I’m a 20-year ministry veteran trying to figure out how to love people well and to live-out the red letters of Jesus.

I enjoy songwriting, exercising, cooking, hiking, and eating emotionally.

This is a place where I say stuff that I think needs to be said.

I welcome you to say what you believe needs to be said in response, knowing that ultimately the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Thanks for stopping by, and for reading the musings of a flawed, passionate, work in progress.


P.S. If you are encouraged, challenged, or blessed by the writing here, please consider supporting me financially at Patreon.

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560 thoughts on “About

  1. Blown away by your bouncing baby blog…mighty mature for a baby. Thank you for saying stuff that needs to be said to me, my husband, my son, our church and community. Much love to you and your fam. KLB

    • This comment is regarding a statement made by you in a recent article concerning gay marriage. I would like some clarification please.
      I have a question.. If God is perfect & makes no mistakes & so carefully “stitched us together in our mothers womb”, then if my gender at “stitching time” was a male.. And as an imperfect human (as we are all) I decide God made a mistake & I really should be a female. So are you suggesting that God sometimes get it wrong?
      Because I was under the impression that homosexuality as taught in many places in the Bible is a sin. Sin is a conscious decision an individual makes to do something that is not in accordance with God’s laws, the Bible.
      Of course, you should not turn your back on your children should they be gay. But do you believe God made a mistake when HE created them or do you think perhaps they made a mistake in choosing to sin?
      I think we are called to love sinners, not the sin. I think sin should be acknowledged for what it is. Thank you for any wisdom you can provide.
      God Bless!

      • I would like to know your thoughts on above question as well. I personally believe we all have our own struggles in this life, some are struggles we are born with and others come into existence in the living of life…addictions (sins), illnesses/diseases, accidents (bodily injury) and such. However, we are all charged to perfect our faith through these struggles, to keep Jesus and His teachings as our center. He doesn’t want us to give up. Remember, Jesus said “take up your mat, and walk!” We must see the blessing that is available to us, walk a “new” walk (to follow Jesus) which entails giving up things that cause us to sin, and stand firm (believe) in the teaching of Christ bc the world is so easy to convince people that all they do is “ok”. If we were born perfect, there would be no need for us to “see” and inspect ourselves for what we need to change. There would be no need to repent. Everyone has a personal walk with Jesus. Only He can help open their eyes, open their heart to be able to “see” and understand what His teaching instructs. I love my children. My children sin, as do I. The fact that they sin does not make me not love them. It’s only through grace that we are forgiven and cleansed. But God’s Grace is not a license to sin. When one personally understands the depth and power of what Jesus did for us, one’s desire to follow him helps to change the way he/she walks and desires to walk:) These are just my thoughts. Maybe I’m not experienced enough, but each day I ask God to open my eyes. God bless you:)

                • When it comes to god, no one can really know the answers, since we cannot yet really prove God’s existence. Ho can anyone know then, what the plan is?

                  • We can know that God exist through a study of The Bible! However, that can take a long time and be very laborious and arduous! If you really want to know if God exists, in sincerity, ask Him to reveal Himself to you and He will! He wants you to know He exists more than you can imagine!

                    • God is everywhere; trees, sun, moon, flowers, birds, butterflies. Every study the human body? It is so complex, just breathing requires so many things to happen exactly perfectly that we don’t even consider it. We are awesome creatures created in his image.!!

                    • A very good answer that I tell people. God wants to reveal Himself to us. I live a simple Christian life, a follower of Jesus. I’m not perfect. Only Jesus. I’ve studied various religions, but nothing compares to the Bible’s Jesus.

                    • So true Ray!!! The Bible has all the answers but on average only 30% know the Bible. All this is happening because it’s Gods plane & it’s all throuh the Bible! Revelation we are in the birth pains now. The most talked about time of the Bible. Romans chapter 1. There’s so much God wanted use to know & it’s right there. God Bless

                    • Oh how do you know this and feel this so sincerely when you are but so without
                      Comprehensive Religious Studies. Read Karen Armstrong & then you can talk .

                • They DO KNOW that the Bible was written by men, not GOD, right?…..the only thing I was ever taught that was written by God was the TEN COMMANDMENTS!!!!

                  • Nooooooooo even that was a parable … the old guy needed laws to keep his group in tow so he made up laws ……& the sea was at low tide to cross over & when the army came hours after them the tide was coming in & drowned them !!! Remember the people at the time of the writing of bible stories were unschooled & couldn’t write or spell ……. stories told over hundreds of years are warped & free form & told as stories .

            • God made us all and wants us to love and obey Him, Obeying here means to not have sexual relations, intimacy, with a person of the same sex or gender. This is written in Romans. He is specific about it as I read the Bible. He is just as specific when He discusses intimacy outside of marriage. I. Am aware of young people who have said they would never marry a person that they had not been intimate with. God has pronounced as that wrong, too. Promiscuity is not permitted by God in any form. It’s clear to me that a single person must wait for intimacy until married and God has, for a reason not known to me, has challenged others to obey by completely abstaining.

              • Hmm.. the term “God’s best” resonates with me. Many of us consider the Bible to be God’s message to us about life and history. So if we follow the natural, physical and spiritual law it will have the better consequence. For example if we exercise and eat healthy….there is a good chance we will enjoy better health. But if we do the opposite….there is a great chance we will suffer. This is the same in the sexual realm. Is it permissible and allowed, yes. Will one have God’s blessings or “best”… I don’t have all the answers and am a fellow traveler here, but just sharing a thought. Thank you for listening as I attempt to figure this whole thing out too.

              • In reading your post, is a ceremony and a piece of paper ,signed by a person who has the authority to sign it, what we need before we should have sex with our significant other??

                • I believe the Old Testament is primarily the history of the Jewish people. I believe the New Testament is the story and teachings of Jesus.
                  As I read and study His story and teachings, it gives me a very clear understanding of how I need to live my life. In my 76+ years of living life as best I can following those teachings, I have received blessing after blessing from God and those around me. I am not rich, I am not beautiful, I am not in good health, but my heart and my life are full of joy because my life is full of love. The love of my husband, children and friends. I make a concerted effort to make good choices, especially when it comes to the people with whom I surround my life. I have tried to make choices in tune with God’s teachings. God knows I’ve made mistakes, (some doozies) but through His grace, all is well in my heart.

              • It sounds more and more like your moral judgements are in play here Linda. I don’t buy it, the Bible is a book written centuries ago by men, which has been edited and abridged many times to suit those religious fanatics’ goal of controlling the masses.
                Its been my experience that those who preach moral judgements are the worst offenders and lack the self will to think for themselves as to whats good or bad.

                • Thank you Alex. My thoughts too. People blindly follow a book written and revised by whom ever was in power at the time. And they quote “Gods” words. Those are not Gods words. They are mostly kings words–men who wanted to control. Watch a program originally on PBS “Jesus to Christ”. Very intriguing description of how he became something other than a Jewish man over many centuries of conquest and fantasy.

                • Good post Alex. I have no idea what others believe “God” to be … but if we are perfect then we were given the tools to think for ourselves rather than being told what we can do and what we cannot. We have to seek our own truth. Rather than “believing” anything “out there” or “in a book” … we have to keep asking questions and digging deeper until we come to our own “knowing.” I’m actually surprised at how “religion” has been able to make so many forget “to think on their own” … and buy into what others want us to believe so we are controlled.

                • To: Alex
                  JULY 15, 2017 AT 11:05 AM
                  Through secular history it can easily be proven that the Septuagint version of the Old Testament was in black and white, so to say, almost three centuries before Jesus Christ was born. That is very important, because there is a prophecy in Daniel chapter 9 verses 24 to 27 that makes reference to him. Basically, the prophecy says that from the time that the order to rebuild Jerusalem is given, until the Messiah presents himself as king, will be exactly 173,880 days. Check out Sir Robert Anderson’s work called The Coming Prince. It’s really strange in the Bible that people try to worship Jesus early on in his ministry and he stopped them and told them don’t do that because my time has not come yet. But then, in what is referred to as his triumphal entry, he deliberately arranges that. He tells people to go get a donkey and he rides it into town, fulfilling Zechariah 9:9. Why did he do that? Why did he do that after he told people not to worship Him? And why did he do that on that specific day? There are a lot of prophecies in the Bible that Jesus fulfilled. But you’re going to have a hard time finding a workaround for this being some crazy religious book that a bunch of old white guys wrote.
                  A couple of comments below, one of your cheerleaders said this: “We have to seek our own truth. Rather than “believing” anything “out there” or “in a book” … we have to keep asking questions and digging deeper until we come to our own “knowing.”” This is part of the problem in the world today. There are people who actually believe that truth is whatever you make it, however you seem to interpret things. Like one person says it’s wrong to kill. Another says that if you live in a womb, you are not living. Some say that good is evil. Others say evil is good. Some say marriage is between a man and a woman. Others say there are variations of that. You’ll never find the truth until you find out what is true. And if you think there is no God and that everything just came about by chance, you’re accepting an impossible fairytale as fact.

                  • The Bible was edited over centuries and each successive “editor” redacted and rewrote portions to accommodate the belief at the time of the redaction.
                    Concerning being gay or transgender, this is not a sin, it is the way some people were created. It is not a “life-style” choice. Respect and accept those who are different from you. Try God’s love.

                    • Glad I kept scrolling to find your – logical, not to mention succinct – answer. Also, if I may, the moment we begin to confuse faith with fact, it’s no longer faith. To me, there’s something loving, trusting and beautiful about having faith.

                    • Jesus used numerous metaphors to help people understand his teachings

                      You say those different from you …. that is where I’ll focus my point

                      Male and Female are different, purposefully … that’s the whole point
                      much different then your viewpoint of different

                      If God designed marriage to be between a man and a women no one has the right to re-define these laws

                      If we look into the inner man and women we can clearly see its purpose
                      When we do the same to same sex couples what is it’s purpose?

                      If Christ is the bridegroom and the church his bride I can see why God created this design …. superimposed on his covenant design for marriage is God’s same design and reference point for his church

                      If people cannot see this perfect design then they just don’t wanna see it and it’s for another purpose not designed by God that the person desires… it’s really that simple

                      A couple becomes one flesh … how? by intercourse … same sex couples can’t become one flesh

                      To show empirically, his love for man women and child … a unity
                      One unity, in the body of Christ

                      Same as other metaphor like the trinity

                      The covenant designed by God not man, it’s that simple

                      It Is not male to male or female to female which produces nothing

                      If God had designed it this way then Jesus could’ve never come to us and we could’ve never been saved

                      That drives it home for me

                      There is a reason God created things the way he created them and it’s for a purpose

                      I don’t believe the cliche God makes no mistakes and how we distort this with our human frailty

                      It is us who chose to screw it all up, not God … God is perfect and makes no mistakes but we are descendants of what went wrong and God warned us what would happen

                      Jesus is the only perfectly born human

                      If we are born with whatever, that being gay straight or whatever struggles we will have, the point is, those handicaps are the very thing God will use to work out our salvation in … using it as an excuse to live any way you like is a choice we make not God

                      No one is born perfect so in that regard it’s just another Christian cliche and excuse not to obey God

                  • Matt; you talk about the person who “seeks their own truth” and I believe your answer is spot-on. Thanks for your insight into reality.

                • I suggest you live your life by your own rules … absent any uniform moral guidance. It is sure to work out much better for you in the long run! As a matter to consider, those with whom you make contact throughout your life should live by their rules too. It is a certainty that man’s rules are much safer and more complete than this Bible that you doubt.

                  • Farmer: Ah…like the rules Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Karl Marx, Genghis Khan, Son of Sam, etc. lived by? How did that work for folks?

                • Your post is just your opinion the same as you said Linda’s is. You quote no proof or even a reference for your post. I am assuming you do not believe that God exists. Is that the case, Alex?

              • Linda…there are many interpretations of what God’s message is. There wasn’t a moment when you had your coming out day as a heterosexual, and people who were born LGBT didn’t either. For the majority of homosexuals it is not a choice. It is very easy to tell someone to pick differently. Could you live your life without having a loving sexual relationship? Why do you think others can? As you might be disgusted by a woman touching you sexually, a Lesbian finds men disgusting in a sexual way. You have not studied this issue thoroughly and using scripture incorrectly to state your case. There are historical implications, references that relate to the Old Testament and also the new day that came from the New Testament. Have you been stoned by a neighbor for sinning? Do you eat pork or shellfish? If you have divorced people in your family did you shun them? Did either you or your significant other have an affair? You can’t own Jewish Law from the Old Testament and only praise part of it. My suggestion is to read more, study Biblical scholars work on a topic before you become an expert. The verses you refer to were about heterosexual men prostituting other men and boys. It was cult sexual behavior, not about the morality of a loving relationship. Christians now use it to judge….there are repercussions for judgement of others, my dear.

              • Do you eat pork? Do you cut your hair? Do you speak out in church? You’re breaking “laws” as “serious” as committing a homosexual act… you are a hypocritical mendacious zealot.

              • Yes! And He also tells us to not have pride, self-righteousness, greed, etc. I try hard to not think if one sin being ‘worse’ than another. The Bible also says if we commit one sin we’re guilty of all. I have no right, and it’s not my job, to judge another’s sin.

        • Homosexuality and being transgender are not he same thing. Just FYI. Your sexuality is about who you are attracted to (men, women, people with purple hair) and your gender identity is about you who are inside (male, female, other).

          • . . . and ‘gender’ is who you actually are, period (from a chromosome perspective) – rarely (ever?) up for debate

            most arguments are based on this confusion, usually caused by the lack of awareness of the recent growth in popularity of the term “gender identity”

            gender doesn’t change regardless of the gender “identity,” which is subject to change according to the individual’s personal choice

            • Gender is about the characteristics of masculinity and femininity–it is created by our culture/society (boys wearing blue, girls playing with dolls). These roles are differentiated by society, not biologically based. Gender is very much fluid, and therefore can change.
              You are referring to “sex,” the body parts we are born with that make us male or female.

            • People need to realize there are about 2,000 babies born each year, when the baby’s gender is ambiguous and thus the doctor must determine the baby’s gender. It is called Indeterminate Gender. Previously doctors would decide which gender and make the necessary surgical adjustment, often without even telling the parents in order to spare them. But thank goodness the trend is now toward waiting until the child is a little older in order for the parents and physician to make the determination. Personally I feel this needs to be in the public so more people would understand. I also feel that many, many of those babies born over the years are having to deal with gender issues now. If everyone would have a little more compassion, and stop being so judgmental about gender identification issues the world would be a kinder, nicer place.

              • I get so tired of people who are so concerned about another’s sexual issues. This is a private matter and no one’s business besides the person themselves. It gets so bad that we are judged by the craziest things. People are so full of assumptions. Are they so ashamed of their own identities that they must attack others to justify their own confusion?

              • Well said. I was a labor and delivery RN for many years and I found it disturbing that the MD would decide on the gender and not wait. I’m happy to hear that It’s being waited on the decision until the child is older.

              • Agreed! It’s more complex and nuanced than most people realize. I have learned to trust and respect what someone tells me about their experience, their feelings, their identity. I aim to treat them the way I’d want to be treated if I felt that way. We can’t control others’ thoughts and feelings, certainly not about something as incredibly personal as this.

              • People need to realize there are about 2,000 babies born each year, Exactly where do you live? On a seriously small island is my guess your small number of births do not put a dent in yearly birth rates in the USA. I am interested in knowing if you might be drunk or on drugs with what you have stated? Operations to alter sex at birth? What in the world are you talking about?

                • You took it out of context. She meant there are roughly 2,000 babies born with genital complications due to chromosomal mutations. Maybe use that thing called the internet to educate yourself before you speak. Use your head and stop being rude.

              • That is a kind, thoughtful response. So many people have no clue that there are sex ambiguous babies born every day, or that there are so many of them. These are the same people who don’t understand that sexual orientation is not a choice that an individual makes. It is characteristic trait like blonde or red hair. It just is. Jesus made no comment about it, and he made no comment for a good reason. We are all born the Children of God, and what we are born as is not an issue. How we treat others IS THE issue.

                • I agree Jeff, it is how we treat one another. In the Christian theology we are taught that “after the fall” or in a fallen world….there will be genetic defects and an imperfect world in many ways. We must honor each individual in their “personal” journey here and not make them the “other”. We all have value and are in this journey together.

            • Actually, gender is defined as
              the attributes that society ascribes based on biological sex. So, gender is what society decides it means to be male or female and how those roles are performed. Sex is biological – the chromosomes and the plumbing, so to speak.

              • I pray that God will open your eyes to clearly see that there is no sin involved with living life authentically as one’s inherent self. In fact, with all the souls that have dealt with such incongruent nature of mind and body bestowed on them for all the while humans have existed and suffered oppressive backlash, marginalization and resistance to let live for simply being as God did make them, they are the ones who have paid dearly to stand in the presence of the Lord and must be all the more likely welcome and embraced by Him. There is no sin in simply being who one is. In being, there is no action that is wrong.

            • D N A will always clarify your gender no matter what you do to your body period. God does not make mistakes. However environmental and harmful relationships and hurts can push you into thinking God made a mistake. The enemy of our soul brings that confusion and manifests it more and more.

              • Okay then if God does not make mistakes in the situation mentioned above where the baby is born with both male and female parts does God mean for them to remain that way? If they are to be of both sexes, then how do you suggest they fit into our society when society won’t even accept transgenders??

                  • There are many birth defects. I know someone who has two X chromosomes and two Y chromosomes. This was not discovered until mid life, and explained many physical problems and well as other issues. Inter sex is real.

                • It’s really much more simple than appears. Our other gendered children have taught us that gender is not anatomically declared and it is not a societal construct, as those who like to intellectualize their own experience and cannot dictate another’s. Gender is only truly recognized by each of us who own it, each in our own separate cognitive reality. It is imprinted on our gray matter that resides betweens our ears. It does not necessarily match, as that which is societal construction, the belief that body should align. It is sometimes set at one end or another of a spectrum of possibilities, rests somewhere in the middle or flows fluidly between one and another end of our constructed gender binary. The mistake that we have been making all along is that we can determine another’s gender by their parts, yet only they can know their true self.

              • I have thought about this a long time, if God doesn’t make mistakes, what are spontaneous abortions about then? Doctors often will say it is “nature’s way” of weeding out the mistakes. I asked God about this and he gave me the most amazing children, three pregnancies were lost to spontaneous abortion (one an ectopic pregnancy) and of the six children born healthy and smart and kind and generous, he gave me one so incredibly insightful, who is gay. A child who, in his kind struggle, would write wonderful notes to me throughout childhood. Perhaps he was trying to tell me when he wrote at age 15, “Please be patient with me, I am just trying to figure things out.” But it wasn’t until he was 21 that he finally told me he was gay. Valdictorian, Boy Scout, musician, scholar and wonderful son, who struggled for years silently. It broke my heart that he struggles alone with this. “I told him, this changes nothing, I love you, you are my son.”
                My son was born gay, if anyone did any choosing, it was God who choose this for him. Does God make mistakes? Do we even understand God? Love, not judgement, love.
                As my parents always told us, “Don’t worry about what your brother/sister is doing. Take care of what you are given.

                • Your son was not born gay. No one is. Your son was subject to a most unfortunate confluence of experiences that led him to believe he is gay. I have studied this for a decade, and have become convinced of the above observation through evidence of countless former-gay testimonies, and writings from hundreds of doctors, PhD’s, therapists, counselors, gender confused people and their relatives and friends. These ranks include agnostics, atheists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, and others… all from many places around the world. It may seem to your son he was “born gay and it’s ok”, but that simply a bit of lgbt propaganda, used specifically to attract confused, young people. This is going to sound crude, but gays (gender confused people) can’t procreate, so they recruit. Do for your son what may be the most significant, important things possible. #1. In love, share with him the scriptures regarding homosexuality (google them, and don’t use the lgbt approved, bastardized versions). #2. Buy for him, and beg him to read “The Battle for Normality” by G. J. M. Van Den Aardweg. I have a son who mistakenly came to believe that he was born gay, and these two things have opened his eyes to the truth of the paths that God has prepared for him. Prayers and peace to you.

                  • Such ignorance is not necessary in today’s world. I so often wonder how so many can say God is in charge of everything then be in such denial of things of life, such as gay or transgender. I have very dear friends that I love very much who are both. I have sat with them and talked to them for hours about their struggles, their joys, and their lives. If you truly knew a few gays that you could talk to without judgement and just listen to their internal struggles, you would come to understand your ignorance. Mine is not to judge…Mine is to love and show compassion and give to others…Scripture says God made us in his likeness….but we don’t really know what that means because non of us have met him yet. Those who have and returned to earth have a very clear understanding that we are all here to love and be compassionate and see what we can do to leave the world a better place. I don’t know about you, but I can’t do that when I am judging things I have no understanding of, because it is not part of my personal experience. Love and tolerance of others is the code I try to live by today. I hope you will come to understand that as well, it brings much peace.

                  • Wow. Your comment is one of those that will leave generations to come shaking their heads in disbelief. And it won’t be because they just discovered there used to be gay people. It will more resemble the digest one feels when they think about things like the fact that slaveowners once used our Holy Scripture to justify slavery.

                  • What utter garbage. It’s attitudes like yours that have caused problems and sadness and unnecessary suffering for so many people. And how presumptuous of you to think you know it all.

                  • V. Brown – I have a question for you. Do you believe God created the universe & everything in it? If so, are you aware that there are more than 1500 species of bugs, birds, reptiles & mammals who engage in same gender sex ? Google “homosexuality in nature” & then tell us – Did a percentage of all of these species make a conscious decision to be homosexual? Then who created them? Some percentage of these species made a conscious decision or they were created that way by God or evolution. Pick one.

                  • You’re dangerous and a fool. How DARE you talk about LGBT “propaganda”. That “God and the bible says” BS is the ULTIMATE propaganda.
                    CLEARLY, you have issues with YOUR sexuality. And anyone who believes in a pretend, old, judgemental dude in the sky and the fictional book of stories written about him, is in no position to give ANYONE advice.

                • The argument of being gay is a choice is moot. Sin is not a choice it’s something our flesh is born into, it feels good and right that does not make it abiding to the law of God. I am called by Jesus to love all sinners and reject their sin, including my own. That being said sin is sin, adultery, homosexuality, greed, lust, sloth, murder etc .. as described by the Bible is all a temptation to turn you away from God by the Devil. God bless you, you and your son will be in my prayers.

                • Recently a Baptist University professor and Reverend changed his stance on homosexuality because his very loving sister is Lesbian. As with many Christian Biblical scholars they see conflicting messages and are troubled by whether homosexuality in the Bible is about cult prostitution behavior, or a ban on heterosexual males using men and boys as concubines, or just condemnation for being homosexual. I believe Paul was trying to stop any sexual behavior because cultish sex slave behavior was common practice. In Matthew 19:12 Jesus speaks about eunuchs. The interpretation has been twisted, but I believe it means that some men are born without desire for women, or women for men. God created them that way and Jesus calls upon His followers to accept them. Jesus often spoke metaphorically. One has to live from their inner guidance and to love themselves as they understand from their own creation. The New Testament leaves us with two guideposts: One is to follow the Ten Commandments and the other to love unconditionally. He never said to judge unconditionally. Bless you for loving your son as he was created.

                  • And THIS, is the new covenant. Love your neighbors as yourselves, and love God. Liberating. Because Jesus died for us, we have the new covenant. The 613 law of the old covenant were washed away. Beautiful.

                • E, I love your contribution. Loving, Christian, insightful. God knew what he was doing when he gave you your gay son. I wish I knew both of you. My life would be enriched.

              • Correct. There are many environmental factors that must be taken into consideration. There are thousands of things the mother could have done, eaten, drank, smoked etc…while pregnant… not to mention the thousands of genetic combinations alone, even if she did everything correctly during pregnancy, that could have caused a mutation in the DNA resulting in genital birth defects. I see quite a few misinformed posts on this thread…there is an abundance of science and ongoing research that elaborates on this. There is also a plethora of knowledge still be learned about the human body. Just because we don’t yet know the causes, doesnt mean the individual made a mistake, nor does it mean that God did.

                Also, do some of you wholeheartedly believe that homosexuality is a choice? Why would a sane person ever choose to go down that path in today’s society? Do you think over 8 million people just decided to experiment sexually with partners of the same sex cause they’re “not right in the head”, “gross”, or just straight up “rebels” ? Do you think they were all like, “Hey, let’s identify ourselves as “not the norm”, and fall victim to hate crimes and daily discrimination.” Did you know that suicide and mental health diagnosis among LGBT youth are significantly higher that “normal” kids. Bullying is bad enough in middle/high school…why would anyone choose to compound the problem and claim they’re gay too? Imagine yourself in a LGBT person’s world. Try to understand…I’m far from understanding what it would truly be like in our society…but I’m trying. It is not a choice, nor is it a sin. Science will one day prove that it is not their choice…but until then…if you won’t change your beliefs, at least be kind. I also don’t understand why we care so much about what others are doing with issues that concern only them? I’ll never understand why there are so many people out there dictating how others should live their lives…based solely off of how they live their own life. Why can’t everyone just love and appreciate the individuality that each and every person has to offer…or at the very least…just be civil and not spew out opinion-based, non-factual hatred, judgements, and other verbal diarrhea? Love. Respect. Empathy. Let’s do it.

                • That is a kind, thoughtful response. So many people have no clue that there are sex ambiguous babies born every day, or that there are so many of them. These are the same people who don’t understand that sexual orientation is not a choice that an individual makes. It is characteristic trait like blonde or red hair. It just is. Jesus made no comment about it, and he made no comment for a good reason. We are all born the Children of God, and what we are born as is not an issue. How we treat others IS THE issue.

              • Actually, people who don’t know genetic science try to use the XX, XY argument but that only shows how much they don’t know. In fact, there are a number of genetic differences such as XXX, XXY and differences along the chromosomes. What you are saying today would be likened to before people saying people only have 23 chromosomes when we know that that also isn’t true…Down’s syndrome and other examples. Please don’t try to speak science when you obviously know nothing about genetic science. Geneticists: unite and educate these ‘I think I know something about science because I had elementary science and learned XX, XY.” You are using literally elementary science taught in 4th grade to have a conversation about something way beyond your understanding.

              • I find it very very difficult to detect demons in those I know who are this way. And they are clearly not confused. They KNOW who they are!

              • Our idea that gender is only binary and must align with specific anatomy is the construct. You cannot say what another’s experience is, if you do not experience it for yourself. I used to believe what you do about this societal construct that is to tell me what I am, but I have been shown it is quite wrong.

            • Actually, a person’s sex is determined by their chromosomes. Gender is generally understood as a social construct (that is, the idea of what is feminine or masculine.)

            • Actually, you are confusing gender w/ sex. Sex refers to various biologically determined features of a person’s body: genetics, anatomy, chromosomes (even the “fact” of a person’s sex is not always biologically clear cut). Gender refers to the ways societies teach/tell people to act based on their “sex.” Therefore, gender is a variable category that is often enacted very differently across the world. Gender ideals also change over time (Christians have held rather different views on gender and gendered practice throughout history). Imagine for a second if you noticed an attractive woman that turned out to be a man dressed in drag. Were you attracted to that man? No, you were attracted to that man convincingly acting out a feminine gender role. Similarly, what is someone doing when they tell somebody to “man up”? They are saying the person is not acting/living up to society’s masculine ideals. The fact that someone can say that a person might be “less” or “more” of a man based on behavior shows that gender ideology is not wedded to sex.

              • You are right in that gender is not wedded to anatomical sex, however it is also not a societal or cultural construct or ideology and no one can impose it on another. It is an inherent identity that one can know and determine only for one’s self. It comes easy for those of us who are certain that our identity aligns well with what we consider our appropriate sexual anatomy, that which we consider the norm, but not so easy when misaligned, being that one does not choose what their gender happens to be. One can choose to express and live as close as possible to what society sees fits with what they genuinely feel themselves to be. It can be devastatingly difficult attempting to do otherwise, though some do live incongruously.

            • Frank, this is where you might not be exactly correct. Hermaphrodite is both. Sometimes when a child is born the parent chooses. Sometimes they are left with both parts and are different from mainstream society. Years ago there was no chromosome count done. Parents chose based on which gender they wanted. Then the count was done and parents could still make the choice. Imagine having a parent chose one and your chromosome count indicated the other. Do you think those people could possibly have a gender identity situation?

        • It sounds like you really want to love people so I pray these are not wasted words. I understand that sometimes it is best to not answer questions like this for my sake. But here I go, the holy spirit has spoke to me I must listen. Thank you first off for not hating on my people. What you are saying makes so much since, all of us are born with or burdens and struggles. Unfortunately homosexualism has still not been proven to be a flaw. Yes it is not the normality and to many even a mongomious same sex relationship is a sin. I must argue it is because people really do not understand true homosexuality. Many people can be sexually dievant but that does not eqaul gay. Right now the culture is using homosexuality as an excuse to experiment. This is a sin! What many heterosexuals do not understand that for a truely homoseaxual person it is a fermone difference, many homos love same sexs partners without ever sleeping with them. It is that i miss you and love you more than any other feeling. And for most homos that only happeens with those of the same sex. It is the butterflies in your stomach that decide if you are queer or not. Not sex. By saying hate the sin, you are assuming they are sexual active. Just to clarify homosexuality is not a sin, unntuaral sex is. Also history and Jesus’s words warn that repressing all sexual desiree will lead to sin. For most of the gay community i must say love is the theme. And i am proud to stand by a group, that i feel will be some of the first into heaven. Because the first shall be last and the last shall be first! We need to stop judging, analyzing, and start truely loving! Or we shall be last

            • So do you. Jonathan and David loved each other a lot! they were naked together. played music together…one of their fathers hated it and wanted to end it. but God loved that jonathan and david loved each other the way they did.

