Christian Parents: If Your Child Comes Out to You, Here Are 5 Ways to Blow it

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER, STRESSFUL CONVERSATION

Having lived in the trenches of family ministry for the past two decades, I’ve been blessed with the honor of having a front row seat to the private lives of parents and their children. This proximity and access have been at times both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

Every single day I sit with, listen to, and care for families in the middle of their coming-out stories, and far too many times I’ve watched loving, faithful, well-meaning moms and dads do and say things in those early moments that did more harm to their sons and daughters than they could ever imagine.

Parents, should the day come when your children share the news with you that they identify as LGBTQ, here are five surefire ways to blow it:

1) Make it all about you.

This is surely a parenting curve ball of epic proportions; an expectation-shattering, plan-altering, world-rocking bit of news. You likely feel disoriented by a thousand swirling thoughts and fears and questions, but ultimately this is about your child—not you. This is primarily their story. It is about the deepest contents of their hearts, and so whatever you are experiencing emotionally, it pales in comparison to what your child is going through. Before this is something happening to you, it is something happening in them. 

There will and should be time for you to be heard, cared for, and tended to, but now is not that time. Your child is in desperate and immediate need. Lay down your feelings for theirs.

2) Scream and Sermonize.

Volume will not alter anything your child has shared with you. Though it may feel good for you as some momentary catharsis, it will only magnify their anxiety and guilt, and serve to drive a deep wedge between the two of you. No amount of histrionics and chest beating will result in productive movement here. Trust me when I tell you that you cannot yell someone into heteronormativity if that is not their truth. Screaming and sermonizing are conversation stoppers and they prevent you from listening and learning, which are your most urgent tasks in these moments.

3) Pummel them with Scriptures.

Understand this, moms and dads: your child has been thinking about what they’ve shared with you long before this moment, and quite likely they already know well the very verses you’ll be tempted to respond with. More than that, they’ve probably studied them, wrestled with them, and prayed through them in ways you’ve never considered, and so these will not be received as welcome revelations of new insight, but rather as expected violence that they are used to sustaining from Christians.

Whether you intend it or not, the Bible will likely only feel like a weapon right now, and do more destruction than renovation—so wield it with great caution.

4) Tell them they are just “confused”.

In your knee-jerk response to the fear and panic of the moment, you may want to dismiss your child as going through some temporary phase or somehow misinterpreting what is happening internally. I’d imagine that when it comes to your own gender identity and sexual orientation, that at almost any age you would have deemed yourself to be the most qualified and reliable authority to speak on the subject. Give your children the same courtesy as they share about themselves, because as young as they might be they still know far more about this than you do. Don’t assume that you can accurately assess from a distance, what they are experiencing from within.

Resist the temptation to correct or debate them when they tell you what they are feeling. They are already risking a great deal simply by sharing it with you.

5) Discipline or distance them.

Please hear me, parents: Grounding your child, berating them, becoming silent, or worse yet, expelling them from your home and from relationship with you, are guaranteed ball-droppers that you will regret. Regardless of your theological perspective or your personal feelings on what your child is naming as their truth, punishing them either with violence or silence or distance will do irreparable damage and will become an emotional barrier that once erected, you will find nearly impossible to scale.

In matters such as these (as with all relational growth) nothing good happens with forced separation. The only way redemption comes is when you move together as a family; when you do not withhold love and affection and connection from those so needing it, even if you disagree.

Moms and Dads, make no mistake: if your children should come out to you, your words and your manner in those first moments and hours will impact and shape their lives beyond what you can comprehend. They will become the bedrock on which your future relationship with them rests, and if you get it wrong you will have fractured the trust they have placed in you. Doubling down in these areas, will squander the precious, fleeting, finite gift of time that you have been given with them; one you can never get back.

Because I care so deeply about you and your children, and because I’ve walked alongside thousands of people in these very same storms, I want to make sure your heart is prepared now, so that you choose wisely in the emotion of the moment. You don’t need to forfeit your feelings or your beliefs, but you do need to yield to your child. Remember this is their story, first.

Listen, breathe, and be very slow to speak unless, it is with clear, unmistakable expressions of your unconditional love for your children. In the early moments of this new beginning, that is all that is necessary. It’s OK to let them know what you don’t understand, but if they don’t walk away from that first conversation certain that you are truly for them and with them, anything else you say won’t matter.

Parents, your son or daughter has braved all manner of fear and shame to speak these courageous words to you, and they’ve entrusted you with the deepest parts of themselves because you matter that much to them. They are counting on you to love them well and to shelter them in the most vulnerable moment of their lives; to be the ones they can be safe with if nowhere else on the planet, and to reflect the character of Christ.

For God’s sake and for theirs—don’t blow it.

 

Note: Moms and Dads, it is one of my greatest passions to help families navigate these incredibly difficult seasons together. As a pastor who has devoted nearly two decades to students, I would be honored to help you as you process and share and plan. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I can serve your family in any way.

192 thoughts on “Christian Parents: If Your Child Comes Out to You, Here Are 5 Ways to Blow it

  1. I’m curious as to how you would advise a parent if their child comes to them saying they are having an affair, or their adult child confesses to sexually desiring children, or animals, or their sibling. I know some will scream in a knee-jerk reaction to my question. But, people wrestling with those desires are equally struggling, likely in emotional pain and equally as unhealthy in their desires.

    I’m not even suggesting your advice is wrong, but I would hold the line on supporting and encouraging unhealthy sexual behavior, while offering support in the struggle.

    One thing jumped out at me. Scripture does violence? Is scripture against adultery also violence? Is scripture against any sin at all violence against sinners?

    • Hi Karen, I’m gay and have a question for you to consider. If you are straight and in love, is it just sex? Because for gay people, when we are in love, sex plays a part in the intimate expression of that love, just like straights, my partner and I are a lot more than sex. Unlike pedophiles who harm children and people who try to force sex with animals (more harm), gay people are consenting adults. The sibling thing has been a straight problem since people were people, so in fact are pedophiles (straight) and beastiality (straight). Look up some numbers and you will find a startling difference between the numbers of straight perpetrators of those things, compared to gay perpetrators doing those things.

      • Most people do not know the true dark underbelly of the gay culture. Deviance, promiscuity, darkness. It is mental illness. So, it really is OK to say a child is confused. They are.

          • The truth is that there is good and bad people that do sick things sexually to unwilling victims. LGBTQ people are just as likely as Hetero people to want and have long lasting deeply emotionally satisfying relationships. To mention human /animal or adult/child sex in the same breath as same gendered, consenting, close in age partners is disgusting. There is nothing unhealthy in same gender sex that isn’t with hetero couples. Thank You pastor for making the point.

      • idojunkmail, there is a dark underbelly in straight culture and marriages that are deviant- promiscuous- darkness, so sexuality is not the dividing line on lust or sinfullness or mental illness, rather the failings of human nature is universal.

    • Karen the very fact that you wrote “ I know some of you will scream in a knee jerk reaction to my question” shows your intent. You and many like you are stuck in a posture of titillating this subject rather than taking LGBT people seriously or having respect for us. I have seen this question a thousand times. I see you as being stuck and you seem to be interested in prodding others with annoying insincere questions. It’s tiresome and old. Karen, there are real people around you who are hurting and suffering and need your compassion and understanding not because of their sinfulness but because human dignity. Not every LGBT person is going to agree with you and be accepted by you or live the way you want them to but every LGBT person is called by God.

      • My son too told us yesterday that he feels he is gay. The first thing we did was tell him we love him and that we are glad he had the courage to talk with us. However, we did not embrace his life choice, but told him we would always love him. After much discussion with him, only he can decide the life he wants to live.
        I have thought and thought on this matter for many year. Many kids have bullied my son for being outgoing, talented, and a true joy saying he was gay for years. He actually told us that he has heard it so much that he is now believing it. He has fooled around with girls, but said he hasn’t with men because he knows it is wrong in his heart. He is longing to know where he fits in this world. Our question is why do you have to label yourself? Why can’t you just be you and see what happens. 17 year olds do not think the same as 27 year olds.

        That being said, NO human is perfect and lives without facing temptation. We sin everyday, but the choice is still ours to make. Without a doubt, I believe my son is attracted more to men then women. But I also believe an addict is attracted to heroin, a murder to death, adulterer to their friends spouse, a gossiper to gossip, pediphile to children, an alcoholic to beer, etc… All of these are urges created in our brain. Why is homosexuality any different than any other sin? It too is a choice. It is like a person that fantasizes over children saying , well I can’t help it I was born this way and go ahead and take advantage of children. An abusive father saying I am angry so I will beat my child. The urges, the feelings in all things, are real to that person. Many of the above conditions are genetic, but that is not an excuse to continue them. To fight off any of these urges would not be easy! Support would definitely be needed! But there are people in this world that have gay desires and fight their urges and live their life with an opposite sex spouse. There are addicts that want so bad to get a fix, but chooses not to. There are fornicators that are so overtaken with passion that they are physically in pain, but they turn away.

        Will I continue to love my son? Absolutely! Will he still be welcomed into my home? Absolutely! Will I be for him if he is struggling? Absolutely! Will I participate in his gay relationships? Absolutely NOT! Christians are going to make mistakes! They are not always going to chose God first, but if we continue to love the person, and work on the sin, there is still time for repentance. I say all of the above to simply say, “society needs to quit making sin the normalcy! Fight the temptation, live for Christ!”

