For almost forty years, the Christian church has been funneling their members who “struggle with homosexuality” towards “reparative therapy”. At the core of that “change” process from homosexuality to heterosexuality is one of three false beliefs about the “causes” of homosexuality:
- inappropriate parenting that has lead to the need to express sexuality and interests towards the same sex
- early destructive sexual contact with the same sex that has caused a change in sexuality
- willful rebellion against God
Oh my, I can have this conversation repeatedly with well-meaning, kind people and still, they have a death-grip on junk science which completely alters the way they read certain Bible verses. People say, “The Bible says . . .”. Well, in truth, the Bible does not say anything. Lay it down and listen to it, what does it say?
What we understand from the Bible is a combination of our own life experiences, teachings and relationships, combined with our interpretation of a translation.
When the Alan Chambers, President of Exodus, the number one ministry in the church dealing with homosexuality and faith says:
- reparative therapy does not work
- reparative therapy is harmful
- you can be gay and Christian
- he will see his “gay brothers and sisters in heaven”
you might want to listen.
For forty years, the Christian church, and the Evangelicals and Southern Baptists in particular, have been dreadfully, painfully guilty of using false information about reparative therapy to create dogma about gay people. Exodus and other fix-it groups told Christians they could change people from gay to straight by healing dysfunctional family impact, dealing with old sexual wounds and bringing people into closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
We believed them, and that information was used to support the dogma we’ve created in the church about people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Mix false dogma with stereotypes and myths, then apply it to some verses and you get the declaration: “you cannot be gay and Christian” and far worse.
To find your own truth, you might have to what I did. I got into relationship with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians. What I saw in their lives: profession of faith, fruits of the Holy Spirit and changed lives (not changed orientation) challenged my dogma about gay people, especially those that professed faith in Jesus. I humbly laid down my beliefs on the issue and the people , got to know them and revisited the Bible verses I thought I understood.
I too had bundled together my life experiences, the teachings I had heard and read, the lack of relationships with gay and transgender people, the stereotypes I held and applied all that to Bible verses. Of course, the verses supported my beliefs.
After forty year, Exodus, the “experts” are finally changing policy. Maybe there is something you can learn from this or from my journey or the journey of many now-affirming devout Christians?
Please fellow straight Christians, and especially those of you who have disrupted relationship with your gay and transgender children, please, lay aside those golden calves and theological idols of which you are so sure. Get out of the black hole of misinformation that Exodus and others have created. There are millions of gay. lesbian, bisexual and transgender fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Come meet them.