              • J&D I saw this question (below) asked of another comment, above, and thought it crude… but must ask it of you here… Are You Drunk? I can not even begin to put together the words that might, somehow, illustrate how ridiculous your insinuations are. Those regarding Jonathan and David…

                • “Jdug” — Let’s be clear when we quote God’s Word. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 18:

                  “18 David finished talking to Saul. After that, Jonathan became David’s closest friend. He loved David as much as he loved himself. 2 (From that day on Saul kept David as his servant and didn’t let him go back to his family.) 3 So Jonathan made a pledge of mutual loyalty with David because he loved him as much as he loved himself. 4 Jonathan took off the coat he had on and gave it to David along with his battle tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt.”

                  That is not a homosexual relationship. I have many friends whom I love as much as myself. In fact, that is what God requires. That does not make it homosexual.

                  We must be careful not to read into God’s Word what we want it to say. We MUST read the Bible in context. There is no way one could read this and conclude that David was gay.

                  Instead, I understand that some struggle with homosexual attraction. That doesn’t make them any worse of a sinner than my sexual attraction gone rogue under my own control. However, when I turned my life over to Jesus, He gave me the power to change. He continues to give me direction to live (according to the Bible) through the power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t have a license to sin. I choose to lay down my sinful sexual desires because I know it is sin.

                  In fact, to conclude anything else is a misunderstanding of the Gospel as a whole. If God hates sin (and we know He does because he crucified His own Son for all sin) then when we say it is ok to sin because we like our sin we are rejecting the Gospel and rewriting the Gospel for our own purposes. When we do this we are “abandoning the Gospel” and “adapting” the Gospel to our needs and desires. Paul wrote the Galatians about this very thing when Judaizers put additional requirements on believers. He wrote:

                  “6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
                  10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. ”

                  Grace and peace to you friends. This is a difficult world to live in. Our walk with Jesus demands sacrifice.

          • If homosexuality is to be considered normal, so to is homosexual sex. It is no more a sin than heterosexual sex. Thank goodness it can now be condoned through marriage, as that should make one religious feel a lot better about it, one should think. Thank you for your attempt at love and reason.

        • Do you hate those with cancer because god made a mistake? How about those with epilepsy or autism or Down Syndrome? Was it their choice to be imperfect? Or did god really screw up? I will love those people who are imperfect whether I think god did it, or it was their choice.

        • In wrestling with these dilemmas, I would recommend to you a book by Ronald Rolheiser – “Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity”. In discussing God’s overwhelming and even indiscriminate love for us, Rolheiser says: ” If God loves us equally when we are bad and when we are good, then why be good? This is an interesting question, though not a deep one. Love, understood properly, is never a reward for being good. Goodness, rather, is always a consequence of having been loved. We are not loved because we are good, but hopefully we become good as we experience love.”

          Peace to you


        • Human beings, in the womb and without, are frequently “imperfect”. Why we think God is in the business of assuring every gene operates properly is beyond me. We don’t question God’s intention when a child is born with cancer, has Downs Syndrome or any number of emotional or physical issues. Why are some of us so immeasurably gorgeous and others born without a nose or the proper number of fingers and toes? It happens and we bring them into our bosom and fall in love with them and their imperfections in the blink of an eye. Why do we think the broad spectrum of masculinity and feminity must operate within some arbitrary definition of “right.” Every one of us knows a woman who falls on the masculine side of that sliding scale. She never wears makeup, prefers pants to dresses. And there’s the guy down the street who wouldn’t know a quarterback from a diamond back. I’ll stick my neck out here and posit that it’s our ability to understand the amazing spectrum of “ways to be human” that has it’s limitations.

        • Guess what Christ said about homosexuality? Nothing. Zip. Nada. I listen to Him. If you do not know the history, the societal norms in acceptance at a particular time, the nuances of the actual language spoken, then you don’t know the Bible. Do your research. The history of Christ’s words is well documented. And He is the Son of God, after all. Therefore, I believe His words can’t be garbled,

      • Not sure God actually shapes and molds the child in the womb as many want to believe but the assumption is nice. No where in the Bible do we read if such an occurrence, only the possibility for us to make and have children has been governed by God. That being said then the child in the womb is the byproduct of the parents just as the child growing out of the womb. How can we have free will if God is shaping every aspect if our lives? Thus our lives are inherently ours and the things in it are inherently due to our own circumstances. I’m this way it is hardly conceivable that God shaped,olded, stitched, or created a “mistake”. In truth He has no hand in that process, he created us with the ability to procreate and has allowed us the free will to do it solely on our own the product of that love then is inherently ours. If “mistakes” are made, they are done so as manifestations of mistakes in the parents. After all we know we are not perfect. Our choices in life have consequences. What we put in our bodies and how we act are important in the development of our children. Absolutely no one has looked onto that though. I do know a child without a father is looking for an identity or purpose in life.

        • A child born with Down Syndrome is not due to the “mistakes” of his/her parents. We live in a fallen, sinful world where bad things happen. God doesn’t cause these things. He allows them. If, in fact, He did not have the capability to correct them, He would not be the God He says He is. People can be born with “imperfections” that need to be corrected. And it’s not God’s fault. Neither does God want us to just suffer with it. These so called “mistakes” or “imperfections” are allowed by God because He has a plan. A plan to draw the world to Him. He uses struggling, imperfect and overcoming people to do it.

          • I believe God created the system of reproduction so he could busy himself with other things. Like you set up a plumbing system so your house can have water. As we all know, systems develop quirks over time. That person who identifies as female got a body with male genitalia. The genes got scrambled. This isn’t to say the person was born a mistake…. it just means the person is different than the flesh it was assigned by mindless cells.

          • Perhaps God allows for such “imperfections” to teach us Grace, to teach us to let go of our imperfect vision of perfection

          • I question whether Down syndrome is a “bad thing.” I certainly thought it was when I realized I was likely carrying a child with Down syndrome. And I definitely thought it was when my son’s birth and subsequent chromosomal testing confirmed it. But now, 9 and 1/2 years in, I am not so sure. I know that I am a better person for it, and I would venture to say that my husband and my other child are, too. My son with Down syndrome has taught me so much about perspective, about living in and being happy in the moment, about family and love and the goodness of the innocent. I know that so many things that you and I take for granted are so difficult for him, but he still tries and perseveres, and sometimes has a tantrum (who doesn’t?), but at the end of the day, he knows he is loved and he knows who he loves, and he is happy in that knowledge. Yeah, there is a lot that is difficult, trying, frustrating, and sometimes heartbreaking about Down syndrome, but there is also something so pure, so innocent, so inspiring about it. It is definitely part of God’s plan, and I don’t think he makes bad plans. Sometimes I think we all have it wrong, and that the way we should look at life is through the eyes of a child with Down syndrome. Maybe we would all be more innocent and the happier for it. I am quite sure we would find ourselves closer to God’s heart

            • Elizabeth, what you said is so beautiful and well said. Thank you for your insightful perspective. I am better for having read it.

          • Thank you for this reply. I love this: God allows and uses people with ‘imperfections’ to draw people to Him. He uses struggling, imperfect people to do His will.

        • “Gender,” we are told by science, is created in the womb. The brain is bathed two or three times during gestation in a hormone bath. If you get “just the right mix” of hormones, your “gender” matches your physical “sex” as determined by your chromosomes. If you don’t, for example, because your mother has a hormone imbalance or because you live in a polluted area… well… your gender in your brains can mis-match with your sex in your body. This is how transgender people come to be. As such, “God” creates transgender people “in the womb” exactly like he “creates” babies with Downs Syndrome which is a chromosomal abnormality. And if God “doesn’t make any mistakes” then transgender people are no more a mistake than babies with Downs are and *maybe* YOU ought to get off the idea that “God” didn’t know what God was doing when God gave them brains that didn’t match their bodies. What happened was a natural, explainable process with predictable results.

          Now you know how it happens. Now you can stop blathering on about “sin” and start accepting people for how they are created… in the image of “God.”

          And LOVE and accept them.

          And demand their civil rights and their safety. Just like you demand your own. For your own beloved children.

          • Thank you so much for your post. I stumbled on this page, started reading and could not believe what I was reading. Right before I got to your post, I started to think maybe I should just be an atheist, rather than judge people. Thank you again. I will always love people just as they are.

          • “… we are told by science…” “Now you know how it happens.” “… stop blathering about sin…” WOW… Dejah, this science you speak of… it is very powerful, n’cest pas? Even gives you the power to declare what is real in science, and to command people to stop blathering, and to DO WHAT YOU SAY! Oh yes… and to go with that, instead of the holy word of God. Good Luck With That

            • But read science too. The Bible doesn’t disagree with science, but sometimes Christians think that they must turn their back on Scientific knowledge when it appears to contradict the Bible. Study and pray. Pray and Study. But if you turn on the educated world, you won’t be happy with the results.

        • Please read Psalms 139:13-16; Isaiah 44:2, 49:5. Our purpose on earth is to bring glory to the Lord God Almighty who created us. We are created in His image, but we are consistently trying to recreate God in our image.

        • Nowhere do we read of God constructing us in the womb?

          Psalm 139:13-16
          13 For you created my inmost being;
          you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
          14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
          your works are wonderful,
          I know that full well.
          15 My frame was not hidden from you
          when I was made in the secret place,
          when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
          16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
          all the days ordained for me were written in your book
          before one of them came to be.

        • You said: “No where in the Bible do we read if such an occurrence.” It really helps if you take the blindfold off when you are reading the Bible!

          Isaiah 49:5
          And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, And My God is My strength)

          Jeremiah 1:5
          “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

      • Hi
        Being a gay Christian minister, I would like to give you an answer to consider. I believe God did create me in perfection, just as He has everyone else. I believe that He created me to be who I am, in order for the love I walk in- to transform those I encounter- in a way that only I can do. That is no mistake. I believe this is the same thing He had in mind for you… Our only “Call” is the “Call to Love”….He has created us all differently, but for this same purpose. I believe this is what is good and true and lovely in His sight….Rev Kathy B.

        • kathy b. i would like to know your viewpoints on the new and old testaments view about homosexuality. Both testaments seem to be in agreement with each other

        • Please explain how you reconcile homosexuality with the words in the bible which clearly say it is a sinful lifestyle?

          I have never heard a gay Christian explain this contradiction.

          Thank you

            • Exactly! I don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible. Even in the scripture usually cited to “prove” that view has been misinterpreted…It states man laying with man AS HE WOULD DO A WOMAN. Meaning, a STRAIGHT man laying with another man. A gay man would NOT be laying with a woman. I believe that what is a sin according to the Bible, is to go against your natural attraction. For example, if you are a woman who is biology, phyically, emotionally, & mentally, attracted to women, then having sex with men would be a sin. Same goes for men. Same goes for a woman biologically, physically, emotionally, & mentally attracted to men, should not have sex with other women. Back in “Bible days” people would go against their nature as a perversion…THAT is what was being addressed as a sin NOT homosexuality. Homosexuality is no more a sin than heterosexuality.

              • I think Jesus was pretty clear with scripture.
                Matthew 19:4-6
                “4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.””

                and His alternative to male-female marriage Matthew 19:11-12
                “11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

            • Ahhh… that’s the spin (this time). Thanks Shawna, for making your point as clear as muddy water. If you’ll read 1 Corinthians 6:9 and your Romans 1:26-27, you might get the jist of it. When will it be understood that it’s the Full Measure of God’s word that is to guide us. THE FULL MEASURE (caps for emphasis, not shouting).

          • Please explain how christian s reconcile all their behaviors that are spoken of in the bible. And there are many, many more that address heterosexual sin than gay sinners. I don’t actually believe in sin or the bible or Santa. But the contradictions you folks live is entertaining.

            • Christians reconcile their actions as the bible shows us. If our behavior is sinful as defined by scripture, that is what we call it. The good news is that there is forgiveness, mercy and grace. I understand that all Christians sin. I sin. I do what I know is wrong. I need reconciliation as does everyone. Jesus provided that. He paid the price allowing me to have a relationship with my Creator. Jesus then offers mankind the choice to accept his gift of grace or reject it. I accept it. That’s why I am a Christian. Love, acceptance and forgiveness come from God the Creator. I don’t even try to justify my sin. When I sin, I am wrong. I must then ask forgiveness and make restitution if possible. I don’t condemn anyone who lives a different lifestyle from me because I am not God. God judges. On the other hand it is my duty to tell folks how to obtain mercy and reconciliation. If you call me homophobe because I do accept what the bible defines, then it rolls off of me because I am the messenger, and not the one who judges. I do not fear “gay” people. I do however wish to show the better way.

          • Please explain how christian s reconcile all their behaviors that are spoken of in the bible. And there are many, many more that address heterosexual sin than gay sinners. I don’t actually believe in sin or the bible or Santa. But the contradictions you folks live is entertaining.

          • But the bible does NOT say it is a sinful lifestyle. Understand that some translations of the bible may have misconstrued the original wording based on their traditions or culture – things that did not come through clearly from the original Aramaic or greek scrolls. Think of the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors. In the original hebrew it was a Kethoneth passim, which someone translated as a coat with many colors. The phrase is used one other time in the Hebrew Scriptures, to describe the garment worn by Tamar, daughter of David, in 2 Samuel 13:18-19. This is the relevant comparison. Joseph lived among the tents with the women, rather than going out to the fields and hunting with his brothers. As it was with Tamar, the “coat of many colors” was, essentially, a dress (which his brothers found offensive). So – did Joseph like wearing a woman’s garb? He did stay in the tents with the women, cooking instead of hunting and fighting like other men.
            And – God chose him for higher purposes … doesn’t sound like a mistake to me.

        • Thank You Kathy B. I have a son that is gay and have been affected by the awful tragedy that occurred here in Orlando. God Bless you

          • Stephanie Noriega — Wow. I am so sorry. Did you loose your son in the shooting? Well, however it affected you and yours, I imagine there is some level of PTSD. ((hugs))

        • You are right. God has created all of the species on this planet, each different and unique, and contributing to the whole, and yet we question that there would be inherent differences within our own species? I believe God does not judge these differences, but rather, CELEBRATES them. Nothing could come from the Creator of all- that- is, in love, that is not wanted for a reason that grows us all into greater love. It’s not up to us to say “no”, but to pause and say, “oh look at what You’ve created here..another form of love! ” , and then to stay in that wonder, and allow the love that is offered to come forth. Say yes to the whole. God does, every day, in every way. Because every bit of this Creation matters.

          • Becky, that sounds great but does not line up with what Jesus clearly taught. He taught that he, himself will judge the world (in the hereafter) John 5:27 and John 8:15-16. In the Bible there are 76 verses that teach God is the judge. He does not reward wickedness as he defines it. Since we are all wicked in one way or another, we all need his reconciliation but we can not distort what God teaches and be right.

            • And yet, Jesus said not one word about “homosexual sin”. Not one. It took a thousand years for the Pauline letters to get shoved into what was the Bible, by some political priests wanting to control the growing Christian movement. Follow the red letter gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the true word.

              • and yet He was quite clear on God’s plans for man and woman. Matthew 19:4-6 and the alternative to this lifestyle in Matthew 19:11-12

        • My thoughts exactly…my Mom told me when I was 18 yrs old…
          that God doesn’t make mistakes..that she knew when I was 4 yrs old I was going to be gay…so accept and love myself Exactly as I am….was raised attending Baptist Church in Choir, Sunday school, and Very Thankful for Godly parents who taught Agape Love…like Jesus.

        • You believe, believe, believe Katheryn Bard, but I fear that I will not one day see you in Heaven. You may believe this and that, but to assert that you know what is good and true and lovely in His sight, when what you confess practicing is so contrary to His word… and when his word so clearly illustrates how unpleasing it is to Him. How potentially damning it is. It chills me through and through to even think of what could be in store for a self professed Christian minister who might dare to mislead His sheep, and endanger their salvation. Girl, I kid you not when I plead here with you to repent, and allow Jesus to create in you a clean heart, and to set you back on the path that is prepared for you. The true path, to your true self. No, I do not believe you chose to be lesbian, but, I do believe you’ve made choices that led you deeper and deeper still, into a world of gender confusion. A world of all manner of deception. A world from which Jesus can save you. He IS in that business, you know! I judge no one, you included, as I am a sinner. A sinner who knows God’s grace and mercy, and who is daily thrilled to know that I am His, and He is mine! Jesus is key, and there are truly a number of good, healthy, tried and true, and proven successful ways (along with Jesus) to leave the gender confused lifestyle. If you’re up for the “real truth”, from people whose lives have been mostly spent seeking and studying the truth, in all this, check out these resources. These are a start, and there is so much more. The real, and usual problem with this is that most people living in gender confusion want to be comforted, instead of convicted. We sinners must need to experience conviction, seek repentance, and receive salvation. NOT experience comfort, seek pretense, and receive damnation. Hallelujah, and hope I some day see you in the presence of our Lord…

          • V Brown, regarding Ms Bard… you do judge.
            Starts with your patronizing use of the word ‘girl’ to address a grown woman who has pursued her path of understanding of god, and it just keeps going on from there.
            Your judgmental response got in the way of me being able to listen and hear to what you were saying.
            Just saying… hang onto your nose.
            You have something valuable to say – but you, and all of us really, can be our worst enemy.

          • Not yours to judge, and not yours to interpret another’s path. What God wants of me is not what God wants of you. I prayerfully seek my path and would not presume you can address it for me.

        • Katheryn Bard (love the name “Bard”), sorry I forgot in my other reply to you to give those two sources I mentioned. Duh Duh Dummy Me! #1. The Battle For Normality ~ Aardveg, Ph.D. #2, You Don’t Have To Be Gay ~ Jeff Konrad Both well written, insightful beyond description, and filled with truths. Konrad is, perhaps, kinder and less clinical than Aardveg, but the truth is the truth, and it sometimes hurts. That certainly has been the case for me, and the sins with which I have, and do, wrestle. If still interested, once done with these, let me know and I’ll suggest a few more. Hallelujah Sister… Praise Jesus…

      • I love this question, I’ve pondered it a lot myself. Not only with the sexuality aspect but also with people who are born handicapped or otherwise. I think sin is also the condition in which we were born, not just what we do knowingly. The effect of sin is illness, disease, irrational mindsets, judgments, self-sufficiency and so many other things. Without sin, these wouldn’t exist. We’d be in Eden having a great time being perfect and experiencing perfect love the way God intended. I personally think the homosexuality thing is a nurture aspect, not nature, but if it is nature, I think there is more to explore in terms of what we are born into in the sin condition. Most people don’t wake up one day and say “i think i’ll be gay” so there has to be more to it than just sinning out of rebellion. Either way, all our pain and all the twistedness of this world is a part of the brokenness that puts us on our knees before Christ, which ultimately leads us into his love. And His love is beautiful because it covers a multitude of wrongs.

        • Victim blaming–which is what saying that illness is “caused by sin” especially genetic illness–that’s just so wrong I don’t know where to begin.

          Bronze Age thinking in the modern age.


          • Sorry Dejah, but the true victims here are the confused, young people who buy in to, and become convince of the tragically wrong notion that one can be born gay. In 2016, two very well respected, John’s Hopkins Dr.’s made a thorough study of hundreds (plural) of cases and studies that claimed, in one way or another, to prove that being gay (gender confused) is a result of nature, rather than nurture. There solid conclusion is that there is no evidence in existence, in any of these studies, what so ever, that proves or supports the “born gay” notion. This, including your suggestion that the bath in the womb is determinative. I well imagine that you’ll not want to stop hanging your hat on the womb bath theory, but you’ll only be fooling yourself, if you do. AND no, these doctors are not homophobes, or haters of any sort. In fact, prior to beginning their work on this, they were widely recognized as pro lgbt. Their intent, and hope was to, indeed, find the proof that gay (gender confusion) was nature, rather than nurture. Problem is they could not prove that, because the opposite is true. Of Course, now these two gentlemen are being attacked, slandered, even their lives have been threatened, by the lgbt activists. The same activists who considered them darlings, until they were ethically compelled to publish the truth of their findings in the 143 page report. You will now have to live in denial (not the river), or accept the truth of it, and find somewhere else to hang your hat. Speak truth. Speak life. Conviction leads to repentance, and repentance leads to salvation. There is no heart that Jesus cannot make new. He did so for this sinner, and I pray daily asking for forgiveness for my sins. Hallelujah

      • I believe that God continually creates each of us…as well as all of God’s creatures and creation…in God’s Love because “God is love”. I don’t think “God makes mistakes”. And I don’t think anyone is right to judge God and how God creates all of God’s beloved creatures and creation. As Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge” others?
        If we’re not living our own lives in truly loving ways, then we’re not living according to God’s greatest commandments…which are the essential commands that God gives us throughout our lives.
        “And the greatest of these is Love.”
        I think living with an attitude of self-righteousness is idolatrous.
        We are not God. Only God is God. And so we need to be obedient and humble before God. By our actions and thoughts are we truly abiding with God…and, as a result, truly abiding in love with ALL of God’s creatures.
        Let us bless God at all times and in all our acts and thoughts!
        A blessed Thanksgiving Day for all!

      • Are YOU inerrant in your understanding of the Bible, and also without sin? Flail away then. Otherwise drop that condescending love-the-sinner tone and seek the same grace for yourself that you would reluctantly grant to others, and pull up a chair in the sinner section.

      • God created our souls not our bodies. It doesn’t matter about our sex, or capabilities (We would never tell a disabled person that God made a mistake) God wants our souls, our bodies are no use to him in the place he has prepared for us. He has already said there is no marriage in heaven. We come with our loving souls to a lord that loves us.

        • Dear Lynn, this is a sub-Christian, gnostic view. God made our bodies as much as our souls. The physical world — all of it — is God’s creation. As Tom Wright and many others point out, central to the orthodox Christian understanding of our future is physical resurrection. However difficult we find it wrestling with the issue of how and why imperfection exists in the good world God made, we should not let ourselves be led away from Christian teaching into pagan beliefs that the material world — including human bodies — is not the creation of God.

      • This is all based on the idea that our time on earth is ABOUT our time on earth. It isn’t! It’s about eternity. We aren’t here to attain perfection, sinlessness, conformity… And we aren’t here to ‘fix’ sinners. We are here to be Jesus to a broken world. We are a love letter, written by God. I believe that the challenge God is issuing to the church is this: ‘Will you set aside your biases, step out of your comfort zone, and love my children without condition?’ Whether you view it as perversion or preference, it has no bearing on God’s heart for them, and our subsequent call to love them. And if we’d all been born white, straight, and Christian, God wouldn’t be a very creative creator, would he?

        • You nailed it Benjamin. It is NOT about us or are time on earth…and if we were all the same, we would not need to help of the Holy Spirit to love one another. But we are called to love other as Christ did through the power of the comforter He sent. All sin has its root in viewing things from a temporal rather than an eternal perspective. It is our collective constant struggle.

      • Another real mistake is that we do not accept that a gay person is exactly as God intended.
        why is it that they must suppress or forego what God has instilled in them? Learn about human sexuality as we must in the modern age, not by what was written (with good intention) but at a time in the course of mankind where human sexuality was not fully understood. Scripture writers, while believing every word was God-brathed, could not yet now all there is to learn. Time has brought us great discoveries. Alas, the world is not flat! Male ejaculate does not contain an actual seed. It goes on and on including realizing same gender attraction is created in approximately 3-6% of the worlds populations, in every generation and every culture. Its not to be aligned with something like alcoholism or a tendency to be a drug addict – but that is the conclusion and the premise used to mis-define and then condemn, as a sin. Real Bible study digs deeper and finds challenging considerations and other realities. check Mathew vines Reformation Project. Go further than the easy finger pointing.

        • All sorts of holes here. An easy one to explore is the flat earth theory. People in the Bible didn’t believe that. Explorers didn’t think that. The idea is a twentieth century assumption made in a newspaper. Dig a little deeper.

      • Homosexual acts are condemned in both testaments of the bible and there is no way Jesus would condone them. That’s not being a “fundamentalist” or “homophobe” or whatever the latest hate noun/adjective is; it’s the bible. We all sin in different ways but that doesn’t mean we should condone a very clear sin. We are called to love the sinner, not their sin. Sorry for being so hateful and old-fashioned.

        • There is actually no record in the NT of Jesus saying anything about homosexuality. There are a few apparently negative references to male homosexuality in the OT and in Paul’s letters, but nothing in “red ink”. Seems to me Jesus was a whole lot more interested in telling us to love God and one another, to be servants to God and one another, to forgive one another, and to refrain from passing judgement on one another. So I really don’t know whether or not Jesus would condone homosexuality … based on what the church teaches, maybe not. But I am VERY sure that He wouldn’t condone our condemnation of someone else’s homosexuality. “Love the sinner, not the sin” is just a meme. We’re ALL sinners until we’re forgiven, and forgiveness is freely available to all who will accept it.

        • Hey, not to be hateful and old fashioned, but I cannot condone your use of lower case “bible” when referring to God’s Word! “It’s the Bible”! Moron!

          • Joseph, the person who typed Bible with a small b could have only made a typing error unintentionally. Your vitriolic comment was intentional. Which do you think would offend the God of the Bible? A spelling error whether intentional or not or a mean spirited comment? In the Bible, whose spelling you so ardently defend, Jesus says (in red letters–His words) “Anyone who says (to another person) ‘you fool’!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell”.
            Joseph, chill, brother.

          • Joseph, I’d like to add to my other comment this: you said you did not want to be hateful and old fashioned. Nothing wrong with being old fashioned, but hateful–that’s another matter. When you used the conjunction “but” to introduce your next thought you cancel out your first statement.
            I notice that that the word “moron” is used often on internet. While it is equal to the word “FOOL” which Jesus warns us about using, it seems that in contemporary use it merely means someone who has a different opinion.
            By the way, the scripture to which I referred in my other comment is Matthew 5:22. It is in the context of being angry with a brother, id est, another person.
            Reading verses 21-24 will put into perspective what the Bible expects you to do. It says go and be reconciled to, in your case, the person who misspelled Bible.
            If we are going to defend the spelling of the Bible, we ought to live according to it as well.

      • Do you believe that your creation is complete at the moment of your birth? Just a question to ponder? Perhaps we are not truly complete until we have completed this stage of creation and move on.

      • In response to Jj: Perhaps I could ask another question that might, indirectly, answer yours: if a child was born with a malformed heart, would you claim that God made him or her perfect and so no surgery should be performed to correct the problem? If a child developed diabetes, would you withhold insulin because God made him or her that way? The fact is that 1 in 2000 infants are born intersexed — in other words, born with a genital or chromosomal structure that contains elements of both biological sexes. Others are born with a clear sense of being one sex inside while another outside. Others very early realize that they are drawn to members of the opposite sex. Sexuality is usually not “chosen,” but rather discovered (if you don’t believe me, tell me the moment you chose to be straight…) While there are a few places in the Bible (mostly the Old Testament) that equate homosexuality with sin (of course, there are no references to transgendered or intersex people that I am aware of), Jesus is remarkably silent about it. He certainly made no pronouncements strong enough to extrapolate calling any of it a “sin.” What IS a sin, however, is judging others.

        • Well, actually Christ did make statements regarding homosexuality.

          Matt 5:17
          Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

          The law given to Moses very clearly prohibits Homosexuality. Christ no doubt was well aware of that, since He is the Word Incarnate. He is the Law and the Spirit of God simultaneously. He cannot deny Himself or His Word, which we are told that He regards His Word even above His own name (psalm 138:2)

          Make no mistake, Gods Word convicts US ALL, not just the homosexual, but the thief, adulterer, those who divorce, the drunkard, liars, blasphemers, etc…

          The good news is that same WORD also saves us all, once we repent and put our trust and faith in Jesus Christ alone, and cease to be our own God, deciding for ourselves what is good and evil in rejection of Gods Holy standards.

      • I think that God doesn’t make mistakes, but I think Nature does. Being homosexual isn’t a choice – it’s the way a person is wired from the womb. We know odd things happen – or all babies would be born perfect. I don’t think being homosexual is a defect per se – but it’s an anomaly. As we become aware of the world through science (also a gift from God) we are allowed to see this wonderful creation in new and different ways. Being homosexual isn’t a choice – and by placing that burden on God’s children who are different in any way from the “norm” is harmful to them and therefore displeasing to God. The bible says all kinds of things we discount these days – just go through Leviticus and Deuteronomy and start making a list of all the things we aren’t supposed to do according to the “Word of God” and you will see there are several things that we discount in the modern world. Those things may have had meaning and were there to protect us or had another purpose that is no longer served. Love is never ugly – and those who share it are blessed. Let’s pray for understanding and the willingness to truly open our hearts to see God shining back at us in most people.

      • Perhaps God did not make a mistake. Perhaps people are not sinning who are living a life true to how they were made. Perhaps God made some people different than others so we could all practice his word of acceptance – I have not heard it said judge first based on our interpretation of what we believe is right. God Bless!

      • If I may, I don’t think God made any mistakes and you are certainly not one. I also think that, possibly, some of the bible could be misinterpreted. We need to live our lives as humanly good as possible and do what is right for us. God does not judge, only man does that. Blessings.

