I Cannot Overlook Your Sin!
Maarten van den Driest Responds
Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings, sister. I am glad you call me this... really. It shows that you, as one in many, at least give us the dignity of being Christians in your eyes.
This letter is in response to the many letters I have seen in your column. First I am glad there is a safe place for homosexuals to be in your site. To be loved is so important. To be loved unconditionally so rare.
It is, indeed. Possibly you know what it is like to need a secluded place in order to be yourself -- to be hunted down everywhere else. I thank you for your understanding. I see it as our task as Christians to make the entire world as safe as Whosoever is. For everyone.You are fully entitled your opinions and I will take them seriously. Do not however be angry with me for not agreeing with you. I invite you to reply and stay in discussion, if you want.
If I can please use my bible knowledge to address what I see is an over-sight in the thinking that I have witnessed here. I hope I can do it here. This information is not to offend, hurt or degrade.
Fellow Christians, our God loves us, but he hates our sin. I have tried to read and re-read the Word to try to embrace your thinking on relationships. I could not. You see, the Bible does tell us that homosexuality is wrong. Many times over the Word tells us this.
You have my intense gratitude, Lisa. At least you tried. You tried to see our point and went back to the Bible in an effort to understand. I applaud your efforts. Unluckily, we are still not in agreement. Where does the Word tell us homosexuality is wrong? If you have read our site then you know our position: homosexuality is not covered in the Bible at all. At least, not homosexuality as we know it. Certain crimes like homosexual rape may be forbidden - and even this is not entirely clear - but the Word does not cover the situation of two men or two women in a committed, loving, consenting relationship. By the way, isn't it weird that I have the tendency to always add 'loving, committed, and consenting' every time I talk about GLBT relationships? It should be self-evident. Straight relationships are often enough abusive or damaging to one or both partners but people always immediately assume it is 'right'. Strange. Can you show me where you read that our love is wrong?
You are correct in your statement about "who so ever". God does love us all. He is able to set us apart from our sin and love us, much unlike the world around us. I would hate to be constantly be judged by my own sins of the past and I do not want others to judge you or treat you badly. Yes, I, like you and the rest of the world was born with a sin nature.
My thanks to you, again, for this most gracious bit of writing. You are the very first writer I've answered who actually sees us as living individuals. We may not agree but I can easily respect you. You are quite right about what it's like to be judged by your own sins constantly. But what about being judged for the sins of others or on trumped up charges? Do you ever get judged for seducing or 'recruiting' children? I do. Do you ever get judged for not being able to love and only wanting sex? I get judged for that when in fact, I've been celibate or in a committed relationship for over three years. I get judged in this way just for being gay. When I hear people talking about the issue of gay Christianity, I always want to ask them where the sinning is exactly. Even if you are right and my love for another man is inherently sinful, then who sins more? The men and women who do everything to keep us out of their lives, even going to the lengths of refusing us civil rights, firing us on the spot and throwing us out of our houses? Who sins more, the gay men and women who try to love each other in a hate-filled world or the people who picket our funerals in order to hurt the grieving ones even more and to rejoice in the death of yet another faggot?
I apologise, Lisa. You do not deserve my bitterness. Still, the question I pose is valid. I know we can't actually weigh sins and tell others that we may be sinners but at least 'we're not that bad' etc. etc. Then again.... What about accepting GLBT people into society first and then talk with us and then, and only then, start on about conversions? I see that straight people only talk at us most of the time at least. When will people talk WITH us?
I read in one of your columns your reference to a writers statement that homosexuals are often mis-labled or labled as a group as being promiscuous. I have never (I promise) heard this lifestyle bashed by my fellow church-goers. I attend a small nondenominational Bible Church. Our Pastor preaches directly from the pages in the Bible. I share this only to give you back ground on my own thinking and the influences in my life.Amen! I can only applaud this practise. No bashing should ever be tolerated. Not of gay people, not of Jews, Muslims, of no one. However, I take issue at your remark about your pastor preaching directly from the Bible. That is quite all right in itself, of course, but I hope you do not mean that this makes him automatically right. I am not a preacher but I take my inspiration from the Bible, too. All preachers and lay persons on our list do.
I do believe that sin ought to be called sin. It ought not be embraced. We cannot be so liberal in our thinking that we over-look a sin in our lives or a sin in the lives of our loved ones.
I'm sorry, I'm losing you here. The issue is not being permissive or not. The issue is not being liberal or not. The issue is whether homosexuality is a sin or not. Not whether we call it a sin or not.
This does not mean that we stop loving, quite the opposite. If a loved one sees sin in my life, I would hope he/she would not over look it just because he loves me and does not want to hurt me. My prayer to those around me is that if they see sin in my life, then lovingly show the sin to me and be there for me when I FALL BACK INTO SIN AGAIN. Being 37 years old, I know many of my weaknesses.
