. She kind of pursed her lips and said “you know how I feel about this”. I told her I knew, but that I was curious. I asked her if she would accept my girlfriend because she was a part of me. I asked her would she come to our wedding and would she refer to my wife as a daughter in law. She said “well I suppose I would”. I said to mum thank you, that’s all I needed to know.
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how bigoted and discriminatory it is. But if they can rise above it and react how my mum would, then that’s ok for me. I told her I wasn’t gay, but no matter how old you are there is always a part of us that want our parents approval.

  30. John I read this letter when it was originally posted awhile back. Every so often when I need a pick me up I come back to re-read this.

    I grew up in a very Christian household that believed I could pray away the gay. I was put into “conversion therapy”. Let me tell you that these only hurt me even more than non accepting parents. It really made me think that there was something wrong with me. That I had some type of disease that could be cured.

    Flash forward 8 years and my parents are very loving of myself and my partner and whole heartedly regret doing those awful things. But at the time this is what they thought was right and we’re doing it because they loved me.

    I always wondered how differently those 8 years would have been if they accepted me with all their love from the beginning. You sir are one of the most compassionate humans I have ever read from. Please continue to touch the lives of so many like you have to me.

  31. You contradict yourself. If you believe as your post states, “God has already created them and wired them, and placed the seed of who they are within them. Psalm 139 says that He, “stitched them together in their mother’s womb”. The incredibly intricate stuff that makes them uniquely them; once-in-History souls, has already been uploaded into their very cells” but yet you say in your “note” that you are speaking to transgenders as well….how can both be true? If God stitched them together in their mother’s womb as gay and so they are gay no matter what….wouldn’t the same be true for gender? If God stitched someone together as a male, how could they possibly be female? Are you saying God makes mistakes? If it’s fine to be gay because God created someone that way, in their mother’s womb, then how can their gender be anything other than how God created them in their mother’s womb?
    On another subject, I agree to a very small part of your post. If I had a gay child I would love them, too, no matter what. However, that does not mean I would condone their sin as you are suggesting. Would you still love your child if they were a murderer? I would hope so. If my child was a murderer I would still love them, no matter what. Just like I wouldn’t say well God must have created you to be a murderer, I wouldn’t say well God must have created you to be gay. Both are sins. Both are temptations you must flee from. I do not believe being gay is a sin. It is the thoughts (lust) and actions that are a sin. God doesn’t tempt us beyond what we can handle so for those thinking they are gay, God has equipped them to run from the temptations. I would not be alright with my gay child dating the same gender, just like I would not be alright with a child lying or murdering. I would pray it away just like I would pray away any sin of theirs.
    Ironically I arrived at this post from your post about the Stanford rapist. In that post you said “You love your son and you should. But love him enough to teach him to own the terrible decisions he’s made, to pay the debt to society as prescribed, and then to find a redemptive path to walk, doing the great work in the world that you say he will.” Isn’t the same true for all sin, perhaps all but paying the debt to society. Shouldn’t you approach all sin, including homosexuality the same way? Love your child, but love them enough to teach them the terrible decision they made, and find a redemptive path to walk…

  32. It is possible to love my gay children like that, and be loved back, and to want the very bat for my gay friends, and still have a conservative theological stance on gay marriage. It is possible to be a gay, celibate conservative Christian who loves himself and loves God and is accepted by his community. If you doubt that, look up the Rev. Dawn MacDonald, Prof. Wes Hill from Trinity School for ministry, and this article on what it is like to be gay at Wheaton College: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/june/what-its-like-to-be-gay-at-wheaton-college.html

    Not all conservative Christians hate people because they are gay.

    • Jill, I’m right there with you.

      The Greek word for Homosexual is ([malakos] effeminate
      of a catamite
      of a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man
      of a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness
      of a male prostitute)

      This is what Paul was speaking against, it says nothing of having a relationship with another man.

      But Paul (the Holy Spirit speaking through him who is God, and Jesus) says in 1 Cor 6:9 that sodimites ([arsenokoitēs]one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual)

      So a celibate homosexual couple, isn’t spoken of, and I see nothing against it, as long as they are not defiling their bodies, i guess it’s justifiable.

      Blessings Jill, love you sister

  33. I have a family member, in fact several that are LGBT. I was asked recently when a “Christian” friend said to me “She doesn’t look like a lesbian”, I replied and asked her what “one” looked like. I am an ordained minister and am criticized for loving her and for going to places considered wrong, I just ask them where would Jesus go and with whom would he associate. You can’t fix stupidity and ignorance. Never thought it would happen to me but it did and it takes love to get through all of it.