        • To and in reply to “Bev,” (June 7, 2016 at 10:02 PM), writing “We need to live our lives as humanely good as possible and do what is right for us. God does not judge, only man does that.”
          That certainly sounds right to me. It strongly reminds me of the title, “On Being Human Religiously: Selected Essays in Religion and Society,” title of the allegedly important book by the theologian James Luther Adams. I have invested considerable time and effor trying to read what this remarkable, funny, good, courageous man writes—trying to understand what he is saying. And my stars—so far I get mighty mighty little from the book but frustration.
          Can anybody please make suggestions to me: How can I get over and through my frustration? I am quite sure that I want to. This guy (James Luther Adams) is somebody worth effort. I am determined to get past my limits of ignorance and dull understanding (a doctorate level professional at age 83 I am, for heavens sake).

          Pastor Pavlovitz? Anybody?

        • To and in reply to “Bev,” (June 7, 2016 at 10:02 PM), writing “We need to live our lives as humanely good as possible and do what is right for us. God does not judge, only man does that.”
          That certainly sounds right to me. It strongly reminds me of the title, “On Being Human Religiously: Selected Essays in Religion and Society,” title of the allegedly important book by the theologian James Luther Adams. I have invested considerable time and effor trying to read what this remarkable, funny, good, courageous man writes—trying to understand what he is saying. And my stars—so far I get mighty mighty little from the book but frustration.
          Can anybody please make suggestions to me: How can I get over and through my frustration? I am quite sure that I want to. This guy (James Luther Adams) is somebody worth effort. I am determined to get past my limits of ignorance and dull understanding (a doctorate level professional at age 83 I am, for heavens sake).

          Pastor Pavlovitz? Anybody?

      • Do you think your God would want you pass judgement on others, especially your own children. If they are homosexuals and that bugs you, not only are you a crappy parent, you’re a crappy person.
        And this opinion that homosexuals are sinners is going down the drain because I’m assuming you’re 40+ and you’re religious mindset is going out of fashion real quick in the younger generations.
        A person is a person. What they do on their free time is none of your business, even if they’re your kids.
        This isn’t bias either, I’m straight and I have no homosexual friends, but unlike you, I actually respect people.
        Have a good day.

      • Sex outside of marriage is a sin in the Bible. Some people may say, “I was born as a sex addict.” Does that mean that God made a mistake in reserving sex for married people? Some may say, “I was born male (with sperms), but I feel like a woman. If I have sex with another male, does that mean that God made a mistake when He created me as a male and the Biblical institution of marriage is between a male and a female? Some may say, “I don’t mind having sex with many different men, does it mean that God made a mistake when He made the institution of marriage for life between one man and one woman.
        The problem is not that a person loves having sex with many different people or with same sex people or with someone other than his/her spouse. The problem is that we act upon these abominations to God and are having sex outside of the institution of Biblical marriages. Doesn’t matter with whom we are having sex. For example, a serial rapist, thief, or murderer may feel that he/she was born to do these things, but it’s wrong to do them.
        If one believes in God, then one must know that He is sovereign. What power do we have? None.

        One either believes the Bible and try to live according to its word or they don’t. He gave us “choice.” Use it wisely.

      • Why is the above respondent conflating gay marriage with (trans)gender issues. It is like discussing having chicken for dinner and whether that means you should build a duck pond. The one has only the vaguest connection with the other.

      • JJ, I’d like to reply, and hope I can clarify things a bit for you. First, I think you’re confusing gender identity and sexual orientation, as it seems the “knitting together” part of your comment refers to gender identity and the rest to sexual orientation. They are two completely different things.

        As far as the “stitching time” right at the beginning (I think you’re referencing Ps. 139:13-20 or whatever, right?): As a transgender person who is also a Christian, I answer: I don’t think God makes mistakes. I was “stitched together” in the womb with a male body, but for whatever reason, I was also stitched with a female brain. I don’t know why; I suppose to glorify God. I never decided to be a woman. I never had that choice. It simply was, and is. I can’t imagine why anyone would choose to be transgender – almost every transperson I know comes to accept this fact of our lives kicking and screaming against it. It is not an easy path, and it is one that is constantly strewn with thorns from a society that largely hates and fears us.

        But my experience that followed accepting myself as God made me, and transitioning into womanhood, has brought a cornucopia of blessings that leads me to believe that God meant it when He inspired Isaiah to write 56:3-5.

      • I know this is over a year old, but my answer is this: God doesnt make mistakes. If God made someone biologically a male, but the brain of that person identifies as a female or other… that is exactly how that person was made by God. Genetalia or chromosomes fit neatly into a category, but each of us is MORE complicated than that… and THAT is how God made us.

      • I offer this: When one studies the history of HOW one’s religious beliefs came into being, a LOT of man’s agenda becomes clear in the “presentation of scripture.” Whenever you see a “new” version of The Bible presented by whatever group, compare it to other new versions and see how the same scriptures are slanted to fit the group’s decisions.

        Don’t believe Me? Just look at how the worst people in the world interpret The Constitution to suit their agendas. And Hitler quoted The Bible, too, to support his agenda. Any “text of power” will be used and abused by someone’s ego to avoid facing their fears and inadequacies.

        God did not make a mistake; science even shows that to be gay is NOT a choice, but a genetic predisposition. Some guy somewhere in history “interpreted” (or just plain made it up) scripture that homosexuality — and so many other things, like women controlling our own lives — are SINS .

        That’s what I learned when I chose Theology as a major in college and one of the primary reasons I am not following that path.

        Just a thought: study the history of how what you believe came to be. Only then can you have true faith from conscious, intelligent thought.

      • I don’t believe that God makes mistakes, I am exactly the gay man that he created! How can we be punished for being exactly like the person he created!

        • Read Romans for the answer. Paul is getting at that kind of question when he comes to 9:19, but read several chapters leading up to that and follow the entire argument.

      • Just an FYI:

        Actually, “sin” is a very general term. It is applied generally rather than specifically. The Old English word “syn(n)” derived from Old High German word “sunteon” was intended to mean a state of being “off the mark” or not on target. Unlike the understanding we have of “sin” today, this word was closer in meaning to the Greek word “harmartia” which also means to be in error, but again it is not indicating a choice to do wrong or to refuse to do right, but rather it delineates a state of being. The Greek word,”addikias” is often translated as the English word “iniquity” which describes a state of doing. In other words, when the Biblical writers refer to the human condition as “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, the word they use is “harmartia” while prohibitions against sin that involve human choice are more often than translations of the word, “addikias.”

        When humans establish a standard for moral and ethical conduct that does not comport with biblical standards, the word often used is the Greek word “κακία” which translates as “wickedness.”

        In other words, try as we might, we cannot be perfect in thought, word, or action. That is the type of sin that derives from the Greek word “harmartia”. When people either act deliberately to do wrong (or to NOT do something they know to be the right thing), the word used for sin is “addikias.” And when people think, speak or act in a manner that establishes a different standard for thought, words, and behavior from the Judeo-Christian standard, the word for that type of sin is wickedness (or the Greek word, “κακία.)”

        This is one explanation for why “the sins of the father” may have a direct effect on the children because more often temperaments and attitudes and how individuals act come from the examples of the parents — and in a patriarchal society that would assess the blame of the father,

      • I feel that if this is you and you feel that God created this conflict inside you to allow you hard choices then you must ask for His guidance and bravery to follow the path he made for only you. You must trust that he is with you on this journey all the way and he is love so ignore lust or greed and follow pure and genuine love. “Nothing is unclean of itself but to him that esteemeth it unclean, to him it is unclean” Romans 14:14. Follow love and God will lead you to truth, even if it is not the truth of your pastor or family. If you are not one on this path, you are not permitted by the Bible to judge. You are permitted to love and treat them as you would have them treat you if you woke up tomorrow in the body of the opposite sex. You may say that you would wish condemnation but were it truly to happen, you would wish love, support and faith in the power of God to get you where they need to be.

      • God makes no mistakes. He only makes oppurtunities to learn. What you may see as a mistake is his way of asking you to grow. A person who is gay is not gay by choice and is no more a mistake than a someone born with one blue eye and one brown eye. Sure they are not the average or the expected and their difference is caused by a change in their gene sequence. But only those without the ability to look past the expected and see the beauty and the lesson God is trying to show us, see the difference as a mistake.

      • “do you believe God made a mistake when HE created them or do you think perhaps they made a mistake in choosing to sin?”

        God ‘made’ Love in each one of us, and gave us the freedom to express it with whomever we choose. When you witness the love in two people why would it matter how they carryout their intimate relationship. And to the point of sexual promiscuity, I am sure heterosexuals stray from their spouse in equal or even greater numbers than gays.
        From a song whose title I can’t remember, “The only measure of your words and your deeds is the Love you leave behind when you’re done”


      • Well, I have observed nature during my 70 years on earth. When you walk in a garden and observe the various shapes of vegetables, you will find some real deviations. But it doesn’t occur to me that God or the Creator made a mistake. No sin is involved. Never occurred to me to be judgmental of nature. And I believe there is scripture that says not to judge lest yea be judged. My 2 cents worth.

      • In sin did my mother conceive me, and because of sin we are flawed. The devil is very busy getting us to blame God. The irony of all the sin we commit, this same God who hates sin, still gave us the choice to choose, the world or to choose Him.

      • I am a non-theist, but the answer you are looking for could perhaps be “none of the above.” It could be that a transgender person is neither God’s mistake, nor that person’s sin. It could be that self-discovery is part of that God’s grand (and mysterious) plan for that person.

      • Pastor John made it clear that he loves and lives out the Red Letter words of our Lord. Perhaps you can go back to the Bible and find what, if anything, Jesus said about that subject.

      • God -as we choose him/her to be- makes no mistakes. I believe there is a purpose for everything that happens. Then again, if God does make mistakes, maybe we are the mistakes; us, the ones whom decide what is a mistake OR whom had made the “mistake” that comes from the womb???
        Who are we to say that the person in a wheel chair is a mistake, the blind, the deaf, the black, the white, the gay or the bisexual? Are we not all people who desire but one basic thing in this realm we call life? That one thing being…L-O-V-E.
        Who has the right to really say what wrong or right is if it doesn’t hurt anyone else? That would be no different than if I was told that I am a mistake because I make my living by writing books instead of working at a big box store or gas station?
        I was raised Lutheran, partook as a Methodist later in life, converted to Catholic for some time, studied American Indian ways of worship, went back to Lutheran, studied Wiccan and after all of these areas, have simply decided I am better off to live by the laws of the universe, more Wiccan and American Indian. Why?
        Because out of all the religions I had been a member of, these two actually taught a person about living in peace and love with your brother and sister in this thing we call life.
        Watch a group of squirrels for some time. Yes, they battle over the feed at times, but they have one thing in mind without realizing they do; the common good for their kind.
        Just imagine how far the human race would be if there was more love and less judgement?
        Love, it’s a great four letter word for everyone…

      • God does not make mistakes. You fail to understand that we are conceived in sin and born in sin. We are born under the curse of sin. Only by God’s grace unto you does He call you out of the darkness in which you reside into the light of salvation based solely on the work of His Son, Jesus Christ, who took the sins of mankind upon Himself in payment for our sin debt.

      • You have a long way to go to reach enlightenment. But i suggest you start by not believing everything you read. But by knowing yourself and what’s in you heart.

      • First, it may help if you separate the issues. Transgender and gay are not interchangeable. Gender is not always “assigned” in the womb, it’s actually pretty fluid. And the first transgender person I knew was born a hermaphrodite but the doctors simply removed the penis without consulting anyone.
        There is plenty to read about the “homosexuality is a sin” concept if it based on a couple of OT scriptures. But, first, I simply wanted to untangle the thoughts you expressed about gender identity and sexual identity, as they are separate.

      • What is “stitched in the womb” also controls hormones, brainwaves and other parts of your body besides genitalia, and what the whole world, not necessarily G-d decides that means is what we are in a position to judge.

      • Well, not to be too ‘medical,’ but God does stitch together infants with both male and female genitalia; I am assuming you’re aware of that. Your notion of God is that “He’s” infallible, so I’d just simply suggest to you that he’s obviously not overly focused on issues of gender or sexuality or this would not be happening, right? Thanks for the opportunity to respond freely, and thanks for you logical consideration of what I’ve written.

      • I think you are confusing gender fluid people with those who are gay. Gay people don’t think they were born the “wrong” sex….they are simply born with whatever biological/chemical factors which, upon hitting puberty, lead them to be attracted to those of the same sex. Entirely different are transgendered folks who are born with whatever chemical factors determine gender not in alignment with the biological factors present. These two examples of differences in humans (two of many) are not God making a “mistake”, or “wrong”, anymore than it is a “mistake” or “wrong” for a human to have a genetic predilection toward growing brown hair after being born with blonde. As the world has grown up, we humans have become more aware of the many and varied deeper aspects of what God originally created AND we honor God in using our minds that were created to discover and celebrate those previously overlooked and wonderfully crafted elements of creation. To do otherwise, to look upon any part of God’s creation, with hate, derision, an attitude of superiority or judgment, would be true blasphemy and ultimately a sin in the eyes of God.

      • I think you are confusing gender fluid people with those who are gay. Gay people don’t think they were born the “wrong” sex….they are simply born with whatever biological/chemical factors which, upon hitting puberty, lead them to be attracted to those of the same sex. Entirely different are transgendered folks who are born with whatever chemical factors determine gender not in alignment with the biological factors present. These two examples of differences in humans are not God making a “mistake”, or something “wrong” anymore than it is a “mistake” or “wrong” for a human to have a genetic predilection toward growing brown hair after being born with blonde. As the world has grown up, we humans have become more aware of the many and varied deeper aspects of what God originally created AND we honor God in using our minds that were created to discover and celebrate those previously overlooked and wonderfully crafted elements of creation. To do otherwise, to look upon any part of God’s creation, with hate, derision, an attitude of superiority or judgment, would be true blasphemy and ultimately a sin in the eyes of God.

      • Jesus has lots to say about laws, not all of it good. Christianity is not a law-book religion, but a love religion. It is not for us to judge and condemn someone as a sinner. Scripture must be read in context, not taken at face value. You have to consider the time in which it is set, the time in which it was written, who wrote it, the motive in writing it, redaction errors and additions in the course of transmission over thousands of years, the state of human knowledge at the time, the political and social circumstance of author and intended audience, and a host of other variables. Moreover, “literal” is not the only sense of scripture: there are also the allegorical, moral and estachological senses as well. And which translation of scripture is duly authoritative? The Bible has been translated into thousands of languages, over a hundred versions in English alone…how do we know who is the most accurate translator, and there is always an inability to truly translate an intended meaning from one language to another. My point is, the way you read scripture is FAR from authoritative to the extent you can condemn a whole class of persons as sinners. Take that all away, and the bottom line is simply that homosexuality makes you, personally, uncomfortable, because it goes against your view of the world. Your view, however, is not shared by everyone, and just are you to say you are right and others are wrong, based solely on your scientifically uncorroborated feelings? I am a white, married, heterosexual, middle-aged priest, pastor of http://www.saintceciliacatholiccommunity.org, where we accept everyone the way God made them and welcome them to receive all the sacraments, no questions asked.

      • Jesus’s words in Matthew 19:12 indicate that homosexuality is both created by, and indeed is a gift from, God. Not only that, but it comes at the end of a speech, BY JESUS, condemning heterosexual marriage. I know some people will twist passages in Leviticus and Paul’s letters to make them into condemnations of homosexuality, but to them I say this: Paul is not Jesus, and Acts 10:11-16 is a clear indicator that post-resurrection Christians are not bound by the so-called ‘purity’ laws. And no, I am not myself homosexual, just a man trying to cut through to the true heart of the greatest message we were ever given. To all of you I say this: the message of the Christ is Love. Someone who interprets Christ’s teachings in a way that divides, or spreads fear, or encourages hatred, is not of The Body of Christ. Jesus himself said that there would be many such people in this age, who claim to come in His name, and use his words to imprison and condemn rather than release and empower… yet how many hate preachers stop to consider that they were foretold?

      • The more scientist learn about genetics, the less binary gender becomes. If you think of your gender being determined by the stitching of your genetalia in utero, then you are very possibly missing the nuances that make you, you. Society makes judgements based on what we, humans, see. Gratefully, God sees more. The challenges of transgendered people are not from God. They are man made. Goid did not make a mistake.

      • Most important I think is realizing that what ever is going on here is between God and the individual. Love your neighbor and don’t judge are pretty biblical too.

      • There is nothing to fix. It is presumptuous to pretend to know God’s will. How can YOU know or judge what is perfect or imperfect from God’s eyes? Jesus told you to remove the log from your eye before removing the splinter from your neighbors eye.

        Perhaps, it would be best to focus on bettering yourself and getting your life perfected before trying to worry about transgender humans or gay humans.

      • We’ll, Jj reading your post reminds of the Pharisees trying to catch Jesus, between a rock and the law. The problem often is that the God of our rational understanding does not correspond to the living God we see in Jesus. . Maybe our focus Jj, needs to be more on the compassion of Jesus and less about our own perfection. Don’t think with your imperfect head but lead with perfect heart of Jesus in your heart.

      • You’re not talking about homosexuality you’re talking about being transgender that’s absolutely two different things. Please try to educate yourself on this matter a little bit more thank you.

      • My last response or reply was a reply to JJ the second person that replied in this list. About the difference between being a homosexual and being a transgender.

      • Maybe it was not God nor anyone who ‘made a mistake’. Maybe it’s that we have so polluted our environment, including with hormone altering chemicals, that mankind has in fact created this situation with our greed and uncaring towards our planet that He has so abundantly given us. We must own the mess we made of what we’ve been given and make welcoming these people into society, who through no fault of their own have had their lives altered by our greed.

      • I think the “stitching” God did was our souls and gifts (talents). Our physical bodies are the result of a mortal timeline after the fall in the garden of eden.

      • Transgender people are in no way “a mistake”. My friends who are transgender are some of the bravest, open-minded and loving people I know. They are at the forefront of helping us all to see what love and acceptance really are. That is God, the Divine, the Great Spirit emerging from within. We should not criticize any one who has come to help us to awaken, to be our true self , to be love.

      • God is perfect, and He sometimes gives us crosses to carry that are so heavy. Only He knows why–I have ADD, OCD, anxiety, depression and addictions. I’ve spent 45 years working thru these rough and trying difficulties. HARD. Much healing has happened and left me with such compassion and a desire to help others, and a deep understanding of just what they are up against. Things many dont understand at all, I am patient with people no one else wants to be around. God’s mission for me. Transgender or homosexuality are crosses and no different than my problems. Even the secular medical assoc. viewed it that way, until pressured to change. God created me to love alcohol, but alcohol is not good for me, so I choose God, not that escape. that simple.

      • Rethinking Gender and Sexuality: Case Study of the Native American “Two Spirit” People.
        ~ By Zuleyka Zevallos, PhD

        Sociology and anthropology have long used the experiences of “third sex” cultures, such as the Native American Two Spirit people, to teach students about the social construction of sex and gender. In many cultures around the world, people are allowed to live their lives beyond conventional binaries; they need not adhere to the biological sex they were born into. These people are usually revered and there are special circumstances where individuals are allowed to shift their gender position. These groups, including the Two Spirit people, are used as examples in the sociology of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersexual (LGBTQI) issues. Recent scholarship, however, has questioned this practice, demonstrating that social scientists are applying Western concepts to misappropriate the Two Spirit phenomena.

      • If you will permit me, please. Think of the Bible as the book of John says– it is a light to shine into a dark lost world, a light so we can see GOD and understand HIS person and HIS WILL and therefore know how HE desires us to live. That light was JESUS, GOD in the human person that we could see and follow in order that we might gain eternal life with HIM.
        GOD is truth, never changes, doesn´t make mistakes, and expects us to trust what HE has said even when we don´t understand, that is what faith is. It is like a loving parent who tells their child–do what I say, without explaining why. I can do that because my children know I love them and have their best interest in mind.
        In John 3:19-20 It says the judgement or basis that GOD will use to judge us is this–did we follow the light?–Did we live in obedience to the teachings of CHRIST or not?
        You might also say the light or teachings of CHRIST are like a mirrow. When you look into it you can see yourself as you really are and, how your thinking and ideas are different from HIS. In John chapter 14 Jesús said–If you love me obey what I say and if not- that is the proof you don´t love ME. So, here is where all the conflict comes. Because you now have to choose–do you accept what GOD says that is in conflict with your life style, repent and let HIM change you—–or do you justify why you are as you are and ignore GOD?

        In the book of Romans chapter one, is where you can find GOD´S thinking and the results of not following what HE says. It states that because people would not accept HIM or consider knowing HIM of any value. So, because of this He gave them over or permited them to do all sorts of wicked sins. Men with men, women with women having perverted sexual relationships with one another–but, not only that– people were filled with greed, malice, full of envy, jealous, murders, backbiters, disobedient, without mercy, heartless, hateful. In other words no matter what you call it, it is rebellion to GOD. And as the bible says GOD still permits all this horror to contine, giving us time to repent!
        So, shine the light, hold up the mirrow so we can each continue to examine ourselves. Read, study the BIBLE–know the truth and the truth will set you free.

      • I can only speak for myself, I am a gay believer. I’ve friends who are transgendered and can honestly say l don’t get it! It helps me understand the totally straight world- it is outside of my experience or thinking. I can only rely on the Scripture that says in Heaven there will be no male or female. If you believe that to be true, who are we to question? Your heart and relationship is not known to me, I cannot judge you. I can only celebrate your love of God.

      • The Bible words as written were and are words deemed of Spirit written by men of the desert and middle East world where ideas of gender and punishment too placed dominant importance to keeping gender separate. So take the gospel as gospel of reason and subject to Grand interpretation. And if we are born perfect in image, that doesn’t deny human identity or idea of self. Actions hated then stemmed from societal need to maintain patriarchal control , better to build the cathedral of mother Mary to maintain womens place in the power equation.

      • You clearly believe that same-sex attraction is a “choice”. I promise you, from the bottom of my heart, it isn’t. I didn’t chose this, any more than I chose to have hazel eyes, or to grow to six feet tall! This is how I was made. I find it easier to believe that portions of the bible have been translated wrong, or were interpreted incorrectly, than to believe that god made a “mistake” when he made me as I am. Do we still believe that everything in the bible is meant to be taken literally? Is it still important to sell your daughter as it instructs in one section? Or, are we to use the brains we were given and make educated decisions based on the best available information that we have? Jesus did say “love the sinner”, but nowhere does he offer the opinion that homosexuality is a sin. That’s someone’s interpretation.

        I hope this helps to answer your question.

      • Maybe .. just maybe … it isn’t a “sin” at all, and nobody made a “mistake.” Who is anyone to make such an accusation? We’re all here, sharing the same planet, fat, thin, brown, white, male, female, masculine, feminine, gay, straight, intelligent, simple, etc. Why are humans so judgmental? Why is it that you believe someone must have made a mistake or must have sinned? Who are you? What are you?

      • I take comfort in the fact that Jesus never said a word about gays. There were gay people in that age, but Jesus seems to have been unconcerned. In fact, no one even asked him. Perhaps they weren’t that concerned either. I don’t know. In this day and age, I do wonder, how a person grow into being gay or transgender, if that seed were not planted in them from the start? Those individuals have endured a great deal of persecution; surely they would not have chosen the lifestyle for fun. And in terms of “mistakes” (which is not how I think of it), what do we make of babies with horrific birth defects or incurable syndromes? Did God make them suffer on purpose? Did he make a mistake? My take (today) is that God allowed souls – developing sparks of his own being – to enter a three dimensional world and abide by the laws of nature here. What they are able to do with that experience seems to be the point.

      • God creates gays and transgenders. As we grow up and our sexuality matures, we come to realize who we really are. It’s not about God making mistakes. I have read about transgender, for example, that it’s the in-utero environment. If there are male hormones early on, genitalia will be male; but if there are female hormones later on when the brain develops, the brain will be “female,” resulting in gender identity at odds with genitalia. Perhaps God thereby sends a message and wants us to reject male-female stereotypes and love each person in all his/her uniqueness.

      • …Or maybe man’s ideas and concepts about sex and sexuality are just “limited.” And in anyway, my walk with God is not up for other people’s scrutiny. Thanks though

      • Being another from your tribe (transgender) , I feel god meant me (us) to live our lives with experience in both genders – it does give us a perspective others might find hard to grasp. Consider it not a mistake, but think of it as having a deliberate purpose. At 63, I give thanks to god for the life I have – and the clergy who have bible bashed folks like us for something we had no choice in … well, not all clergy are narrow like that. Walk away from the haters but keep your love of god intact.

      • I know this is an old post, but based on your comments here… You are talking about two different things…Homosexuality and Gender Identity (or transgender). Perhaps the first thing for you is to seek some education on this and THEN make your personal judgement call. Since you don’t know the difference in these two, perhaps you should consider the baby that is born with both parts? What should they do? And if you don’t know what I mean by that. Look up hermaphrodite. And then there is the person that feels love for both genders… No, God does not make mistakes, but we are His creation and all are created different. Don’t you think that child born blind would choose to see if they could? Don’t you think that child born with no arms and legs would choose to walk if they had that choice? Do you think that child that was born with a propensity to be heavy would choose otherwise in order to avoid the ridicule and bullying they will encounter in their lives? Yes, God gives us choice in our lives, but I do not believe that this is one of those choices. I am a gay person and I have NO choice in that. It has nothing to do with sex! That is where people go wrong in their understanding of a person in our position. In your eyes…sex is the sin. What if I never have sex? What then is my sin in your eyes? Are you telling me it is a sin to love another human being? I don’t think so. Nothing about homosexuality is in the Bible. There are only a few versus that man/woman has interpreted that way and try to use those to “show the sin”, but they never include the rest of the Word as if would put them in the same category. Do you think if this were such a great sin He should have included it in the Commandments? He didn’t, but he did include killing, lying, stealing, adultery, etc. Does it seem strange to you that Jesus NEVER preached against homosexuality but many other things? Visit your local PFLAG organization and talk to the people there. Maybe with some education you will feel differently.

      • Do you want a really outside the box answer from one who follows Jesus but no longer identifies with the term Christian? First, I do not believe Jesus ever discussed this. It is just in dogma that trans individuals have been told they are “less than..” I believe in reincarnation–have from my very earliest days as a child–and believe that we spend many lives in the bodies of both men and women and all races. I see trans individuals as those who have a strong identification with a past life role but are in this life born into the body of the other sex. For me, it has nothing to do with sin but is simply about sensing what has gone before. The ultimate goal in my reality is ultimately merge the linear step-by-step thinking generally attributed to men with the more flowing intuitive feeling generally attributed to women; and as the ego is vanquished, knowledge becomes wisdom and emotion becomes devotion, and the two qualities evenly balance. This is when we truly find heaven within our own selves. (Like I said, outside the Christian box–and not discussed in red letters in the NT. But you will find it in the Vedas.)

      • Maybe God’s perfection is all encompassing and not just at certain milestones (when you were being stitched together or when you came to you point of realization of your ‘self’). In other words, if your faith is strong and you try to walk the walk, then maybe ‘who’ you are sexually is exactly where you’re supposed to be by God’s plan. God IS perfection – just I nature. God doesn’t make mistakes. Whereas, humans are flawed and make mistakes (especially in our perceptions and our willingness to accept other’s ideas of right). Just a thought IMHO. Love and peace.

      • He says other views are welcomed but he has deleted all of mine over and over and doesn’t reply. It’s all about him! He could care less about what anyone else thinks!

      • I am afraid that your reader is confusing Homosexuality and Transgender Identification. If the Creator God stitched someone together that would identify as a male or female, as the case may be, but feel sexual attraction to their own gender, God did not get it wrong. It seems the major question is about Transgender Idenification and if a person wants to change their gender, did God get it wrong. Personally, I think the focus is on the wrong idea of the person. God created humans in His image. If we read that literally, then why aren’t we all males or all females? Is God gender specific, or did he create us in a different image, soul, spirit …? Aren’t we more than just male and female?

      • It occurs to me when I read comments about the perfection of God’s creations that we are ignoring that most things in the living world fall on a spectrum. We don’t question God’s wisdom when a child is born with an illness–some recover, some don’t. Why do we think a child who is born gay or may question his or her sexual identity later in life is in some way an aberration? Is the child born with cancer a major screw up by God? Is the kid who can speak in full sentences when she’s two and do advanced math by five some “really good work” by the Almighty and thus more worthy of love and affection? We’re all doing our best here. The Bible might be a good guide for many issues, but at the end of the day, shouldn’t we all fall back on the wisdom of treating others as we wish to be treated–a tenant or every major religion and practice in the world?

      • I am gay, will soon be 58, and grateful to have survived not only drug and alcohol addiction, but the mind-numbing indoctrination of a predominately fundamentalist Baptist upbringing. I can’t remember how I landed on this blog a little over a year ago, but I do remember thinking that John was quite handsome, and that his writing was insightful and inspirational. This morning reading through the posts in response to About, I couldn’t help but feel sad that in 2017, just weeks shy of 2018, there seem to be so many who are still continuing to cling to the Bible in defense of misguided and often hateful ideas. Of course this is not news, but it is so disheartening to read on a blog devoted to enriching our shared spiritual walk and common human experience. I remember being taught in my youth that every single word in the Bible was the inspired and infallible word of God, exactly as it is written. Today, knowing a little about literature and what we sometimes refer to as the oral tradition, accepting that the every word in the Bible is exactly as God intended seems implausible. A more tenable position for me is that the Bible is a guide for living, complete with poetry, history, wisdom, and spirituality. Moreover, I find myself questioning the concept of sin in general. I know that these are “heretical” concepts for my fundamentalist brethren, but for me, without reconciling faith with reason meant that I would have to separate myself from the only spiritual tradition I knew and that would truly be a sin–being separated from God when I so desperately needed him.
        Thanks to all of the parents who have posted here about loving your children just as they are. Thanks to those with a ministerial vocation who have shared reasonable and compelling arguments for God’s grace for those of us like myself so clearly need it. None of us truly knows the mind of God; perhaps one day we will be so blessed.

