Jan 222012
 

 This piece was written with love. Please, if you disagree, make every effort to do so with love.

Along with every other concerned mama, I’ve been watching America’s response to the bullying related suicides closely. People seem quite shocked by the cruelty that’s happening in America’s schools. I’m confused by their shock. I’m also concerned about what’s not being addressed in their proposed solutions.

The acceptable response seems to be that we need to better educate students and teachers about what bullying is and how to react appropriately to it. This plan is positive, certainly. But on its own, it seems a little like bailing frantically without looking for the hole in the boat through which the water is leaking.

Each time one of these stories is reported, the tag line is: “kids can be so cruel.” This is something we tend to say. Kids these days, they can be so cruel. But I think this is just a phrase we toss around to excuse ourselves from facing the truth. Because I don’t think kids are any crueler than adults. I just think kids aren’t quite as adept yet at disguising their cruelty.

Yesterday I heard a radio report that students who are most likely to be bullied are gay kids, overweight kids, and Muslim kids.

Hmmmmm.

I would venture to guess that at this point in American history, gay adults, overweight adults, and Muslim adults feel the most bullied as well.

Children are not cruel. Children are mirrors. They want to be “grown-up.” So they act how grown-ups act when we think they’re not looking. They do not act how we tell them to act at school assemblies. They act how we really act. They believe what we believe. They say what we say. And we have taught them that gay people are not okay. That overweight people are not okay. That Muslim people are not okay. That they are not equal. That they are to be feared. And people hurt the things they fear. We know that. What they are doing in the schools, what we are doing in the media – it’s all the same. The only difference is that children bully in the hallways and the cafeterias while we bully from behind pulpits and legislative benches and one liners on sit-coms.

And people are sensitive. People are heart-breakingly sensitive. If enough people tell someone over and over that he is not okay, he will believe it. And one way or another, he will die.

So how is any of this surprising? It’s quite predictable, actually. It’s trickle-down cruelty.

I don’t know much. But I know that each time I see something heartbreaking on the news, each time I encounter a problem outside, the answer to the problem is inside. The problem is AWAYS me and the solution is ALWAYS me. If I want my world to be less vicious, then I must become more gentle. If I want my children to embrace other children for who they are, to treat other children with the dignity and respect every child of God deserves, then I had better treat other adults the same way. And I better make sure that my children know beyond a shadow of a doubt that in God’s and their father’s and my eyes, they are okay. They are fine. They are loved as they are. Without a single unless. Because the kids who bully are those who are afraid that a secret part of themselves is not okay.

****

Dear Chase,

Whoever you are, whoever you become. You are loved. You are a miracle. You are our dream come true.

Chase, here is what would happen in our home if one day you tell your father and I that you are gay.

Our eyes would open wide.

And we would grab you and hold you tighter than you would be able to bear. And while we were holding you we would say a silent prayer that as little time as possible passed between the moment you knew you were gay and the moment you told us. And that you were never once afraid to tell us. And we would love you and ask you one million questions and then we would love you some more and finally, I would likely rush out to buy some rainbow t-shirts, honey, because you know mama likes to have an appropriate outfit for every occasion.

And I don’t mean, Chase, that we would be tolerant of you and your sexuality. If our goal is to be tolerant of people who are different than we are, Chase, then we really are aiming quite low. Traffic jams are to be tolerated. People are to be celebrated. People, every person, Is Divine. And so there would be celebrating. Celebrating that you would be one step closer to matching your outsides with your insides, to being who you are. And there would be a teeny part of my heart that would leap at the realization that I would forever be the most important woman in your life. And then we would tell everyone. We would not concern ourselves too much with their reactions. There will always be party poopers, baby.

We just wanted you to know this, honey. We’ve worried that since we are Christians, and since we love The Bible so much, that there might come a day when you feel unclear about our feelings about this. Because there are a few parts in The Bible that discuss homosexuality as a sin. So let us be clear about how we feel, because we have spent years of research and prayer and discussion deciding.

Chase, we don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin. Your parents are Christians who believe that the Bible is inspired by God, just like people are. And since the Bible is a living thing, it is in its very nature to evolve toward becoming more loving.  We are to interact with it, to interpret it with our minds and hearts and souls. We are to consider the culture and time in which it was written and then consider the progress humanity’s made since then. We believe that when they conflict, we are to consider the spirit of the law before the letter of the law. And to always choose mercy over judgment. Sometimes this means that we appear to be picking and choosing what we believe  in the Bible. It’s not really that, exactly, but it looks like that. And many will tell you that this approach to Christianity is scandalous and blasphemous. But the thing is, honey, that the only thing that’s scandalous about this approach is admitting it out loud. The truth is that every Christian is a Christian who picks and chooses what to follow in the Bible, in one way or another.

Several years ago I was in a Bible study at church, and there was some talk about homosexuality being sinful, and I spoke up. I quoted Mother Teresa and said “When we judge people we have no time to love them.” And I was immediately reprimanded for my blasphemy by a woman who reminded me of 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10. But I was very confused because this woman was speaking. In church. And she was also wearing a necklace. And I could see her hair, baby. She had no head covering. All of which are things that are sooooo totally against the Bible Rules. * And so I just assumed that she had decided not to follow the parts of the Bible that limited her particular freedoms, but to hold fast to the parts that limited other people’s freedoms. I didn’t point this out at the time baby, because she wasn’t a bad person. People are doing the best they can, mostly. It’s best not to embarrass people.

