I am a big fan of Philip Yancey, and followed a few links to your website. I am struggling, as a result of my conservative faith, to get my head around all that I am reading. I must also confess to having harbored my share of ugly stereotypes. I am sure you would not be surprised.
However – I have, on many occasions, been spiritually convicted by so many of my past prejudices. And – from what I have read tonight – I perceive that we share a love for the same Savior – a longing for relationship with Him. He has forgiven me so much – loved me, shown mercy and grace – His name is Loving-kindness.
Which means that I owe you an apology. And I have a number of preconceptions to reconsider. While I am certain that you hear from a large number of cranks and crackpots, I want to encourage you to keep your finger on that “delete” key, and keep your “eyes on the prize.”
How many millions of young people there must be out there that desperately need Christ’s love and forgiveness, yet don’t feel welcome in His house of prayer. You and I are not required to come to complete agreement on every article of faith, including GLBT issues. We are required, however, to love each other, serve each other, and to bear each others burdens.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
I would be willing to wager: If you and I were so convinced of our Christ centered love and support for each other – So certain of each others commitment to the development of the fruits of the spirit – We could argue our disagreements – with enthusiasm and conviction – without causing damage to the Body of Christ. We might even discover that our disagreements do not matter so much as we had imagined.
Mr. Jordan (Mark Jordan: The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology) and many other homosexuals do not understand the actual position of the (Catholic) church. The true objection of the church is that man should not be having sex (of any type) for the lust of it. Sex should be left to the confines of marriage and only engaged in a way that leaves open to God a result of procreation at His will, not man’s.
Heterosex, outside of these confines, is just as wrong and just as much an abomination to God as Homosex. Homosex can never qualify because it can never result in procreation. Therefore one only engages in it for the selfish act of fulfilling one’s own lust. Lust is also one of the seven deadly sins (sins that are destructive to one physically, mentally and spiritually). Not trying to be accusatory here. Just want to set the record straight. I feel that the Catholic church in particular always catches the brunt of the criticism unjustly. I think that other religious organizations that say that hetero deviant behavior is alright while homo deviant behavior is not are hypocritical and unjust. But the Catholic Church has always been the same with regard to sex of all types. We also believe the scripture of the Old Testament. If you want to dispute that; ok, but it will not change the church’s stance on the subject due to that described above.
Editor Candace Chellew responds:
Patrick, thanks for writing.
So, by your own logic then, if all heterosex is for procreation, then you are against those who are barren or who do not intend to have children marrying? If sex is only for procreation then you cannot support the heterosexual marriage of the elderly who are past child bearing age or those who intend to remain childless.
You can’t have it both ways.
Besides, marriage was instituted by men and only later validated by the church. (You can do the historical research on this for yourself to show that it is true.) Marriage was invented to protect the property holdings of men from others who may claim that they are an “heir” to that property. That property, by the way, included not just land and cattle, but women as well. This is the history of marriage. It wasn’t for procreation, but for the protection of property from fraud.
As for lust, let me try to enlighten you about gay and lesbian relationships. Some, like some heterosexual relationships, may well be based on lust – but most are not. I love my partner and our relationship is based on that love, not on lust. If I were unable, for any reason to not have sex with my partner from here on out, I would stay with her. You see, I love her. It’s not about sex, it’s about love and commitment to a life partner.
I hope you can understand my point of view. Those who argue for marriage as vehicle for procreation only back themselves into a theological corner. I know you’re trying to defend what you believe in, but it is based on serious error. Marriage is not what you believe it to be – it is an institution created by men, not God, for the proper passage of property. We only romanticized it back in the Renaissance.
I ask that you do some research and continue to pray on this issue. Gay and lesbian people are God’s children as well and to exclude them or subject them to extra discrimination based on man made principles is an offense to the God who created us all and loves us all.
Many blessings, Candace Chellew, Editor
Thank you for the article on disappointment with God (God Has Never Disappointed You by Candace Chellew). It was a useful resource for me. I do think that there was a point at which you could have fallen into the ”God in the box” theology you warned us about. This was in regard to flood victims and other bad stuff we experience. God does claim sovereignty even over the really tough times that occur. In Exodus 4:11 He claims it with the handicapped and in Isaiah 45:7 He claims it with the disasters of this world.
Again, thank you for the insight.
I just had to write to say thank you for your article God’s Refreshing Absence (by Candace Chellew) which I have just read and has really been a big help to me. I have struggled to find answers – I can’t adequately describe my situation to anyone I know and just feel rather lost but having read your article it really gives me a new way to look at my situation and shows me that he has not abandoned me but is waiting for me to find strength from my faith and get back on my feet to walk forwards with him.
I wanted you to know that you have helped me a lot and your words might just have been the clarity I was looking for.
Thank you for the website too, it has been really good for me to look at and study at this time and I hope for all good things for you.
Take care, Phil