      • JJ, if sin is a conscious decision, then you have your answer right there. Without going into all the scientific reasons why people born with a given set of sexual organs, may have different internal wiring in their brains, hormones, etc., they are born that way. Transgender, dual gender, cisgender, etc., are not choosing to be one or the other. They are born the way they are born without choosing to be born at all, much less one gender over another, and therefore, not sinning.

      • This is a well written question. I have thought this through as a Bible study teacher when one of the young ladies in our group announced that she was gay. We had the opportunity to love on her all the more and walk beside her which was the right answer. But God did not make her wrong or any one else wrong. However we have challenges that we have to live up to. Some have greater challenges than others but we have been called to righteousness weather easy or difficult and we should try as hard as we can to attain that. If we are gay or an alcoholic or deal with anger issues or whatever it is, we are still called to rise above those challenges. Remember being Gay isn’t the sin, acting on it is. If I desire to cheat on my wife(I don’t) but don’t do so emotionally or physically, then I haven’t sinned . Because we are tempted doesn’t make us wrong in Gods eyes. We aren’t wrong, we are drawn and tempted to do wrong but we are not wrong if we chose not to act on it. One mans humble opinion.

      • Seek the truth, and you will find it in the Bible (God’s Holy Word). You are the gender you are born with, period. God doesn’t make mistakes, we do. Don’t listen to your heart, listen to the Word of God. Seek His truth and ask your Creator what & how can you bless & praise Him. Listening to your heart will mislead you away from truth and the light. If God can part the Red Sea and create the universe, He can give you or deliver you from your heart’s desires, if you will yield your spirit to His. God’s Spirit will never force Himself upon you. You have to seek His Spirit, and if you’re sincere, repent of your wrongful decisions in life, humble yourself and seek His face. He never breaks His promises. He has a purpose for your being here, to love, praise & worship Him which will happen as you pray with sincerity to seek His face. Yes, we’re born all born with sin nature; however we’re also provided free will. God did not create us for our pleasure, but for His. In order to please Him, you will have to seek His face, praise & worship Him and He will lead you throughout life to do everything that pleases Him; meanwhile, every obstacle will be removed along the way. God doesn’t make mistakes, only promises which He never breaks. Because He truly loved us, he gave us free will to choose our path. It’s all up to you, it’s easier to travel the wide road & do as you please, but peace, victory, true love will be awarded to you along life’s journey if you desire to follow Him & His ways. He is our Maker, He knows what is best for you, but you will have to forfeit your will to do His Will. What is His Will? To love Him & His ways more than anything else in the world. Do you want to invest your time & efforts into lies, or seek the truth. Sometimes the truth isn’t pretty to us, but God will always be there for you, He wants to fill you with His Holy Spirit, to give you power over the world and it’s evil minions & principalities. LGBTQ is a product of another lie put forth by Satan, who of course is the father of all lies. Think more of God’s plan for you each & every second of your life, He’ll give you the power to overcome. Please don’t forfeit the opportunity God has afforded you thru His Son, Jesus Christ, who laid down His life to defeat death, evil and sin. You have to claim it and be faithful to it, and you will never look back. It’s never good to look back once you start the journey of truth. The desires of your heart don’t determine your gender. Your DNA and your natural birth determines your gender. He is able to use us in whatever condition we find ourselves in life. He’s still offering salvation to us in this age of grace. However, it’s our choice. Which do you want and desire, truth or lies?

      • I think it’s important to remember not to judge people. The Bible is a spiritual text to guide you through life. If you choose to live your life by it, that’s fine. But you shouldn’t use it to judge others , that is not our place. Only God should judge our sins. And the sins someone else commits is between them and God. Sins can be forgiven. When you are truly tending to your relationship with God you don’t have time to worry about anybody else or their sins. people must come to God in their own time.

      • God did make humankind perfect , once sin entered the world through Gods’ gift of free will , humankind then became broken and in that brokenness we became imperfect. I cannot speak for anyone else but in my Christian faith journey this is what I believe.

      • The answer to your question is clearly in your question.
        You say God doesn’t make mistakes? Well how is it he made you and I sinful? I’m
        Sure you’ll get to the answer quickly but it’s roughly that it’s not God fault we’re born sinful, it’s all in the Genesis story.
        It drives me crazy that so many Christians have so many opinions without a strong theological framework. Anyway, we are born messed up, all of us. The bible clearly says a lot of things that should Keep most of us busy trying to become more like Jesus. Instead we get stuck on other people and in particular things about sex and sexuality. Not sure why but we dead keen to control what others are doing in bed but less concerned with what we’re doing in our head!

      • Jj, God does not make mistakes. The mistake is yours, in judging gays to be somehow abnormal. The inclination to love someone of one’s own sex is NOT a mistake. It is normal both within the animal kingdom and within the human animal. One’s body IS NOT ONES SOUL. If you believe that the bible should be interpreted according to your view of the world, then you are making an unfortunate misjudgment. The bible was written down by people influenced by their own times and their own knowledge of the world. Those are the trappings, within which a core truth is relayed to the people of their times, with the understandings of the world that those people of those times had. If you wish to guide someone, you speak their language, and that is what Spirit did. Times, understandings, and ‘languages’ (social as well as spoken) change. As a final note, please do NOT confuse transgender with homosexual. They are two different conditions, though both are normal permutations of genetic and environmental conditions.

    • John Pavlovitz: “I say what I think needs to be said –in turn, You are welcome here, to say what you believe needs to be said , knowing, that the ultimate truth is somewhere in the middle.”

      Huh? (to me, ‘somewhere in the middle between two opinions’ is fuzzy grey area, the opposite of truth.).

      • Hello! I would just like to say a few things in response to that… First… the Bible was not written in America… and Christianity did not get its start in our country. It amazes me as one who has lived in four different countries how polarized we have become here. The Bible was not WRITTEN IN ENGLISH… and Jesus Christ was not an American. Was he? Or was he Jewish? People here seem to think that all is black and white. The Bible is not a short novel. At church, while in high school, I would hear controversy and arguing about one or two words translated from the Greek… did this word mean this, or that. I think that we all would benefit from taking on a more humble approach to solving the mysteries and trying to outdo everyone’s understanding of the Bible. Interesting that Jesus chose Zaccheus (a wealthy tax collector who cheated people out of money) to come down from a tree and receive salvation. Those around him scoffed that Jesus would even associate with him. They wanted to feel so SUPERIOR to him, because he was a sinner. Now, I wasn’t there – this did not happen in my neck of the woods… and I am not God. And I don’t think the text was written so that everyone can argue about it and say hurtful things to others to support their “side” of things. I think it was written to illustrate that there was a person who had sin in their life and others were mad at Jesus because he paid attention to someone “full of sin”, “unlike” the “righteous” people around him. Why is it that we don’t learn from what we read and experience? God is the ultimate judge! I don’t see any scriptures that tell his followers to condemn any man. He said in John 3:16 That God so loved the WORLD, that he gave his own begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life! Then you can get into the interpretation of what it means to “believe” in him. Does that mean just saying I believe, or does that mean that the believing actually means a commitment to a life to serving him. I have heard SO many argue and get down right “anti-loving” (another word for hate) towards each other. I also had an experience where I saw the “seniors” of the church argue and call each other names during the business meeting…the reason? Over red or blue as the color of the new carpet for the sanctuary. Now I believe that that was probably sin on both parts. I am confused, because it says in the Bible that sin cannot be measured. In other words murder, lying, adultery… they are all sins. God is in control, and HE is the one who will judge. I have not seen anything that says anything about Thou shalt argue and hate the world into believing in me by being rude and self-proclaiming your righteousness to others. If the church would humble themselves (and many do) and pray for others instead of try to be the ultimate judge of the people they come in contact with, maybe a lot more could be accomplished. Interesting fact that Jesus actually told the church to have more of a hard-line stance on the members of the church, than the non-believers. Maybe that is why church attendance is down….seems like most main-line denominations, unless a mega church, sees less attendance, especially amongst younger people. Why would a non-believer be in to going somewhere that seems to be perceived as “self-righteous”. Nothing has changed since Jesus’s day… devoted people and judgmental people. I think Christians have a big responsibility. It also says to pray for your leaders… not beat them up. Look at the last election… WWJT? I think Jesus wanted people to be cordial and to not push him on others – just deliver a message – and that message is love. If even the disciples could agree to disagree in their interpretations then why can’t we? Some will be right, and some will not. I wish the trend was to pray that “my beliefs and practices relating to God are true and correct – with an emphasis on the “my” and not the “you”. Man is man, and God is God.

      • this is where you are wrong, telling people only what you think needs to be said. Why don’t you tell them what God has to say in the bible.

      • this is where you are wrong, telling people only what you think needs to be said. Why don’t you tell them what God’s word has to say in the bible.

    • Regarding homosexuality and transgender. God made us to love each other and care for each other. Take care of that and leave the judging to her. You can never go wrong if you act with love and kindness towards your fellow humans. Take care of your own sexuality in a loving a responsible way, trust others to do the same. Worry less about the sins of others and more about yours.

      • Oh, if only more people thought as you do. But most don’t, the preponderance don’t, and that is why religion, in general, is more of a poison to society than anything else. I’m a “Recovering Christian” (ex-Christian) who’s still in awe of what the real Jesus said and meant, and who is grateful to feel welcome here along with others.

      • Yes! After all, Jesus surely knew who gays were in the communities he traveled in. And he, of course, knew what the penalty was for being gay. So did he ‘out’ gay people so God and society could punish them? NO! Jesus never revealed anyone’s sexual orientation. And he never openly condemned gays. In fact, he said he did not come to enforce Judaic law, he came to overturn it. All of it, not just the ones your religion finds useful. Jesus said the greatest law is to love our brother as we love ourselves; to treat others with love, kindness and compassion. He didn’t say it was for those who were good enough in man’s eyes. He meant it for all of us. To do otherwise is to deny the divinity of Jesus and His message.

    • Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, I tweeted out these words. There is no ban on muslims you are stupid and just hateful for what you are writing

    • wow everyone gets so hung up on small or private things. your sex life is between you and my partner and God.
      i have had christian friends de-friend me because i did not go to their site to vote for trump. after 55 years of friendship so yes born again conservative christians that i know have been derailed and are in a stupid mean angry selfish cult and i am no longer among you crazies

      • Good for you! After all, Jesus preached a message of love, not hatred. And that Christians, unlike some other religions, are not supposed to just take people at their word that they are Christians but that we should test them- by looking at their words and actions, to determine if it is so.

    • You all are plaster saints. Please stop speaking for us all. We don’t believe in the words you all have been spewing in the name of God.

    • am nalutaaya esther am from uganda east africa am born again am desided to help the orphans and old peoples in uganda am hereto request any boday to help us and we contienou with the project amderm caren help your sons may God bless you

      • John: Thank you so much. I was in tears as I read your entry about having homosexual children and about homosexuality not being a choice. I am a straight, Christian liberal and have so many wonderful friends who are gay. I am so distraught by the churches and their attitudes. I feel they are a “stumbling block” to homosexuals finding their way in this world. You are a breath of fresh air and a man of the God I believe in. I left organized religion 40 years ago. Luckily, I didn’t leave God and our savior, Jesus, the Christ. Were I close enough to attend your church, I would. You make my heart sing. Church needs to get out of the hate business and into the love business. I was sitting in the church pew when the Jews were the reason for the ills of the world. Then it was Blacks and then it was women and then it was women again. I don’t know who they were hating on next because I wasn’t sitting in the pew anymore. And, all this this was across numerous denominations. They were certainly a stumbling block for me. Now, it is homosexuals. Who’s next? Can this reign of hate be stopped? How must God feel about it and us?

        Keep up the good work spreading common sense and the love of God to everyone.

  2. Pingback: Sharing a Great Blog Post - Kel Mel Blog

      • I don’t know what kind of church that Ella was attending that blamed Jews, blacks, and homosexuals for the evils of the world. Clearly one that doesn’t preach from the Bible. Maybe some mainline church? Who knows? The Bible teaches that ALL have sinned. The Bible does not teach about race, other than that ALL of us are one race . . . human, and that the human race is a fallen race in conflict with their creator. The Bible teaches that Jesus was a Jew and that ALL of his early followers were also Jews. Also, I have never heard a sermon from a Bible church that blamed homosexuals for anything. Maybe you could post a link to one. (Westboro is not a Christian church, nor are they Baptist, anymore than I am Chinese). I don’t find any churches in the hate business. Maybe the Presbyterian USA. They hate Israel. Most churches I know of are of the Laodecian variety . . . unfortunately.

  3. “I welcome you to say what you believe needs to be said in response, knowing that ultimately the truth is somewhere in the middle.” /// I believe it needs to be said in response that this is an informal fallacy called ‘the middle ground fallacy’.

    • What that means is he didn’t argue the point effectively. It does not mean he is wrong. The “via media” is often a good place to start these conversations, so what about the article do you disagree with? Where did his fallacious argument miss the mark? What is wrong with his premise that loving people as Christ loves us requires us to meet them in the middle where they are? What problem do you detect with his theological statement that we are not qualified, nor are we called to make judgments about others’ sinfulness but only our own? I hope you will let us know so we may take counsel with one another and grow in the knowledge and love of God together, because right now all you’ve done is write a statement that amounts to a formal fallacy called a “Red Herring.”

  4. So before I “follow” you, please could you just tell me who you are? I don’t mean your “status” – like how important you are, but who are you to Jesus Christ? What are your personal top three priorities? I’m not asking to criticize you…I’m asking if you are someone to listen to? Of course that is my job to assess that…so…who are you outside of ministry? I appreciate your writings and of course do my own thumbs up…thumbs down analysis as I read them.

    I’m just a simple guy who is questioning as I’ve wanted my whole life to please God. Now I’m in a place where my kids have walked away from the God I came to know when I was 16. I wonder what I did to lead them away? And I’m wondering why so many young people are walking away from God (or the church – I’m not sure which). My one daughter tells me she doesn’t believe in a relationship with God.

    So I just gotta know – why do you want me to trust you and support you?

    • Hey Mike.

      Read the blog and decide whether or not to follow. My heart is there pretty explicitly in hundreds of thousands of words. Not many I could write here to add to them.

      I’m not here to seek myself to anyone, just sharing my heart. Hope you benefit from it.

      Thanks for reading.

      • As a mother of a gay son who has been recently traumatized by Christian family, I cannot begin to tell you how relevant, beautiful, and enlightening your words are and continue to be for us as a family. Thank you, John, thank you from the bottom if my heart and soul, words cannot thank you enough. I am printing your blog and sharing your inspiration, so grateful for your brave courageous stand. I have found that people will quietly support equality, however not publicly. I have learned a great many things from our sad experience, mostly how cruel people can be all while hiding behind religion. We have been through a painful life altering experience with encouraging my son come out to our family, a decision I wish we never did. I never thought we would walk away from family, but have been given no choice. They are simply cruel and crazy and I just can’t argue crazy. This is not Christian behavior, but this is what they are taught. I continue to work on understanding that everyone has a right to their beliefs, however when your belief becomes cruel and discriminating, it is not what God wants us to do. I have not been able to forgive in almost a year now, and do not think I will be able to. They have a right to their beliefs, but I have every right to defend my beautiful son and be proud of all that God intended him to be, or anyone else like him. I will always proudly speak out against injustice, and never turn the other cheek. Never. And I will bravely do it publicly. I plan on writing a blog also and support others who are discriminated against…God gave me my son for a reason. I will not turn my back, I will make a difference. Thank you, John. You are wonderful and inspirational. Thank you for your hope…

        • I just wanted to let you know I feel for your son and his personal heart ache with the family, but he is greatly blessed to have parents with unconditional love. John’s writings and this blog offer a lot of wisdom and truth and love and support. I just wanted to say this.

      • I ran across this website and have read through a lot of your stuff. First of all I think you need to reevaluate your comments on the Duggars now that the full extent of their efforts to deal with their son’s sin is known as your comments are very critical of them. They incorporated accountability , both spiritual and legal, extensive treatment , both Christian and non-Christian based , and eventual restoration . Is that not the gospel that we are inexcusable yet not unforgiveable? Do we really need to blast the sins of minor children to carnivorous media outlets to obtain resemption? Secondly, without going into it much, you are clearly under the influence of the progressive media reeducation machine and so I will just refer you to a website where a man much more learned than you or I resides and hopefully you will see that we can speak the truth in love about people who choose to build a lifestyle on inborn sinful tendancies and that true love is showing people that grabbing the razor blade off the sink is not something we should just stand by and watch while they do it lest we be thought of as “hateful”. Jesus said “woman neither do I condemn you” but it was followed by , ” go and sin no more”. http://Www.robgagnon.org.
        And last of all, transsexualism is not an orientation, but it is a body dismorphic disorder , and thus is an illness . It is not , “who someone is “.
        God bless.

      • Hi John,
        I think Mike was asking you if you are a born again believer, believe the Bible is true or if you are just a frustrated church goer.

    • Mike, The truth is Mr. Pavlovitz is not an authority. Practicing homosexuals want to make God in their image instead of molding themselves into the image and likeness of God. Mr. Pavlovitz thinks he is an authority when he is most definitely not. Does that make people who know the truth angry? Yes, because his advice leads others in the wrong direction away from God. I want all homosexuals to go to Heaven. They most certainly will not if they do not repent and change their lifestyles. Does it make someone popular to defend this truth? No, it does not. Jesus said that others would persecute you for defending His Commandments just as they persecuted Him. Mr. Pavlovitz desires to be liked and popular. What is saying is like telling a drug addict that there are no consequences to doing drugs and we love them no matter what. Yes, a family member may love their drug addicted son/daughter, but there will be consequences if they continue to CHOOSE to do drugs: DEATH. The truly loving and charitable person tells the drug addict the hard truth because they love them and do not want them to die. Not, oh there are other issues to discuss besides your drug addiction—so as to say, “This is not THAT serious.” I am telling you the truth when I say not to listen to this man who thinks that he is an authority. Read great theologians like , Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, today Peter Kreeft and Scott Hahn. If you just read a page of what these people had to say, you will see the difference between real thinkers and Mr. Pavlovitz. Angry at injustice and lack of truthThink about this: Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church when He said, “Peter, you are rock, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven”. Matthew 16:13. This was the establishment of the papacy. Now, why do we need a pope? In 2 Peter 3:15, we are warned that Scripture can be very difficult to interpret, which strongly implies the need for an authoritative interpreter. Finally, 1 Tim 3:15 reassures us that the Church is the “pillar and foundation of truth”. History shows this also as the Catholic Church was the only church for 1500 years until Martin Luther broke away and began the PROTESTant Revolt. Any written document meant to play a crucial role in determining how people live must have a living, continuing authority to guard, guarantee and officially interpret it. Otherwise, chaos reigns as everyone interprets the document according to his personal whim like those parents you read about who did not take their baby to be treated and the baby died. Consider the US Constitution: The Founding Fathers of this country put together a magnificent document to be authoritative in how this country would be governed. They also established a living, continuing authority to guard, guarantee and officially interpret the Constitution: The Supreme Court, president, VP and all of the judicial system. the Founding Fathers knew that without a living authority the Constitution would lead to endless divisions as every one acted as his own interpreter. God certainly has more wisdom than the founders of this country. He would have never left a written document to be the sole rule of faith without a living authority to guard and officially interpret it.

      • Catherine,

        As a person who was raised in the Catholic Church, I have to say I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to blame Jesus Christ for what came to be known as the Catholic Church.

        When Jesus said “upon this rock I will build My church”, I don’t think he was ordaining a system that would include over 50 power hungry popes who committed crimes such as rape, incest and murder.

        Looking at the life and teachings of Jesus I see no evidence that Jesus was even referring to an organized religion with buildings and hierarchy.

        The Jesus I have come to love encouraged everyone to serve one another in love without condemnation.

        Even though I don’t think God has ordained the Catholic Church, or any other church for that matter, I must say I absolutly love Pope Francis.

        I think Pope Francis is sincerely trying to embody the teachings of Jesus. He loves everyone (including the LGBT population) and refuses to condemn anyone. Pope Francis should serve as an example for all Catholics to follow.

        I just pray that he is not assassinated by a zealot (Catholic or otherwise). If anything, history has taught us that the most dangerous people are zealots and not the ones who practice loving their enemies.

        Keep up the good work John! Thanks and Blessings to your ministry!

      • Catherine, Rev. Pavlovitz is not an expert but you are? Is that what I am supposed to glean from this? Being attracted to the same sex is not a lifestyle choice. With that sentence about repentance and changing one’s deepest desires you lost any credibility you might have had through quoting the bible. My suggestion is to get to know some gay people before condemning them. It might be an enlightening experience.

      • Correction. The Roman Catholic Church was not the only church until the Reformation. There was the Church of Rome (the west) and the church in the east The Eastern Catholic Church at Constantinople.
        The great schism occurred in 1064 and the Eastern and Western churches are still not united to this day. This happened centuries before the Reformation.

      • With regard to your statement I believe it to be fair. I find it shameful that although you have not openly insulted or shown any disrespect in your post by expressing your position here, many have come to it to accuse you of hate and intolerance. There is no question and it is wholly clear that in Leviticus and Exodus it says that “man shall not lie with another man, as a man lies with a woman, for that to me is an abomination.” therefore to stand for the whole word of God and make an exception for a comment that God Himself uttered is a mockery! Even a blind man can see this. It was during the time of Fasting where Jesus walked in the wilderness that Satan approached Him and began posing questions to Him in order to trip Him up. Of those He told Jesus: “You know the Word of god says that you have a ministry of angelsthat protect you, so why not see if they will do this, hurl yourself down off this mountain and they will come to your aid.” Jesus who was much smarter than most replied :It also say that we shuld not tempt the hand of god!” What I see here is very much the same thing. These people are assured in their salvation to the point that they test God’s resolve by saying I know what is written, but I believe He will love me even though I am actively choosing to defy His words on this one subject. I am no judge I don’t know any one of you folks on here, but I have to say it’s a very dangerous thing to do to try and justify your sin before God, and then dare Him to do something about it. It is best to just admit your sin and ask for forgiveness. Remember the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax collector? Which one did Jesus say that God gave His favor to that day?

        • “There is no question and it is wholly clear that in Leviticus…”

          You may want to read what else is “wholly clear” in Leviticus and let me know how much of it you’re willing to defy.

          • Hi John,
            I just wanted to say thank you so much for your post. I was raised Catholic and walked away from that church when I was about 14. That was about 45 years ago. A few years ago I began attending a Christian church and liked what was being said there. I recently started reading/listening to the New Testament. I am an engineer/scientist and have always struggled with Bible – especially if taken literally. In the last week I had made it through to Revelations which just doesn’t make sense at all and seems, in some parts, absurd. I’ve been really questioning whether there really is a God and/or what that God is like. I was distancing myself from church, but at the same time I was feeling like there was a hole in my life.
            I really didn’t want to walk away from religion but I was headed in that direction because it doesn’t make sense to me. It was such a relief to read your post. I’m still trying to figure out what I do believe and I’m going to try and find a church that does not believe in every word that’s in the Bible.
            Thank you for putting me back in the direction toward God. I believe my Holy Spirit guided me to your post so I would not stop believing and would just look in a different direction.

    • It is not for anyone to tell you who to “follow” and in this medium it is just a blog (John no offense intended) It is up to you to be a discerning individual. Following a blog is far from “following” Christ or any religion. John doesn’t owe you a speech on why anyone should read his blog or believe and agree with him. This is not a “vote for me” thing. We will have enough of that in 2016 with the Presidential elections. You seem to unsure of your own inner voice. That is something no one but you and your Creator can work on together. In the meantime, remember, Christ said, only through Him can we enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus taught us to love. That was it.

    • From reading John, I think he would say that you aren’t to follow anyone but God. I have raised my children as Christian but know they are becoming adults and some are questioning. At first I was argumentative, trying to prove my faith. Now I have realized that I gave them their foundation that is all I can do. I now try to show them my happiness, peace, love, and life without fear. They often admire some of these qualities and I say it is my faith that helps me get through the rough times. I think those lost sheep will come back. If not, I am reminded of C.S. Lewis’s statements about what would heaven be without those we love.

    • Mike,
      I realize this response is a couple of years old, but God led me here at a time of his choosing and my need. I came perilously close to losing my faith over questions like the ones John P. has the spiritual courage to openly address in this forum. At one point, when my faith was literally on the tipping point, I wrote the following letter to my church, asking for help…

      “I feel as if I am losing my faith. Not so much in God, or even in the concept of a loving Creator, but moreso in the veracity and accuracy of what passes for his ‘Word’, and in the authority of some who claim to be his ‘representatives’ on Earth.

      I’m not trying to be glib or flippant. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is truly a deep sense of loss that I’m experiencing.

      However, just as firmly as I believe the unexamined life is not worth living, I believe that unexamined faith is not worth having.

      What I am desperately trying to find is a balancing point of sorts, where it’s possible for me to reconcile the ‘Truth’ that I can know the absolute ‘rightness’ of through the divine and loving guidance of the Holy Spirit, with the biblical ‘Dogma’, that I simply cannot accept as literal truth.

      The doctrine of my church states:
      ‘The Holy Bible is the inerrant inspired Word of God, existing as His perfect revelation of absolute truth (without any admixture of error) in all matters in the original manuscripts penned by the biblical authors under the superintending guidance of the Holy Spirit.’

      How can I accept this statement as an ‘Article of Faith’ when even my most cursory examination of scripture inexorably leads me to question the entire premise?”

      It was nearly a year later when I finally received a form response to my letter, but by that time I had already arrived at my own conclusions.

      I was raised to believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, as pristine and unredacted as if it was penned by an angelic court reporter. Given this mindset, I studied the Bible not as if it was allegory or legend, but as if it was literally divine data. The inerrant life ‘project plan’ given to his children by a God of endless love and compassion, to guide our lives towards an inner realization and outward expression of that Love.

      However, reading the Bible in this way…critically…the way I read everything else, was like taking a shotgun blast to my faith. I was left with nothing but doubt, disbelief, dismay and the absolute conviction that if the the Bible – in both Old and New Testament accounts – was an accurate description of the true nature of God, then he was a capricious, vengeful, and inconsistent God I simply could not follow. Knowing the true loving nature of God through prayer and the constant witness of his Goodness and Godliness, I could not reconcile these two accounts. And I found that when I tried to discuss these fundamental questions with others, I was advised to either reject the concept of God entirely by Atheists, or to submerge my questions entirely by Christians.

      With God’s loving help, I finally found my ‘balancing point’, and for me it is that the Love of God is endless and perfect, never withheld for any reason, and truly a ‘Thing of God’. And again for me, the Bible is a beautiful and flawed, loving and condemning, accepting and judgemental ‘Thing of Man’. The earnest attempt of a people to describe the God they loved in the context they lived in…2000 years ago. It has gone through many political-driven revisions, reorganizations, and redactions and is still one of the most beautiful books ever written by Man. I read it for the wisdom it is filled with, but I no longer let it supplant the direct guidance of God. Why should I? I can talk with my Lord and Master whenever I wish.

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  7. In this 21st century, there is such a need to help Christians realize they need to embrace and love unconditionally. As a nurse, as an advocate counselor of victims or rape./sexual assault and domestic violence for 40 years, I have “picked up the pieces of shattered lives” often driven by the rejection and harshness of “coming out.” I have even attended funerals of suicide victims who gave up. Thank you for speaking up for the “potential” gay children. They need support from all sides. Though I am retired now I can truthfully say that my only regrets are those people whose lives were crushed by the treatment of Christians, best described as “of the Pharisee persuasion” as they saw it. You make it simple; be a red letter Christian. Thank you and blessings as you continue your blog.

  8. The TRUTH is not in the middle of you and I. The TRUTH is Jesus Christ. He is nowhere in the middle of anyone. He stands ALONE. And flawed human beings are the ones that draw the lines.

  9. I am the mother of a gay son. I recently had someone tell me I should have prayed while I was pregnant that he would be straight…. I can honestly say it NEVER occurred to me to pray that any of my children wouldn’t be gay. I prayed they would be healthy and I prayed that they would find Jesus (something I continue to pray for all of my children and now grandchildren). I refuse to believe I could have prayed him straight or gay before he was born. This same person has a son who’s son was married and was unfaithful and tore his family apart. Guess she should have prayed that prayer before her son was born 😉 Thank you for your blog. It is spot on! I will continue to love my son where he is and pray that he finds his way back to Jesus!

  10. Hello John,

    I have just finished reading the article you wrote about what would you do if your children came out to you. I almost cried when I read your loving and beautiful words. I’ll keep this short and let you know that this winter I am filming a documentary about the fact that 40% of all homeless children in the US are on the streets due to their sexual orientation. I would like to chat with you sometime very soon about a possible interview. I REALLY need someone to tell the world that christians DO love the LGBTQ community. Please feel free to email me and visit my website if you would like to chat. I appreciate your time and your amazing words!


