Part I: To the Progressive Christians Fighting for LGBTQ Rights

March 3, 2014 · 7:00 am

The views expressed here represent what I believed in the past, and are not necessarily the views of my family or friends.  This post is part one of a two-part series in response to the ongoing conversations at Eastern Mennonite University and Mennonite Church USA about how to live with our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

Dear Progressive Christians,

I am speaking as someone who understands that you are trying to fight for the dignity and rights of your LGBTQ selves, family, friends, and fellow humans.  I know how important this is to you, and I know you are trying to do the right thing.

I am speaking, not as the person I am now, but as the person I was a few short years ago.  I am speaking as a conservative Christian who believes that the practice of homosexuality is wrong.  Let me be clear: I am not trying to persuade you of anything.  I only want you to understand me.

I believe that the Bible is inerrant and true.  This is central to my faith, and on this point I cannot be shaken.  I have read the Old and New Testaments and found that homosexuality is a sin.  You might point out that there are many rules in the Bible that most Christians don’t follow.  I don’t dispute that (and maybe I should start wearing only pure linen), but the punishment for homosexuality was death, so it was clearly a very important rule. Unless Jesus Himself comes down to earth and changes my mind, I must believe that homosexuality is a sin.

I can see that this hurts you, and it grieves me.  Because of the way that you were born, choosing to be with the person you love is a sin.  It’s not fair.  I can feel that it’s not fair, and it might be wrong of me to say so, but I sometimes wish that homosexuality wasn’t a sin.  Why should you be condemned to choose between love and faith?  Who would it hurt if you were allowed to love whom you chose?

I can’t understand it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.  I trust that the Bible is true. I trust that the Bible is God’s Word.  Therefore, I have to trust that God has His own reasons for why homosexuality is wrong, and why people on earth suffer.  I believe that someday, maybe not until heaven, I will understand.

I’m afraid that changing ideas and policies about homosexuality reflect a weakening of regard for the authority of God’s Word.  I’m afraid that this means our young people are losing their faith, and I can’t bear for that to happen, because I love them. When I hear you say that I’m living in the past or that I’m afraid of change, I know that you don’t understand me.  I can’t change what I believe just because the tide of popular belief has shifted.  I feel like you are belittling my faith and my integrity.   It is so, so hard for me to hear you when I feel like this.

Meanwhile, I live on earth, where the fact that homosexuality is a sin is hurting a lot of people.  I want to have conversations about how Jesus would have interacted with homosexuals. I want to have conversations about how Jesus would have talked about homosexuality.  I want to do what’s right.

Part II: To the Conservative Christians Fighting for the Integrity of the Church

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