I am 24 years old now and can't say I even know all my sins. I admit that I sin a lot and that I could be a lot better than I am now. I hope I will some day achieve my full potential as a human. I too hope that the people around me will point out my mistakes and errors. However, this doesn't change one bit my position on sexuality.
Many of my sins are so strongly and emotionally tied to me that I have to lean on the strength of the LORD, BECAUSE I WILL MESS IT UP EVERY TIME. FEELINGS ARE SUCH A POOR INDICATOR OF WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG.I really disagree with you now. Feelings are a very good indicator of whether something is right or not. The problem is however that most of us are not in touch with our true feelings. For example, I am quite unsure why people throw their kids out of their homes when they come out as gay people, just for feeling righteous. I am quite unsure why I am forced all the time to defend my very existence. Not for doing anything wrong but just for breathing the same air. Your remark that we must lean on the strength of the Lord and obey Him is quite alright and sounds very Christian, but it does make it possible for each and every one to dismiss any homosexual opinions by just claiming they don't rely on the Lord? It's not that easy.
We all rely on the Lord. Now, don't tell me your opinions are straight from the Bible and only that, that they have nothing to do with your feelings. Feelings are important.
I want my life to give God glory. "If you love me then you will obey me". I want to obey you Lord.
I want to embrace all of you with alternative life-styles. You are intelligent, funny, witty, hard-workers, sensitive and God-fearing and God loving. I embrace you sweet brothers and sisters, but not your lifestyle.
Which lifestyle?? 8:00 am -- wake up. 8:10 -- shower: 8:15 -- breakfast: 9:30 -- get out to destroy society. Something like that? Sorry for being sarcastic but I get angry when people talk about our so-called 'lifestyle'. Can you tell what you mean exactly? Don't you just mean sex? That's what it usually comes down to. People can't stand the thought of us enjoying ourselves physically. That's such a small part of life! It's exactly the same as most straight people do. Only the technical details differ a bit.
Since you embrace us so fully, so easily... what is the problem?
I know many of you feel that this desire of yours is not a choice, I believe you, and I believe the Bible supports us in this belief. But, continuing to act on your in-born sexual feelings as an adult, with full knowledge of the Bible, is my brothers and sisters, sin.
There we go again. Before you start down this track you really must show me first where exactly I can find this homosexuality equals sin stuff in the Bible. I've read it a couple of times and studied it for some years but still don't have the foggiest idea where to find those bits. What I can find are numerous harsh condemnations of several kinds of heterosexual sex. I read a lot about straight prostitution and straight rape. Why don't people get worked up about that instead?
I agree with you that knowingly acting in a sinful way is a sin but my nature is not a sin. Precisely because it is nature. Do you really think God actually supports people twisting their very soul in order to conform to society's wishes? I think not.
You really should come with some more info first.
So, how then can we deny who we are? We put our old selves away and become new in the sight of God. Please note that I am not trying to over simplify anything.
Your remarks are clear-cut and eloquent. An A for your English. How indeed CAN we deny who we are? Everyone always wants us to act like good, clean, normal straight people do and deny who we are. We don't. We stay who we are and act it. We want to become new in the sight of God as our own selves, not as some straight counterpart of us.
We have been denying who we are for centuries and catering to heterosexual moralistic dictatorship. It is time for that to stop. We cannot keep lying just in order for straight people to rest easily at night. God does not encourage lying.
I do know that we were all born with a sin nature. Homosexual or not, we are all sinners and we need to confess our sins and begin living one moment at a time FREE from the sin that binds us to this world. Look to your Savior for strength...we who believe that we are sinners and believe that Jesus came down to save us from our own sin, suffered died, and is risen, are His fold.....His sheep, His people.
Amen once again. A pretty standard Christian thing to say but never wrong. That's the catch of it though, it always works. We're all sinners anyway. I agree but homosexuality is not one of my sins.
Take the information I have shared here and pray about it. Know the truth for yourselves. Those of you who have not got down on your knees and asked God to make His Word clear to you, should.
What, my dear lady, makes you think we don't? We know the truth. We try to keep it a life in a whirlwind of moralistic and religious hatred. We are the bearers of the flame of truth and we will prevail. Thousands of us may be slaughtered, millions may have their lives ruined, their houses taken away from them but we will be there to bear witness. Until the end.
Perhaps the message I am leaving with you here today will encourage and not discourage your reading audience. Sincerely Signed, Lisa from Texas
I cannot speak for the audience on the Net but I do hope that my letter will encourage and not discourage you to think. Keep thinking, Lisa. Keep your heart warm and your head cool. I repeat my invitation to write back and stay in discussion. You are a warm, loving woman and I would very much like to talk to you again.