    • Cory, if you need more than one clergyperson or committed member from the structure of organized religion to give voice in support of the LGBTQ community, find a United Church of Christ congregation, preferably one of the many identified as Open and Affirming. I am a member of one of the almost-100 UCC congregations in Florida. Check out the UCC website. You will also find support among Unitarians, and many DoC, and ELCA congregations. There are lots of us out here.

      • Add to that a growing number of the United Methodist’s Churches. It’s been a struggle, but in the Pacific Northwest it is a growing movement.

      • I need to add an addendum. The very first day that in Washington State, that Marriage Equality was practicable, My Pastor, Gordy Hutchins, married two lesbian couples, in our church, witnessed joyfully by members of our congregation. His “punishment” was one day without pay. Taken care of by the Seattle UMC.

      • Don’t forget the Metropolitan Community Church, MCC worldwide, and the primary outreach is the GLBTIAQQ community. We are not just “welcoming” to the GLBT community, we ARE the GLBT community!

  11. Thanks for the letter to your possibly gay children. I read it to my 13 year old daughter who recently told me that she thinks she is gay. The twist is that my daughter has two moms. Even so, the idea that my adopted daughter might be gay never really crossed my mind. I broke down about halfway thru the letter. It moved me more than I can say. Of course, I think a lot of it had to do with the reception I got from my parents when I came out to them at 30. You hit the nail on the head when you talked about a tolerant love, one at arms length. I am so thankful that my daughter was blessed to be in a family that would love her no matter what, and that she has two moms that will be there for her as she grows up into the lovely woman she will be.
    Thanks, John, it was beautiful!!!

    • Congratulations. I wish you both nothing but happiness. My daughter is gay and I support her unconditionally. Continue to be strong and have faith. Maybe one day your family will understand and want you to be nothing but happy.

  12. Hi. A friend sent me an article you wrote on “If I have Gay kids”, I’m moved. I’m soon to be 38, my fiancé and I have made an extremely comfortably life together. We have the houses, the cars, the vacations, the business…all the stuff that means nothing when you boiling this thing called life down to its minimum. I’ve been out since I was 17, for 20 years. My fiancé and I are getting married on 10-15-14 in Napa, our 15th anniversary of being together. My family won’t be there because they still pray for both Joseph and I to find a “good wife”, my sisters have openly bashed me for our success and being gay on Facebook, which I’m not a member of, I won’t feed into the hype. I grow up Southern Baptist, twice a day on Sunday and Wednesday evening. Some of my best memories are from those times, and some of my wrost after I came out as gay.
    The words you wrote are the words I wanted, needed to hear from my parents and siblings. I am one of the strongest people I know, but my families lack of compassion and acceptance is crippling. We need more people like you in the world, and in the church. After the wedding we plan on children and everyone ask about religion. What church will it be, will there be a church? It should be you or someone like you. You are special, and my angel as I fall asleep tonight knowing that there is good in the world, and in the church. Thank you, much love!

  13. All I can say is WOW….. Your article on If You Have A Gay Child was awesome. I am a GAY Christian , and proudly so. I think this should be read to every congregation that gathers in the name of GOD. AMAZING.

  14. Hello. Your “If I Have Gay Kids” post popped up on my Facebook feed. Thank you for such an insightful post. I grew up Christian, and knew from a very young age that I was gay.

    When I came out I was shunned by the German Baptist church I grew up in, and am now pretty much estranged from my family and the close-knit group of friends I grew up with in that church.

    After several years I was hired as a soloist at an accepting Anglican Cathedral, and gradually through music and liturgy I found my way back to some belief in a God that created me the way I am.

    Your post gives me hope that at last some kids won’t go through the hell I did at the hands of His followers. Thank you.

  15. Dear sir. I live in São Paulo, Brazil, and have been touched by your beautiful words about unconditional love to your children. It is the best thing that I have read in many years. If you need a translation of that text in Portuguese , I would be glad to help you spread that message. Thank you for making me feel closer to God.

    • Hey friend — perhaps you’re the one who needs to get informed. There’s a good reason Exodus International shut down. Sexual “re-orientation” just doesn’t work! And God doesn’t make junk!

    • Sharon, take your propaganda out of here. No need for that here. Instead, why dont you LISTEN to what gay people have to say. Why wont you learn why those organisations hurt people, not help them. I dare you to learn!

    • “get informed”. (facepalm)

      In the first place, you have your narth, it has been has been identified as a hate group. Neither of them were honest in their language. “unwanted” has been the red herring that has been used for a long time. Most of that “logic” has been peer pressure as a last resort, The poster child of this movement, which includes a lot of anti gay politicians/religious leaders have been caught in “gay scandals”

      I know many of the victims of this “path”. Most of them are no longer Christians. Two others will never seek companionship with anyone. Another, a pastor’s daughter has become Wiccan.

      You, my sister, need to get informed. Not by people that support your agenda.

  16. John
    Thank you for the healing words of Love. I needed to hear them tonight and my cousin who cares for me and is a self proclaimed Atheist was Gods instrument to connect me to your ministry. God works in mysterious ways
    Thanks for sharing truth

  17. I want to thank you so much for your recent post about what you promise your kids if they are LGBT! I am a therapist who works with this population and I can’t tell you the stories of heartbreak I have witnessed from family members who have been rejected by their Christian families for just being who they are. Your voice is desperately needed and I hope you will continue to try to reach out with your message of unconditional love and acceptance. I hope you are hearing more support than criticism!

  18. My daughter shared your page with me and at the moment she seems to be Agnostic….how she ran across your page I’ll never know, but I’m thankfully glad she did. I’m so inspired by the words I’ve read. I have only been a Christian for 4 years and have struggled with certain things…..for one, the gay subject and today I felt a whole lot better. This is a subject I stay away from with my other Christian friends because we end up getting into arguments…..so thank you for this…..it was a true blessing today.

  19. The Children are Free by Rev. Jeff Miner & John Tyler Connoley is a fantastic book that reexamines the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex Relationships. I highly recommend anyone that is trouble with being gay and Christian to read it.

    I applaud you for you recent blog about what you’d do if your children were gay. It moved me to tears. I’m 48 and it made me feel like a child again, and brought back the feelings I had all those years ago. If your words change one families relationship for the better I’d be thankful, but I hope your words help thousands of families. Children deserve love, and it’s obvious your’s are loved.

    Thank you

  20. I usually don’t do this but I wanted to take the time to say thank you. Thank you for writing the blog post about your children, the one you became so recognized for. I had a friend who came out as gay when we were in high school. Any notions that I started to have against homosexuality were quickly destroyed. I loved my friend and how could I feel any different about them? That post reminds me of the struggles he had and still has to go through. This especially is so comforting from a Christian point of view because it really is never talked about. So from me and all of those I know that are homosexual, I say thank you!

  21. ATTENTION CATHOLICS,…….Revelation 2:20Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication , and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. (The “Church” telling you who,what,where)
    21And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
    22Behold , I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into,………………. great tribulation, ……………..except they repent of their deeds.

  22. Oh how I wish I lived closer, it would be wonderful to come to your church. Thank you for bringing the human element back into the teachings of our Lord. I tip my hat to you for so eloquently and lovingly setting to words the thoughts that many of us Christians have regarding love, children and being gay. It’s not about a label, it’s about people. Thank you, your children and your congregation are so blessed.

  23. Im just asking and I fully undertand that whether our children be gay or straight we should love them.. Christ loved the sinner as should we… but my concern is where you state you wont pray for you children to be normal …that you have lived long enough to realize that if you children are gay that is their normal…what happens to the verse about sexual perversion…and how that a man laying with another man or a woman laying with another woman is an abomination to God?
    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.
    Romans Chapter 1
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    I am not condeming you nor your children should the be gay at some point, but I would love you children as God would even though they would be living in sin should they be gay. This being said I would also love them enough to tell them that gay is a sin..that God in His word condems it and that it like any other sin should be something that a Christian should avoid at all cost.

    If we begin to preach the acceptence of sins such as gay same sex relationships then we are just like those that God has ask us to try and lead to salvation…..and at what point if you chose to remove the many passages in His word that speak against this sin do you start picking other passages to remove to allow further sins in your life or that of your children…

    and God forbid that on the day of judgement it is you children who look at you standing before a just God and ask why you taught them that this sin was not sin at all but was simply a social norm….

    • Look here, dont you think gay people have heard that and more over, and over, and over again? All it does is make people feel like schijt. You judge something and people which you do not understand. Why dont you do that instead of judging from your high horse? If you’re against same sex relationship, may I suggest you dont have one.

      • Kaatje-You are the angry one who hates God and does not want to submit your will and obedience to the Church that He established. You want to make God in your image instead of molding yourself into the image and likeness of God. Mr. Pavlovitz thinks he is an authority when he is most definitely not. Does that make people who know the truth angry? Yes, because his advice leads others in the wrong direction away from God. I want all homosexuals to go to Heaven. They most certainly will not if they do not repent and change their lifestyles. Does it make someone popular to defend this truth? No, it does not. Jesus said that others would persecute you for defending His Commandments just as they persecuted Him. Mr. Pavlovitz desires to be liked and popular. What is saying is like telling a drug addict that there are no consequences to doing drugs and we love them no matter what. Yes, a family member may love their drug addicted son/daughter, but there will be consequences if they continue to CHOOSE to do drugs: DEATH. The truly loving and charitable person tells the drug addict the hard truth because they love them and do not want them to die. Not, oh there are other issues to discuss besides your drug addiction—so as to say, “This is not THAT serious.” I am telling you the truth when I say not to listen to this man who thinks that he is an authority. Read great theologians like , Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, today Peter Kreeft and Scott Hahn. If you just read a page of what these people had to say, you will see the difference between real thinkers and Mr. Pavlovitz. Angry at injustice and lack of truth? Yes. Hate gays? No.

      • Since when does the truth accommodate the feelings or whims of those it affects? Truth can only have one standard, if it can be manipulated to make people feel good then it is at best watered down, in truth a lie. Don’t we teach our children that a version of truth is the same as a lie? Then absolute truth cannot be a lie and it cannot accommodate every one. It’s a standard either for us or against it does not change, otherwise it’s a lie. You said it yourself “all your saying makes people feel like….” If it’s the truth, maybe they need to feel that way and fix themselves. Far cry better to have it this way than to stand before God and try and justify your actions to Him.

    • “.and at what point if you chose to remove the many passages in His word that speak against this sin do you start picking other passages to remove to allow further sins in your life or that of your children…”

      Perhaps you could think through that question as it pertains to something besides someone’s sexual orientation.

      Leviticus advocates letting fathers kill their children for disobedience, which I’m guessing you wouldn’t approve of now. The Patriarchs were all polygamists, and most people who self-identify as Christians now claim that polygamy is a sin.

      The reality appears to be that people’s understanding of Christianity changes over time regarding many issues. Including this one.

      • He is speaking of the sin of Homosexuality. At what point do we use the Bible to reason against the Bible? That’s a fair question. Also it is correct to point out that a sinner is the first to sin through interpreting the word of God to substantiate their own sins. This is exactly how Christians have a bad rap in this world.

    • The chapters that contain these verses are clearly identified as speaking against practices involved in cultic idol worship. The entire passages are generally accepted as not applying to modern Christian life.

      These two verses in Leviticus read as follows in the King James Version:

      “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22)

      “If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13)

      Before delving into these two verses, it would be helpful to read How Language is Interpreted, which is part of the discussion of Romans 1.

      If we wish to understand the true meaning of these verses, we must look at their context, both textual and historical. Until we understand what prompted these rules in Old Testament times, we will not be able to determine if the rules should be applied to the case of two people in committed, loving relationship.

      The text itself gives us a big clue as to the intended meaning. Three different times we are specifically told that the rules set forth in chapters 18 and 20 are meant to prevent the Israelites from doing what the Egyptians and Canaanites did. The term Canaanites refers to the group of nations who lived in the land into which the Israelites migrated when they left Egypt. It follows, therefore, if we can determine what type of homosexual behavior was common among the Canaanites and Egyptians, we will better understand what these verses were meant to prohibit.

      Biblical historians tell us the Canaanite religions surrounding the Israelites at the time of Leviticus often included fertility rites consisting of sexual rituals. These rituals were thought to bring the blessing of the god or goddess on crop and livestock production. During the rituals, whole families, including husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, cousins, aunts and uncles would sometimes have sex. Also included was sex with temple prostitutes. In short, every kind of sexual practice imaginable was performed at these rituals, including homosexual sex.

      Consider one specific example. Historians tell us that many Canaanites and Egyptians worshipped a goddess of love and fertility called Astarte or Ishtar. Within her temples were special priests called assinu, who were deemed to have special powers. Physical contact with the assinu was believed to ward off evil and promote good luck. These priests were, in effect, living good luck charms, and worshipers would often ritually touch them as part of their worship practices. Sexual intercourse was considered especially effective for gaining the goddess’s favor, because the male worshiper was offering his greatest possession, semen (which was thought to be the essence of life), to the goddess through her priests. Depositing semen in the body of a priest of the goddess was believed to guarantee one’s immortality. Similar cultic sexual practices flourished in connection with many other ancient pagan deities.
      This is what was going on in Canaan and Egypt at the time the Levitical rules were announced — homosexual temple prostitution. And as already noted, Leviticus 18 and 20 specifically say they were written to address pagan religious practices. Leviticus 18 begins with the admonition, “You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you.” (18:3) Chapter 20 is even more specific, beginning with an injunction against the pagan practices associated with a god named Molech. And both chapters include long lists of sexual practices common in the cultic rituals we mentioned above. However, neither of them speaks to the question of whether two people of the same sex can live in loving relationship with the blessing of God.

      In fact, historians tell us our model of loving, long-term homosexual relationships did not meaningfully exist in Canaanite culture. This was a tribal culture in which it would have been virtually impossible to form such relationships. Offspring were essential to survival in this primitive agricultural economy. Moreover, there were rigid distinctions between women’s work and men’s work. If two men had lived together as a couple, for example, one of them would have been placed in the position of doing women’s work, and the presence of a man working among the women of the village would not have been tolerated.

      It simply is not reasonable to believe the author of Leviticus intended to prohibit a form of homosexual relationship that did not exist at the time. When read in textual and historical context, the prohibitions in Leviticus 18 and 20 are clearly directed at homosexual temple prostitution, and that is how they should be applied.

      Some people may object, saying, “But if you ignore the context and just read the words of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 in black and white, they appear to prohibit all sex between men, not just sex in pagan rituals.” But that is the whole point: The meaning of words depends on context. Remember, the words of 1 Corinthians 11 also appear to require long hair and head coverings for all women in all circumstances. But, because we have studied the context, we know that is not what was meant. A text taken out of context is pretext. Let’s apply the same common-sense rule here.

      The Leviticus passages were clearly written in the context of pagan religious ritual. Since we are not bringing a question about the appropriateness of cultic sex practices for modern Christians, we can safely set aside these clobber passages.

  24. While I would love my children too if they said they were gay, I would also share the WORD of God with them, so that they would grow to Love the Father and the Son, and know that He did not Create them Gay.

    Please don’t Claim to be Christian, let alone a Pastor, no where do you say, what Church you Preach in, or what your so called Christian Education came from.

    We are born sinners and we all need a Saviour. Please don’t water down the Word of God, you are only helping the Evil One send more Soul’s to Hell.

      • There is a choice once you have been shown the Word and it’s absolute Message, that in the Old Testament God says “do not lie with another man as one lays with a woman, for that is an abomination to me.” and Paul speaks of Men “giving in to their lusts for one another” as “immorality.” Given the context and the time lapse between the two passages, clearly God’s stance on the matter has not changed. Maybe the prosecution has but His attitude toward it is the same, it’s wrong. Thus if one has feelings for another that is so strong as to cause a sexual response, and having heard the messages from the Bible as clear as day, and does not heed them, that one is clearly choosing to follow in a path that is not consistent with the intention of God. That is a choice, not by design as many reason.

  25. When I read your post “If I have Gay Children” I started crying because three days ago I prayed to God to help me regain my faith. I was always a very religious person until I admitted that I was bisexual, and suddenly felt shunned and unwelcome at church. I wasn’t open about this with other Christians, my sense of being unwelcome came from the rude and ignorant comments that I heard other Christian friends and family make about other LGBTQ individuals without realizing that I fit into that group. When I prayed three nights ago I was trying to reconcile how I can believe in a faith that has leaders and followers that say such hateful things, and I wondered if religion had been created as a tool to make people hate each other. I asked God to please show me this wasn’t true. When I read your post today that is why I started crying, I think that it was God showing me that wasn’t true. As I was reading it, there was still a nagging voice in my head that wondered if you were only referring to lesbian and gay individuals and that the message you were sending for our faith didn’t extend to bisexuals. The reason I say this is because I have met people many times that said they could “understand” and “accept” if someone was gay and that it wasn’t a choice, etc. but that bisexuals choose to be that way, are uncertain, promiscuous, etc. When I read what your definition of gay was, I cried again. Thank you for giving me hope that I can find my faith again and that God is listening to me.

    • Remember, Satan left Jesus at the mount where He was tempted as the scripture says “until a more opportune time.” Was Jesus feeling the weight of His responsibility when he decided to fast on the mountain? Did the weakened state cause Satan to believe he stood a chance at converting Him? These things are not readily known, but we do know Jesus did express doubts about His fate later on, and we also know after the temptation of Jesus God sent agents to tend to Him, bring Him back to strength. I ask you to re-evaluate your assertion that God was trying to speak to you when you were crying. You need to understand that Satan wants to mislead people so bad that he can “present himself as righteousness, so well as to even fool the elect, it at all possible.” Also remember that the truth never changes, it’s like a wall that doesn’t move. One minute it stands for you the next it will stand against you. A lie will always be on your side, and it changes with the wind. A lie will never tell you you’re wrong, because it needs affirmation to be considered truth.

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  27. I have read your blog about having gay children. I agree that we need to welcome gay people into the church as much as anyone else. My question is this: what do we do with the scriptures that speak about homosexuality as something that God does not want for us? I know there are other scriptures that we ignore these days, such as letting women speak in church. So are we to just ignore those writings about homosexuality?

    • Deb, there aren’t really any scriptures that speak about homosexuality. There are a few scriptures that have been misunderstood from being poorly translated into English from the Hebrew and the Greek. I would encourage you to seek out a good treatment of these “clobber passages” by a modern scholar who reads the original and can assist you in understanding what they do and don’t say.

    • Deb those passages were there long before John and yourself, they were there before the founding of this nation, and even longer than the rise of Rome. If someone messed up the translations or the intents of the messages then it was done very early on during the building of God’s heritage with Moses. These preachers will hold up the Bible over their heads with unchanged words in them and declare it to be filled with mistranslations and abridged passages yet ask you to submit yourself to it as unabridged truth. What does it say in Exodus? “Do not sleep with another man as you would sleep with a woman, because this is an abomination TO ME” This is not like the shellfish passage where God says this animal is “unclean for you.” God is saying this makes Him angry because it is wrong. Jesus tells us in the Gospels “Give to Cesar what is his and give to God what belongs to Him.” This is the answer to your question about how to handle the passages in the Bible that speak against Homosexuality. Important to note here as well, God has a path for sinners and wickedness, we can certainly avoid them, but when we condemn or cast judgments against sin and sinners we are unqualified. Jesus says this “He who is without sin may cast the first stone.” Thus you see we “flee from pagan Idolatry” but we don’t punish sinners for their sins. We should not make lives for people harder just because of their sin, we should help them along as we are all sinners and all need help. Let God sort all them out and deal accordingly as Jesus says will happen “No, the soil is still good, Let’s wait until the harvest, pull up all the crops together, I will determine which is good and which is bad. We will store the good crop in the place I have set aside, and will gather the bad crop as fuel for the fire.” Remember God has already proven through Jesus, that for His chosen, even death will not hold them.

      • Why do you presume God as “He” ? Pretty sure God is simply “I AM”
        And again, bad translations shouted at us do not make them good translations.

  28. I also ran in to the article about your blog post about homosexuality, and I also want to thank you. I also want to yell at you a little bit! Your entry tore down a wall I had around my most inner self that I didn’t even realize was there. I now know that I have been lying to myself my whole life, trying to convince myself that my sexual orientation doesn’t matter and it doesn’t bother me to keep a part of myself away from my family. The truth is that this dishonesty, just as any other dishonesty would, grates on my soul. It hurts a lot and I was doing a fine job of ignoring that!

    But I’m not actually angry. This is something I needed to face. More importantly, it seems I really needed to hear that I could still be loved. These walls were built out of my belief that my sexual orientation would hurt the people I love. Before my mom posted this article I didn’t even have the hope that it wouldn’t hurt them, that it could just be okay. That just maybe it wouldn’t make my mom feel like she had failed me somehow, and her acceptance could be genuine, and not in spite of my “anomaly.”

    I still have no idea what to do, but I am finally facing something I should have a long time ago. Thank you so much. This really does hurt at the moment, but you’ve facilitated the start of a journey of healing that I badly needed.

  29. A couple of years ago my son came out about being gay. He is 30 years old. Being RC I did struggle a little but gave him my full support. I want to our local parish priest to discuss this. His answers were quiteshocking. He told be that if being gay was OK then Moses woulldn’t have hadtake one of each sex on the ark! He then told me all I could do was pray that my so would change. Bottom line is I haven’t been in a chuirch since then. Basically, if my son is not welcome in your house then I don’t want to be there either.

    • Phil,
      The position you have taken with your son is morally wrong. You are actually contributing to the death of grace in his soul. Do you want to read about God’s plan for sexuality: Read Theology of the Body by John Paul II. Your son will be free when he understands God’s design and lives according to God’s Commandments. God did not intend for two men or women for that matter to have intimacy. The human anatomy and the Bible make this very obvious. Doing what is right is not suppose to be easy. My close friend’s husband had prostate cancer and now is impotent. This happened when she was 38 years old. She has still always been faithful and been celibate. Do you think it is easy? No, but it is the self sacrificing and noble act out of love for God. Do not listen to this man who is not an authority. Read Thomas Aquinas, greatest theologian and philosopher who ever lived, St. Augustine, Peter Kreeft, Scott Hahn. Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church when He said, “Peter, you are rock, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven”. Matthew 16:13. This was the establishment of the papacy. Now, why do we need a pope? In 2 Peter 3:15, we are warned that Scripture can be very difficult to interpret, which strongly implies the need for an authoritative interpreter. Finally, 1 Tim 3:15 reassures us that the Church is the “pillar and foundation of truth”. History shows this also as the Catholic Church was the only church for 1500 years until Martin Luther broke away and began the PROTESTant Revolt. Any written document meant to play a crucial role in determining how people live must have a living, continuing authority to guard, guarantee and officially interpret it. Otherwise, chaos reigns as everyone interprets the document according to his personal whim like those parents you read about who did not take their baby to be treated and the baby died. Consider the US Constitution: The Founding Fathers of this country put together a magnificent document to be authoritative in how this country would be governed. They also established a living, continuing authority to guard, guarantee and officially interpret the Constitution: The Supreme Court, president, VP and all of the judicial system. the Founding Fathers knew that without a living authority the Constitution would lead to endless divisions as every one acted as his own interpreter. God certainly has more wisdom than the founders of this country. He would have never left a written document to be the sole rule of faith without a living authority to guard and officially interpret it

  30. John, In the past 5 days I did nothing but read your blogs and almost 4,000 comments from the article “if I have gay children article”. You have made the change, my friend. There are so much wisdom from those testimonies that brought tears to my eyes and made me want to get close to Jesus. You remind me of the unconditional love of Christ who died for our sin. It is the love with no “but”. The road ahead of you might be rough, please don’t give up. You are doing the right thing. When I read those comments accusing you as a false teacher, it really hurts me and want to respond back, but Christ taught me not to judge them with the same measure. I will continue to pray for you and your family. Your brother in Christ, Joe J

  31. Read your article of why people are leaving the church. You left out a lot. I left the church because it sugar coats sin and supports those who destroy families. After 29 years of marriage, my husband and another married younger woman had an affair. When I went to my pastor he told me “when I could not trust God”s hand, trust his heart.” Seriously God does not have a hand in the sin committed by the two of them. Then he told me to drop my divorce and let my husband file. I didn’t want a divorce in the first place but if I was going to get one it was going to be on the grounds of adultery. Then he told ME if I married again I would be sinning so there I sit broken and hurting and in need. Instead of supportering me they accepted my husband and his repenting. Repent means to turn away. He continued the affair got her pregnant and then illegally married her all while going to church because God forgives him. God forgives him while he hurts his children doesn’t apologize and disobeys the law. So. I left the church that says it is ok whatever you have done. I left the church that does not have the backbone to call sin sin. I left. It and am losing my faith because of churches who preach forgiveness without repentance. The church no longer supports families. They contribute to its downfall. There are many like me. Fine them. Talk to them. That is why many are leaving the church

  32. Thanks John. I an a former pastor myself and could have said it better about why people are leaving the church. I have stood at the wall trying to fill the holes with sand bags but lately I have begun to think the problem is actually the wall. As a family we are done.
    Now we are hesitantly beginning to look for connection with like minded folks. I do Not want to start something new (been there done that) but I don’t see what we need out there.

    A fellow sojourner in Columbia SC

  33. I found your site because someone posted on FB the 5 reasons people are leaving the church. I re-posted. It was spot-on. I have been a street evangelist for nearly 20 years. I just talk to people. It’s not hard. I am no longer connected to a local church. I didn’t leave because I was mad or angry or anything. I left because the church(s) are not interested in “being” the Church.A total lack of “one another” accountability, transparency, and love. We need a new reformation where the “pastor” is not the king, but instead the King of Kings is Head of the Church.

    • Jesus does not need the original Church that He established reformed. He knew EXACTLY what He was doing when He formed His Catholic Church. Let me guess: Jesus allowed His Church to fall into error because He did not know what He was doing, so YOU Lance, a sinful man, could fix it for Him. Matthew 16: Peter, you are rock and upon this rock, I will build MY Church. Notice, it did not say, “Men will build my churches.” Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church when He said, “Peter, you are rock, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven”. Matthew 16:13. This was the establishment of the papacy. Now, why do we need a pope? In 2 Peter 3:15, we are warned that Scripture can be very difficult to interpret, which strongly implies the need for an authoritative interpreter. Finally, 1 Tim 3:15 reassures us that the Church is the “pillar and foundation of truth”. History shows this also as the Catholic Church was the only church for 1500 years until Martin Luther broke away and began the PROTESTant Revolt. Any written document meant to play a crucial role in determining how people live must have a living, continuing authority to guard, guarantee and officially interpret it. Otherwise, chaos reigns as everyone interprets the document according to his personal whim like those parents you read about who did not take their baby to be treated and the baby died. Consider the US Constitution: The Founding Fathers of this country put together a magnificent document to be authoritative in how this country would be governed. They also established a living, continuing authority to guard, guarantee and officially interpret the Constitution: The Supreme Court, president, VP and all of the judicial system. the Founding Fathers knew that without a living authority the Constitution would lead to endless divisions as every one acted as his own interpreter. God certainly has more wisdom than the founders of this country. He would have never left a written document to be the sole rule of faith without a living authority to guard and officially interpret it.

      • It may be of interest to you to know that English was not the language in which the NT scriptures were written, and that the Lord Jesus did NOT say that Peter was the rock, and upon that rock He would build His church. Rather, he told Peter that he was but a pebble, a small, insignificant stone, but that upon the BEDROCK, the BOULDER, the MAMOTH ROCK of Jesus Christ Himself (the very confession of Peter, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and that his truth was divinely and spiritually revealed) that Jesus Himself would build His church, adding to it daily, and implanting believers as living stones. The institution to which you refer by the name “Catholic Church” was formed some 300 years after that dialogue between the Lord Jesus and Peter, when the local church was married to the state in a political process, made popular and virtually mandatory, and robbed of its power in its local aspect. But, the foundation of God still stands sure … for He knows those that are His!
        Warm regards from a sinner saved by grace, part of the Church which is His body, and meeting locally with other saints that love the Lord Jesus in truth,

  34. Pingback: Here’s Why People are REALLY Leaving The Church | 1st Feline Battalion

  35. John. You have an extreme gift of writing. I thoroughly enjoy reading your material even if I don’t agree with it. Have you always had this talent or did you build it over time? God bless. Duane

  36. John, I read your article about gays living ordinary life and not having an adjenda, however as a Pastor you should be telling them the truth of God word and that is that no homosexual will enter the Kingdom of God, this is clearly stated in the Bible several times. This should of course be done in a caring and loving way and not a ” I am better then you” attitude, never the less, I will tell any sinner that unless they repent and follow Jesus then they are not saved and headed for hell. I understand that it is not a popular teaching then again it is not love to not tell them the truth.

  37. Mr. Pavlovitz,

    Your comments regarding the choice to engage in the homosexual lifestyle leave much to be desired. You obviously like attention focused on yourself as can be seen from the internet. Your stance is actually very hurtful to the homosexual people. If a person has a temper, is he/she excused from committing murder because that it their tendency? By the way, the reason you and other Protestants are confused is because you possess ‘watered down’ Christianity. The true Christian religion is the Catholic Church. Either way, the Bible is VERY clear that homosexuals that ACT on their perversions WILL NOT inherit the kingdom of God, period. I would suggest an anatomy class if you have not taken one. Arguing over this point is like arguing over whether the sun is yellow or not. Stop lying to yourself and use your God given reason. A person with homosexual tendencies has a desire or thought and then uses their reason to make a decision about whether to act on it. With your logic, all persons who are prone to desire to murder, just can’t help it. They are not responsible, which is most certainly not what our court system interprets

    • Catherine, You obviously consider yourself to be a faithful Catholic and follower of scripture. As I read Leviticus and the other books of “the Law”, all abominations, nd ot just homosexuality, are to be punished by stoning to death, even in the case of a disobedient child. You are to gather your friends and neighbors and take the child into a field and have a mass stoning session until the child is dead. I could to many other required punishments but I assume you grasp my point. Do you follow these required punishments for sin or have you become educated and civilized enough to understand why so many iron age pronouncements from the “inerrant” scriptures are, in fact, ignored by all rational people? Have you, in fact, ever spoken in church or do you consider any woman who does to be a sinner?