    • Hi Karen, It’s not the same thing. Sexual orientation is NOT comparable to what you are trying to compare it to. Sexual orientation is NOT sin. I 100% support my gay son, so does my husband and so do our other children, who just happen to be straight. I’m not sure how you can go about determining which people have an “unhealthy sexual behavior” just by their orientation.

      • Same sex attraction is not a sin. Homosexual practice is. See Romans 1. So, if your son is having sex with men, he is sinning. He is also at great risk of disease or death from his sin.

      • idojunkmail – by saying “if your son is having sex with men” shows an assumption, perhaps her son wants to get married and be faithful to one man. Where is the sin in that ? How is that unhealthy?

    • I believe the point that John is trying to make is that scripture at this point is not going to help. Wait. Be supportive. The last thing you want as a parent is to push your child away. Unfortunately, so many “Christians” today have used scripture to hurt and chastise others. There will come a time and a place, but in your child’s very sensitive moment is not that time. Just remember “love covers a multitude of sin.”

        • What I am tired of in you scripture quoting zealots is you ignore the reality of errors in translation and bias in the translators. There was no understanding of homosexuality as we know it in modern science. The practices condemned were involving pagan rituals, slaves and underage boys with men. Non-consenting people were involved in all but the first case.

          Romans 14-
          Cultivating Good Relationships
          14 Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

      • it also is written in Ephesians 4 that we should not lie to one another but it is important that when we tell the truth to any person our attitude have to be right then they will hear what we have to say

      • idojunkmail, Jesus said believe in me and he who sent me. Wrong and harmful advice is to cause someone to lose their faith in Jesus. One way to do that is to say they are not a true Christian.

    • Scripture can, has been, and will be used as violence against people groups. (Point of order we are all sinners).
      Scripture has been used as violence against women plenty. When women were killed as witches. When women are told with scripture to stay in abrusive relationships. There’s plenty of church history using scripture as an excuse to do violence to hethans and Jews.
      And using scripture to punish, ostracize, and dehumanize gays is violence. Equating gays to pedophiles and those who practice sex with animals or rapists is slander and invites violence against them.

    • Quit comparing us to paedophiles which HURT CHILDREN AND FORCE THEM INTO SEXUAL SITUATIONS. We’re not animal fecker either for the same reasons mentioned above.

      Get off your high horse and at least learn the difference between consenting adults in a relationship and rape of children and animals. Why do you degrade yourself with that kind of thinking?

    • So, Karen, do you ever plan to come back and take part in this discussion? Because I feel that your silence on the matter since making what you knew would be a very controversial post shows exactly what your true intent was – and apparently, it wasn’t to have a discussion or to learn anything.

      • I haven’t had a lot of free time in the last few days. But, after reading a lot of the posts, I realize that there is not much point in my continuing to take part in the discussion. I’m not going to deny God or scripture, no matter how unpopular that may make me. In decades of considering the issue of homosexuality etc, and being in relationship with Christ, I can only come to one conclusion. It’s not only a few scriptures that convince me, but the entirety the His biblical message that does. I also realize that those that are clinging to the wish and idea that the practice of homosexuality, adultery etc are not sin are doing so out of choice. I can’t say anything that could convince otherwise. I’ll leave it to the Holy Spirit and leave this discussion.

    • Sadly, this writer is rabidly pro-gay. He denies the Scriptural prohibition. He never quotes the Bible. He is doing great damage to same sex strugglers. He thinks sin is “no big deal.” He will be held accountable for his apostasy.

      • idojunkmail, pro-gay is a good thing, scriptural prohibitions can be evaluated based on interpretation, context, experience, compassion. Bible quoting is not always necessary. To say we struggle means we are still chained by sin, Jesus broke every chain and set us free- we are free indeed to know God’s love. Sin is not the primary objective any more. We are now focused away from the law which leads to death and given a new focus upon the Gospel of Grace and the law of love. May God’s mercy triumph over judgement !

        • Not all or even a majority of gay people are struggling with our sexuality. If or when we come out to family and friends we have long ago settled within ourselves the issues we had. What we struggle with is the fear and worry of rejection. Your preaching to and condemnation of our true inner self is our fear not our self-acceptance.

      • And you judge as if you are the Creator of Galaxies. You are human and you are fallible like all people.

        See, people like you make me glad to be an Asatruar / Heathen. I could care less about people’s private life, religion, race, etc. What I care about is ethics, honour, virtue. I dont get an ego lift from bashing others. And I dont bash things I dont bloody understand.

        Stay in your lane, human. Leave the judging to the god(s).

    • It’s absolutely ABHORRENT that you suggest that homosexuality is in the same ballpark as pedophillia, bestiality or incest. It is not unhealthy sexual behaviour but you would know this if you read wider than just the bible. It’s a man written text no matter how you want to spin it! Christians are the biggest hypocrites.

  2. Ridiculously grateful for this post. Our son came out to us a year ago and the first words from me and my husband were, “WE LOVE YOU!” Tears exploded and the relief was palpable. We have zero regrets. Every single day we are expanding our horizons, choosing to think before we speak and love beyond what we thought capable. Our son is an amazing human. Always has been, always will be.

    • I am thankful that John has made a stand for what he understands to be the truth. God doesn’t create mistakes. I know– that I know– that my beautiful son was born gay! I knew he was gay when he was 3 years old. Yet tried to deny it because we were Bible-believing Christians once upon a time. We homeschooled our kids, taught Sunday school, were very involved in the church for decades. Our son had to sit through sermon after sermon that berated his homosexuality for years, hearing the pastor tell the congregation that LGBTQ was bound to an eternity of hell. When our son came out to us he was 16 (he’s now 23). I cannot even imagine what that must have been like for him, can you?
      There were a lot of tears and a lot of hugs and a lot of love. My mind was going crazy with thoughts of how he was going to handle what was going to happen with the church. How would he be accepted by all the people in the church? And then my heart kicked in and I told him, “We LOVE YOU and we accept you just the way you are! The church, well……that was a different story. He was not well received in the church. We left the church!

      He used to write the most beautiful poetry about God from an early age. He loved God whole-heartedly until he/we were ostracized by the church for his “so-called” deviant lifestyle. I knew he was gay at a very early age but my religion said he was doomed to hell, so I tried to deny it because I knew the trouble it was going to cause him. Unfortunately he no longer loves God, because of the way he was treated by the people who called themselves Christians. My hope is that he realizes it is NOT God that is ostracizing him, it is the people that claim they have the right to say he is sinful.

      We were very religious, so I can relate to what Karen said because I used to be just like that until I got real with myself and God and my son.

      Thankfully I did my research knowing my son was born gay. Why would God create my son to be gay if it was a sin? You have to ask yourself, “Why would my son or any other LGBTQ “CHOOSE” to be gay in a world that wants to rip them a new one with hatefilled speech and scripture?” My loving son was raised in the church in a conservative environment and was homeschooled all the way through high school. Church and the scriptures were really all he knew. Why would he choose a so-called deviant lifestyle when he KNEW he would be bullied and ostracized from the only Christian community he knew? That is ludicrous to even consider the idea that he “CHOSE” to be gay. I mean– really!? That is like saying all people with brown eyes are living in sin. I have brown eyes. I didn’t choose to have brown eyes– I was born with brown eyes. Having brown eyes is not a sin. Is it?

      The new thing I hear from the religious communities that I find disturbing is what idojunkmail stated “that same-sex attraction is not a sin, it’s homosexuality that is. Love someone but don’t act on it”. Really?
      I believe this is the new phrase coming from the Christian communities because NO ONE can answer the question of “Why would anyone choose to be LGBTQ?” It baffles me what is being said from the pulpit. We know you were born gay and that’s okay, just don’t have any relationships. Are you kidding me? We know what that caused in the Catholic communities–thousands of Catholic priests that claimed to be celibates for God, yet preyed on young children, literally ruining so many young lives. Now that is SIN!

      It is time to get real!! One day everyone will have an LGBTQ in their families and to me that is a beautiful thing! My son and his friends are some of the most beautiful people in the world. IT IS TIME FOR THE LGBTQ COMMUNITIES TO RECEIVE LOVE, RESPECT, AND COMPASSION FOR ALL.
      It is such a low blow when anyone tries to say, oh you must think it’s okay for pedaphiles and those who partake in beastiality, as if those are equated to being gay. Now that is down right evil! Think before you speak (write).

      • Thank you! Loved what you had to say and have been there myself in regard to gay and church. I hesitate to call myself Christian these days, but love God. Really pray your son finds God again.

      • Inspired mom of 5 Thank you for sharing this! I kept God at arms length for many years because I heard the message I couldn’t be a Christian if I was gay. I truly believed there was a God but the way I knew God wasn’t the same way ‘the church’ described Him. So I figured I was wrong and they were right because I respected church leaders. Your son is not alone. I have met many LGBT people over the years who left church and lost faith because of the wrong message being preached from the pulpit. It makes me angry sometimes because there was so much time wasted agonizing over this. I know your son will be okay, God can handle this. One thing I know from my experience is Jesus never gave up on me, so He doesn’t give up on us, and He won’t give up on your son. Your passion and love for your son is beautiful.

      • Thank you so much for your testimony! I and my son went through similar circumstances. He is trans and gay. I left the Catholic Church two years ago because my son and his LGBT friends taught me what following Jesus was really all about. I am disabled and was very ill. During that time, my son and the LGBT community, and one brother, stood by me and were loving and caring for me when many of my own ‘Christian’ family deserted me, including my other child. I used my recovery time to investigate both LGBT issues and science and my faith. It has been a long row to hoe for both my son and myself but, together, with, our many angels, we are learning a much happier and more loving way of life.

