Reverent Responses

Even Satan Believes in Jesus!
Maarten van den Driest Responds


[Posted on September 23, 2000]

Dear brother in Christ:

Thank you very much for your kind letter. Although we will probably not agree on all issues, I am warmed by the respect in your words. It can be most vexing when you honestly want to help people, reach out to them only to be turned down on the grounds of "we don't need it." Still, this is what happens in the gay Christiandebate and what will happen again now.

I don't agree fully with your first line. God loves us unconditionally - the Bible has it "for naught" - but I do not agree He doesn't care what we do. Oh, maybe it's just a slight difference in the meaning of the words we use. Mistakes can easily be made. What it boils down to is that we agree that God loves us unconditionally but that there are still things that are simply good - not only pleasant - and simply bad - however alluring.

The 'rules' a religion gives us can be split in two parts: 1) the 'mores' and 2) the morals. Mores are those dictates that are purely cultural, like eating with a knife and fork or having curtains or not. It is clear that this is ultimately not important. God doesn't care about table manners. The moral load of a religion is important. Certain things are just plain not acceptable. We will find that those are largely the same for all religions.

Where our opinions will go their separate ways is whether homosexuality is bad in a cultural or in a moral way. I say it's only bad in a cultural way, sadly in most cultures. I hesitate to discuss the lives of your friends with you, obviously I can't deny this happens. Then again, I have loads of gay friends. They all tell me that they were born that way. I believe them, I was born that way, too. So who is right? It is a difficult question.

We could turn to the Bible and find a number of verses against homosexual temple prostitution and maybe two verses about homosexual rape. This is bad, very bad, the Bible is right to point it out. However, would you believe all homosexuals are bad by nature just because homosexual rape is outlawed? Heterosexual rape is also strictly forbidden in the Bible, along with any number of other straight sex acts and I still don't hear people going on about how bad heterosexuality is. Surprising.

Let me tell you about myself. I am 24 years old, white male and I live in The Netherlands. (Yes, that's our country that just opened the civil marriage to people of the same gender.) I have just completed university here with a major in Slavic languages and lit. I work in a local shop as well. Nice to meet you, it feels strange to talk "gay man vs. straight man." I'd rather just meet you on a personal level in writing.

I was never abused. I have two straight parents who are still married, who raised me the best way they could. I have never in my life seen anything in the world except heterosexual role models. All through my youth I was taught that I was a boy and later I would marry a girl and have kids. Well, it still didn't happen.

Recruiting doesn't work. What would we offer? Come on, be gay with us and get spit upon by everyone else. When your lover is dying you will be denied entrance to the hospital to comfort him. You can lose your house or your job the second people find out (in some states of the US). People will picket the funerals of your loved ones, screaming hatred. You will have a three times higher chance of suicide than other youths. Your high school years will be one long hell of loneliness and despair...

Shall I go on? Being gay isn't nice, it's disastrous. Still, we try to make the best of it. Still we try to fill our lives with meaning, with God's presence. Still, against all possible odds, we survive and try to make the world a little better than when we were born. We won't be recognised, the papers will continue to write about sex scandals when we work to build churches, schools and refuge shelters. We won't be recognised but we still do it.

It isn't easy to "just go on being gay after some accident." Being gay is extremely hard, every day of your life. If I could have turned straight when I was in puberty, I'd have done it in a second. Without thinking. But it isn't possible and I am still gay. I've found a way to fill my life with meaning and am now happy I am what I am. Maybe God can use us to show the rest of Christianity that you don't have to conform to cultural rules to still follow Christ. It will be a powerful lesson, one that humanity will need to learn.

To set the record "straight" (bad pun!), Whosoever does not tell people what they want to hear. Whosoever is a Christian organisation and you wouldn't expect us to tell people everything is okay. If you doubt me, join our mailing list. The members are serious, dedicated people, committed to a life in Christ. It is a sad fact that their societies outlaw them and deny them the Grace that was given to them. It is a sad fact that they have to find refuge in their own organisations but what else? Just die lonely? We've had stories from teenagers who came out to their parents and then found out when they returned from school that the locks were changed. Forever. Is this the love of Christ? Be heterosexual or I won't love you?

God is not a father. We may call Him Father but He is not a man, not a person. He is God. I believe that God is above petty things like I just described. His love for us is fierce and transcends boundaries of every kind, including the sexual. I believe that God wants us to change, yes! He wants us to change into the best people we can possibly be. For you to be the best straight person you can be and for me to be the absolute best gay person I can be.

Another record-matter, the love is the same. Whatever your friends tell you, most gay people seek love. The real thing. It doesn't matter that it's hard to find for us, this has a variety of causes. We still are the same. Why are you so disturbed by a few technical differences when the vast majority of things is absolutely the same?

We at Whosoever have the firm belief that Christ's sacrifice was for all people, not only for the heterosexuals. It says "that whosoever that in Him believeth ..." That's clear! We are told that in Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew, neither slave nor master, neither man nor woman. For we all are the same in Christ Jesus. Why do you make an expection for us? Do you think the Bible has forgotten that and it's your duty to correct the word of God?

I haven't really quoted much individual verses but if you are in some way interested in a biblical discussion over seperate texts, please mail me. It will be done. Alternatively, there is much to be found on the Internet.

Being a believer involves more than just adhering to a set of 'truths'. I agree with you. It involves acts. Do you think that your attitude towards us is what Christ would have done? When you read the Gospel stories, do you get the idea that Jesus would have done to us what you do to us now? I am saddened when people use the cultural inertia of a belief system to force people to join their agenda.

I believe in Christ Jesus, Lord over heaven and earth, my Saviour.

May your life be blessed beyond measure,

Maarten