Reverent Responses

God Does Not Accept Your Lifestyle!
Neil Orts Responds


[Posted on December 24, 2000]

Richard,

Thank you for your kindly worded letter. I am thankful that you are not a gay basher and that you exhibit some grace in your way of living your faith. Would that all who opposed us did so.

I find it difficult to address your concerns because we come from very different viewpoints on what the Bible is and how we should read it. Your quoting of 2 Timothy 3 sounds like an accusation and as such I find I have to fight the urge to quote it back at you. Reading that passage in the context of your prescribing, presuming that it refers to me, makes me defensive and I want to cut off communication. This is where I find quoting scripture to be dangerous to real dialog on just about any topic. I can only presume that you assume that I am self-centered and a lover of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, irreligious, callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious . . . the list goes on. Truth be told, I cannot deny all the charges, maybe not even any of them. But I have to ask, who can? And what does that have to do with my sexuality?

You are apparently what we have come to call an "ex-gay." I hope you are happy. I really do. I believe we all have choices to make in regard to how we act out our sexuality, whether it be true to or counter to our natural sexuality and there are prices attached to all the choices. I no longer wish to fight the urge to be attracted to men. That costs me in a lot of ways. It also pays me in that I no longer have to pretend to be attracted to women and eventually hurting women because I cannot experience real sexual fulfillment with them. I cannot guess what your relationship with your wife is. (I am assuming Kimberly is your wife.) I truly hope, as I say, that you are happy. I just do not see that happiness for me. In fact, I honestly entertain the notion that I might live out 2 Timothy 3:10, at least in following Paul's "way of life." As Paul preferred celibacy to marriage, I find I seem to be suited to celibacy as well and really wonder if I will ever have a partner. At this point I neither pursue nor avoid the possibility. There other things to which God has called me and I if I pursue those, I honestly don't have much time for dating. I do have a longing for physical intimacy but have no idea whether or not God will fulfill the longing. Time will tell and I cannot guess.

But just as I don't really believe that God told Joshua to commit genocide on the way to Jerusalem, neither do I believe that the few passages that refer to same-sex sexual activity refer to me, a man doing his best to be faithful to God in Christ Jesus. I believe historical context, the purpose of the writing, the way the Spirit moves and speaks today all over-ride the simple surface meaning of most passages in the Bible. And before I hear how God is the same yesterday today and tomorrow and God would not change views on homosexuality, I have to ask how we reconcile the God who supposedly wiped out entire nations through Joshua with the God who supposedly calls us to make disciples of all nations through Jesus? If God is the same (which I do, strangely enough, believe) then someone got it wrong, it seems to me. I'm betting Joshua was the one who got it wrong.

I'm also betting that, with Paul's limited understanding of sexuality (remember, homosexuality in its modern understanding and definition, was not known to Paul's culture and body of knowledge), that gay Christians understand something of the same God that Paul spoke of in Romans 8, which overrides even the things Paul writes of in Romans 1.

In God's grace and peace,

Neil