      • Which is why I dont believe in the concept of ‘sin’ and especially ‘original sin’. It is a fear tactic and a way to divide and condemn people. You dont need a book to tell you right from wrong. We all know killing, stealing, raping, arson, treason is wrong. The gods made people with free will and they didn’t create junk. People choose good and order or evil and chaos.

        Being gay isn’t evil or chaotic.

      • I have a gay son. It took me a long time to realize it’s his life. I’m a Christian and believe in the Word of God. I love my son but how he chooses to live is between him and God and it’s my job to pray for him. I won’t blame the truth of God’s Word. In the end we will all find out one day. Every knee will bow and every word He spoke in the bible is truth.

  3. I actually agree with 4.5/5 of these issues.

    Here’s the one I disagree with “I’d imagine that when it comes to your own gender identity and sexual orientation, that at almost any age you would have deemed yourself to be the most qualified and reliable authority to speak on the subject.”

    Actually, no. I may have thought that, but events soon proved to me that everything I thought about my own gender identity and sexual orientation was not only wrong, but actually hurting my chances at being happy. I had to make a choice, and after deep analysis of the history of the world, heteronormative monogamy is so clearly the superior choice that there is no other reasonable choice.

    But it took me until I was 28 to discover that. It took another six years past that to understand why heterosexual monogamy has this position in the world. I have tried with my child to instill this truth early- but I expect he will make mistakes in this arena, and I will be far more understanding of those mistakes than my parents were. Some lessons, you can only learn by being hurt and attacked.

    A man who is not liberal when he is young has no heart. A man who is not conservative when he is old, has no brains.

    • From what you posted, it sounds like you believed you were gay. Which explains a lot. You probably are. Few are as hatefully or vocally anti-gay as those who are repressing their own homosexuality. There is a great deal of anger when others don’t follow your lead and repress who they are. Sorry you feel the need to force yourself into something you were never meant to be. But to judge others who see their sexuality as a gift from God, something to be accepted, embraced, and used wisely, based on your own self-loathing, is hardly an honest or fair position. Perhaps you should take a fair and honest look at some LGBT Christians. You might be surprised at what you could learn from them.

      • I would suspect Mr. Seeber was told, probably repeatedly, that his sexuality was “hurting his chances to be happy.” My parents, fortunately, reacted as if they’d read this post and did most everything right. They told me they wanted me to be happy, NOT how to do it. When I met my Beloved, they embraced her, because she made me happy. They’ve been gone for 20 years now, but she and I are still together, still in love and as happy as when I first introduced her to them. I’m sorry he did not have that same kind of experience.

      • The fact is God does not create people gay. Same sex attraction is a result of the fall and an aberration of God’s intent. But, the sin is to act on the broken image. That means you are building your whole life and identity on sin.. Several here have said “Oh, you don’t need to bring in the Scripture. Well, if you don’t’ you are not a CHRIST follower.

        • The fact is you know feck all about being gay. I didn’t choose my orientation and god(s) made me this way. Did you choose to be heterosexual? Well, did you? I get tired of people who know NOTHING about our lives speaking as if they are the authority on orientation and other peoples lives. I dont believe in any ‘sin nature’ and I dont harm anyone by being who I am. If you have a problem with that, then tough.

          At least try to understand what you hate. Enough of this nonsense!

        • It is very frustrating to dialogue with people like you who know it all but actually know nothing at all and all they can do is misquote Scripture which they think they understand and become a spokesman/woman for God. Wow! Pretty high and mighty of you. You putting yourself on the same footing as Gabriel. Mind you don’t singe your wings.

        • Spoken from a place of ignorance. Unless I am sorely mistaken, God does not consult with you concerning how He creates anyone. Gay people are who they are. It’s how they are born. Should we second guess how we are created, and ignore it or try to live a lie just to make you less uncomfortable? God knows what He is doing, even if you obviously don’t. Rom. 9:20 God would not allow countless of millions of people to be born gay, and then tell them they either have to remain celibate, or enter into a marriage with someone to whom they have zero attraction, a sham marriage.
          I’m sure you think you know what God said about homosexuality. I’m here to tell you that you are wrong, that what you are espousing isn’t God’s word, but the deliberate mistranslation of it that began about 400 years ago and which continues to this day. Nothing in the original languages of scripture condemns homosexuality. http://hoperemains.webs.com

      • Rev~

        What a key statement you made. It is time for all of us to take a fair and honest look at the LGBT community, religious or not, and treat them the way we all want to be treated. Isn’t that what Jesus said? Take the plank out of your own eye and stop judging others. I know I am paraphrasing, it has been quite a long time since I’ve read or studied the bible, but I do remember it said, “Judge not lest thee be judged!”

        Why are people so hateful, especially the religious communities, that love to persecute others? I remember a few years ago the megachurch pastor Ted Haggard, that was caught in a Jekyll and Hyde situation. He would preach his hate-filled, judgmental, and arrogant message about how sinful homosexuality is on Sunday mornings and then was found guilty of paying for a male prostitute on Mondays. I cannot fathom how painful that must have been for him. He stated that he suffered from being gay for most of his life. Running from it by getting married and building one of the largest churches in America at the time. How incredibly sad is that? How painful that must have been for his wife and children! He was living a lie!

        My heart goes out to those that feel they must be something they’re not while hiding who they really are! What a horrible, tortuous place to be, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, physically, etc…

        What I KNOW to be true is that God is LOVE. It is time to start loving and stop hating people who are different than them.

        Peace and Love to all those who live a genuine authentic life….Be who you came here to be!

        • It’s not about hating, or being judgmental of people. Of course, there are people that struggle with the sin of hate and hypocrisy. But, many Christians, myself included, are speaking out of love and a sense of responsibility to telling the truth. An atheist once pointed out that it is actually hateful to not speak out about truth, and remain silent because someone might be offended. I’m relating the gist of what he said, not quoting.
          I don’t hate, because of my relationship with Christ. But, I have to be willing to be hated, because I can’t pretend sin isn’t sin. Judgement is actually not a sin. We judge properly all the time. All of us do. We rightly judge some actions to be sinful. And I know you would agree with that. The question is what is and isn’t a sin. I have to stand by what scripture says and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

          • The big problem with this judgement of sin is that you become so sin conscious that you can’t see anything else. I don’t find that loving at all. If you really were concerned you would be loving first and helping instead of pointing fingers. Judge your own sin rather than trying to sort out the sin of others. If you did that, you wouldn’t have time to be pointing out the sin of others.

          • Romans 14 The Message (MSG)

            Cultivating Good Relationships

            14 Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

            2-4 For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ’s table, wouldn’t it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn’t eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God’s welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.

            5 Or, say, one person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience.

            6-9 What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.

            10-12 So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture:

            “As I live and breathe,” God says,
            “every knee will bow before me;
            Every tongue will tell the honest truth
            that I and only I am God.”
            So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.

            13-14 Forget about deciding what’s right for each other. Here’s what you need to be concerned about: that you don’t get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. I’m convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.

            15-16 If you confuse others by making a big issue over what they eat or don’t eat, you’re no longer a companion with them in love, are you? These, remember, are persons for whom Christ died. Would you risk sending them to hell over an item in their diet? Don’t you dare let a piece of God-blessed food become an occasion of soul-poisoning!

            17-18 God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.

            19-21 So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault. You’re certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God’s work among you, are you? I said it before and I’ll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling. When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don’t eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.

            22-23 Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you’re not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you’re out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.

      • “We judge properly all the time. All of us do. We rightly judge some actions to be sinful. And I know you would agree with that.”

        I don’t know about inspiredmom, but I don’t agree with you at all, and I don’t think Jesus would, either.

        He said all judgement had been given to HIM. Not US, Him. The only other one who judges (and NOT “rightly”, since it’s ONLY Jesus who has the authority) is Satan. He is the accuser of humanity who points out our sins to us to make us feel unworthy and unloved by God, to cause us to hide our face from Him JUST as Adam and Eve did in the garden. GOD has never HAD a problem with sin, WE do. God came to Adam when He was in sin, and Jesus came to humanity in their sin and DWELT with it, and He’s God. WE are the ones that need to be healed from sin, and that doesn’t happen by pointing it out to people. As to what is sin and what’s not, that is what the law ATTEMPTED to do and failed. Because the ONLY law, as Jesus said repeatedly, was to be LOVE, not which specific acts are “wrong” or “right”. It is in the judging of “good and “evil” that mankind continues to partake of the tree that Adam and Eve first ate. We need to STOP dwelling on sin, both in ourselves and others, and start dwelling on Christ “in us” the hope of glory. When we do that, we AUTOMATICALLY sin less because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.

        So stop worrying about what is sin and what isn’t, in yourself, and ESPECIALLY in others. Let Jesus be the judge (if He even chooses to). Just love people like He did and if God needs them to change, He will deal with them with His Spirit in their hearts, not through our finger pointing and shaming.

        • So if I were to say that the act of murder, or of rape is an act of sin, I’m inaccurate? Yes, it’s true that that the law failed to make us good and that is because we are sinful. We cannot come to God due to our sin. That is why we need Jesus.To deny sin is to dismiss Christ’s death and resurrection as meaningless. I can’t do that. He gave His all because of my sin. Sin is real and it separates us from God, if we don’t have Christ. Sin is by no means irrelevant.

      • You can’t teach people to be heterosexual, any more than you can teach them to be homosexual. They are what they are. And we can either learn to value all people, accepting them as they are, or we can do what we did for centuries: demonize the minority.

