Reverent Responses

Jesus Does Not Condone Sin!
Maarten van den Driest Responds

[Posted on November 23, 2000]

Dear VanQuartermain,

Just as a precaution: I will ask you a lot of questions in my response to your letter to Whosoever. I sense that you live your life by answers, answers that are unchangeable for you. I live by questions myself. There is one thing that I am sure of and that is my belief in Jesus Christ our Saviour.

"For I am certain that not death, or life, or angels, or rulers, or things present, or things to come, or powers, Or things on high, or things under the earth, or anything which is made, will be able to come between us and the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

The rest is decoration.

You say, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked." What do you mean with this? Have we proclaimed God is mocked? Do we mock God with our words? Surely not, we could not do that even if we tried. And we don't try. With our words, published on Whosoever, we attempt to build a house for people who have been denied the Grace that was given to them by the Almighty Himself, denied by people.

My next question: Why your condescending tone? Why do you accuse us of misinterpreting and making the Bible suit our needs? Do you not see I could say the same to you? We could shout at each other, hurl insults and epithets - some people do! - and we could even accuse each other of 'not even being Christians'. We would be in a world of hurt and nothing would be gained.

You write down a string of Bible verses. "1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Rom. 1: 21, 26, 27; 1 Tim. 1: 10, 11; Rom. 6:11-14, 22, just to name a few." Just to name a few? Apparently you know much more. Then why do you not tell us? Why do you not support your view that we misinterpret those verses with evidence? It is quite possible that I misinterpret Bible verses. I wouldn't allow myself the arrogance of claiming I understood them all. But why no explanations? Do you think that we should only read and then see the light? Many of us have done precisely that. Most people here at Whosoever come from homes where they could never give up their secret, many of us come from families that started praying for our speedy deaths as soon as they found out. All of us have lived all our lives in countries where we heard from our parents, family, siblings, media, peers, teachers etc., etc. that we were the filth of the earth, not even worthy to live. We turned to God's word and saw the light. It's not easy. Being a Christian doesn't mean - at least for me - that everything suddenly becomes clear. Standing up every day and facing a world of hate and oppression is still a daunting, sometimes desperate task.

But I did see the light. I found that I belong with God. I found that He doesn't care about the gender of whom I love. We all did. Now you come and try to rob us of that? Is that building God's Kingdom?

Let us consider 2 Tim. 3: 3 then. What has "immorality" to do with homosexuality? It is okay for you maybe to think that a word like 'immorality' is the same as 'being gay' but not for me. That would be twisting the word of God to suit your needs. 2 Timothy 3 speaks of more than just immorality. It speaks also of boasters, the proud and of false accusers. According to Levitical Law it was possible to swear an oath of being not guilty. The accuser would then have to come with solid evidence or rest his case. I charge you to prove that homosexuality is immoral.

Don't start about HIV or prostitution. Don't start about child abuse. Do you know how many children have to be taken from their parents by the authorities each year? Do you know how many straight guys infect girls with HIV each year by claiming it is a 'gay disease'? Did you know how many heterosexual women are abused right into suicide each year by their heterosexual husbands? What right do you have to this blanket accusation of immorality??

The Levitical law speaks of ritual temple prostitution. I do not claim to understand all the verses that people tell me condemn homosexuality but what I do know is that not one single verse in the entire Bible condemns two men or two women in a loving, nurturing relationship. There is none.

You say, "I love you people, but I, as Jesus, hate your sin." Show us your love! Show that you respect us as individual humans, show that you listen to our concerns, that you suffer with us. Show that you want to share our fate and be with us, stand with us against our accusers. Isn't that what love means?

Please stop about lust. Lust has nothing to do with it. Of course I enjoyed sex when I was still in a relationship. I did, it is wonderful. But don't you enjoy the pleasures of the flesh? I never let myself be guided by lust, however. Others have but most of them aren't homosexual. Who rapes all those women each year? Not the homosexuals. Who uses women as simple sex objects? Not the homosexuals. Who watches programs like Studs and Baywatch? Surely not the homosexuals. Go preach to straight people about the binding of lust. We know everything about it, especially about the bloodlust we see in the eyes of the 'righteous' when they come to picket our funerals, when they ban us from visiting our loved ones in the hospital. When they tell us they hate our sins... but love us?

You say, "The word of God calls homosexuality an abomination because it is a rebellion against God's original plan of one man and one woman united together for life." The word of God calls arrogance an abomination too. The word of God tells us that we can never hold the entire law and that we break all of it when we break one bit. The word of God tells us that we can all seek refuge with Christ.

God's plan is unknown. We have the story in Genesis of course where a man and a woman are made for each other. Fine, I do not deny men and women are made for each other. There are however women made for women. If we use the Creation stories as our guide then why are there people of different skin colour? Most white people will assume Adam and Eve were white. Of course we will never know but it is strangely convenient for white heterosexual married people. But then, of course, Adam and Eve never married. Marriage in the Old Testament is mostly a matter of one man buying the daughter of another man. All the laws against different types of sex in Leviticus are, in my humble point of view, meant as the safe-guarding of men's possessions - namely the wives - and some as guards against the worshipping of other gods. Leviticus isn't interested in a 'wholesome family'. God, in His wisdom, made those ritual rules such that we can use them as an inspiration for our families. They aren't worthless, we do however have to be careful with using them against other people.

You say, "In the authority of Jesus, I will be praying for the binding of lust and homosexual desire." I have a lot of trouble with this sentence. You clothe yourself in the authority of Jesus? By what right? By what right, tell me, can you pray against another Christian's earnest prayers? I believe one should never pray against another. I pray for the binding of homosexual and heterosexual arrogance, condescension, blindness, lack of love, fear. I pray for the release of all people from their bonds of fear and suffering. I pray for wisdom for us both, for mankind.

You say you love us. Go to a homosexual man or woman that you know, shake hands and say "I love you." Then act it. Show that you love that person.

Oh, yes, as an afterthought: We know what our dedication scripture means. It is John 3:16. It says God gave his only Son for all people. It doesn't say for all sinless people or even for all straight people. It says for all. I seek refuge with my Lord from my attackers.

I sin a lot. My sins are quite ordinary - although not any less serious - and range from anger, blindness of others' needs to hardness of the heart and many more. My sins do not include being gay. Being gay in itself is a blessing, a chance to show the world a special kind of love. But I do sin. I confess this freely. Please confess with me and share my fate.

Your friend in Christ,