  34. That’s beautiful and inspiring coming from any parent but even more from a Pastor… I am sure you kids will return that kindness being extremely proud of you. God bless you all ❤

  35. As a parent, if your love for your children comes with conditions, God help them, for it would have been better had you not had them in the first place.

  36. Thank you so much for this. I have 3 children, who I have raised in the church, who grew up hearing ‘love the sinner hate the sin’ …but I don’t think they could tell the difference, they couldn’t see any way the people who had loved them for so long would ever accept them for who they felt they were on the inside.
    I’m just so very grateful that they felt sure enough of my love for them that they were able to tell me who they are. I had told them that nothing they could ever do or say could ever change my love for them, and while I didn’t see this coming, I was glad to find it was true.
    I am so grateful to you for affirming that we can love and serve a living, loving God and still accept differences in sexuality and gender identity.
    I haven’t read the comments here (I try not to in general, so many are hurtful) but I know you must get serious opposition and criticism. Thank you for sharing the messages you do, they are so very important. I feel like change is happening, but so slowly, and I fear for my children’s well-being, physically and emotionally. Thank you for working to bring about the changes we need for them to be safe.

  37. Well Tyler Coates, won’t be mean to you at all, but I really do understand. Was there myself, judgemental of everyone who didn’t live up to God’s inerrant word. I think you miss the point of this discussion. It isnt’ that your “rightness” about everything, you said you live by the perfect word of God, so you must have most things down, and if it’s not in the Bible it cannot be true. That’s ok. But if you ever do have a son or daughter who is Gay, WE ALL would hope that you would look into your own heart and not condemn them and alienate them from your life. You will leave your kid shipwrecked, unloved and with no positive role model to look to for a father, just a big mean spirited judgemental father that will tear his/her life apart. Best to you, and open your mind and think about this, EVERYTHING you believe could be not true, or parts of it untrue , or yes all of it true , just think a little more.

    • Jim Goodwin, I’m sorry but my comment was directed towards Pastor John, but if you claim Christianity and that’s your response, how do you think God views that?

      If you do claim Christianty, and you are a follower of Jesus, and His word, and you Love God. I ask you this, does God contradict himself, 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”

      So if God creates gay people, then why would God condemn it so?

      If you are a Christian, then honestly you have no say in this discussion. That would be like me discussing football to someone, and then someone who doesn’t know anything about it jumps in and tries to voice their opinion.

      I thank you for your input, but it didn’t help the question.

      Blessings brother.

    • Jim Goodwin, I’m sorry but my comment was directed towards Pastor John, but if you claim Christianity and that’s your response, how do you think God views that?

      If you do claim Christianty, and you are a follower of Jesus, and His word, and you Love God. I ask you this, does God contradict himself, 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”

      So if God creates gay people, then why would God condemn it so?

      If you are a Christian, then honestly you have no say in this discussion. That would be like me discussing football to someone, and then someone who doesn’t know anything about it jumps in and tries to voice their opinion.

      My trouble is that Pastor John is a minister of the Gospel yet he explicitly uses the bible to try to justify his clear negligence toward the Word of God.

      I thank you for your input, but it didn’t help the question.

      Blessings brother.

      • look, God loves gay people, murders, liars, cheaters, forincator, sodemites etc… You get my point. He loves sinners, He died for sinners, So since God loves I love them as well.

        But sinners don’t inherit the Kingdom, and can’t not be Christians (committed followers of Christ with all their heart) without repentance.

        If you’re proud of your sin, then be a sinner, why are you Christian anyway?

        It’s surely to God not because your in awe of the sacurfice of Jesus in order for you live a sinless live, and to Love people more than you yourself can ever love anyone, and that everything you had, have, and will have including your son would be void if not for His Love.

        But you look at God say to Him “I know were brutally murdered for me to live sinlessly, and all that. But you know I really don’t care about all that, I really care about my family more than you” which if that’s how you feel then go for it, just don’t claim you care about Him when you don’t, you’re lying to yourself

        If you care at all what the Word of God says, this is what he thinks about that attitude.

        “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
        ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:37‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

        That’s Jesus Jim, do you not see that you are claiming you love and know God when your actions are against Him in every corner, as well with Pastor Pavlovitz, I am not speaking “hate” here I am speaking Truth.

        The Word say this as well and this is John “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
        ‭‭I John‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

        Jim my soul is not in need of any prayer, I am loving God by loving His Word, because John 1:1 says that God is the Word.

        Please know I say this to encourage you as a believer, becsue youre not on the same page as God brother.