      • Exactly Rev. Carey , I grew up in a time when I didn’t know anything about gays or lesbians from the culture around me until I was in high school and what I heard were slurs and what I saw was bullying so any teaching in schools which is positive towards LGBT persons is a good thing For LGBT children.

      • I can assure you, having been raised by straight parents, taught in (at least on the surface) all-straight schools (this was small town midwest in the ’60s after all), attending all-straight church and watching all-straight television and movies and still being gay, that you can teach hetero-normative monogamy until plumaged pigs soar on the breeze above the herds of homecoming cattle and gay people will still be gay. Teaching kids to treat ALL people with respect doesn’t teach them to be gay, it teaches them not to be bullies. As for the monogamy part, it appears that most of the biggest anti-gay haters have a trail of ex-spouses and extramarital affairs in their wake (I’m looking at you Gingrich, Limbaugh, Trump). Me? Why, yes, I can talk. I’ve been faithfully with the same, faithful-to-me woman for 29 years, and will be for the rest of my life.

      • This is for KarenJewel.

        Rape and murder are crimes. Those who do these things should be punished. There is no sin. Sin is an arbitrary human invention. There is NOTHING, repeat NOTHING which can separate you from god(S). God is energy which is everywhere. Including within you. I deny sin because it is creation of man to control others. God(s) are powerful enough to create our Sun can make people without sin and instead give us a brain to us and free will. People choose good and order or evil and chaos. There are consequence to either choice.

        It really annoys me when people project their weakness upon the Eternal.

  4. Perhaps one thing a parent could do RIGHT is to ask the child how they feel about the same sex attraction they are experiencing: do they struggle with it and want to “make it go away” or are they embracing it or are they feeling some other way about it? Asking them what THEY feel about what they are sharing with the parents and what they would like from their parents on this topic might be the most appropriate conversation step for parents to respond with.

    • Not really! Most would say categorically that they don’t want it. Unfortunately that does not make it go away but makes the struggle harder, deeper, more painful. Help is needed in accepting it and moving forward.

      • My brother nearly killed himself trying not to be gay before he finally accepted himself as he was; as God made him. I wish he had come to the family before he tried to “fix” it on his own.

        • Yes, Kitty. I’ve been there too and done that. But glad your brother didn’t succeed in ending it, any more than I did. The terrible tragedy is that many do succeed in prematurely ending their lives because they can see no other way out.

      • I have to wonder if the reason “most would say categorically that they don’t want it” is because most of what they see around them about it is negative, if they saw more love and grace than hatred and fear maybe they would be more accepting of themselves?

  5. We’ve ALREADY told our children what we would say/do if they were to come out to us (ages 12-19), so there is no wonder, fear or surprise involved. We love them unconditionally, and will support them no matter what they feel they are or do. We will always be their biggest cheerleader, just as God is ours.

  6. John, you are so accurate and correct. Please do not allow the bigots and homo-phoebes cause you even a single ripple in your belief and understanding around this subject.
    This needs to be taught to every parent until they get it.
    Bible thumpers – pay attention, you don’t know what you think you know!!

    • when my children were born they had male parts which told me they are male and who was responsible for their gender? this bible thumper read the bible and understood what it say about this type of BEHAVIOR! it is Lust and sin on the inside of us because people don’t want to serve the Lord whole heartily its against his principles y’all

      • When my child was born, she appeared to be, and was raised totally female. She fought it every step of the way. She knew from almost toddlerhood that she was a boy but, being very devout Catholics we just thought she was a tomboy and didn’t try to understand. In her late teens she ended up needing a complete hysterectomy due to ovarian cysts and endometrial cancer. They also found a very deformed uterus, a testicle, and other vestiges of both types of sexual organs. My child, whom I had thought was ‘female’ was actually a ‘chimera’, a blending of two twins in utero, one male and one female. Later, an ophthalmologist actually found cells from the absorbed twin in my child’s eye! My child once more declared that ‘she’ was a ‘he’…had ALWAYS been a ‘he’ from birth…that his brain was male. He went through intensive psychological counseling and is now a trans man. He is happy, loved, and in a long term relationship.

        So, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy”. Besides chimeras, there are other intersex conditions, including chromosomal and other differences between people (and within thousands of species in the animal kingdom), many that will not even be understood for decades yet to come. Who is anyone to say that we totally understand the vast phenomena of human sexuality? And we certainly don’t understand God in his/her/its infinite Being. Even Christians, with their over 46,000 varieties of Christianity, certainly can’t claim they all agree on what the Bible means, Who God Is, let alone, the thousands of other religions and spiritualities in this world.

        I’m not arrogant enough to think that I have all the answers or that one particular religious body has all the answers and that I’m in it by some good fortune. I’m not smug enough to believe that God would place me in the absolutely correct church but not billions of other people. My mother always said that, when you find the ‘perfect’ church, the minute you step over the threshold, it will cease to be perfect. So, I’ve learned to be content with allowing others to walk their own mysterious paths to God without my sloppy interference. May you find peace walking your own path and let others do likewise.

      • Your father determines your physical gender. Being LGBT is NOT a behaviour. I was bisexual long before I stated dating. As a virgin, I was still bisexual. I dont believe in sin and sexual desire isn’t wrong until you use it as an excuse to hurt someone / disrespect yourself.

        Who are you to determine what the Creator of Galaxies want?

        • if we break the law we’ll go to jail. we have to obey the laws that are in this world and OUR creator has laws too and he allowed us to have a book to go by and he used people before we were born to write this book as he spoke his laws to them. ever watched the movie the ten commandments? read about it in the first book in the bible Genesis. it might interest you

          • Why are you stuck in the Old Testament? It’s been replaced by a New Testament in which the law has been fulfilled to the last degree by Jesus so that we no longer have to live by laws, but rather live by love. How about reading the book of Galatians. I think that might help here.

  7. I would add just one more thing. Don’t offer to help fix them. This can be meant lovingly, but kids don’t want to be fixed. Kids want to be loved just as they are.

  8. Thank you! I think my mother did ALL of those things when I came out 33 years ago!. She rejected me because, after all, “What would people think?!” We never reconciled, even though I tried many times. She passed away from Alzheimer’s about 5 years ago. Parents, PLEASE heed the Reverend’s post and know that those first few minutes and hours after they tell you are critical in establishing how your relationship is going to be for the rest of your lives! Good luck all!

  9. This is the message of PFLAG for over 40 years: Regardless of your faith tradition, we all love our children, our siblings, our friends.. Joyfully make the world better for them, and in so doing, for all of us.

    Winston Churchill, the author of the “A liberal at 20” quote, also said: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.

    At 20, we have energy but little agency; anger, but little wisdom; indignance, but little compassion. As we age, we can go two ways as we come into the fullness of ourselves and an understanding of the ways of the world. We can close ourselves off, or we can rejoice in the wonderful complexity of creation, gratefully act on the evergreen possibility of creating a better world through our efforts, and celebrate the God that is in all of us.

    It seems to me to not choose the latter path is to die before one’s appointed hour.

    • Mosswings, that was so eloquently said. It truly made me feel…I mean really feel the words that rolled off of your post. If only we can all attain such words of wisdom and grace and live a life that is worthy of living. Thank you so much for making me truly feel what this life is all about. “we can rejoice in the wonderful complexity of creation, gratefully act on the evergreen possibility of creating a better world through our efforts, and celebrate the God that is in all of us!” Simply beautiful!

  10. Another exceptionally wise posting! Thank you John for bringing your empathetic and loving voice to these conversations. There is so much conjecture and confabulation surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity. As a counselor, I see the damage that can be done by the most well-intended parents. The problem is … in those moments … those tender tentative moments, children may sense that their parents hold more loyalty to religious dogma than to their child’s need for acceptance and love … regardless of their ‘differences’.

  11. John.. I see that Enneagram Philosophy has its roots in mystic Gurdjieff, occult buddhism, & sufism. We would love to hear from you about your experiences or recommendations about these ancient spiritual practices.

  12. Thank you for writing this fine, and needed, article. On a very related note, about 50% of homeless youth and teens – are LGBTQand/orI – frequently because their families reject them.

    Roger Wolsey, author, “Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity”

    • looks like to live this kind of same sex life is a choice between two people just like when two straight people want to get married. we are to multiply the earth and how can two women or two men have a baby naturally? I’m sorry but there was no mistake in creation it was Adam and EVE

      • So, if a heterosexual couple has no children, are they sinning/sinners?

        And, in my pathway, it’s Ask and Embla. Get it in your head: NOT EVERYONE IS OF YOUR RELIGION NOR SEES GOD(S) THE WAY YOU DO!

      • Yeah, um, I think we’ve pretty well fulfilled any ‘be fruitful and multiply’ command about a zillion times over by now. The planet will one day have more people than we can support and we have already driven many animals to the brink (and over) of extinction due to our theft of their habitats. Bible Thumpers often treat the environment as if human beings were the only important beings on the planet.When there are 12 square feet of space that aren’t stacked thirty deep with humans, will that be enough ‘multiplying’ for you? Not everyone is destined to multiply. Thank God because that makes up for the Duggars’ irresponsibility.

        • the deciples saw a man one day blind from birth and they asked the master did his parents sin for him to be blind he told them no it is for God to be glorified. we don’t understand why SOME things happen and all of it is not for us to understand and i,myself listen to what the Holy word say and learn from that how to live and serve the Lord.we all need a guide we ought not say I’m this or I’m that what does the heavenly Father say? has anyone who is confused and really don’t know asked him? in God we can find and have our rightful place in him and i will beleive this until he call me home that when you seek him you will find him HE said we can’t serve him and sin too know that he want us to be his sons and daughters but not like that. there is a difference between a child of God and a son or daughter of God. do my will and obey MY word, thats what Jesus Said. Blessings to you

          • Not to criticize but, your writing style is very difficult to process, much like James Joyce. But let’s just agree to disagree, whatever we’re talking about. Peace

      • What am I, chopped liver? God created us ALL! Again in the beginning, people were meant to reproduce. Not every heterosexual can or will do so. Quit trying to diminish the humanity and god image of LGBT!