    • Catherine, God has tasked you to be the hands and feet of God in this world – stop warring on people about being gay and worry more about feeding the hungry and taking care of those who need your help. God will take care of the Gay people, it is not your job to judge them …

  38. Paul again warns that homosexual behavior is one of the sins that will deprive one of heaven: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9–10, NIV). Another example, before He destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the LORD said to Abraham: “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and THEIR SIN SO GRAVE, that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to Me” (Genesis 18:20).

    • 48 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.

      49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. Ezekiel 16:48-50


      • Detestable, as in the detestable abomination that He mentions in Leviticus and Exodus. One of which played out to His messengers on their visit to the place where Lott lived. Was it not the men in Sodom that demanded this of Lott: “Tell your strangers to come out to us, so that we can have our ways with them?” I suppose they were going to have milk and cookies together.

        • If you think this was a real event, I can’t help you. I certainly can’t, if you think the story of “Angel-raping men” has anything to do with flesh and blood human beings walking the planet thousands of years after this story was written (by an author who you can’t conform), I won’t engage you in conversation because you can’t do that.

          I think you’re really doing a great deal of damage and using the Bile to justify it.

          Take care.

      • Leviticus 20:13 Speaks on it plainly “If a man lies with a man, as a man lies with a woman; both of them have caused an abomination.” Now you know very well the story of Sodom in Genesis was narrated where it refers to the visitors as angels. Previously it refers to them as “travelers” that is to say they were distinctly human forms walking among the presence of God. The same ones that Abraham sees. There is nothing added eons after to make that false, and no the men who wanted to have their ways with these beings did not know they were angels. The tie in to this story is that they appeared to be human in their form. The knowledge of them being angels comes after the story was narrated and as it is written still leaves the impression that these men were so infatuated with their own wickedness that they desired to have sex with beings they believe to be men, Men having sex with men is known as what? Genesis 19:5 “and they called to lot saying ‘where are these men who came to you tonight, bring them out so that we may have our ways with them.” See there is no “Angel rape” they wanted to have sex with other men, or at least beings they believed to be men, or they would not have said such. Stop fooling yourselves and your followers.

        • Leviticus 20:9-10 “speaks it plainly too: “‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head. If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.”

          Guess you’re a proponent of that too, or do you wait until verse 13 to believe this is “God’s Word and absolute”?

          Be careful.

      • I find it quite perplexing that you bill yourself on this blog as a minister of faith when you do not recognize what it is you discuss in your ministry runs contradictory to what you say in your blogs. What is the purpose of the law, if not to expose the sins of man? Are not all sins detestable to God? Does he not require us to follow His statutes even today? Thus when Jesus was alive and walking the earth, it was Him that said to the servant who asked “what must I do to get into the kingdom?” He answered “You must follow the commandments of God…” this was the same man Jesus loved, but also told him “here is where you are lacking, go take all your posessions and sell them, then use that money to help the less fortunate.” The Bible says the man went away sad, because he had a great amount of wealth. What is the point of this? Simple, In Jesus time He was telling His followers to continue to live according to the law, but Jesus also taught about charity, love, and storing treasure for yourself in heaven through forgiveness. Not approval but forgiveness for the sins of others. I have to ask you, what in your mind is forgiveness? Is it that we forgo the penalty for sin so that their judgment rests with god alone? or is it that we overlook sin and even encourage it? Is not the law then in it’s current state a window into the mind of god, such that we learn the things that bring Him the greatest displeasure and then try not to follow those, out of love for Him moreso than fear? Jesus compels us to keep those laws in our hearts, which is the Promise God gave us in the New Covenant mentioned in Jeremiah 31 and Romans 2:14-15. We are living in the new covenant, the law is still there but we are compelled By Jesus to carry it out on a personal scale with God alone, not to judge the fate of others, and to forgive them of their own sinful ways, but not to give into them. Thus those laws you refer to in Leviticus as a tongue and cheek poke at people who don’t agree with your self serving position may not require a penalty to be inflicted upon by men, are still valid indicators of what does NOT PLEASE THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD… A minister to condone and even encourage such behavior in sacred places, is not a representative of the truth or of God. Please think on this hard sir. I am a sinner and although I do believe there is a God, and He has a distinct name YAHWEH and has a Son Yehsua I fail because of my broken human condition, and I try hard to resist all I can in my ways, without the law I could in fact run afoul of a great deal more than I commit. It is a blessing, should be embraced, and that is what a minister needs to encourage, to the point of death or admonition if need be because they represent everything that is Holy and Godly. Really take the time and dwell on this. Your message does more damage than help.

      • And yet here we are. I am positive you posted these blogs not just to be read, but engaged as well. As such I am doing exactly that. The amount of exposure you contribute to it will build you up or break you down. To not read and respond either in defense of your position or of the Word of God as you have come to understand it speaks volumes as to your intent here. I have very painstakingly articulated my position as a response to your inputs here in a very respectful way. Also, I have provided scripture as a basis for that articulation because of the content of your original post suggests there is a biblical ingredient in what it is you are articulating to the audience. It is this ingredient that compels me to respond, because what you are saying to your intended audience is not supported by scripture, and it is a very dangerous road to travel on. Forgiveness for sin and compassion for the sinner, to love them as brothers and sisters under god in this walk of lifeshould not replace what God has put forward; especially if you desire to be the one carrying that banner. Therefore to love your fellow man and forgive them of their sin, is not a replacement for the law at all, but it is acknowledging he justice of God and submitting to it, both of which your current message does not do. You in earlier responses to others have made excuses for the sins of others, telling them that unless they accept them then they are not truly following the way of Christ. In responses to me you have asserted that the work of the Savior has somehow superseded and replaced the law, when in fact Scripture points this out Jesus said Himself “I did not come here to supersede the Law, but in fact, fulfill it.” In this capacity the law remains, but the persecution of righteous judgment against it falls on the righteous judges alone, not on you or me. In a way this is a good thing, as you have stated early in Biblical history we (as in those chosen out of the nations by God, were the stewards of justice and were compelled to carry out punishments against sinners. The reasons for this specifically fall to a greater purpose than the mainstream want to promote. See the Law was provided to people who chose to follow YAHWEH as their God, it was not meant to be for the host of nations on the earth. This also was set to ensure God’s kingdom would be above reproach for committing sinful actions. If they are to be In fact a citizenry of priests and a holy and righteous city, then they should be able to practice what they are preaching, so the laws came with a penalty of death, in order to ensure purity and compliance. Thus in the work of Jesus He bears our sins and accepts the price for them on His own, only to be redeemed by His Father, since the sins that were heaped on Him were done so by false accusers and He was in fact righteous in His heart. This not only assures that we have a everlasting king, but if anyone will be a rightful judge against our sins according to that same law, it will be one who has not only faced the legal process, but been unjustly persecuted by wicked men. He knows first hand what can happen if justice fails. With that being said, His compulsion to ask us to forgo the punishments for sin one man against another, does not replace the sin itself. In this dynamic we still acknowledge the sinful ways, but out ultimate justice is rendered through the one most qualified to carry it out, in the will of God and the Spirit of David who was hand delivered Saul many times to be dealt with even justifiably, yet David saves Saul’s punishment for God, (submitting to the true justice and authority of God in doing so). So if Saul was a Homosexual, just as the adulterous woman in the Gospel, David continually forgives Saul of His human condition would likely do so in that case, just the same as Jesus, having been justifiable to carry out the punishment under the Law for the sinful woman in His day, being the only righteous person qualified to do so, also submitted Himself accordingly to God. In essence, you cannot continue committing sins under the New Covenant. There is no justification for such things, and people bearing credentials and honors of biblical scholarship, promoting any other message than what is plainly written in the one document they marry themselves to to do their work, run afoul of a penalty higher than any man made legislation, considering the one who they profess to represent. Perhaps, then the reason I continue to respond to you in this blog is to bring you to that understanding, and to call your audience back to the Lord.

      • John, from what I have read here you do not discuss specifics, you generalize and try to make opposing views less credible, just like you did by asserting that I blindly follow Levitical laws requiring stoning for wayward children simply because I pointed out that what is written in the Bible cannot be glossed over or abridged. Again, your stubborn defense for this one sin which God calls an abomination Himself cannot be supported anywhere in scripture. You say Homosexuals are allowed to continue performing their sin simply because they were born with a natural desire to be with one another (same sex). I pointed out that in Sin we are all born with the natural desire to do whatever strikes our fancy, whether it pleases God or not, and even make excuses for doing it as if that somehow will make God less likely to punish us for it. I challenge you to point out one scripture where God has said that He now accepts the act of homosexuality where He once did not. I know He did no such thing, what He did say though is that we are not to impose penalties and condemnation for sin, largely because we are not qualified to do so. Jesus said this Himself “Very well, he among you without sin may cast the first stone.”
        The intent is clear here, the sin is still a sin, but the judgment of it can only be qualified by a righteous person. With regards to homosexuality, it is still a sin, still an abomination, and still displeases God. In His eyes it is something that should be purged from the earth. For us though it is not our cause, we forgive the sin of our fellow man because we are really no better. I do not practice homosexuality; however, I have lied, cheated stole, envied, even killed if you consider my time in combat and I know I am no different than that homosexual in the sin department. By all rights his sin may be the only thing keeping him out of the kingdom, I have at least five there I got to reconcile, so he might be a better person than me see, so in that regard I cant judge or persecute him for his sin without persecuting myself too. Thus my stance if as follows, he wants to love other guys it’s on him then when its time for Judgment, I’m going to treat him like a brother regardless. I will not support marriage of homosexuals by clergy or in a church. I do not support homosexual clergy either they do not represent God. I will state my position when asked but I will refuse to attend churches that do this. If I see a homosexual couple or man on the road and they need help, I will help them. I will not discriminate against them, they deserve as much opportunity as I do and will fight for them in that regard as well.
        Clergy is supposed to represent God, so my issue with homosexuality comes where it challenges His authority. When a thief works for god they desire to stop stealing. When a liar works for God they desire to stop lying. When a murderer works for God they desire to stop killing. This is quite understandable across the entire Christian spectrum, but the push to accept homosexuality when God declares it an abomination and then to make amends for it so that those who practice it do not have a compulsion to stop for God places themselves at great risk, and even worse those who encourage such thinking out of their congregations. What is the penalty for a misleading ministry? It’s in the Bible read it. You are responsible for what you teach your congregation. It has to reflect what is written. When it does not, the “treasure” you reap is not something that you want.

  39. Hello! I read your blog all the time and often reread many of the entries. I’m a “recovering Pastor’s wife” (said only slightly tongue in cheek) meaning I’m still married to that used-to-be-part-of-a-Pentecostal-denomination pastor but never want him to be a pastor again; and I’m a mother of 3, one of which considers herself to be pansexual, (loosely defined as “bi”).

    Your words bring me great comfort and hope for the future of Church. I love my daughter. I’m in process of trying to make peace with all I’ve been taught (& caught by implication) and the belief that Jesus’ ultimate message was one of love, sacrifice, service to others, forgiveness, inclusion, and more. I want to be like Him. I’m not. ????

    In my heart, I do not believe my Rose needs to remain celibate for her life in order to retain her salvation which, as crazy as this sounds, is about the gentlest and most “accepting” message from my family and the many “Christian” friends I have think.

    Anyhow, not sure why I’m writing other than to say thank you for putting down all the words…the beautiful ones, the hard ones, the Jesus ones. My closest family (a brother and his wife) has had a rash of folks they love “coming out” to them lately and their way to deal with it has not made me proud. But one of those friends made the following YouTube. In case you’re interested and/or have the time, here it is: http://youtu.be/FA_AXe4ybKE

    With love and admiration. Please keep preaching Jesus,
    Kris York

  40. John. Thanks again for your messages. They feed my inner and outer man. They are the perfect “sandwich” of grace wrapped AROUND the truth. I don’t yet know how to get enough “Grace” around the truth. 🙂 But the Lord is working mightily I am sure. I don’t know how to contact you, but wanted to share a message I heard and sensed strongly today that you may be interested in. Check it out at: http://kickedoutofchurch.com/13335-original-scripture-words-not-translated/ God bless my friend. Duane

  41. I read your blog about having a gay child for the first time tonight – it appears that it is from a while ago. I shared it and have had several friends ” like” or comment. I had a gay brother, Steven, who was certainly a Christian – he gave to others when he had little himself. He was an accomplished musician, artist and writer. His sense of humor was his greatest gift – I still laugh thinking about the way he laughed at everything, even when he had suffered greatly for his admission to being a gay person. When the grandchildren came to visit for the week end, he planned elaborate trips all around Houston and then hosted plays and rousing songs around the piano in the evening. All of them remember him fondly and were very saddened when he died at the age of 42 of a brain anurism.
    The most important thing is that my parents accepted and understood him, even though I think it was hard for them. As a small child, he loved wearing my mother’s earrings and high heels. My Dad tried to interest him in the baseball and other sports that he played with my other two brothers. He was certainly encouraged to be ” manly”, but he would rather cook in the kitchen or play the piano, or paint.
    I know that the Baptist church that we attended and where Steve was baptized would not have understood or accepted him at all. Our family loved his partner as a part of the family and welcomed him at family occasions. At his funeral, many friends came up to us and told us that they were amazed that Steve’s family accepted him – many of them had not seen their families in years and were no longer welcomed in their homes. I am so proud of my parents and the way they showed us the true meaning of unconditional and true love as God intended. Of the four siblings, I am saddened that only one, who loved him at one time and often stood up for him, has decided that he should be judged and because of the church she now attends believes that Steve will have to answer for his ” sin”. She sent me an article about special classes and trainings for gays to help them to change.
    God Bless you for your wonderful blog article. I am so glad that I found it.

    • In the first place, I any several Doctors I have read on the subject, believe gay people are born that way. No different than any other thing we think is abnormal. I have a great nephew that is gay. I asked him when he knew he was , he told me when he was 9. What I find even more important , in the Gospels, Jesus never says any thing about gay people, What He does tell us is to love one another..

  42. Hi John:
    I’m not sure if you’ll ever read this, as I know you are very busy, but I just wanted to say personally thank you so very much for the post about “having gay children”. After recently “coming out” , it was a bit hard for my father as he is religious. He loved and accepted me, no matter what, but still know how to feel or act upon it all. I cried after reading your post and directly sent him the link. It touched him SO much and completely opened his eyes. I think it helped even more as it was written by a father and a pastor, something he can connect to. My mother loved it too, but is much further along with her acceptance and openness of me. Thank you for that, for opening so much up to my Dad. I’m not religious but I know this speaks miles for him. I will eventually use this same post to open up to my family also, if I decide to. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you reply, could you email me a response with the email address above. If you have any other info for Christian fathers with gay children, I would be so interested. With Love,

  43. I looked for an email address to email this to you…but couldn’t find any. I don’t do Facebook so that avenue is also out…so please feel free to locate this to whatever venue is appropriate.

    Can SOMEBODY PLEASE tell me why there is SO much outrage over a hypothetical question poised to a small pizzeria about them following their faith and probably not catering to a same-sex marriage, yet almost NOTHING about gays being slaughtered by Muslims in other countries and ACTUALLY BEING denied services by Muslims here in this country?

    Why is there no outcry about our government bending over backwards to do business with these same countries that hang, behead, stone, or throw off buildings anyone of the LGBT community?! (or crucify, behead, whip, blow-up, or burn anyone who is Christian?)

    There are people being KILLED everyday for how they want to live their life…LGBT and Christian alike…yet here we are fighting each other? Does anything seem wrong to anyone about this?!

    When so loud of silence is heard against the atrocities committed against the LGBT in the name of Islam, yet SO much is heard against a small pizzeria peacefully trying to follow their beliefs…how can this NOT be seen as discrimination, hatred, and prejudice just against Christians?

    An editorial by the The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-same-sex-sinners.html?ref=topics) states this:
    “Creech and Mitchell Gold, a prominent furniture maker and gay philanthropist, founded an advocacy group, Faith in America, which aims to mitigate the damage done to L.G.B.T. people by what it calls “religion-based bigotry.”

    Gold told me that church leaders must be made “to take homosexuality off the sin list.”

    His commandment is worthy — and warranted. All of us, no matter our religious traditions, should know better than to tell gay people that they’re an offense. And that’s precisely what the florists and bakers who want to turn them away are saying to them.”

    Why no mention of the atrocities of Islam and the denial of service here in the USA…but Christian owned florists, bakers (and now a pizzeria) make NATIONAL news?!?

    One of the reasons (there are others) I can see for this kind of imbalance is that people fear those who would swing a sword far less than they fear those who would turn the other cheek.

    IF you do answer, PLEASE don’t try to equate a pizzeria hypothetically denying a pizza to those who are actually torturing and KILLING people…there is NO comparison. People can go down the street and get another pizza…dead people can’t get another life.

    I’ve also heard/read (often) the term Extremist Christians used in the same sentence as Extremist Muslims.

    CHRISTIANS are NOT killing innocent (or guilty for that matter) people by the hundreds every day. Muslims are daily killing hundreds of innocent people (LGBT, LGBT Christians, Straight Christian) just because they believe differently than the Muslims do.

    PLEASE don’t bring up the crusades…because that was more out of politics of the time than it was about following Jesus. THE CRUSADES were directed by Pope Urban II to stop the violent spread of Islam and to free Jerusalem from Muslim control. In that cause…MANY atrocities were committed in the “Name of Jesus” against MANY people groups. Following Jesus’ teachings had little to do with much of what transpired in the Crusades.

    Whatever our take on same sex marriage etc…I am sure we can all agree that Jesus didn’t teach us to KILL others who believe differently than we do! (or to burn down their pizzeria)

    Also, please don’t bring up slavery. There were just as many people who fought and died to end slavery that called themselves Christian as those who were in favor of slavery.

    The question is and remains, “Why no outcry against Muslims in this country who deny services or against Muslims in other countries who hate, kill, and torture people who are LGBT?” Why do we hear the hate directed predominantly against Christians and Christianity?

    • This is a legitimate issue here. No one is talking about it because it’s too taboo. Basically, “hating” on gays is the same thing as “hating” on Muslims in this society, in that arena the people who speak out against one will not speak out against the other as well because it creates the impression of Intolerance. To say that Muslims should not be here because they hate homosexuals is looks on as “Islamophobia” which is the label they assign, because the truth is they do not work with the gay community because it’s not within their religious practice to be tolerant of homosexuals. Or at best their interpretation of tolerance is compromised to include not providing services when their religious identity is at stake. Of course the more radicals are outright assaulting and killing gays, but to put that out makes you one of “them” even when you can provide proof that is undeniable. Well be resolved to learn the hard way I suppose.

  44. John,

    Thanks so much for putting the words together that express what so much of us felt. I was fortunate to join a First United Methodist Church in Eugene Oregon that was a “reconciling” fellowship. Also fortunate to have some very understanding friends. I truly appreciate your voice and the stance you take as a minister to express them. You ARE appreciated.

  45. Hi John.
    I know your a sincere man and want to help people annd thats a good thing. But John, your giving out “STUFF” and not biblical TRUTH! As and former pastor and Seminary prof I see where you are coming from with the “gay” issue, but your misleading them. I was in a Bar Ministry to gays and they are no happy folks. Oh yea, beer can float your boat for awhile, but it doesn’t last. Gay sex, which is erotic, can turn one on, but like adultery its only temporary. you see John Jesus is permanent. Your trying to please the crowd like Pilate, but what about Jesus? Yes, He loves gay people, as he loves others, but you know the difference. Please ask the lLrd to help you see the truth. Salvation is waiting for you too. I’m praying for you…..Dr. Martin Boyd.

    • You seem to know a lot about gay sex for a straight person. You seem to also believe that gay people are only capable of sex. I’m sad for you.

      I don’t think you’re really going to pray for me. Though Jesus tells us that our prayers don’t need to be broadcast. Otherwise it’s largely about us.

      Have a nice day.

      • I found your response to Martin to be very distasteful. He stated that he was in a Bar Ministry for Gays. He didn’t diserve what you dished out. I agree with 80% of your blog. Where things get fuzzy for me is where you condone Homosexuality and insinuate that people were born that way and that’s simply not true. In fact, I that is true then I would denounce my Christianity and my love for God. Are human beings sometimes born with their wires crossed or a genital mix up? Absolutely, it happens just like someone born with only 3 fingers. God did not intend on that, but it happens.

        If what you we’re saying were true then Pedophiles would be born that way. People who practice Zoophila would be born that way. People who are prone to have affairs would be born that way.

        God DOES NOT discriminate with Sexual Sin. Therefore, we should NOT condone it anymore than we would an affair or premarital sex. However when should love the person that is practicing it and guide them in Truth and Love. Just likeJesus did.

        I mustache you. In John, did Jesus tell the women caught in Adulty to go and continue to sin?

      • Chrid – How in the world can you claim to know what god “intends”? You are just saying what *you think* but claiming it is god’s belief or intention. You have no idea. God d didn’t write the bible, you have no way of knowing with certainty what god wants/intends/thinks, or anything else. You don’t even have proof there is a god, no one does. You can only say what YOU THINK god wants/intends/thinks.

      • Good point, so what does the Bible reveal about sin? That we are infact born that way. We are all born and afflicted by the same spiritual bug and that is causing us to discern spiritual things differently. It causes us to act in excess in every way. It causes us to be very prideful and boastful of our meager accomplishments. It causes us to displace our emotions and our reactions to them. It causes us to reason beyond the natural order which is truth. All of these things are symptoms of a grievous spiritual affliction and to think for a minute that we have in fact cornered our own bodies and minds given that reality is not only a stretch, but an example of the spiritual affliction we are all born with. Yes you are right to say that you are born that way, but every one is born that way because that way is sin. The Issue is the same as any other sin, WHEN FACED WITH THE MEASURE OF SIN WHICH IS GODS WORD do we choose to follow that or oue birthright? Think about it…

      • John, does it not say in the Word of God that all Sin leads to death? Based on that piece of information it would at least suggest there to be a connection between sin, and a biological manifestation of some sort. But in the case of Sin, it is a spiritual affliction, that very much affects the body and we are indeed born with a spirit, correct? It is afflicted correct? Therefore the behaviors that manifest itself from sin stem from the affliction in our spirit. If death comes to any man it is because of the affliction in their spirit, otherwise they cannot die. Jesus pointed that out in His life story and I believe it is something you teach. That Jesus humbled Himself and accepted His human condition, gave up His body to death to inherit a spirit that never dies. The spirit in the human affliction is sinful and prone to death. Once the price has been paid it is made whole and impervious to death, whichtranslates to being absolved of the penalty of sin… Sinless and righteous. As such it was God who said any man who lays with another man as a man lays with a woman is an abomination to me declared such a behavior sinful. It was not me that said it, and He said it because people were doing it in that time. Thus they were born with sin, and it manifested itself into sinful behavior, which is in fact a biological manifestationof a spiritual affliction. Stop fooling yourself and fooling others. John…

        • You would really like the Bible to say that people born LGBT are inherently sinful because of that fact. It does not, (despite your long and meandering efforts to make it so).

          I completely disagree with you, but you are entitled to your opinion.

          Have a nice day.

    • Are we not all inherently sinful in this world? It is a part of our spiritual make up, if it were not then we wouldn’t die. I provide as my evidence the very word of God that people here claim to follow, these are not my words these are God’s, and you refuse to see them. You say I want to believe? Based on what? Specify your response or be content with blindness and false witness, which are also sins. Let’s here it, what did God mean when He said “men shall not lie with men as a man lies with a woman, because that is an abomination to me?” If you cannot explain these two questions then your response to me is empty, and at best a guess.

  46. I read your recent article on HuffPo concerning the traditional Christian position on homosexuality being a choice “Yes Homosexuality is Absolutely a Choice” and I have to admit I’m flabbergasted. You assert that the Christian traditional view only looks at homosexuality from a position of the physical activity and not all the other aspects. You go into great detail about how this cannot be the case, but you forget something. The parts of the human body that are used in sexual activity are the same that are used to perpetuate the human species. It was God that declared in Exodus and Leviticus that homosexuality is an abomination. This is to say it goes against the original natural intent and purpose for which it was designed. All sensations and emotions aside; there is a distinct purpose for what goes on sexually and our God would not have designed anything without a specific distinct purpose. What is born out of love is life; that is a message God wants to promote here. His love gave us life, the love we have for one another perpetuates that life, but it has to be under the construct of His design. Nothing is born out of homosexual love. That is not to say the love is not there, but the design and purpose of that love bears no fruit, out of love is life, a new life one which stands as a testimony to the love that two people share. What you are perpetuating by that article is that love is something that fulfills self but is not given to anything greater than self. You see that’s a path that leads to nowhere, unfruitful and requiring no effort. It’s like putting a yoke on an ox for no reason at all other than to have them wear it. God is saying yoke yourself in love, and use that to do something special. See it don’t take any of the sensation or feeling away between “partners” but it does further the cause for humanity as long as the true purpose is maintained. This is why God calls it an abomination. As to a choice; the article implies that homosexuality is not a choice, but if you choose to give to God what is His as Jesus implores of us, abstain from the sexual act, then we are in fact still expressing love by giving up something we have for a greater cause. Is not God greater than all things on this earth?

    • Timothy:

      First of all, Leviticus advocates killing the incest victim along with the perpetrator and other things that modern ears would find distasteful.

      If you’re not willing to burn an incest victim to death then why are choosing to abide by ancient Biblical texts calling homosexuality an abomination?

      And yes, the New Testament has some verses indicating that homosexuality is a sin. That opinion was largely promulgated by Paul, not Jesus. Paul also endorsed slavery by telling slaves to obey their masters. His words were used for more than a millennia to justify enslaving people.

      So if we’re no longer abiding by Paul’s opinion about slavery, why are we adhering to his views about homosexuality?


      If homosexuality is a choice, then why are so many gay people unhappy about choosing it? Why would folks choose to check themselves into a program like Exodus International, if they could just make themselves straight on a whim?

      Why do programs like Exodus International have a 0% success rate at helping people “pray the gay away?”

      Why have up to 20% of teen suicides occurred because the teenager was attracted to someone of the same-sex and didn’t want to live a life fighting against the unloving prejudice I perceive in your comment above?

      Logically speaking, God must have created a system whereby some people are attracted to others of the same sex.

      So the real question is, why did God design gay people? Could it be that they serve a purpose after all?


      • As to the first part of the discussion: Levitical laws were an expression of God’s desire for us to live a righteous life, but it had an even greater purpose. God did not dictate His heritage to all the nations on the earth, He dictated it to those who accepted His challenge, the ones He personally delivered out of the Bondage of Egypt. If you read Isaiah God speaks of these people as His Daughter: His very own child. He did not speak of any other nation in this way. In Exodus specifically God explains that His heritage was designed specifically to “set them aside from all the nations” He implored them “Do not live as the other nations live.” He also says it is out of these people ” I will raise up a nation of priests and a Holy city.” His laws were set for that purpose. Thus if a preacher speaks from a position of righteousness, then he must be above reproach. If a preacher is to represent the Master or God which he professes out of his mouth, then He should also represent that God in every detail. If they do not then they are Hypocrites at best, and unworthy of their position. In Isaiah God spoke out about this calling it Harlotry. He says He found a young girl cold naked and alone, gave her shelter and clothing, and when it was time for her to be given into marriage, he dressed her in the finest jewelry. But soon enough she sold her jewelry and slept with others for nothing more than acceptance among the other nations. This speaks of how the Hebrew nation we call Israel today took the Heritage of God for granted and began mixing other ways and cultures into it. Irony? Many of these cultures included incest, homosexuality, and the sacrifice of children and unclean animals as forms of worship to their own gods. Then they began to reject all the ones He sent to them to turn them back, Elijah expresses a heavy grief in this when he left his appointed place to go hide in the mountains. He said , “they rejected your messages, they killed all the prophets and I’m the only one left” This is why God removed them from the land He gave them. Have you read the book of Hosea? God tells Him to go marry a harlot, and to eat cakes filled with dung, He explained that the way the people will treat Him and the feelings they will have for Him doing this will be the same that God feels for them, because they are all doing the same thing spiritually. This is an exercise of the same thing here. As to the Levitical law, it was set for the people He drew out of Israel and set aside to be holy nation among nations, the harsh punishments were necessary to keep them honest in that regard. What cannot be dismissed today is the notion that although God has sent us an advocate to speak on our behalf, those things He has labeled in that day as sins have not gone away thus the Law is an expression of what He desires from us as followers. So if we see what is written there and dismiss it with your justification, then you are saying that God should accept us the way we are, when He originally created us to be different than who we are and we fell from his grace. How is that Giving up this world for God? How is that living as Paul says “for the Glory of the Father?”