        I love you, and I pray that understand the Love of God

  38. I think you are a Pharisee and blind to your sin, you are decieved by the sin of pride and self worship, I see it in your haughty spirit, you need to repent of your sin, will still pray for your lost soul, the plank in your own eye is so enormous you cant see it. Clean the inside of your bowl, and the whole vessel will be clean.

  39. Our church (Lutheran) studied this for many years and I, as a pastor, theologian and psychologist, have worked with it many years as well, because I have counseled with a number of gay folks – I don’t know why they came to me, but I feel the Spirit had something to do with it. As far as the scriptures are concerned, the arguments against gay people are pretty specious; from the view of psychology, human sexuality is complicated, but it appears that a percent of the population is born “gay.” The “theological” problem people have with gay people is not actually theological, but cultural, and cultural mores shift. Not long ago, I was getting donuts at a little shop near here, when the lady behind the counter asked me if I was from the area and what I did. I told her I was a local pastor. She asked what our church taught about homosexuality, so I told her (although the last thing I wanted to do at 7:00 in the morning was to get into a theological discussion with someone who’s mind was already made up). Her response was, “Ewwww! I think that’s disgusting!” That’s what the whole thing is about: the “Eww” factor. My response was that there are probably ten percent of the population having sex that I wouldn’t have that response to – don’t want to think about their sex life. And it seems rather perverted to be going around imagining anyone else’s sex life anyway.

    The truth, of course, is that sex is a small part of any relationship (after about the first month of marriage – just ask any married couple). There’s a lot that goes into any relationship, and hopefully, most of it is about love, as Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13. I was happy to bless same-sex unions before the law allowed gay folks to marry, and have been blessed to preside over marriages of gay partners since.

    Thank you, John, for your piece.

  40. “The truth, of course, is that sex is a small part of any relationship (after about the first month of marriage – just ask any married couple).”

    ROFL ~ Brother Gary, you speak the truth there. Keep on keeping on!


  41. Love this post! It was very touching. I wish my church/paster was like this when I was a child…. sadly that was a long time ago (20 years) and this kind of progressive churches/pastors didn’t exist. I stopped being believing in Christianity when I started being attracted to women at the age of 13. Being we were taught this is a ‘sin’ and unacceptable, I felt depressed, dirty, inherently flawed, and that I had no place in the church. Years later, at the age of 33 I now identify as a ‘spiritual atheist’ and don’t have a desire to return to any church, but it is refreshing to see there are some people like you out there setting an example like this for others. I hope more people will follow, the world would be a much better place!

  42. I am a Christian and I love Jesus with all of my heart. I don’t care that anyone is gay or dislike them, my brother is gay and I love him. The Bible says love everyone and hate the sin. I don’t say that being gay is a sin God does. Why does that make me a person that “hates”. I have read a lot of this blog and have seen a lot of “hate and anger” on both sides of this discussion.

  43. I…am a parent…with a very similar issue. I grew up being taught all the horrible wrongs against God homosexuality is. And…I somehow managed to have a child who came out to me last year (to be fair, I knew it was coming but never said a word because I felt it would have been utterly terrible to give any labels). I am in tears reading this.

    My child is the single most beautiful person I have ever met on this planet. She has taught me truly what unconditional love is. She is simply…my daughter.

    I don’t look at her and view her any differently just because of her sexual orientation. The only thing I see more so? Bravery. It took sheer bravery for her to ever even consider telling me. We live in the Bible Belt and her dad’s family is extremely conservative and deeply religious. There is no other way to say it…she is one of the bravest people.

    Because of her…I have learned about genetics/epigenetics, psychology and many other things that can not go unlistened to…they are a valid part of how a person is wired. No matter what our personal beliefs are.

    Thank you for writing this.

  44. Pingback: My child just came out. What do I do? – Queer Grace

  45. Mr. Pavlovitz,
    I sit here with tears in my eyes after having read your article on GAY CHILDREN; Tears of Joy, Tears of Gratitude, Tears of Unconditional love. It is abundantly obvious to me that Gods love flows thru ever ounce of blood in your body and operates in HIS FULLNESS in your life.
    Thank you for these kind, loving, supportive words that ANY CHILD (GAY OR STRAIGHT) WOULD WANT TO HEAR AND EXPERIENCE IN THEIR LIVES.

    You are already Blessed and such a Blessing to so many others.

    God loves you and so do I, IN HIM.

  46. Could you imagine if the Jesus were here today and someone was writing the stories. How lost would the translation become between what actually takes place, what was actually said and reality? It’s rarely accurate information in this century. Experiment if you will. Make up something, tell it someone and see how distorted it becomes before it gets back to you. Stories change just like gossip. The meaning of the Bible message changes with each person that attempts to translate it, just like any other book.