  13. I made a comment to my then 12 year old son one day about when he finds a nice woman & settles down, then realized my vision might not be his reality. I amended the statement to include man. He looke at me & said “Mom, I’m not gay.” And I said “just making sure you know that wouldn’t bother me or Dad.” It wouldn’t.

    • Haha, that made me chuckle Dana. My daughter announced to me, probably around the same age, when she had her first crush, “Mom you will be happy to know your gayness did not rub off on me, I like boys”

  14. John – this is wonderful! I wish I’d done a better job with it, but luckily my loving, forgiving, daughter has been patient with me and we’re now in a wonderful place! ALL parents should read this – unfortunately, many will think “that would never happen in my family” – oh, how wrong they are!!

  15. Hi Jon,

    I am a Presbyterian minister serving a church in Delaware. I have been ordained for nearly 29 years, and I’m writing a book about the Dones, the many, many people who have left the church. Could we find a time to chat? I would like to hear your thoughts and impressions.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Take care,

    Patrick Vaughn http://www.theunlikelypreacher.com

    >

  16. I actually thanked God when my son revealed to me that he was gay. I’d known it since he was a preschooler, but he’d spent literally years trying to be heterosexual. Even to the point of getting engaged to a girl! I was so relieved when that relationship ended and he started hanging out with some LGBTQ youths at his job, who encouraged him to come out. Now he’s married to a wonderful man and is truly happy. Love wins indeed!

  17. This is probably another topic altogether. My folks had a better than average response when I came out 35 yrs ago. They stressed the love they had for me and just wanted me to be happy. It certainly wasn’t their vision for me. But my orientaion never lessened their love and care for me. And now some years later, and with much hindsight, it might have done well for them to remind me to put Christ in the midst of my relationships just as they had with theirs; I did not. I learned hard lessons. So… If I ever had the opportunity, I’d do as my folks but gently remind my child that no matter, the seemingly required label today’s world demands… do all and be all to the glory of Him who created you.

  18. Thanks for this, John. I wish so many more Christian parents understood the trauma we LGBT kids go through when we come out, especially to them. We spend years agonizing over how and what to tell them, fighting with our own natures and begging God to heal us (which never happens because we’re not broken to begin with), until the strain gets too strong and it’s either come out or kill ourselves. Far too many kids opt for the latter…even one kid is too many. Then, when we do finally open up, our character, choices, and understanding of the world is attacked. We’re reminded (repeatedly) that we’re going to hell, and then dictated to about how we must repent and change our “lifestyle.” There is no consideration that maybe we’ve already tried that. And there is no understanding of just how deeply we’re hurting. When I came out my parents they told me I had “killed their joy.” They blamed my friends, my hobbies…anything they could think of for why I would make such flawed “choices.” I was accused of being with my wife only because she wanted me to care for her in her “dying years” (gays only live to be 40 after all). Little did they know it was those same accepting, loving, and supportive friends who had kept me going for so long. And it was my wife who encouraged me to be honest with my parents. They thought they were doing the right thing by castigating, lecturing, and preaching sermons at me. All they did was drive me away and wound me even more deeply. In the years since my mom has become much more receptive, but my father and I no longer speak. Living abroad and not being allowed to stay at my parents’ home when we visit (would “destroy its sanctity”), means I only see my parents for a couple of days every 2-3 years. I hate the distance, but I have to keep it for my mental and spiritual health. I wish they’d not checked every box you listed above, but wishes don’t change anything. Hopefully, your words encourage other parents not to react the same.

  19. Here is what really goes through the minds of parents who freak out when their children come out:

    1) Damn it!!! Straighten up. I have wanted cute little grandchildren my whole life, and your womb is not going to deny me now with this sorry excuse.

    2) What will the people at church think when they find out? They will burn our whole family at the stake and mix our ashes with asphalt to pave the parking lot.

    3) We have failed as parents. God will burn Ethel and me in Hell for all eternity for letting this happen. It was our job to stop it. Where…oh…where did we go wrong!!!!

    4) Damn it son!!! You are not going to back out on me now. I had planned to be a pitcher in MLB, but it did not work out. I was depending on you to fulfill that dream for me by becoming that pitcher—to succeed for me where I failed. Now you are telling me you have a limp wrist. How are you ever going to be the best MLB pitcher in American history with a limp wrist? You have really let me down son!!! B-wah-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h!!!!!!!

    5) I work construction—real man’s work. When the guys at work find out you are a fag, they will never let me live it down. It will be 10 straight hours of ribbing on the construction site every day of my work life for the next 40 years? How could you do this to me son???!!!

    6) You’ll bring AIDS home to Leo and me!!!!! You just killed your own parents!!!!!!!!!

    7) Our whole family was going to get together in Heaven. Now you will not be there!!!! How could you betray our family unity and forever togetherness like this? What will I say when God says: “Sorry Mabel—but I gotta burn your little bundle of sticks to a crisp.”

    8) Son. I’m your dad. The son is supposed to be like the father because he is a chip off the old block. Now, people are going to wonder whether I’m a fruitcake too? How will I ever live this down? I may need to put a sock in my underwear from now on. Do you know how much socks cost these days!!!!???? I’m not made out of money you know.

    9) Oh my God!!! Oh my God!!! I was looking forward to your church wedding—and now its going to be bride and bride. The church will never let us do it. Dad will have to buy two expensive dresses rather than just one. And how are we going to pacify hateful old Aunt Mildred when she finds out it’s a gay wedding. Do you see what you are going to put us through!!!! It will be like hell on Earth for this family!!!

    Notice that it is never about the gay person. To the parents, It is about what you would expect from a couple of American generations that were raised on the mantra:

    “I am young, and it is ALL ABOUT ME.”

    I rest my case.

    • Dover1952,
      I hope you’re trying to be funny, but I think these responses show quite clearly that some LGBT supporters such as yourself are just as judgmental self-righteous and self-centered on this subject as those of us who are on the fence, or on the other side of the fence. To say that you ‘know’ what goes through the mind of anyone, and then list a bunch of stereotypes is not helpful, but it is hurtful and shows that perhaps your love and respect for people who don’t think exactly like you is really lacking. The only ‘case’ you’ve rested is that meanness comes in all orientations.

      • Yeah, Kristy, think many parents worry about thier child’s welfare first and foremost that would include the false things they are taught at churches about LGBT people such as whether or not God will accept them into heaven and that being gay is a lifestyle choice and it’s unhealthy. So parents need to be reassured then that thier kids are okay and that God loves them. I think that change should begin with pastors and ministers who claim authority over people’s lives.

      • Truth hitting a little too close to home today? You know what Harry Truman said: “I speak the truth—and to them it just sounds like Hell.”

        No one was trying to be mean in that post. Those and probably 200 other scenarios that could be listed, I think, pretty much capture the full range of why fundie Christian parents go berserk when one of their children comes out of the closet. I do think sincerely that a great deal of parental self-centeredness (ME FIRST) is involved in what is almost always a “reaction,” not a response mind you, but a “reaction” to having an LGBTQ child.

        I would also add that I am not an LGBTQ supporter in the sense that your brain cells might imagine. Rather, I am a mainline Christian who is interested in protecting LGBTQ people and other kinds of people who are being oppressed, hurt, and stomped on by people like you. One other thing.

        While I know that the Family Research Council and other such organizations are dreaming up all kinds of ways to hurt and take away the civil rights of LGBTQ people as punishment for the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Jesus, I, and millions of other Americans are going to be standing in the gaps against you to unravel everything you try and to stop you so that—how shall we say this scripturally—everything you do returns back to you—EMPTY.

        Here is an old poem by Shelley that pretty much captures your spiritual pride and what is going to happen to it on this issue and many others:

        I met a traveller from an antique land,
        Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
        Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
        Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
        And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
        Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
        Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
        The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
        And on the pedestal, these words appear:
        My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
        Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
        Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
        Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
        The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

        You can visit my blog at:

        https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

        • Hey Dove the thing is, I can relate. I was the ‘in the closet’ self hating internalizing my homophobia / a Christian fundamentalist/ lesbian/now born again Christian/ yet realizing where I was and where I am presently. It took a lot of coaxing from the Holy Spirit to get me to where I am today. I am almost there, almost accepting myself, ‘almost’ and yes pretty confident but sensitive/aware of those who are still hanging on to the conservative/evangelical/fundamentalist tradition. How will they trust? and move forward with the Holy Spirit if we keep hitting them on the head from the other side??

          • Dear Kathy. The important point you miss is that it is nearly impossible to change the mind of most fundies on any issue. I think Jesus said it best of the Pharisees that if they and their descendants would not heed Moses, a man rising from the dead would not change them either. I am not hitting them on the head to change them—although I hold some hope that a precious few might change and flee. Rather, I am using them as object lessons to warn fence sitters and those who have not committed to becoming fundies in hopes that they will walk away and not become fundies, a mistake that will render their lives miserable. The leave-the- fundies-alone-and-pretend-they-do-not-exist tactic in the mainline Christian churches is precisely what gave them the success they have had since 1970. If I did not exist, the fundies would have to create me so they can claim they are being persecuted for their one true faith in Jesus. The time for people like me to be quiet failed and is over. The time for mainline Christians to be militant right back in the faces of the fundies is now. It is easy for fundies to hate people and trample on their rights (translated “win”) if no one is opposing the. It is quite another matter to win when an opponent is well-armed, in your face, and putting up substantial resistance the public can plainly see.