        As to the second point: Was Jesus happy about the Choices He made? Do you think He was estatic at the idea of being hated by thousands and tortured to death? I distinctly remember reading a passage where He asked His Father to “pass this cup from my lips.” You ask if Homosexuals are happy about what they go through I don’t know I would think they are not, but I cannot help but think of the one who died for their sake, so that they would not have to face eternal damnation by God because they made a choice outside the law. Remember today we live according to the new covenant which reads “in those days children will not say ‘ because the fathers ate sour grapes, the children’s teeth will be set on edge.” and “They will no longer be held to the law written on stone tablets, but the law written in their hearts.” The Law’s still there, but how we chose to follow it in our heart will be what God uses to judge us. “Choose to” being the key.

      • Do you think Paul wasn’t speaking for God? He was chosen by Jesus as an apostle. There were no rogue apostles. The Word of God is either inerrant or it isn’t. Quite frankly if God couldn’t get his word to us as He wanted, then why would you trust Him for anything else. Unrepentant sin destroys. If a person refuses to turn from sin, regardless of what it is, then there are consequences. He didn’t condone slavery, but it was a fact of life back then so he addressed it.

  47. I would like to respond to Timothy’s comment about the thought that being an individual that is attracted to other individuals of the same gender is a choice. Being attracted to the same gender is not a conscious choice. Let me add however that going forward and participating in sexual relations with an individual of the same sexual gender may be a choice. But let me add that even in nature there have been born many mammals that have started out as one gender and due to genetics have developed the gonads of the other. I should know I was raised on a farm and saw several farm animals have a change of life right before they reached full maturity. So who is really to know whether a homosexal state of mind is a genetic mutation or a choice culminating from our society. For me it is a genetic mutation due to the fact that I believed long before I was old enough to know where babies came from that I was suppose to be a boy and that I would get my external gonads when I became a teenager. I found out 8 short months latter that I was stuck in the body I was given. That was a real let down for an 8 year old to go thru. I would never be allowed to do all of the things I saw my older male gendered cousins do just because I did not have external gonads. So hearing and reading about the Church driven idea of a homosexual choice still after almost 40 years still gets me up in arms. I am just lucky that I found and married almost 25 years ago a male gendered individual that had a similar problem to mine in the fact that he at a young age did not understand why he had to do all the thing he did not like just because he did have external gonads. I can not say that we have a traditional Christian sexual relationship but at least no one at our church goes around pointing fingers. Oh, I also want to set the something straight I am the biological mother of an individual that is attracted to both genders. We also live in the belt buckle of the Bible Belt and live in Texas.

    • That’s nice but our feelings about who we are isn’t what God wants. He wants us to commit ourselves to His Heritage and He laud out that foundation in Exodus and Leviticus. Do we take out the passages that were written to suit our desires or leave them in there and ignore them? The point I was making about choice starts there. Jesus says we have to pick up His Cross. if that isn’t a meter hire then for enduring the pain He had to endure to stand up for the truth then what else is there? is it right to emulate a man who gave so much has of Himself for us by doing what feels good at the moment? or should we honor Him by seeking out what pleases His Father and striving to do that as He did carrying out His will even to the point of death, uncompromising? That requires sacrifice, commitment, willingness to change, quite simply a choice…,

  48. I’ve just discovered your blog. Four hours ago to be precise – explains why I’m still in my PJ’s at lunch hour – I’ve read and read.
    I love your tender grace-filled heart. I took a deep breath and re-posted your blog “If I have gay children” on my Facebook page, along with a plea to my friends to assure their children that they will always be welcome at home.
    I live in Ireland and I blog at https://victoriawhyte.wordpress.com

  49. Hi John,

    My name is Joshua Newton. I was introduced to you via someone showing me your post via the Gay Star News about the hypothetical of gay children. I will be honest, I was sincerely concerned by that post and the one that I read about the “choice” perspective. I am a straight, conservative, evangelical blogger myself and I do not think that I represent the perspective that you seem to have regarding the conservative Christian approach to homosexuality. At least I hope I don’t.

    I wrote a blog post that is a response to your post. It is not an all out rebuttal at all, but references your post briefly and presents what I believe to be a more conservative, biblical response to the question. While mine has not gone viral, It has had more than triple the normal page views that some of my other posts have had. This topic has a way of doing that doesn’t it? I would be honored if you would read it and give me your thoughts. You will find the link below.


    I do have a few more thoughts though, if you don’t mind. If you have already read the post, then some of this will not be new, but I still wanted to share it, so here goes.

    I am sure you have heard it all before and I recognize that you are not obligated to continue reading this or agree with what I may say. But I hope you will lend me your ear as I pray that I will be loving and cordial, rather than hateful and non-constructive. I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of undying, uncompromising love for our children no matter what. I agree with the idea that loving homosexuals in an unprejudiced, welcoming fashion is biblical; up to the point that we allow church membership or compromise the gospel.

    The good news of Jesus Christ is that he died for us just as we are. However, it is not that he takes us as we are so that we can remain as we are. I hope you are not truly a red-letter only Christian because Jesus himself says that his words cannot be believed if we do not believe Moses. (John 5:46-47) The whole of scripture is God’s authoritative, inerrant, all sufficient word. I hope you believe that.

    I happen to believe that same-sex attraction may not be a choice any more than my inclination toward the opposite-sex is a choice. However, I do believe that all of us sinners, gay and straight, must submit their inclinations to the authority of scripture. This means that no matter how attracted to another woman I may be, I may not sleep with her unless she is my spouse. This is true whether I am single or married. As you know, Jesus drew the line down to our thought processes in terms of whether we are allowed to lust at any point or not. Not that it should ever get this far, but even if I think that I love another woman with all my being, if I am already married, that woman is not an option for me.

    The same is true of gays. The choice does not fall on the sinful inclination, rather it falls on what the sinner does with it. That is true of any sin and any sinner. This idea that our identity is bound up in our sexuality is a lie. As far as eternity is concerned we have two options of identity: sinner or redeemed. If we are truly redeemed scripture teaches that our inclinations may not disappear, but our choice to follow them in direct defiance of God’s word can become perfectly clear and should follow God’s word.

    God’s word does not give permission to homosexuals to live according to their desires just because they have a genuine love for each other and want to commit to a monogamous relationship any more than His word gives that permission to a heterosexual couple under the same circumstances in an unmarried state.

    I have been frank and honest, but I hope I have not come off as ugly. I know you are where you are and I am sure you did not get there lightly. I do pray that you would consider my thoughts as coming from someone who does not want to sling mud, but is genuinely concerned for the eternal souls of anyone who condones an active homosexual, yes I will say it, “lifestyle”.

    I am open to further cordial dialogue if it is meaningful to you. I will not be offended no matter your response.


    Joshua Newton

  50. I am re-posting this only because I am not sure if it went through the first time. My apologies if it is a duplicate.

    Hi John,

    My name is Joshua Newton. I was introduced to you via someone showing me your post via the Gay Star News about the hypothetical of gay children. I will be honest, I was sincerely concerned by that post and the one that I read about the “choice” perspective. I am a straight, conservative, evangelical blogger myself and I do not think that I represent the perspective that you seem to have regarding the conservative Christian approach to homosexuality. At least I hope I don’t.

    I wrote a blog post that is a response to your post. It is not an all out rebuttal at all, but references your post briefly and presents what I believe to be a more conservative, biblical response to the question. While mine has not gone viral, It has had more than triple the normal page views that some of my other posts have had. This topic has a way of doing that doesn’t it? I would be honored if you would read it and give me your thoughts. You will find the link below.


    I do have a few more thoughts though, if you don’t mind. If you have already read the post, then some of this will not be new, but I still wanted to share it, so here goes.

    I am sure you have heard it all before and I recognize that you are not obligated to continue reading this or agree with what I may say. But I hope you will lend me your ear as I pray that I will be loving and cordial, rather than hateful and non-constructive. I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of undying, uncompromising love for our children no matter what. I agree with the idea that loving homosexuals in an unprejudiced, welcoming fashion is biblical; up to the point that we allow church membership or compromise the gospel.

    The good news of Jesus Christ is that he died for us just as we are. However, it is not that he takes us as we are so that we can remain as we are. I hope you are not truly a red-letter only Christian because Jesus himself says that his words cannot be believed if we do not believe Moses. (John 5:46-47) The whole of scripture is God’s authoritative, inerrant, all sufficient word. I hope you believe that.

    I happen to believe that same-sex attraction may not be a choice any more than my inclination toward the opposite-sex is a choice. However, I do believe that all of us sinners, gay and straight, must submit their inclinations to the authority of scripture. This means that no matter how attracted to another woman I may be, I may not sleep with her unless she is my spouse. This is true whether I am single or married. As you know, Jesus drew the line down to our thought processes in terms of whether we are allowed to lust at any point or not. Not that it should ever get this far, but even if I think that I love another woman with all my being, if I am already married, that woman is not an option for me.

    The same is true of gays. The choice does not fall on the sinful inclination, rather it falls on what the sinner does with it. That is true of any sin and any sinner. This idea that our identity is bound up in our sexuality is a lie. As far as eternity is concerned we have two options of identity: sinner or redeemed. If we are truly redeemed scripture teaches that our inclinations may not disappear, but our choice to follow them in direct defiance of God’s word can become perfectly clear and should follow God’s word.

    God’s word does not give permission to homosexuals to live according to their desires just because they have a genuine love for each other and want to commit to a monogamous relationship any more than His word gives that permission to a heterosexual couple under the same circumstances in an unmarried state.

    I have been frank and honest, but I hope I have not come off as ugly. I know you are where you are and I am sure you did not get there lightly. I do pray that you would consider my thoughts as coming from someone who does not want to sling mud, but is genuinely concerned for the eternal souls of anyone who condones an active homosexual, yes I will say it, “lifestyle”.

    I am open to further cordial dialogue if it is meaningful to you. I will not be offended no matter your response.


    Joshua Newton

    • Joshua:

      I think you’ve posted a thoughtful response. I personally think that the idea that God made people gay but expects them to be celibate incompatible with the idea that God is loving.

      I think we all know there’s difference between being allowed to have sex with one person and never being allowed to have sex at all.

      It seems the scenario you envision is as follows:

      God deliberately created many people who are naturally sexually drawn to members of the same-sex and then decided to torture them by never letting them express their sexuality.

      Is that really what we think a loving and intelligent God did?

      • First lets consider a few worldly dynamics here. Sin perpetuates behaviors that are not compatible with a healthy lifestyle. This is not something new as we see God has prescribed for His chosen people a diet even that sustains their health, boosts their immunity, and protects them from sickness. This cannot be understated as many are teaching this in churches even today, but exactly how deeply does the sickness from something as simple as eating strange foods or unclean meat? Science has proven that many foods metabolize into elements that produce what is known as free radicals which can reign in the body unchallenged and have the potential to alter cell function or stammer proper cell growth. The very notion that red meat can cause cancer is quite compelling until you consider what is in the blood of the animal being consumed. Also DNA can be extrapolated from these sources which under he right sequence has potentials to alter the function of organs, stymie chemical and hormonal productions which alter moods and tastes in human beings. Thus we do not know all of the combinations of toxins that are in foods or their potentials with regard to the affects they have in human genomes. We do know that genetically altered cattle which produce higher volumes of milk for human consumption in many countries can alter the gender genes, causing females to grow beards and increasing their testosterone levels. This alters their physical appearance and their moods. The same is said about the consumption of foods stored in plastic microwavable containers. There are chemicals in that plastic that leach into the food which increase the production of estrogen in males. Again changing their appearance and moods. This is the metaphysical side, but we also have a social dynamic that now more than ever makes gender roles obsolete. Fathers are not in high demand anymore and that missing element in the nuclear family takes an emotional and spiritual toll on a family. This is a necessary structure in a family and was for a long time recognized in the religious sectors as an ideal model. These things have increasingly broken down. A daughter without a father has no stable foundation to apply her life? She is likely to take on an insecure role in society and constantly seek affirmation for the choices she makes in life rather than express self assuredness which comes from having seen the same things from the eyes of two different caring perspectives. Males without fathers never grow to be men, they live a life as a child and they are not adept at manly roles. Mother’s do their best but most admit having a man to show their son how to be independent and productive in society is ideal, albeit a blessing. Such as it is the male in these dynamics only has one perspective to set as an example, and it is inherently feminine. Notwithstanding many more people nowadays do not attend church or expose their children to the blessing of God. God has messages for men and women, He has teachings for young boys and girls, to help them stay within their assigned roles. With out such dynamics these young impressionable people are constantly questioning who they are, and how they fit into society. Look at the society we live in today, if this is the ideal society it is no wonder what causes people to act and react the way they do, reason the way they do, etc. As Christians I hear it all the time this society is heading to the gates of hell and destined to drag all that is good with it, but now for some reason we are to embrace society on this one issue? Men must abandon their given purpose and role in this world and women must forsake their contribution to the human race? This is exactly what we are facing here. There is no design outside of intention, except when social reason replaces what is natural and intentional. Babies born as boys need to be raised to be men, they need to be provided with the tools to fulfill their roles for the perpetuation of the human race, they need to be protected from sicknesses and unintentional alteration of their physical make up, they need to learn how to love from their mother, and how to provide for their families from their fathers. The same goes for babies born to be girls, Girls need to see what a real man does for love from their father, they need to know how to love and nurture from their mother. When these things happen there is very little question as to who we are and what our purpose is, and less inclination to defy what god has designed, at least we can understand that it is not something you are born with so much as something that has been impressed upon you by the Adversary of God’s intention, the same one that has defiled the creation through the same cunning deceit that is being used to exploit so called men and women of the cloth.

      • What about the idea that God created man and woman (Adam and Eve) in the beginning? God didn’t create homosexuals. The perversions of what were once good and perfect in the garden of Eden happened after the fall. Everything changed. Whatever it is that we struggle with (and we all have sinful struggles) has to be matched against the Word of God. Our ‘choice’ comes in deciding whether to obey or not. It is never easy, and often feels/seems unkind but we cannot ignore what the scripture tells us.

        • God made Adam and Eve in God’s image. Does that mean God is dual gendered – man and woman in 1 being? God is more than you can understand – you narrow God so trying to pin down specifics like that.
          Do good works in God’s name … and stop trying to judge others.

  51. Hi John
    I have been reading your blog posts for awhile now, really enjoy learning and stretching my mind 🙂 We found out about 2 years ago now that our 28 year old son is gay. He has only come out to his father and I so far. We have been reading and learning all we can the last 2 years. We are born again christians who love our son no matter what!!
    We belong to a small group at church and this Sunday after the Bruce Jenner interview we thought it would be a good opportunity to bring up the topic along with John 8:1-11. My husband lead the discussion and it went as expected. None of them know that our son is gay, and we do not feel comfortable sharing that with them. Which is a whole other sad commentary on the church “family”.
    The overwhelming thought that night was that it’s like every other “sin”. The same as any other temptation and they have to learn to control it and not act on it.
    It was a very hard night and we realized how far we had come and changed our thoughts in the last few years, and also how alone we are on that journey.
    Then today one of our group sent this to the group, saying that it proved the point they were trying to make. This really hurts to read and I have no idea how to respond. I was wondering how you would respond to this article? It’s lengthy sorry, but it is easier than trying to explain the whole thing.

    Since watching the Bruce Jenner interview, I’ve been thinking about this whole thing a lot and have come to some troubling realizations about myself that I am uncomfortable about. So it’s time for me to be true to myself and I hope anyone reading this will be open-minded and non-judgmental.
    Ever since I was a little boy– as far back as I can remember– I wanted things. Toys, a trike, things to play with, things that were mine. I didn’t even care if those things belonged to others; I just wanted them for myself. It was beyond simply wanting them; I NEEDED them. I came from a broken family and these were sources of great comfort to me.
    So sometimes I took things that were others’. Not all the time, just occasionally. It started small… maybe just one of those little green army men from a friend (he had a lot of them and would never notice.) And then I’d take a few more. The more I took, the better I felt.
    Then it got to be more and more. I really wanted (needed) a new bike once and my parents wouldn’t get me a new one, so I took one from a wealthy neighbor down the street and re-painted it so no one would notice. I so loved that bike.
    The problem for me was that we went to church, and in Sunday school we were taught that taking things that were not your own was called “stealing”, and wanting something really badly that was someone else’s was called “coveting”, and both were a sin. Well, I was a bigtime “coveter” and knew that I was on the inescapable path to becoming a “stealer”. And I was very uncomfortable with the whole Bible idea that being that was a sin. It seemed like part of my genetic makeup. I had always been that way, seemingly since I was born.
    And frankly, I wasn’t hurting anybody. I made sure of that. I was raised to respect others, and I did. That bike I acquired from the kid down the block– they were filthy rich and got him another bike the next day! They didn’t even feel it. Those green army men? What were they— maybe a penny apiece. And my friend had probably 200-300 of them. Didn’t even notice. I always made sure that something I took had no noticeable negative impact on anyone. Many times they had no idea or thought they’d just lost it somewhere.
    The problem got bigger. It wasn’t that I was acquiring more things that weren’t mine (though I was), but that I became a youth leader at my church. And a Boy Scout. They all taught that you should not take others’ things, even if it does NOT hurt anyone. That made little sense to me. Taking things made ME feel better, and being judged about something that truly hurt no one made me feel very uncomfortable. So for a long time, I acquired no new things at all, except for those I purchased on my own.
    It was a miserable time. I felt like a liar. I had all these things… some I bought, some I acquired, and my friends and family thought I was, well, a Boy Scout (which I was!) They thought my lifestyle was admirable. But every minute of every day I knew that I was deceiving them, and worse, deceiving myself. I was a liar. If they truly knew what I had been doing– who I was– I would be shamed and shunned. I became very depressed and even contemplated suicide. Thankfully one day I made the bold decision to talk to a minister about it.
    I will not mention the denomination as to not have stones thrown at it by intolerant Christians, but that minister was a lifesaver. He told me about the Councils of Laodicea, Hippo, Carthage and the Council of Nicea… how men– regular men like us– “decided” what should actually be in the Bible and what should not be in it. I was amazed at what I learned. It became very clear that there is a LOT of stuff in the Bible that should not be in there… it is not inspired by God, and there is a lot that SHOULD be in there, that these men decided (usually for political reasons) to leave out. The minister assured me that some people are just born a certain way with certain predispositions and God loves them just the way they are. They cannot help it. He gave the example of homosexuals (I had never met a gay person back then.) They are castigated by society yet this is how God made them. “But what about the verses about homosexuality being a sin?”
    “Those men at those Councils decided to keep that in there. Frankly, it was a good idea as homosexuality was so rampant in certain sectors– among some Roman leaders of the day who were persecuting the early church– that they wanted those men to be shamed. That was for a specific people at a specific time, like much of the rules in the Bible. It does not apply to today and was never intended to.”
    “OK, but what about coveting, or stealing?”, I nervously asked.
    “Fair question. Back in ‘Bible Times’ people were very, very poor and life was very hard. If someone stole just one thing from someone it could mean their death (their only water vessel, for example.) So God put some very strict rules in place to protect them. The book of Numbers is completely filled with rules and regulations we no longer use. That was three thousand years ago.”
    “So those rules don’t apply.”
    “Most of them, no. Now we live in a modern era where we have refrigeration, so separating meat and dairy is not a health issue. Now we live in the greatest country on earth and there is plenty to go around; it’s just not being shared. According to Jesus, we SHOULD share what we have– but not everyone does. Some bosses at big companies are stingy and some of their employees can barely make it. So if one of those employees takes home a leftover sandwich from the company fridge to feed his hungry child, is that stealing? Do you think God would be angry at that?”
    “So you’re saying it’s OK to take things that are not yours?”
    “No, I am not saying that. The question is, are YOU really hurting anyone by what you’re doing, or are you doing something that may be of ultimate good?”
    That was a strange supposition I had never considered. I will never forget the dialogue that happened next.
    The minister continued.” Let me ask you some things. Do you love Jesus?”
    “Do you love other people?”
    “Of course I do.”
    “Do you consider yourself a good person?”
    “Mostly, but I am not perfect.”
    “No one is! Are you hurting other people?”
    “I don’t think so… I try not to…”
    “Is your goal in ‘acquiring’ these things to hurt other people?”
    “Of course not!”
    “Does this ‘acquiring things’ always been a part of you?”
    “Ever since I can remember.”
    “Are you a criminal?”
    “Of course not! I’m a youth leader and almost an Eagle Scout for gosh sakes!”
    “Remember the Apostle Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’?”
    “Pretty much. We don’t know what it was exactly, but God helped him live with it.”
    “Did God remove it?”
    “I don’t think so.”
    “Was Paul a giant of the faith?”
    “Did Paul admit this thorn in the flesh, or did he keep it secret?”
    “Well, it’s in the Bible…”
    “Yes. It’s a big part of Paul’s story. Just like your thorn is part of your story. God will help you through it. Unless you want to continue living a lie, not being true to who you are, and living as someone you are not.”
    That was in 1973.
    But it did not set me free. Not yet.
    I continued my dual-life, one as an upstanding citizen, church leader, and yes, Eagle Scout. But hidden away was my “thorn”, that unquenchable desire to acquire things… things that made me feel better when I had them. I could not escape it. It was part of my DNA. But I knew God would help me.
    It has been a tortured several decades, but today, I am done with it. I confess that I am a coveter. I am a stealer. I am what I am defining as, an “Acquirer.” By God’s grace I have never robbed a bank, never stolen from a store, never taken something from a poor person, never hurt a single soul (as far as I can tell.) In fact much of what I possess are things I bought with money I honestly earned through hard work.
    But the charade is over. I will no longer allow myself to be defined by judgmental individuals who rigidly prescribe to ancient spiritual texts, many of which were never intended for today. I am who I am and always have been. From this day forward I am an “Acquirer.” Some will call me a thief, and that judgmentalism is between them and their god. I am made by God and this is who he made me to be. I will continue to be a good citizen and a good friend, generous with my time and even with things I’ve acquired to help the less fortunate. But I will no longer live a lie, pretending to be someone I am not. I choose to be true to myself.
    There are millions, tens of millions, of Acquirers like me, many languishing in horrible prisons. They are no threat to society (I am not talking about bank robbers or muggers.) They are no threat to themselves. They are only a threat to the scared, pious, selfish, you-have-to-be-like-me Acquireophobes who are so quick to judge others while ignoring the logs in their own eyes. So quick to throw stones while they live in glass houses.
    It’s not in the Bible (but it should be): live and let live.
    Who are you to judge me, a creature made by God with all the inherent worth of even the Apostle Paul, someone Jesus died for?
    I am free.
    [Colossians 2:8, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10]

    Thanks for taking the time to read. I would love to hear your thoughts.
    Please keep up the great reads!!


  52. Paul I just came across your blog post about spreading gay hate to children. Now I refuse to embrace Christianity mostly for the very reasons you so beautifully articulated. I am a civil and human rights advocate I see horrific crimes many of which are done in the name of Jesus. Murders, beatings, abused children…the list goes on as you obviously have imagined. 40% of Homeless youth identify as LGBT. Many come from “Christian” homes that they either escaped from or were tossed out and rejecting families. because they were gay. I am not going to get into a moral or biblical argument with anyone that may read this. ITS WRONG AND ITS A SIN… Every day I wake up and I find yet another case of unjustified discrimination based on “Christians” inability to love without out seeing a sinner. the condition of a mans heart is no ones business but his own and gods. I want to specifically thank you for this message. it will bring strength to many who have been abused spiritually, emotionally and physically. May God’s Grace always find you and all you love in good health and happiness.

  53. Thank you very much for being model Christian who dares to stand in the gap for those who have been cast aside.
    As a Christian, it continues to be a struggle with the whole “attraction” thing. As far back as I can remember – and especially in high school – I have never been attracted to females from a romantic perspective (there was this one time in JHS where I tried to force the issue, but she was, by all accounts, a “tomboy” and years later, I found out she was a lesbian. Go figure….). Anyway, I am now in my 40s and I haven’t been in a relationship with any guys because I feel as if I would be throwing my relationship with God away (based on what I’ve been taught in church all these years). Plus, don’t want to hurt my parents (I’m an only child and they have issues with gays – ESPECIALLY my dad……he feels that any person with same sex attraction should never have been born and doesn’t deserve to live – so for me, “coming out” is NOT an option, because I know deep down that he’d find a way to kill me). Plus, I don’t want to cause any undo stress on my family since they all have such high expectations of me and “coming out” or “getting caught” would unravel everything and create an obscene amount of confusion for me. So, I go about life lonely – and it hurts. The worse part is this: My mom told me a few years ago that she didn’t want me to go through life lonely and not to become one of those “confirmed bachelors” who show up at other peoples family gatherings like some sort of oddball. So for me, tricking a woman into marrying me, while being attracted to guys is a level of hell on Earth that I just can’t bring myself to initiate. I mean, haven’t we seen those types of scenarios before? They don’t end well at all, and other peoples lives are impacted negatively, based on a lie. And it’s even worse when kids are involved.
    My options seem to be very limited. So what do I do? 1. Stay single and – as the church seems to prefer – live a lonely existence? 2. Remain “not out” and troll about on the gay hookup sites to try and find some low level companionship? 3. Move to a gay-friendly country and create a new identity and then live my authentic self? One thing I can’t do – and it’s sad really – is to live life as I know it, and be in a committed relationship with a great guy – and eventually, adopt some kids.
    Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Have you considered that there is a point in a young life when hormones surge and cause reactions that are sudden and different and if left unchecked could manifest itself in a person desiring to seek an identity for him or herself? Now, where is this young impressionable mind to turn for advice on what these reactions and desires are if not the Parents? Today’s world tries to drive wedges between the nuclear family, especially where it comes to nurturing and teaching them the right way. Today’s world wants these young minds to be shaped in it’s image…What exactly is being taught in your children’s schools. In the early years there is more emphasis on fundamentals, in the middle years, the emphasis is on sex and identity more then fundamentals, in the Highschool years the emphasis seems to be on beliefs and morals, but only within the framework of the social view. The fundamentals have been watered down by this time and you see we have an awesome amount of educational resource but the lowest grades on the fundamentals than even in most 3rd world nations. With this dynamic we see a generation that has no real skills to function as independent thinkers, and all of them suffer from not having a stable direction in their life. Social engineering experiments are shaping their understanding of the world and it’s causing them to develop a warped sense of identity, which goes way beyond that which is desired of them from their parents. It’s quite wasteful to think that young people have no one in their life they can look up to that can give them the direction the NEED to be confident about who they are and their bodies. Nowadays it’s a rarity, and when you do see it, they are heavily influenced by family or live in a structured environment that is rooted in traditional Christian values, not this new age nonsense. To give your children the proper perspective in life, raise them in a way that you can be proud of them, given them proper direction and encourage from them to seek the roles according to their design. Society is providing any questions, for them under the right understanding they can still make decisions about who they are when they are old enough to properly disseminate the information in their heads. As it is they get very little of this and society discourages proper interaction between children and family. People who claim they were “born” this way were not born to be who they say they are, they were raised to believe it, but they were born either one way or another. This new age society is not our friend, right now we are placating it but it will be a beast unto itself and it will turn on us all. When you read Revelation, pay particular attention to what happens at the last days. These are not events that happened already. We do not live in this world going backwards, we only have the future to look forward and according to the information in Revelation, your future is bleak, and will be because of this very thing that’s happening right now. Christians, all of you it’s up to you, placate it and be a part of the raising of the beast and it’s harlot in Revelation, or disassociate yourselves from it so that when God returns He can clearly see that you are not a part of it!

    • Barry – You didn’t ask me but…… #1 Jesus’s life was a demonstration. Most Christians do not know what they’re talking about. His Good News was that ALL will not perish. All have an Afterlife, and move onward and upward toward God. No one is pure minded enough to go directly from Earth to Heaven. Jesus has nothing to do with discrimination. All are God’s children, and possess His eternal Spirit. Most all Christians of 2000 years now, grossly misinterpret the Bible, and don’t realize how fanatical they are. Christ does not kill. No one goes into a Lake of Fire at the End. If Christians think Christ is a murderer, then they don’t know Him. Justice is NOT casting aside your eternal beloved, which is what you are to God. So to start– forget about there being a conflict between you and God. There is a conflict between you and screwed up traditional Christianity. Lonliness often brings illness, and even early death or suicide. Christ came to teach you to love yourself, and to live life abundantly. If you have the gumption to move into a gay community, then do it. You’ll feel free and comfortable there. You’re obliged to no one in your family to discuss your sexual orientation. Be Happy. Don’t wait. Most do not have your courage. Adopt a child, and Live. Find Love and Know you are Natural to God. Even in the natural animal kingdom, animals change sex during their lifetime. Also, the male seahorse e.g. incubates the eggs, and provides them a milk equivalent; giving birth to up to 2500 eggs. Humans are members of the Natural Kingdom. Religion is a perverse invention of man, which has tribal roots, and rules to sustain life in arid parts of the Earth. Those rules applied to a society today of higher living standards, cannot stand, since they involve discrimination, bigotry, misogyny, and murder. The love and word of God is written in your Heart, which is more sacred than a Book. Jesus will say to most Christians one day, “When they first told you I was a murderer.. Why did you believe them? Why didn’t you feel Me, in your Heart?” Scripture says, “Feel your way toward Me.” And likewise, feel your way toward the love of another man Barry. God is not doing you a favor by approving of that. He made Creation, and on the 6th day….said “It is very good.” You are His intention 100%. Your Love and Desire is Very Good.

  54. JP,
    Your grammar says it all…
    P.S. If you are encouraged, challenged, or blessed by the writing here, please CONSIDERING (?) supporting me financially by clicking my Patreon Page.

