Reverent Responses

You Are Spreading Lies!
Rev. Vera I. Bourne Responds


[Posted on July 6, 2001]

Dear Mike,

Somehow, I believe, you have decided that we cannot be both homosexual and Christian, that somehow we are defiled, and therefore outside of God's salvation. I invite you to share the following passage from Scripture form Acts 11: 3- 18 with me for in it Peter is shown that none of God's creation is unclean or common.

"The circumcision-party were full of criticism, saying to him, 'You actually went in and shared a meal with uncircumcised men!' But Peter began to explain how the situation had actually arisen. 'I was in the city of Joppa praying,' he said, 'and while completely unconscious of my surroundings I saw a vision -- something like a great sheet coming down towards me, let down from heaven by its four corners. It came right down towards me and when I looked at it closely I saw animals and wild beasts, reptiles and birds. Then I heard a voice say to me, 'Get up, Peter, kill and eat.' But I said, 'Never, Lord, for nothing common or unclean has ever passed my lips.' But the voice from heaven spoke a second time and said, 'You must not call what God has cleansed common.' This happened three times, and then the whole thing was drawn up again into heaven. While I was beginning to tell them this message the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as on us at the beginning. There came into my mind the words of our Lord when he said, 'John indeed baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.' If then God gave to them exactly the same gift as he gave to us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could hinder the working of God?' When they heard this they had no further objections to raise. And they praised God, saying, 'Then obviously God has given to the gentiles as well the gift of repentance which leads to life.'

Peter, used by birth to a clear distinction between those things that were deemed clean and unclean, was challenged by God to rethink his ideas. Not once, but three times, through this vision God had presented Peter with a collection of reptiles, birds and animals deemed unclean by the Law. Then came the voice challenging Peter to kill and eat these taboo foods. When Peter refused, God admonished him with the words, "You must not call what God has cleansed common." The New International Version translates this phrase as, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." When we take these words and apply them to circumstances and people in our own experience we discover that God's divine light breaks through our own misconceptions. Do we consider certain people or things common or impure by our own standards? All who have accepted God's salvation have been cleansed from the stain of their sins; dare we judge any of these people as common or impure? I believe if we look more closely at this passage we realise that God is actually telling Peter that not one ounce of created matter is impure, unclean or common. Because God's hands have created all, all is pure, clean and acceptable.

I prayerfully trust, Mike, that this passage will enable you to understand that we who have been created homosexual are also perfect, clean and pure in God's eyes, and that we too are invited to accept the salvation purchased by Jesus the Christ.

Shalom,

Vera