            • you don’t know that for sure you will not be successful lacing limits on God’s grace- that is the point, – and you have no idea how hard headed I was- yet Jesus reached me.

            • Sorry for giving you a hard time. I guess you have gone through a lot yourself and I know it can be hard to be civil in the face of injustice and stonewalling. I believe you have a good heart 🙂

    • Hilarious! Please give me permission to repost with credit to you! My gay trans son will love it!!! Thank God it has not been his personal experience but, he certainly will get everything you have said and have a great laugh!

  20. If that person that is Gay is a born again Christian will they go to Heaven if living a Christain life ? My daughter is gay and it worries me that she will not be accepted into Heaven. What is your thought on that.

    • What kind of God would close the door to a child He made in His image, gay or straight? If Jesus teaches that we should love above all else, would He shut the door to a soul loving another soul regardless of gender? Is heaven only for straight folk? Religious folk???? You put too much store on your understanding (or misunderstanding of Scripture). Go with your heart and love more.

    • don’t be anxious about it. Think about how much you love your daughter and know her beauty and uniqueness and gifts- then multiply that a million times over, then you will see how much God loves her and how much God accepts her and doesn’t want to lose her 🙂

    • being born again is turning from your sinful ways and live for Jesus. going to church and having good works don’t get us into heaven its how we live for the Lord. we are to know him personally so we can tell and teach others about him. beleive what his word says and repent. read 1corinthians 6:19-20 i would love to talk to you further I am an Elder and co-pastor and hav a women ministry Bless you and take care

      • Vergie, you should be banned from this site because you are so disrespectful towards gay folk and have no understanding at all, even of Scripture. I do feel sorry for your church and your family and your neighbours. You must be a very difficult person to live with. Seek God and His love and earnestly desire to follow Him in loving others. Perhaps that will help you.

        Please, please, please do not take any heed of this woman’s rhetoric regarding anything to do with being gay, which incidentally is not a sin, never was and never will be. What is sin is the bind that this woman is putting on other people. My God does not do what she claims. She has no love at all for others (unless they agree with her narrow view of things) and God commands us to love. Slamming people on sin is never the loving thing to do, especially when you do it wrongfully (ie. tell them what is sin when it’s not!).

  21. I would add that it doesn’t matter at what age your child comes out, they are still your child 6, 15, 25 or well into their 40’s. Be careful of what you say, how you say it, and do not be too afraid or stubborn to apologize for any earlier behavior.

  22. Thank you, J9Tigger. I was about 20 when my parents found out about me, but my Beloved was nearly 40 when she told her father. He wasn’t precisely thrilled, but he made it clear that he loved her, and me, and that wasn’t going to change.

  23. Pingback: A note to parents of kids who are coming out | G-squared Youth Advocate

  24. What about the same being said to children of gay parents? I hid so well in my closet for so many years and when I finally came out all hell broke loose. My children all had a hard time accepting me as gay, and still do, though my son has made some effort to understand. I fear for any of my grandchildren coming out as gay. John, do you have any experience of reaching out to adult children of gay parents who came out late in life?

  25. Such wise council. So grateful we received the same council when our son came out to us. Oh, it did turn our world upside down. It shook us up, chewed on and spit us out, trampled us, and took us in the most unexpected and wild ride EVER. But we’ve taken that ride TOGETHER – as a family. From the beginning we purposed to love him – not “through it” as if there was some sort of expected change on the other side. But because he is a person, a creation of God, fearfully and wonderfully made, and deserving of love. God has used our son to show us the depths of His (God’s) love in ways we had never before considered or fathomed. We have grown in Him in ways we never expected or knew we could. We are so incredibly grateful for the experience. And we would not change a thing about the journey!

    I applaud you for tackling such a controversial and divisive issue in Chrisyianity. Prayerfully, we soon see the day when this topic is no longer on the minds and tongues of believers. LIVES matter. And if we truly want to follow Jesus’ example we must SEE PEOPLE.

  26. Wow, this is really, really good. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a post from a Christian minister that “gets it” so well, even among those who try to be supportive of LGBT people. The only thing I would add is that these guidelines should be followed throughout all of your interactions with your LGBT child, not just the first one.

    My parents found out that I was a gay woman through my sister without my consent. When they admitted they knew and they called me to talk about it I was so terrified that I was physically shaking and crying until I couldn’t speak and nearly vomited. They had said many horrible things about gay and lesbian people in the past, and I was certain that they would treat me with the same disgust and cruelty. Perhaps because I was in such a sorry emotional state, they actually responded initially with a lot of grace and love and just tried to reassure me that they still loved me. But over the next months, they escalated their response and violated every one of these guidelines and then some. After years of desperate effort on my part to mend the family, I came out as a transgender man. By this time, all pretense of being loving had shed away and they responded with disgust and vitriol and told me they would rather never speak to me again than have to use a different name for me. This, it turns out, was their true nature. They never had any intention of having a gay or transgender child in their lives. They simply responded kindly at the start in hopes of “fixing” me and, when I was not fixed, they became enraged by my noncompliance.

    The years-long struggle between us caused unfathomable pain for all of us and nearly claimed my life and possibly my parents’ lives too. And in the end, we both lost. We no longer speak or see each other. I am dead to them. Parents, unless you want this for yourself and your child, PLEASE listen to the wise words in this article. Yes, you might be scared for your child’s soul or safety, but those of us who have lived this know how that story ends. DO NOT THINK you are immune. DO NOT THINK that because you love your child more than my parents did (you don’t) or that you have a stronger faith than my parents did (you don’t) that it will end differently for you. My parents were some of the most loving and faithful people you could imagine, but once they started down this path, their attempts to strip me of my humanity stripped them of theirs. They undoubtedly see themselves as loving and victims of my trans-ness, but from the outside everyone can see that their actions have transformed them into hateful, cruel, spiteful and self-absorbed people. By the end of it all, neither of us could recognize the other anymore.

    If you truly trust god with your life and your child’s life, leave this in his hands. Your job on this earth is to love and support your child in any way you can. If god wanted you to be able to change your child’s very identity, he would have allowed you to create them as a cis-straight person in the womb. Please please listen to these warnings and don’t harden your heart. I don’t want any parent OR child to suffer the way my family has, and all for nothing. Love your child. Listen to your child. Respect your child’s boundaries and requests (if they say “hey, I don’t want to talk about this anymore” STOP). There is a way forward and there can be hope and love and togetherness. I believe that.

    • What a heart-felt response. Thank you for sharing. You have been through a lot and must be a strong person to have survived all that and be so “intact”. What an inspiration you are! Would love to know more of your story. Do you have a website or a blog page?

      • I do, although I update it very rarely: https://shelteredevangelical.wordpress.com/

        I have tried to remain as intact as possible, given everything. My family finally officially disowned me and told me they would never speak to me again last February (almost exactly a year ago now) right in the middle of my second semester of my Astrophysics PhD studies, and it very nearly derailed me completely. I had a few mental break-downs, I failed some tests, I cut my arm open a couple of times in some desperate attempt to externalize the pain and then felt ashamed by it. Lots of therapy and pleading with professors for extra time and a little grace was needed to get me through it. Moments like that I feel like I haven’t made it through so “intact” after all. But hey, I’m still here. I still feel some of the effects of that blow, but I’m overall pretty healthy and happy. I just passed my preliminary oral exam with flying colors and I’m on track for an early graduation just like I had always planned. My wife has been my bedrock support and thank goodness for her. So I guess I’m proud and grateful for having survived it, whether fully intact or not. And I have every intention to make the most of my life, even without my sister and parents. Some day I plan to be a parent myself, and I will strive to love my kid with all of the kindness and respect that was taken from me, regardless of who they are.

    • I feel so horrible that you had to go through all of this! My son is gay and trans and, while I made a lot of mistakes going through his transition, I was loving and supportive through it all. He never had to wonder if I still loved him. I just got lucky in that God made me so super maternal that nothing was going to stand between me and my baby, no matter what. It had nothing to do with me being a smart or good person, believe me!

      But, I wish like hell it would do any good to send your comment to my ex husband who still calls my hairy, bearded, thirty something trans son, ‘she, and ‘he’ and refers to him as such in front of others. He has told my son, “I will never think of you as my son.” My son is heartbroken as he can’t discuss any aspects of his life with his dad anymore because they all inevitably lead to something my ex won’t like. My son can’t talk about his long term boyfriend, about his future hopes and dreams of marriage and adopting kids. His dad still loves him and is there in time of trouble for him but the trust and closeness are gone, probably forever.

      • So sad for your beautiful boy that his dad can’t accept him as he is. Wish I could give you and your boy a big hug just to say you are both loved and much appreciated.

      • I’m sorry to hear that your ex has chosen a life without his son. It’s such a silly, pointless thing. His rejection of his son isn’t going to change him. It won’t make your ex feel more justified or right. It won’t do anything except cause heartbreak and loneliness. I wish that people would just listen and spare themselves and their loved ones this pain.

