God Wants You to Change Your Lifestyle!
Rev. Vera I. Bourne Responds
I believe you have written your letter out of deep love and concern. However you claim to speak for God in as much as you state that God wants us to change.
Over many years there has been great pressure brought to bear on members of our community to conform to heterosexual standards of behaviour. The pressure has been so immense that folk have been expelled from those churches in which they were members, and in some cases where they were clergy. We have lost our jobs, especially in the fields of education and defence. We have been evicted from our rented housing. We have been slandered and defamed both in the press and in those courts where prejudice has held more sway than justice. In some cases our families have disowned us. Many of us have been subjected to aversion therapy, some even to surgery designed to change our sexual orientation. In fact the treatment we have been accorded has been even more calculated and cruel than that used to change people who were naturally left-handed, when it was erroneously believed that all people should be right-handed. So traumatic has been the oppression and hatred directed against us that many of our community have suicided, believing that they were unredeemable in God's sight.
No one, on the evidence of the oppression brought against us, could be convinced that what has happened to us has been at God's direction. Biblical scholarship has not revealed that being homosexual is against God's design for some people. In fact, if we start searching Scripture at Genesis, we discover that all God has made is perfect and that God is pleased with all that has been created, and that includes all of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered. We do not believe that our lifestyle - our sexuality - is wrong, not is it sinful. And, just as heterosexuality is not simply reflected in sexual activity, neither is the God given gift of own sexuality. Like all people we choose whether to express our sexuality in our daily lives, or to abstain from sexual activity. We alone are responsible for the way we treat others, and it is our attitude, our full expression of God's love or lack of love and concern for others, which reflects our choices.
It is only as we accept that God has made us differently, and this difference is just one part of the great diversity of God's creation, that we are able to rejoice that we belong among those for whom God's love has been demonstrated for all time. We are not warped or twisted. Nor are we sinful misfits who need to be altered by those who see us through their own and not God's eyes. We are precious and greatly loved by our Creator. We are now realising that our sexuality is as specific a gift as is the ability to create beautiful music or pictures. Realising that we have been so gifted, and that God has never shunned us, we are returning to God with praise for his blessings. He has never let us down, that is true, but how many times have those who claim to have special knowledge from God let us down as they condemn us for being the true reflections of God's diversity.
Thank you for your loving concern for us. We also share a loving concern for you. I sincerely pray that you will never know the discouragement and prejudice we have known, but that God will open your eyes to the love which Jesus has demonstrated to all people. My prayer is that this love will also be yours.