  47. Thank you so much for these wise words! I was taken aback when my 17-year-old daughter came out as gay 5 years ago, and I found myself feeling pressured to choose between my daughter and what I had been taught. Thankfully I chose her at that time, though it has taken a long time for me to find my way back to God and realize the choice wasn’t between her and God, but between her and judgemental Christians. God was with us all the way.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  48. What a bunch of bigoted hypocrites so many of you so-called Christians are. Bigotry is bigotry, even when costumed in biblical text and perfumed with holy water. Yet in your bigotry you reveal yourselves to be no better than Muslims, Jews, Atheists and even Satanists who share your same low biases and use their respective devotion to justify it. “Do not judge” Matthew 7:1 admonishes then continues in 7:2, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.” Wait for it: it’s coming faster than you think.

  49. Thank you again, John. You raise me up when I’m feeling low. I think that’s the best thing a pastor can do. I’m a Gay Christian, so that checks both of those boxes.I have so many friends that grew up in the church that no longer believe in God. It’s not because of God, but men. When I was younger, bullies at a Baptist youth camp used me sexually, and I understand hypocrisy. Hating and abusing other children comes because parents don’t learn the message that you just gave and teach it to their kids.I want to help free the church from teaching the lie that sexuality is a choice. It is a gift from God that makes us see the world from a very unified perspective. Loving all people isn’t hard. However, I do find myself praying for God to remove all the hate that surrounds us nowadays.

  50. Maybe someone can answer this. When I ask a Christian who believes it, all I get is a long winded lecture restating their belief. I never get an answer to the question. And I would really like an answer. Why is it that modern evangelical Christians only have two “issues”? They only seem to care about homosexuality and abortion. I’ve looked in the Bible to see what Jesus says about those issues and he says exactly nothing. Why don’t Christians care about the things Jesus did talk about? Why are they so over-focused on The Two Issues?

    • Jesus and God the Father agree on all things. God the Father said a man shall not lay with a man.
      Jesus didn’t say anything about many sins. The law was already given. Homosexuality has been judged and that’s the end of it.

  51. Very proudly the parent of a gay adult child who has luckily never yet experienced significant discrimination or hate from his community, family or friends. I’m not aware of any negative reaction actually. He didn’t come out until college but we began wondering if he was gay by age 2. We’ve always loved him for who he is, a human being. Our church, which was later kicked out of the Reformed Church on America bc of our wonderful ministers preaching, helped us grow and open our minds before we even knew our son. We haven’t been a part of a church since. I’m now about to volunteer as a mentor to teen foster refugee children and have requested to work with those who specifically identify as LGBTQ. When I requested that the caseworker said she was so happy bc no one usually makes that request. Looking forward to loving more kids!!!

    • What a lovely response. I think caring for people and accepting them and being kind is really what being a Christian is all about.

  52. I’m not sure who this article is written for. Is it for Christian’s who do not find homosexuality to be a sin? If so surely they already fall in line with most everything expressed here. Is it for Christian’s who follow scriptures assertion that homosexuality is depraved? Surely not, because the entire article hinges on the premise that homosexuality is not sin. If it is for everyone, as I assume you will suggest, why not give a scripturally based argument for homosexuality not being sin? This seems to be nothing more than an emotional rant that preaches to the LGBTQ affirming choir/attempts to passive aggressively call out those who do not hold the same opinions on homosexuality. It does this without providing any actual Biblical arguments.

  53. This was so good, that I took some time to translate it to Russian. This would be very important to read, especially for slavic families. It’s a disaster what I had to go through when I came out to my slavic community. Please respond if you’d like a copy of professionally translated copy in Russian.
    Thanks, Peter.

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  55. Pingback: Carta para uma mãe cristã…que por um acaso (ou infelicidade?) tem um filho(a) gay – Diário de um ex-heterossexual

  56. Pingback: Links about lgbtq

  57. This post made me cry. The way you talk about your kids is so beautiful and I think you are an amazing father. Because that’s what makes a dad a dad: unconditional love!

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  59. Ya, not scripturally sound there.

    I contend soft weak pastors such as yourself are why our churches are dying across the nation. As Muslim churches who murder gays grows rapidly.

    Young people get it when it’s fake. Your religion is fake. Your faith, suspect. I’d suggest you read the Bible a lot more. A lot!

  60. Pingback: #143 – John Pavlovitz and the Bigger Table – The Gaytheist Manifesto | An LGBT Atheist Podcast

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