  27. Thank you for this excellent post, John. It is desperately needed. When my daughter’s Christian girlfriend came out to her dad, he told her he would rather be dead than have a gay daughter. Thankfully, she has the full love and support of my husband and me. When our daughter came out, and we were completely surprised, my husband hugged her and told her he wouldn’t change one bit of her DNA for she was exactly as God intended her to be. He then poured a toast of his special occasion $150 bottle of cognac and toasted her honesty, her truth, and the amazing Christian woman she is. I have never loved my daughter, or my husband more.

  28. Gabrielle… I can’t remember my password to like your post but consider it a big thumbs up. What blessed daughters you have. Way to go parents, way to go! You can’t help BUT have exceptional daughters! They’re hemmed with love. Well done good and faithful parents ♡

  29. My daughter is transgender. My family is only”Christian” in that they post Joel Olsteen memes. They accused of of abuse. We’re doing this to her.
    My husband’s family is Baptist. We hid it from his parents for months. We told his extended family this past Easter. Oddly, his family didn’t get together for Easter. When both of our kids were starting to have anxiety about seeing them all for Thanksgiving, my husband wrote them all asking them to use her preferred name and pronouns.
    The response was disgusting. Two preschool teachers basically told us that between their early childhooh experience and their knowledge of the Bible and their prayerful family conversations, they know more than our daughter, us and her team of medical, mental health and social work professionals. They concluded that the only possiblilty is that we are doing this to her. She’s too young to make this “decision”. She’s surely been exposed to sexually oriented topics. This is us being separate from God. We’re saying God made a mistake and God doesn’t make mistakes. They compared it to fixing a nose that one doesn’t like. They focused on the hurt we’re “causing” the family, especially her grandparents who are mourning the loss of their grandson, but have done little to learn about their granddaughter and nothing to learn about Gender Dysphoria or what it’s like to be transgender.
    My child is NOT a mistake, God’s or otherwise. She is beautiful and strong, funny and amazing. She started losing parts of her family at 6.5 and lives every single day with things most adults would crumble under. She deserves our love, her grandparents’ love and the love of her whole family. She HAS God’s love. IF God had anything to do with her gender identity, if it’s not an anomaly of gentics, He certainly gave her to us because He knew we’d love her.

    • Bless you! Keep loving your child and ignore the family as much as possible. Mostly talking to folk like that doesn’t help. They are entrenched in their beliefs and will cling to them stubbornly no matter how convincing your side is. Love them but leave them to mull over their own stuff and be glad not to have to join them.

      • Thank you. We don’t talk to most of them and we let our children decide if they want to. The stakes are way too high to put either of them through that trauma. The suicide rate among trans youth is terrifying.
        I was given my child to love. I wasn’t given her to love as long as she indentified as a boy, as long as she fit into my ideals. I was given her to love not matter what.

    • I understand your pain! My trans gay son gets the same kind of crap from his dad (my ex), and from members of my family. Most of them are smart enough not to say that garbage in front of me anymore as ‘hell hath no fury’ like a pissed off Mama Lion. My son is moved far away now and I’m to follow him soon. Whether I will ever see many of my family after that is very questionable, me being disabled and too poor to travel. It’s funny but, I don’t find myself too worried about missing them.

  30. This is in response to idojunk… you’re right… you do junk. All my 58 yrs I have done battle with your type. Let’s talk dark and deviant. Let’s talk about the tragedy of trafficking children by straight men for pleasure. Let’s talk about so called family and family friends taking away innocence of children because its there for the taking. Let’s talk about children providing “entertainment” in video and East-end cantinas, and so called massage parlors. Let’s hit closer to home… how about the male pastor, with a seemingly welcoming hand out, leaning in and rather than whispering “welcome” says don’t come back… we don’t want your type here. Dark? Are you telling me, a LGBT woman, that the passionate (and yes, there is more than one meaning there) love I have for the most precious woman in my life is dark and deviant? How dare you. The Lord blessed me with her. And she is His. I respect that but I have no less love for her but it does guide my actions. I will let the
    Spirit within me judge me. Prayers to you.

  31. I am a Lutheran minister, a mom, and the mother of a gay daughter. We did not have any trouble with learning of our child’s identification, because it seemed clear to us that the handful of scriptures speaking against same-sex intimacy were much more likely in the context of their culture to be addressing imbalanced and unequal relationships. Meanwhile, the Bible and Jesus repeatedly stress the importance of loving, healthy, equal relationships.

  32. I have not experienced this event myself but have witnessed those who have. I am thinking of one family who are bible translators and missionaries. Thier son came out about 2 years ago. They and their church were very concerned, because they believe that Homosexual acts are sinful. So what did they do, they loved their son, kept the door open, dad continued to have his weekly get togethers with his son, always reminding him of his love, but still standing on his beliefs. The people in the church, those who know him would meet and reaffirm their love while still sharing what the scripture says. Finally 2 years later their son decides to leave the homosexual life and come back to what he believes is God’s will, heterosexual. It was really neat to see a family handle this, and a church handle this delicately, never once withdrawing love from this son. It was truly the love of God through family and friends to allow him this journey and realize that he wants to be heterosexual according to God’s word.
    Had he not come back, they would still be loving him, but without changing their beliefs.

    I also know a second family with a similar situation, they chose to affirm their sons, desire to follow his same sex attraction, gay beliefs and lifestyle. They changed their beliefs to accept their experience. In fact, one of the parents told me that, God would never make me choose between my faith and my son.” I disagree, I believe that our faith and following Christ must always come first- ask Jesus he had to put God above his family many times.God will be the ultimate judge of all we say and do but if we allow our experiences to change our faith in a way that goes against the God’s heart in the Bible then are we making people our God?

    Thus by looking at these two experiences you cannot determine truth from an experience, there must be a plum line. I guess the question is what is yours?

    • I agree marriage is the place for safe, healthy sexual expression. Marriage is good for LGBT persons whether it is mixed orientation, opposite sex, same sex, gender queer and trans. As long as it is authentic and spouses are honest. Everyone deserves to be supported in pursuing marriage in order to bring their sexuality in line with a covenant relationship that honors fidelity and faithfulness. If someone would rather choose a mixed orientation marriage or call themselves heterosexual rather than a sexual minority that is their business but it is not the standard because mixed orientation marriages have been around for a long time. But people did not admit to it or talk about it openly. Some have been successful and some have not. Being realistic and counting the costs before going into any marriage should be a priority.

    • Something is wrong here since the young man who “chose to turn back to heterosexuality” is denying that he is gay, unless he wasn’t really gay to begin with. You only choose how your live out your life, not your innate sexuality. There’s a big difference.

      • My guess is either he wasn’t gay (unlikely,) he’s bi and opted to just ignore half of himself or, possibly saddest of all, he IS gay, but decided that denying himself and spending the rest of his life with some poor woman for whom he feels little is better than the constant nagging, praying and love that is clearly deeply conditional.

      • Yes, Jem, there seems to be something wrong here and I hope this young man reads this blog and these comments and considers the cost before he marries a woman. From what I recall from a past comment- I think you and I made similar choices to marry at a time when there were no options for us. For years I was a wife and mom and suppressed my sexuality. It caused deep harm to me and my husband emotionally because of dishonesty . My whole world has been wrong ever since I can remember. The pressure within myself to be something I wanted but wasn’t because I needed friends and family and then there was the pressure to be something I am but didn’t want because it meant certain damnation, loneliness and exclusion. It’s a horrible place to be when people are telling you their ‘opinions’ as truth- go this way ‘No’ go this way- back and forth like a ping pong ball- the pressure is unbearable sometimes. I guess the group that loves the best wins, eh? The thing is though, some people’s sexuality is fluid and they may have some genuine attraction to the opposite sex. And some people may fall in love with someone of the opposite sex who is not necessarily sexually attractive to them physically but maybe they become more attracted to them as they fall in love. Those people want to investigate the option of marrying someone of the opposite sex because of religious beliefs. I think we need to support all people in all the places they find themselves even if that means a mixed orientation marriage. For me it was wrong because I don’t experience any real quantifiable attraction to men either for sex or as a gender compliment. People should be careful about entering a marriage when any element of honesty, love or sexual attraction is missing. But we have to consider taking the pressure off people to be one thing or the other so that they can be honest with themselves first.

    • There is no comeback. You are born with your orientation. There are many closeted gay Christians and they stay in the church because they dont know anything else and at least in the church they can feel they belong to something.

      I left Christianity, not because of my orientation, but because of abuse. When I got to uni I learnt that what I experienced had nothing to do with real spirituality. I went on a search for a pathway and today I’m an Asatruar. It works for me.

    • hi Kirk this is Vergie love what you said. some on this blog get mad at me because I call sin for what it is. my heart is hurt when i read some of these things what people beleive. i’m standing for truth and hope you will to Bless You

    • Unless that young man was bisexual, this is NOT a happy ending. If he is gay, then he has chosen a life of misery and oppression. That’s not God’s will. If he is bi, he will be OK. Otherwise, he will never, never be happy until he embraces who he is and finds the man God has for him.

  33. Just my opinion but I think sex is much overrated. With a man or woman. Never found one or the other that listened very well. I’d rather “be” with someone who made love to my spirit and mind in a sensitive and respectful way…. my Vesuvius libido can’t hold a candle (no pun intended) to my spirit or gray matter.

    And learning starts early, right? “I’ll wait… applies to gay AND straight”.

    Woulda, shoulda put a little distance between want and got.

