You Can't Change What the Bible Says!
Maarten van den Driest Responds
Dear Lynn Ray,
Thank you for your letter.
Hello, I am sure you all get many hate letters. I do not think that is the way to go about things especially if you claim to be a Christian. I just want to say that I will pray for you all.Yes we do get rather a lot of those but almost none of them are interesting enough to answer on the site. We have an archive on-line, as you must have noticed, with answers to questions. It is no use answering, for example, a hate mail with only 'the Bible says it's wrong' in it. We did that before.
This is one of the most difficult things I have to do in Christian life. Thank you but I'd rather not. Forget the prayer for us. I'm sure you mean quite well but I would rather you wouldn't pray for our 'cure'. I consider that to be a negative prayer, aimed at destroying some of my most basic and deepest personality traits. That wouldn't be very Christian, now would it?The purpose of the Bible is to show the correct way to do things. If you read the Bible with preconceived ideas or hopes then you will get what you want out of it.Exactly, I couldn't agree more. This is precisely why so many Christians refuse to discuss with us on an equal level. They are so sure of their case, so intensely blind to the possibility that they may be wrong that they send us nothing more than messages of contempt, thinking they've 'dealt' with us. Although I am convinced that you mean well, that you have a good heart that wishes only the best, I still consider some of your e-mail lacking of respect. I will explain later.
My point: an honest review of relevant verses would clearly show the Bible saying a huge amount of things about bad heterosexual sexuality but nothing about homosexuality - good or bad - at all. A Christian with a cool head and a warm heart would never, in my opinion, call the love between two human souls evil or against God's will. We're speaking mature, consenting, loving, adult souls here, of course.If you read the Bible to try to see what it is saying then you will receive blessing upon blessing. I would encourage you to read the Bible for what it is and not for what you would have it be. We do not create God or his ideas or commandments. He created us in His own image.Agreed again. Know then that you judge with your own human mind - and straight against God's will as written down in Romans 1! - a significant part of God's image. I believe that homosexual and bisexual people are as much God's image as the others. Without us, God's image wouldn't be complete.
Anyway, how will we ever know what God looks like? How can you be so sure, apart from the discussions about separate verses, of God's will? I am perfectly willing to go into a discussion on each separate verse if need be, but the first thing that comes to my mind is that believe in a God of love, who is bigger than human prejudice.
Think of all the despicable lies told about gay men alone. We would 'recruit' children, now how would we do that? How does that work? I don't know. Do you? We would be child molesters, if you believe some people. Although some homosexual people indeed commit those sins, heterosexual molesters exist in far greater numbers. Now, tell me, why do homosexual people suffer from child molestation cases, even if the perpetrator was straight?? Tell me why I am now afraid of answering questions children ask me on the street. Tell me why all those thousands of children are taken from their houses and put into care each year by the government. Tell me why so many heterosexual parents abuse their children, verbally and physically. A big gay plot? I don't think so! If you believe others, we would make more money and be more successful than straight people. Where's my check then? How is that possible? Even if it were true, wouldn't we be doing something good? The list goes on and on. Now if you look honestly at all those lies, don't you stop and think twice before judging me before you've even spoken to me?
Dear Lynn, you could have sent a mail along the lines of: I am concerned about you because my current view on the Bible doesn't really support homosexual love. Yet, I see you loving each other so intensely all the time? How can that be?
Instead, you send out a flat condemnation. What did you expect me to do? Agree? Or did you never see a gay or lesbian couple really? I can't believe this, Lynn. Do you judge us without first talking to gay people in the first place? You seemed so kind in your letter at first.I think you know in your heart that these things are not so....If I found a non-opinion non-Christian and gave him these versus, he would without reserve say that the Bible says the homosexuality is wrong.Here is the contempt-bit again. This bit is terribly awfully impolite. I studied the Bible for years! Some of our members are ministers. Most of us spend enormous amounts of time contemplating the living word of God. How dare you insult us this way?!
Do you know why this non-opinionated person would agree with you? Because you'd show him personally selected verses and tell this non-Christian - who probably doesn't know the first thing about the Bible - your explanations. Well, I'd show him mine and I think he'd agree with me 'without reserve'.
Now do you see how empty and shallow your comment was? I can easily claim the contrary and we're stuck. Why not just give us the verses? Why not tell us, from human to human, why you wish us to disappear from the face of the Earth? Why not explain to me why you believe that I personally am unacceptable to the Eternal because you read the Bible a certain way?
I think I know why you didn't. You must have seen the staggering amount of research we've devoted to those same verses. You clearly aren't stupid so you must have read at least some of our site before e-mailing and you therefore must've realised that we actually know chapter and verse of our beloved Bible, that we endeavor to walk hand-in-hand with Jesus in all our worldly affairs. And now you can't really give us a good reason for judging us so you went for the aggressive approach.
My heart weeps for the pain you must be feeling. Why do you hurt so much, Lynn? Have we ever done something to you? Will you allow me to share your pain? I will pray for you. I will not pray that you change your opinion, however. Although I obviously disagree with you about this subject, I still recognise your inalienable worth as a human being and your right to think for yourself. I cherish that and only hope that you will use that sacred ability to the world's advantage. I also don't need to invoke God's authority to win arguments. If you ever need any help or any advice or if you ever just want to talk ... please don't hesitate to write us. Click on my name at the bottom of this page and you can email me in private if you like. I will be there. Even in those hours that you envision me burning in your vision of hell and get that warm fuzzy feeling of biblical correctness.Changing what the Bible says can only hurt you.Changing what the Bible says can also hurt others. I can name you dozens of names of my people who were brutally murdered, often enough after being tortured hideously, just for living, breathing the same air as their heterosexual attackers. I can list you names of children who were suddenly thrown out of their ancestral homes, never to speak to their family again. I can tell you stories from my own experience where parents of a dying teenager forbade his lover and him to take leave of each other. I can tell you stories of finding lone teenagers at the front door of the local gay rights organisation who don't know where to go, suddenly robbed of their place in life, not knowing when there next meal will be. Children who, after being loved for thirteen, fourteen, fifteen years in a warm home were, without warning, physically beaten out of their ancestral homes. I don't have to tell you about the dozens of countries and states where our very being is illegal and can be punished, sometimes by death. I don't have to tell you that you, the Americans, have allowed a situation wherein gay people have no civil rights in some states.
Here you see the evil and enormous power of the Bible when it's twisted, warped into people's personal needs and power plays. This is a travesty of Christian law and a perversion of Jesus' ministry on Earth and nothing else.If you let the Bible change you and submit to all of God's commandments then you will be changed for the better (not just your homosexual lifestyle but other things also) and the peace of God will rest upon you. Submit to God don't hold the bitterness in your heart or you will not grow in Christ.My bitterness must be clearly evident in this mail. I apologize for slipping some of the time. I really meant to write a wonderfully Christian and loving mail but I failed. I fail in a lot of things and continue to work on getting better. I promise you I won't be bitter anymore as soon as you send Whosoever a respectful mail, stating your precise troubles in a clear way, quoting evidence. By the way, what other things?! Gullibility perhaps?
Another mail, another broken chance at real human contact. I'm sorry Lynn, for not being able to reach out to you and probably failing to get across. I know from experience that my words will in all probability only cause anger and contempt in the hearts of the people who write us letters and I know that my thoughts can be explained away easily. I'm just 'misled', end of discussion. And why not, I sometimes think. Why should I continue to struggle? Why not just give in to straight oppression and lie all my life. I am quite sure God would be very happy if I lied all my life about who I am.
Well, actually I am not and that is why I stay in there -- battling. I wish you a lot of luck, love and inspiration.