    If you were looking for confirmation about that nagging question as you lie in bed…yes, stop blogging. Like a toddler behind the wheel. I expect you will corect the error. If you need any more coaching, reach out.

    Brian Barbara

    • Thanks, Brian. Your comment motivated me to consider supporting John.


      ” Like a toddler behind the wheel. I expect you will corect the error. ”

      I think you need to replace a period with a comma, my friend. Spelling “corect” (sic) correctly would also be nice. Criticizing someone’s grammar and then using ellipses incorrectly doesn’t make much sense. I’m not sure I understand your analogy about the toddler behind the wheel either. Most of the toddlers I know, who drive, have trouble correcting their errors.


  55. I received a post update on my blog. It was from Lucille and was talking about the UCC. I just want to thank you. In a small church that looks like a circus tent. I finally found Christ when I wasn’t even looking. I assume most UCC’ers are Open and Affirming. Mine certainly is however, it is located in Boise Idaho.

  56. Hi John,

    I am a brazilian and have been a christian since young age. As the usual preach there, being gay is not accepted and for the understading I have about the bible, I have never also been able to see a support for it there either.

    I write you because I got really curious by your position of openly support/encourage the fact of being gay and its marriage, could you please explain that to me.

    Please, I do not have anything against gays, I see no problem at all in having a gay friend and so on, but at the same time I see nothing bad in respecting their choice, once they are normal people like us, for the view I have of the world, based on my christian belief, I do not see a way of supporting their choice. It means, I respect, but I do not support.

    Once you are the first pastor I see that supports the fact of being gay, I would be interested in getting to know your understading about it and what led to take this position of openly support/encourage.

    Thank you for taking your time to read this comment and reply when you have a time.

    All the best and God bless you,


  57. Just thought you might want to know – you have anew fan. I really like the way you write and I like what you have to say. I look forward to reading more.

    • Ditto. It is sickening and shameful how people who call themselves Christians are behaving. Childish, hurtful, aggressive behavior everywhere I look by “Christians” because not everyone else believes what they believe. It is ridiculous. And it is a great way to push people away from Christianity.

  58. Pingback: A Letter To Christians In Indiana, From Jesus - Anesa Miller

    • The red letters are nicer, and people don’t feel obligated to follow the black letters as much, even if the red ones and the black ones are saying he same things.

  59. I am too thrilled to have found your blog. Thank you for your courage to say stuff that needs to be said. It is inspiring a young Canadian chick to go ahead and do the same! You’re a blessing!

  60. John, I love your blogs and posts and I believe we are all searching for answers but, in the end, only love matters. I believe that God created us perfect and, had our free will not gotten in the way, we would all be living like Adam and Eve in the Garden. But we couldn’t, thus the mess ups in our genomes. I think he tried again with Moses and his chosen people. If we would of listened to the thousands of laws in leviticus maybe a new eden could have been created. ( I say we although I wouldn’t be included in the new Eden because it was for Jews only – and they were forbidden to include any tainted genes, lol) But again, humanity failed. I don’t know that happened to our genomes to create homosexuality, transgender, cancer, ALS or any of the thousands of things that changed Gods concept of Eden. What I do know is that it wasn’t God’s fault. He did have another plan. Jesus was God to earth to show that it is all about Love. His resurrection reveals his plan for Eden in heaven.

    • Not exactly, God created Satan with free will too. You make it sound like free will is the problem when in fact it is the solution. If not for free will, than we would not be free to express our love for God without coercion. Sin makes a spirit blind, and thus easily influenced even to the point that we believe we are free even though we are captive. Jesus addressed this to the Pharisees who challenged Him. He said “If you follow me I will set you free”, they said “We have not be a slave to anyone how on earth can you say you will set us free?” Jesus says “anyone who is a captive to sin is in fact a slave to it, and thus cannot be free.” See the point of that is not so much that Jesus was declaring Himself a liberator of sinful captivity, but that these Pharisees were regarded as faith leaders and direct representatives of God yet thay could not see how captive they were to the world and it’s sinful ways. Remember too, htat Jesus allowed these men to break his body to prove a point, that this world is not ready for Him or the work of His Father, yet as you can see the men who did this to Him believe they are free. If Jesus then was saying He would set us free, then clearly God does not believe we are free now and therefore we do not have true free will, because we say we love God, but more often anan not weprove ourselves wrong when sin deceives u. Worse, in this world when we are compelled in It to pick the “lessor of two evils” in order to preserve what we hold dear, then we are clearly not expressing our free will, if we were then we would not pick either evil, and resolve to suffer the consequence for the system of oppression that has been set up for us. Jesus spoke of the Meek of the Earth in Matthew. What is it that he says they inherit in the New Kingdom? Thus it is not exactly true to say that “free will got in the way” or that God “tried this on this day and that on that day” In truth we were given free will to love God without hesitation, or hate Him from the start. Adam chose to disobey God seeing that Eve was already under the spell of sin, and condemned to die. Perhaps He did so thinking He would rather die with her than live without her? Clearly they were not immediately struck down by God, so He obviously had a plan for times when they made bad choices. If you do not believe me then I would have to ask you, at what point did Satan break away from God? God created him too right? Yet here he is opposing his own creator. Clearly he was free to make that choice. And clearly God has let him live with that choice although He knows it will ultimately do him in. I believe everything He has created he has done with free will, because He wants us to truly love Him because we want to, not because we have to. Remember the story about Cain and Abel, why does God favor Abel? The Bible says that both gave offerings to Him and showed Him honor, yet only one gave more than what was required, and out of a free choice to do so, the other only gave what was required. Thus, you see it was not free will that was the problem. It was deceit, and that deceit caused the one reaction out of Adam that Satan could not get out of Jesus.

  61. Sharing for the amusement factor, I found your blog after facebook (for some algorithmic reason) presented me with a link to a blog by a Southern Baptist who said that people should definitely not read *your* blog. Glad to have found your blog! 🙂

    I’m the tech support behind a local pastor’s video blog/Vlog, with her take on things that need to be said too. And I’ve found that we have to moderate a lot of vitriolic comments. You must get them too… And this is why some things need to be said, in the name of justice, in line with the Good News. And I pray that someday our voices will be louder than those who attach Jesus language to hate and judgment. Peace.

  62. I’m transgender (male to female) that grew up being abused by my relatives because of being trans. I’ve also had churches show me the door because of it as well. Reading your blogs really put a smile on my face because it’s obvious that you’re the type of Christian that this world needs to experience.

  63. John, I am always challenged, refreshed, and uplifted by your writings. But the one about guns and gun “lovers” really hurt. You were tilting at a windmill, sir, (I refer to the post directly above that one–GREAT post.) and shutting flesh and blood human beings out of your circle, and categorizing the many, diverse people who support the right to bear arms, many of them your brothers and sisters in Christ, into one easily defined, broadly painted category, all the while claiiming an exclusive moral high ground (and therefore an exclusive right to grieve the victims of gun violence?). With all due respect, this was not your best. (I feel that you probably know this.) You seem to have retreated into that “Us vs. Them” mentality, vigorously pointing the finger at Them…at me. I support the right to bear arms (I’m not going to debate the issue here). I also deeply grieve ALL victims of violence, not just gun violence…do you find that impossible to believe?

  64. John, I so appreciate your courage and honesty to share your perspective and your journey. Please continue to share openly. I don’t look at your writings as an attempt to coerce anyone to a different point of view, or to judge or make anyone else wrong. I’m amazed, and saddened, by how many people bear “metaphorical” arms in response – namely words (however eloquently crafted) to take issue with you, simply because who you state your disillusionment with the status quo or direction of mainstream Christianity. Your journey is your journey. And, I’m heartened by your willingness to share your story. Thank you.

  65. Pingback: The Price of Admission | Morning Meditations

  66. I am writing you because I found your blog after reading your article about your emancipation from the Christianity of your youth. It touched me so deeply to find a kindred spirit. It was as if you had written that post directly to me. After 40 years of being a Born-Again, Black/Republican by coercion (I know, that is an oxymoron), tongues-speaking, goose-stepping Christian, I fled, and I’ve never been happier. I lost most of my “friends,” but I gained so much more–including love for a broader range of people. I am a writer and my second book is about that journey (Fleeing Oz). I signed up to follow your blog because I want to learn more about your journey. I have a feeling it will be encouraging and comforting. God bless!

  67. I am just sharing my heart on this one. I was molested when I was 5 and through out life I sought counseling and looked for love in all the wrong places. Not only did the man take something from me physically, he took something spiritually. I struggled to know that there were true genuine men who wanted to be polite, loving, caring, loyal, and just didn’t want me for sensual pleasures. I have also dealt with Poly cystic ovarian disease since a very young age. I was to never have children and yet I have twins that are 19 and a 15 yr. old. I have more male hormones than I do female hormones.
    With all that being said, I can honestly say that I even went through a season of soft pornography with being more attracted to females than males. However, I never acted upon that in the natural. I had been tempted on a few occasions and the enemy knows my struggles. I am sharing this now at age 38 and I have been divorced for 6 yrs. now from the man I thought was going to be my forever. In looking back, I wasn’t in the relationship for the right reasons in the beginning. Nor was I with my twins father either that I never married. I felt devastated when I found out that my husband wanted a divorce. I felt unwanted and no good for much of anything. He had/has a pornography addiction that later I found out to be a stronghold for him. I almost felt that women wouldn’t treat me that way because most of the men I had chosen to be with were not in the relationship for the right reason either. I have since, overcome drug addiction, porn, and drinking and the Lord has redeemed me from all those things. I realized that lifestyle was not what God has for me. Its because of His Word that I am able to pray through temptations and push through poly cystic ovarian and male hormones. HE is HEALER, AWESOME IN POWER. He is greater than any temptation I face. I may have been born with a chemical imbalance, I may have been sexually abused my a man, I may have looked for love with all the wrong intentions, however when you serve a mighty God, ANYTHING is possible and He promises to make good of ALL things. I now knowing what I know, would rather stay single and live by what I believe God has called me to as a woman. I continue to Praise Him and serve Him by being obedient to His Word. I truly believe that because of that, He will lay it upon an awesome God fearing man’s heart that I will be His ONE and that I will know what true genuine God filled love is by being blessed by Him. I can 100% agree that I was born with a chemical imbalance. I could see where if I let the enemy gain a foothold I could have desired a woman. I can 100% agree that being molested has left an imprint on my life. I can 100% agree that all the relationships with men I have had were not God led or spirit led relations. With that all being said, I know He created me perfectly and I am fearfully and wonderfully made. The world in which I was born into is not perfect. However I stand upon His Word and know that I can ONLY overcome all these things through prayer and petition and I even thought about when Jesus went out into the dessert for 40 days, He was tempted and yet He promises that we are equipped with EVERYTHING we need to overcome ANY temptation that comes our way. I am trusting that through Jesus Christ I have been healed from all those things. I understand science and being born with certain issues however I truly believe in His strength and power to overcome and claim victory. Yes even being born with a chemical hormone imbalance and lots of life struggles. HE is ALL knowing and all powerful.

  68. IMHO… the heart of the problem that plagues discussions about homosexuality, right or wrong behavior, or any other supposed “sin” or “Sin” or any aberration of life, morality or “holiness” is the relegation of God to someone/something that is constrained by the various books of the library of texts that is called The Bible. Though they would never admit it as such, there are numerous people who more worship the Bible and Theological doctrines that they worship God.

    I no longer see the Bible as the end all and be all of God’s revelation to humanity. Nor to I believe any longer that God’s revelation has been perfectly captured and contained in it’s entirety in the Bible. I believe that there is Wisdom all around us, and this Wisdom reflects and contains and may even amplify or bring up to date the revelation of God through the ages. Wisdom of any form can be “God Given”. The Wisdom of Taoism, Confucius, the Buddha, Jesus, Islam, Native American Spirituality and so on are all beneficial for us and applicable to our “faith walk”, our journey.

    I also believe that there are not many Gods, but only one God. But that one God appears to us through many “faces”. There is not just one single religion that can accurately “reflect” the image, nature and will of God to the world. Religion is too much marred with the fingerprint of humanity with its on penchant for self-perpetuation and control of “the revelation of God’s word and will”. And religion is predominately the child of the religious intelligentsia throughout the centuries that has murdered, castigated, exiled, excommunicated, tortured and turned its back on any person or group who have proposed a premise that deviates from the “orthodox” pronouncements and is ultimately condemned as heresy. That is why, for Christians, the texts of the biblical library contain only a handful of the writings that faithful read and appreciated in centuries past. Now, fortunately, there has been a re-discovery of sorts of those documents that were not included in the Canon and new interpretations of the nature of Christianity in the developing stages along with a new appreciation of what early Christians might have believed about Jesus, themselves and the God whom they worshipped. The Bible has many facets, many authors and many statements, pronouncements and opinions that are not always in agreement internally.

    That does not mean that “The Book” is full of lies. It simply means that it has come out of the cultural, religious and socio-political practices and ideologies and reflects both “timeless truths” as well as a particular slant on things like the nature of God, the relationship of God to the nations, to the world and to the universe, the concepts of Sin and Righteousness, Holiness and Obedience, Retribution and Restoration to name just a few. Not only that, but there are also those very difficult passages in the biblical text that contradict both observational and scientific study including History, Archaeology, Astronomy and the other sciences.

    I am a seeker. I am more spiritual than religious these days. I’ve had some changing thoughts and realizations since my seminary and pastoral days. I don’t consider them bad changes or necessarily heretical. I’m just not afraid to ask questions and accept answers that I would have been more resistant to before this because I was locked into the perceptions and tenets about God and faith that were taught to me growing up. But I want to let God be God and explore Him / Her openly and honestly. I am looking with hope for the God behind the curtain… It is that curtain which veils God from being truly free to be and to come to us and commune with us in any form or substance that He or She desires.

  69. Pingback: Broken Religious Community: The Flip Side to Hope and Chanukah | Morning Meditations

  70. Unfortunately, John I find your posts worrying. There are without doubt some truths in your arguments but the core premise in each one I’ve read has been flawed and unbiblical. I think you’re well meaning and you’ll connect with people who want to hear what your saying (as was pointed out using an appropriate scripture by one of your readers who you derided quickly and without base) but I worry that your not leading people to Christ but, on this case particularly, potentially away from Christ. I accept that church is not perfect, is populated by and led by humans – so that shouldn’t be surprising. It’s true the church can be pretty hideous at times but, at the same time, the early Christians knew the value of Christian community, meeting together to encourage eachother, as has already been mentioned from Hebrews 10…

    [24] “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, [25] not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (NRSV)

    You claim to be a pastor with North Raleigh Community Church, presumably to add authority to your words, but I can find no reference to you there.

    I wonder if hurt you’ve suffered at church has blinded you to the value of the church and has led you to write a rather blinkered and unbalanced argument. This surprises me as you claim to be a church pastor.

    Perhaps a more balanced and biblical article would assert the truth that God is indeed everywhere and can be experienced in many ways but that there is great value in surrounding ourselves with those who love God and love us rather than suggesting that people are interacting with God when they just get on with life – folk may be, but equally what you describe is a perfectly normal secular life.

    The Christian Faith is broad and deep but there are characteristics that define it, without which it ceases to be.

    You warn others to be careful. I think it’s advise for us all, including yourself, in what you post. Careful not to misrepresent God or the Christian Faith as, imho, I fear you have at times.




  72. False teacher alert!! Turn away from this man. I’m sure his intentions are good, but are mostly hypocritical and false. Even liberals do not think this way. He fails to use scripture in context if at all and seeks to tickle the ears of people who need to hear the Gospel. Sad waste of writing capability.

  73. “Why keeping bad guys out of girl’s bathrooms, isn’t what’s going on here.” — your reasoning is faulty. It is re-framing the discussion/argument. So, according to your reasoning, women and girls are supposed to be okay with undressing in a locker room and sharing a bathroom with transgender men because they are not a real threat, but not heterosexual men with problems. NO, NO, NO! No matter who the man is or what their issues are, they don’t belong in women’s locker or bathrooms. Straight, gay, transgender men — it doesn’t matter. They don’t belong in a women’s restroom or locker room. Period. If they don’t like it, it’s too bad. Welcome to life. That’s just the way it is. They need help, counseling and compassion. But they don’t need to be felt sorry for nor accepted as ‘normal’ to make them feel better. God was very clear in the book if Genesis — “male and female created He them.” The Church needs to trumpet the Truth in love in a society that is increasing confused, crooked and perverse.

    • I know it is a stretch to consider so much of this that is unfamiliar territory. Please do not conflate sexuality and gender identity, to begin with. These are separate ideas altogether. Now, consider that a transgender “man” would not prefer to enter a women’s room. A transgender woman who identifies as a woman is only that…a woman, regardless of what genitalia she carries with her. She would be the least interested in sharing that, by the way. Please respect that she is not confused and in the right place in the women’s room. It is others that are confused about where she belongs. Unbeknownst to many, you have been sharing bathrooms with them for ions now. And why on earth do you assume that she is “bad” or at all interested in young women or girls or assaulting anyone? If there is truly anything to worry about there are already laws that cover that sort of thing. Transgender men and women are the ones most at risk because of the lack of understanding shown here.

  74. John
    The being tired means that you are deeply disappointed, you still consider those who call themselves “Christians” as somehow in a common belief system with you. This is of course not true. You almost inhabit separate universes. The root cause is that the Christians you are so tired of have chosen to believe in an absolute revealed truth, written down in a holy book. This puts a whole world between you and them. They have chosen to freeze and package the truth. THe human being is remarkably talented to withdraw in closed belief systems. A discussion about “ultimate values” does not fit in that belief system. Psychologically we are looking at a case of arrested spiritual development. Sometimes can have positive effect if a lost soul (drugs, crime, etc) somehow finds new structure in a well defined belief system but for thinking, free people such a close belief system has to be qualified as a disorder. Because many people live so much from the head and so little from the heart, one can see the most terrible behavior coming from closed belief systems. One follows higher duties and is trained to ignore the voice of the heart and even of conscience. Throw your gay son out of the house. And feel actually good about it. So with Spinoza I would say .. do not be tired, do not wax indignantly, but understand. It is a phase of arrested development. We have to try to keep our arrested brothers and sisters surrounded with our love because only that can melt the frozen walls of their belief system.

  75. Thanks so much for this post, John. I grew up Christian and probably would still identify as such if not for the hate politics that seem merged with current American Christianity. I’m going to keep reading your blog though; such a breath of fresh air–and love.

  76. Please understand I am not saying this to be gross or in any way demeaning, it is an honest question. Does a man’s penis really belong in another man’s rectum without a tinge of conscience that something, just something may be amiss in this intercourse with the same sex. I understand the penis in a vagina, they are suitable for each other but does anyone really believe man to man sex is something that should be avoided? Medically and scientifically this is not safe nor is it sanitary. I certainly understand men loving men, the bible commands it. I don’t need a response, just something for you all to ask yourselves.

    • *sigh* Ok. As far as penis in anus being unsanitary, penis in anything moist and in another human can be unsanitary. The mouth is one of the most unsanitary places.

      ^ all that aside, WHY ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT IT??? If you aren’t planning on putting your penis in an anus, or having one put in your anus, WHY ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT IT????

  77. Well Sir, I do not know you nor have I read anything more about you or your writing, than this “…Dear Offended Christian,
    I’m terribly sorry that your feelings are hurt again. I feel badly about that. None of us likes to be criticized, so I totally get it…” letter which I just finished reading.

    I am a 60 year old heterosexual man, was raised Catholic, and have for many years been an Agnostic leaning ever further in the direction of Atheism. During that time I have become continuously more angry at Christians due to a myriad of incredible hypocrisies being played out by literally idiots, claiming themselves to be in possession of the moral high ground. Many of them actual religious leaders. If I could I would retch all over them.

    We do, it seems, finally have a real world leader at the highest levels, with a moral compass. That he turns out to be the Catholic Pope astonishes me.

    With more people like you and him, maybe there is hope for a better world!

    Thank You for showing me that there is at least, one or a few Christians, I do not have to immediately identify as enemies of mine. I can only wish that your example will take root and grow. Real leaders in the face of overwhelming inanity and prejudice face a difficult road! I wish you well and you have both my admiration and my thanks!

    – Tom

  78. Dear Brother,

    The Lord be with you and make God’s face to shine upon you and give you peace.

    I am Waseem Yousaf from Pakistan. I have studied your web site, and have found it to be one of many wonderful sites offered on the internet which gets to the Truth of the Word of God. As is the case with others whom I have contacted, you have created material which is full of knowledge concerning development of religious faith. Living in Pakistan, we Christians face many obstacles in getting access to God’s Word. Most people in Pakistan speak Urdu, and are not capable of understanding the English language. Because of limited access in our native tongue, my people have a true hunger for fresh Christian Perspectives.

    Proficient in both English and my native languages, I would like to offer my services as translator to you. Presenting your material in both Urdu and Punjabi would be a true blessing to the Pakistani and Indian people. For a nominal fee, I will enable you to bring the message of Salvation to a most deserving people.

    Blessing you in advance for your consideration,

    Email: waseemyousaf153@yahoo.com

    In Him,
    Waseem Yousaf

  79. Thank you so much for speaking and posting. I have found that lately, I cannot get through a posting without tears. (Tears of joy, pain, gladness, happiness and sometimes all of the mixture of where God’s heart is.) Thank you for being you, yourself and speaking your truth, even when as the scriptures say: Psalm 15: Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill?
    1{A Psalm of David.} LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
    2He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
    3He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
    4In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
    5He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved. This Scripture reminds me of your words and the spirit of your words in your postings. I too write songs and recorded using and borrowing from a few genres. One Verse of One Song that I wrote and performed many times in many places was this verse of a song unto the Lord that speaks to my searching heart seeking His Heart and finding It. Since that time, I hear HIS heart when it beats to the sounds of others too. The melody of this one verse goes like this. When I was so alone…………………….Into my life, you came. And I’ve never been the same………………………………………………………..again……………When I didn’t know the TRUTH,……………………………………………….YOU came and spoke your HEART to me, …………………And the Words YOU SPOKE THEY SET ME FREE, TOOK AWAY THE GUILT AND BLAME……………….now my heart belongs to YOU…………………………….Cause you gave your all for me……………… YOU look through my eyes that once didn’t see………All the way through eternity…………….My thoughts, my mind, my soul in YOU Agree…… I am the One you’d COME BACK FOR ME.

  80. Welcome to the Light side, John. The only rules of the road are what goes around comes around – what you do unto others will come back upon you, so only put out what you want for yourself – and timing is everything.

    You already have a direct link to Creative Source, as does everyone, no exceptions, and the only guidance you need is to follow your heart and lead with kindness, compassion and love.

    The low vibration of darkness (fear, hate) cannot survive in the higher vibration of Light (love, joy). The more time you spend envisioning and talk and writing about the type of world you want to live in the faster it will become your reality.

    Your awakening is being celebrated … pass it on in joy.

  81. > 25. Because my personal faith would feel fraudulent and useless if I didn’t.
    Maybe you should guide your life less on what you “feel” and more on what the Bible says, I mean, if you want to say you are a Christian. You need to consider both the candidates, and their political parties from an intelligent viewpoint considering truth and facts–not the sound bites they produce. The truth is that Hillary wants to continue down the path Obama is on. That was her statement at the convention. And what has Obama accomplished? He is providing money to Iran which supports radical Islam. He is alienating our allies. He has destabilized the entire middle east by ousting the dictators which keep a lid on radical Islam, replaced by warring factions of radical Islamists. He is importing people from other cultures into our country. He consistently tries to give our national sovereignty over to UN control, and he consistently tries to give our freedoms over to government control.

    Is this the legacy you want to support?

  82. I just read your silly editorial(Press Enterprise–Bloomsburg, Pa.) about Trump and the 35 percent of America that supports him being the problem. I noticed you did not mention the fact that Crooked Hillary could ride down the street on Usain Bolt’s back with a whip in her hand dragging dead babies a boatload of Saudi cash with shredded subpoenas flickering down from the heights and telling everyone it is a Christmas parade (40 percent of the population would be on the curbs cheering). In case you are not too good at math 40% is higher than 35%. Does it not bother you that your silly writings are full of media backed lies, you should do a little more research, and stop writing from a position of hate. Donald Trump has a history of being successful at just about everything he sets his mind to. Trump has been involved in over 500 businesses, 4 of which he had to file bankruptcy(a completely legal action) to try and keep his business open, running, and employing people. 4 out of over 500, I wish the government could have such success. His very successful TV show raised millions for charity around the globe. this is not something I would make fun of or disparage like you did. If you would have done a little research instead of listening to the MSM and swallowing everything they say hood , line and sinker, you would have seen that Trump makes those gestures that he used when talking about the reporter that slammed him when he talks about many others; the exact same gesture, and they were not handicapped. Mr. Trump is not a polished politician, he is not an accomplished liar like Crooked Hillary, and that is the exact reason folks like me will vote for him. I CAN easily forgive his transgressions of “polite political society.” P.S. Rosie O’Donnell is a “fat pig” and Mr. Trump never said his corrupt soulless opponent should be murdered.

    • Do we also have to forgive him for bragging about raping married women? Must we forgive him for his juvenile fights with equally crazy men across the globe? (We are at midnight with nukes and trump wants to play dare devil with South Korea) Should we forgive him for pandering to the rich while eradicating a healthcare plan that will undeniably result in millions being denied equitable healthcare? Should we forgive him while he profits millions off tax payer dollars at his elaborate golf resorts, while he dissolves Meals on Wheels? Forgiveness, in this case, is reserved for those that repent and walk away from their evil ways. trump has never repented nor backed away from evil. He embraces it as do his naive fan clubs (kkk). I guess we’ll need another democrat to fix the colossal mistakes of a “Christian” republican IF the planet survives.

  83. John:

    I just discovered your blog through your recent post on 9/11. You provide a way to subscribe using email but I am trying to reduce the flood of email to my Inbox. I was able to subscribe using RSS which gets me your blog entries as a feed into my RSS reader. Maybe you could also add an RSS link on your blog page to show that it can also be read using RSS ? (the link would be – feed://johnpavlovitz.com/feed)

  84. Dear John,

    I stumbled upon your blog through a facebook friend of mine. You are a brilliant writer and I so enjoy your saying what needs to be said.

    It does grieve me however when you say that you have lost your faith and I pray that that is not the case. I am a Christian believer who supports the work of Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham. Locally I attend a church with a dynamic pastor name Mark Clarke. Here is a link to our church here in Canada. https://www.google.ca/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1ACAW_ENUS350&q=village+church+surrey&btnG=Google+Search&oq=toshiba+32%22+720p+60hz+lcd+hdtv&aq=f&aqi=g7&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=2350l19353l0l19869l30l29l0l0l0l0l203l4203l4.23.2l29l0&gws_rd=ssl
    I pray that you and others searching for answers can find what you are looking for by exploring the sermons found in this link.

    God bless you!

  85. By the way, Joseph, I am not the same John who spelled Bible with the lower case b. We Johns are everywhere–Pavlovitz, Taylor (in my case), Smith ad infinitum. We are a dime a dozen.

  86. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    I have loved your blog for a long time, but I desperately needed these last couple posts. I needed to see more love in the world, more truth, more protection for the weak and down-trodden. You gave that to me. Thank you.

  87. Jon is basically a heretic masquerading as a preacher who is in love with his own voice and ideas, and plays the humble guy even as he judges pretty much everyone there is. You see, Jon has found the “true” faith and everyone else is wrong. If he wasn’t a “preacher” he’d be what he really wants to be – a Democrat operative.

  88. Well…I am not here to have a discussion with the zealots who have shown up here. Unfortunately, they get all their learning from only one book, and therefore I find trying to conduct intellectual discourse with them too much of a chore to try. In other words, the Eagle does not hunt Flies.

    However, I am here to keep the threads about anal sex alive. I feel this a far more worthy cause.

  89. Just wanted to thank you for your thoughtful writing. I had stumbled across your blog from a repost on a “lefty news” site. I had long ago given up on Christianity as something valid with a higher meaning because of the awful messages about women that were constantly being pushed. You give me hope that it doesn’t need to be that way. In this election season, this tiny little sliver of hope will see me through.

    Thank you

  90. John, I just read your “apology TO women” who have Trump-loving husbands/fathers, etc, and how all Christian men are NOT like that. Thank you! Six years ago I moved south to escape the Kansas winters and inadvertantly landed in a town I call “Baskin-Robbins Baptist Central”. That is, a town with one Catholic church and one Methodist church, but DOZENS of denominations that are some flavor of bible-thumping Baptist. I come from a religiously diverse background – my English ancestors were Quakers and Anglicans, my Swedes and Germans were Lutherans, my Scots were Presbyterians, and one enlightened set of great-grandparents became 7th Day Adventists, as did two of my daughters and a son-in-law. In addition, a 91-yr-old friend is a devout Catholic who’s quite okay with two grandchildren adopting Judaism. Over the years I’ve researched the beliefs of each of the above, and have assimilated bits of each into my own set of beliefs. Since I can’t afford a new set of tires, I avoid discussions about religion with my neighbors, nor is there a church here I’d feel comfortable attending.

    All this to say that if I lived anywhere near Raleigh, I *would* happily join your Community Church! You and it are a breath of fresh air to one whose beliefs don’t “fit” those of any venue in my own community.

  91. Trump will be the next president. America must be returned to its former greatness to lead the world in the end times at the battle of Armageddon. this is prophecy