  34. Thank you, Kathy! I really like what you say. You have much wisdom and much love to give out. I think maybe you came by those in your struggles. I was too closeted (totally scared shitless – excuse the language – of the idea of being homo). So I naturally (unnaturally) pursued the way I was “supposed to go”. I puzzled about many things – sexual attractions, marriage, falling in love, etc. They just didn’t quite fit, but I went for them, thinking that was what I had to do. I don’t regret it all. My wife became a wonderful best friend for 40 odd years and I have 3 wonderful children (even if they find it hard to have a dad gone gay – lol) and 8 grandchildren. Unfortunately they are mostly estranged because the family is embarrassed and doesn’t really know what to do with a gay dad/grandfather. I came out 4 years ago in August 2012 and life has been very hard since then, but also very interesting and maybe I can say rewarding in its own way. I knew nothing about being gay up to then so this is all a new discovery and a new beginning in a place where gays are even put in prison (so doesn’t make for easy transition). I had been totally involved in church, serving as a leader, preacher, teacher. But I knew that would be impossible when I came out, so cut myself off from all those commitments before anything became an issue. I still home school a couple of nieces, my brother and his wife being so incredibly supportive in spite of belonging to a charismatic church that would be anti-gay. It continues to be a difficult struggle and I often wonder if it wouldn’t have been easier to just continue in the lie. I had come out to my wife in the 80s and we agreed for the sake of our children to just continue in our marriage. We had a good marriage because being married to your best friend is the best thing ever. I caused her much pain when I separated from her in August 2012, though we continued to be friends. She died of cancer in May 2014. I still miss her. Sharing this is making me cry again.

    • Thanks for sharing your story I understand being ‘scared shitless’ I get it. You handled your marriage much better than I did. I wish you well as your family adjusts through all the bumps in the road. God bless you !

  35. Pingback: So this is what being a “Christian blogger” means… | Ben Irwin

  36. I am a Christian Church Pastor along with my Co-Pastor Vergie Muse, my wife. I have a family member that is a lesbian. I love her very much. When I was 18 I lived with her. We got along very well throughout the years. However, when I lived with her many years ago she didn’t want her homosexual male friends to approach me knowing that I was heterosexual. She was trying to protect me from their possible advances because she knew that I didn’t, and still don’t agree with their sexual preference and lifestyle. Homosexual and lesbian sex preferences may not be viewed as a sin to them, my sister included, but it is a sin to me. It’s my conscience, nature, and the Holy Bible that says that it is wrong for me to choose a man to love and have sex with. Nature itself shows that to us. We don’t turn anyone away from our church, but we won’t allow anyone that is Gay to promote their sexual choices in our church, nor will we try to force our heterosexual views on anyone that is gay among us; Just as we would not allow someone that is in and adulterous affair to promote their affair among us.

    • Are you really that naive? She wasn’t trying to protect you from any non-existent advances from her gay male friends, even if that’s what she told you. She was trying to protect her gay male friends from your bigotry.
      You don’t agree with their sexual preference? So what? That’s like saying you don’t approve of the color of their eyes or skin. It is what it is, whether you approve or not.
      You don’t agree with their lifestyle? Exactly what does that mean? I know many hundreds of gay people. None are wealthy enough to afford a lifestyle. The most any can afford is a life. Now, if you take your average heterosexual couple and compare their everyday lives to an average homosexual couple, approximately 98% of their lives will be identical. The 2% that is different is confined to the bedroom and is none of your business. Your mind and imagination don’t belong in there.
      Are you SURE you know what God thinks about this? Can you read Hebrew and Greek, or must you rely on one or more of the English translations of the Bible (which don’t even agree with each other)? If you must rely on English, then how do you know which translations might be right? How do you know for sure what God said about anything? On the other hand, if you can read Hebrew and Greek, why haven’t you taken the time to study this subject thoroughly in those texts? (I know you haven’t, because if you had, and were honest, you would have found that the English translations were not honest, and in the case of newer translations, are blatantly dishonest.)
      Why not see what those who can read Hebrew and Greek have to say about it? http://hoperemains.webs.com

      • How would you know what she was trying to do for me over 40 years ago? That was between me and them. You forgot that she is my close relative and we still love and respect each others difference of opinions as far as heterosexual and LGBT relationships go. She chose her life-style (That’s what she called it) and I love mine. That is my right as a member of the human race, and choosing to live as a lesbian is her right as a member of the human race, and whatever it is that you have chosen to live as is you right as a member of the human race. I don’t have to try to make the Bible say what I want it to say on any of its subject matter. I simply agree with its writings. Also, I worked for some gay people back in the 80’s and we have a very good relationship today. One time, one of my gay supervisor’s friends tried to make a pass at me and my gay supervisor saw it and told them not to do that because “Morris is not into our life-style, and don’t ever do that again or I’ll fire you.” I didn’t feel intimidated by them in any way because I know that I am heterosexual.

    • I find your comments contradictory since you claim not be forcing your hetero views on gay folk but you ban gay folk from your church (unless they deny they are gay). That makes no sense. You are in effect saying so long as they pretend to be hetero they are welcome. What a hypocrite you are!
      And then you say it’s not natural, but give no reason for your conclusion. It is nothing but your prejudice that says it’s not natural. Research homosexuality amongst God’s creation of animals and you’ll be amazed to find, in spite of your prejudice, that it is perfectly natural.
      You mention that the Bible supports your view, but the only problem with that is that it’s only the modern translations of the Bible that support your view. Do a proper study of ancient texts in original languages and you’ll find that the Bible is not at all clear on the matter of homosexuality, and since there is no clarity on it I would think it would be wise to not make such harsh and prejudicial judgements. But then it sounds like you do that a lot. I guess it will be very hard for you to accept that you might just be wrong.

      • I never indicated that we ban gays from attending our church. I said, in essence, that they would not be allowed to promote their choices of same sex relationships on anyone in our congregation that objects to being approached by them in that manner.

        • Sounds like a police state. Do you do the same for the hetero folk? Make sure that a guy is not coming on to a girl. After all, isn’t in sin to encourage sex in the church? You do have a most extraordinary attitude to people. I would hate to go to your church, though I know from what you have said I would never be welcome there anyway.

      • I think that if some of the LGBT people would stop thinking that there is something wrong with everybody else but them, we all would probably find a way to get along just fine.

        • No nothing wrong with others at all, except that every one of us is in need of healing and restoration even you. The trouble is you won’t tolerate the idea of being gay as acceptable, and that is wrong. It’s like saying I don’t like you because you have blue eyes, so don’t come near me. I’m afraid you might contaminate me with your blue eyes. I think they might be contagious. Is it a sin to have blue eyes? Then it’s no sin to be gay either. It’s the way some folk are made, praise the Lord!

  37. No one has the right to force anyone to accept their particular choices of sexual partnerships or relationships on anyone that is not willing to accept them or it. If you choose to have a same sex relationship or partnership, then that’s you choice. And since I have chosen to have a heterosexual relationship (marriage) then that is my choice. I CAN LIVE WITH, CAN YOU!!!

    • I can just imagine your reaction if suddenly people refused to recognize your marriage, referred to your wife as your “friend,” and made it painfully obvious in every interaction that they thought you and your wife were not really married but living in sin. I am sure you would be offended and insist on the basic dignity of having others acknowledge the commitment you and she have made to each other. It’s only basic common decency and respect.
      Why can’t you afford that same dignity to a same-sex couple? Like you and your wife, they are two individuals who have committed their lives to each other. And in the case of people of faith, they are two individuals who believe God is in their union and blesses it. You don’t have to agree… but to treat them any differently because you disagree makes you the bad guy.
      There are still churches in this country that teach that interracial marriage is wrong, even a sin. Do you think they would be justified in treating interracial couples like second-class citizens, or refusing to recognize their marriage? I hope not. It’s no different with a same-sex couple. Regardless of your beliefs in regard to it, a married same-sex couple is legally married, and should be acknowledged that way.

      • As I said earlier, that is their choice. I respect other peoples choices. I just don’t agree with anyone trying to make someone else to conform to their particular choices. If you came to our services with your same sex marriage partner, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Just don’t try to convert us as a church to the same life that you and your partner have chosen.

        • What, to make you gay? That isn’t even remotely possible. You don’t really believe gay people try to recruit, do you? Gay people are educated enough about sexual orientation to know that it’s both innate and immutable. Nobody who isn’t gay or bi naturally is every going to be even remotely tempted to be intimate with someone of the same sex.

    • I don’t understand what you mean here. Who is forcing anyone else to accept anything? Just as your choice of partner and marriage is recognised and accepted, so you should recongnise someone else’s choice of partner and marriage too. Is that forcing something?

  38. As far as marriages go, as a Minister I have the right not to perform the marriage ceremony of any heterosexual couple if I choose to for reasons that I judge are improper. Likewise, I have the same option when it comes to performing same-sex marriages. I won’t, and don’t recognize any law that would try to take that personal right away. They (same-sex or heterosexual) can always get some one else to perform the ceremony

    • If you think anyone is trying to force you to perform same-sex weddings, you’ve been listening to too much propaganda. No minister has ever been required to perform any wedding of any kind, and that isn’t going to change. When my sister got married, 35 years ago, her church refused to perform the wedding. She was Catholic, her fiance was Hindu. The Catholic priest was well within his rights to refuse to perform the wedding. So I performed it for them. There are countless churches and synagogues more than happy to perform same-sex weddings.

  39. Good post, but could you say “children” instead of “sons and daughters”? Some people have genders aren’t male or female. Google “genderqueer” and “nonbinary” to learn more.

  40. What about two people of the same gender who share an emotional bond? Forget sexual intercourse for a moment. What about two people of the same gender who are life-partners? Soulmates? Sexual AND non-sexual? Should “they” be judged for something that neither expected to happen? Or do some people just get their jollies out of judging others because they’re unhappy with their own lives?

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