His [Phillip Lee] Way Out ministry contends in its brochures that its position comes from the authority of Scripture rather than social sciences and medicine. The “sexually broken” can be transformed through close reading of Scripture and openly discussing temptations, the ministry contends. “Since it is acquired it can be unacquired.” Lee said. “And like I said, a lot of people have bought into the born-that-way theory. There’s no Scripture to support that theory.” [For the full article entitled, “Bakersfield ministry aims at transforming gays,” see the November 24, 2009 edition of KGET.Com.]
How often we have heard from professing Christian homophobes that being Gay is “an inclination,” “a lifestyle,” “a temptation,” “a sin” by their referring to what they call “the authority of Scripture!” The fact is that that reference to, and interpretation of, Scripture is a lie perpetrated by the ignorant and/or the mendacious and/or the haters in the world!
I defy anyone to show me chapter and verse where same-sex love is condemned, or where same-sex marriage is condemned! To resort to some Old Testament passages to support the specious argument that being Gay is destructive is terribly misleading, not only because Christians are not bound by the laws of the Old Testament, and that the context of these “clobber passages” are in the framework of a tribal society living on the edge that needed to propagate in order to survive, but that other cultural practices in ancient Israel are affirmed in the Bible that no sane person would currently adopt, such as stoning to death recalcitrant children, stoning to death those caught in adultery, and stoning to death those who work on the Sabbath. I’m not even going into such prohibitions listed in the Bible as the eating shell-fish and the wearing of mixed fibers in one’s clothes! More to the point, the attempt to “transform,” or in any way suppress, that which God has made is a sin in and of itself! Being Gay is “acquired” the same way that being Straight is “acquired!” God made us in these ways, and it is a sin to thwart God’s plan for any of God’s children, for to do so not only does inexplicable harm to that person, but also thwarts the will of God and shows a definite lack of trust in God and in God’s plan for each person’s life! Even secular psychologists affirm the possible danger that accrues to those who are the victims of attempts to change their sexual orientation, and Christians should know enough to agree with that affirmation as well, even on purely biblical grounds. Our sexuality is a wonderful gift from God, and that is true whether we were created to be Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender! The love story of David and Jonathan (1Samuel 18-20), and the story of Deborah (Judges 4-5), a Judge and fierce and well-respected warrior in Israel whom I have always considered to be Transgender, shows that God mightily uses God’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender children for God’s own purposes; God creates us the way God wants, and God doesn’t make any mistakes! For those who believe in “transforming” Gay people into something other than the way they were created to be by God is to show a decided lack of faith in God, and the Bible makes very clear that without faith it is impossible to please God! (See, for example, Hebrews 11:6.) So, it is those who don’t trust God and God’s creative abilities, and who think that God makes mistakes, and who refuse to understand that God specializes in diversity, who are the real sinners! And LGBT people who are comfortable in and with their own bodies, knowing that they are not some mistake, know that God created them just as God ordained from the foundation of the world (for example, see Ephesians 1:4), who are the ones who express their faith in God, and are thereby enabled to live the abundant life that Jesus promises all of us who abide in Him! Please don’t listen to ignorant wolves in sheep’s clothing, be they clergy or not, who are seeking to thwart God’s will for your life! Put your full trust in God, and don’t trust the rhetoric of others who may well have prejudices based upon unresolved sexual conflicts in their own lives, thereby trying with all their might to suppress in you what they are often trying to suppress in themselves!
Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at California State University, Chico, served as an ordained priest in the Congregational Catholic Church, a division of the Independent Catholic Churches International (ICCI). For many years he published a weekly column in the Sacramento Valley Mirror titled “Christianity and Society,” where he dealt with a variety of social issues from a biblical and sociological perspective. Maneker also published a blog called “A Christian Voice for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights” and the website Radical Christianity.