What I’m trying to say is that each Christian uses different criteria to decide what parts of the Bible to prioritize and demonstrate in their lives. Our criteria is that if it doesn’t bring us closer to seeing humanity as one, as connected, if it turns our judgment outward instead of inward, if it doesn’t help us become better lovers of God and others, if it distracts us from remembering what we are really supposed to be doing down here, which is finding God in every human being, serving each other before ourselves, feeding hungry people, comforting the sick and sad, giving up everything we have for others, laying down our lives for our friends . . . then we just assume we don’t understand it yet, we put it on a shelf, and we move on. Because all I need to know is that I am reborn. And here’s what I believe it means to be reborn:

The first time you’re born, you identify the people in the room as your family. The second time you’re born, you identify the whole world as your family. Christianity is not about joining a particular club, it’s about waking up to the fact that we are all in the same club. Every last one of us. So avoid discussions about who’s in and who’s out at all costs. Everybody’s in, baby. That’s what makes it beautiful. And hard. If working out your faith is not beautiful and hard, find a new one to work out. And if spiritual teachers are encouraging you to fear anyone, watch them closely, honey. Raise your eyebrow and then your hand. Because the phrase repeated most often in that Bible they are quoting is Do Not Be Afraid. So when they tell you that gay people are a threat to marriage, honey, think hard.

I can only speak from my personal experience, but I’ve been married for nine years and barely any gay people have tried to break up my marriage. I say barely any because that Nate Berkus is a little shady. I am defenseless against his cuteness and eye for accessories and so he is always convincing me to buy beautiful trinkets with our grocery money. This drives your sweet father a bit nuts. So you might want to keep your eye on Berkus. But with the exception of him, I’m fairly certain that the only threats to my marriage are my pride and anger and plain old human wanderlust. Do not be afraid of people who seem different than you, baby. Different always turns out to be an illusion. Look hard.

Chase, God gave you the Bible, and He also gave you your heart and your mind and I believe He’d like you to use all three. It’s a good system of checks and balances He designed. Prioritizing can still be hard, though. Jesus predicted that. So he gave us this story. A man approached Jesus and said that he was very confused by all of God’s laws and directions and asked Jesus to break it down for him. He said, “What are the most important laws?” And Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love others as yourself.” When in doubt, Chase, measure all your decisions and beliefs against that. Make damn sure that you are offering others the same rights, courtesies, and respect that you expect for yourself. If you do that, you can’t go wrong.

Chase, you are okay. You are a child of God. As is everyone else. There is nothing that you can become or do that will make God love you any more or any less. Nothing that you already are or will become is a surprise to God. Tomorrow has already been approved.

And so baby, your father and I have only one specific expectation of you. And that is that you celebrate others the way we celebrate you. That you remember, every day, every minute, that there is no one on God’s Green Earth who deserves more or less respect than you do, My Love.

“He has shown you what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  – Michah 6:8

Love, Mama

PS. We thought we should mention, honey, that if you’re straight, that’s okay too. I mean, it’d be a little anti-climactic now, honestly. But your father and I will deal.

PPS. As daddy read this essay, I watched his gorgeous face intensify. He teared up a little. Then he slammed the letter down on the kitchen table and said emphatically and without a touch of irony, “DAMN STRAIGHT.”

Which, when you think about it honey, is really the funniest possible thing daddy could have said.

Love you Forever.



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  11. Hello, I spent the morning listening to some TED talks and stumbled upon your speech about your life experiences. I was, to say the least, fascinated by your story.

    And then I read all the comments, some beautiful, and some brutal… and although I read a majority of them, I didn’t finish reading them all. I did want to write something here in hopes that it would touch at least one soul, hopefully more..

    I felt your pain, and I come from a place of hiding, myself.. I never had the best relationship with my family (although from the outside, you wouldn’t have known it). I reached out at a young age in search of something that would fill that hole in my heart. I ended up on a very different path from anyone ever in my family….I was pretty much an outcast, and yet I tried to hide every part of my life that I knew my family would not have approved of. I couldn’t stand the fact that people were so judgmental. I came from a small—small–town, and everyone seemed to have the same “small mind” mentality. Such as hating others because of their skin color, the clothes they wore, their parents jobs, being gay, etc…I had feelings inside me that I couldn’t comprehend at the time, and I dare not say anything among my classmates, for fear of ridicule. And of course I wasn’t going to tell my family. So, I longed to grow up, to get out of that place, to be grown and on my own. I couldn’t wait to get out of that place, and one day, I did. I took off. I left for the big city.

    There was one person who I thought I could trust—and so I latched on to them and I ended up living in a world that really was so foreign to me that I didn’t really understand what I was doing there, or how I managed to end up there. But I knew promises were meant to be kept-not broken-so I stayed, and I stayed, and I stayed…because I had promised her I would always be there.

    I had begun living a life of homosexuality. I didn’t understand why people could be so judgmental and at the same time, and some of these same people called themselves Christians. I knew I wanted to love everyone–everyone. Growing up, I would hear family members or kids at school talk about someone that was different than the “norm”, and judge them and condemn them. I didn’t want to be like that. I hated almost every day of my life because it seemed like everyone around me was always passing judgment, and ALL I wanted to do was to LOVE others, ACCEPT others, be very open to any and all kinds of differences, and embrace the people with all their faults. —and to be loved. –to feel loved.

    I also did not grow up in a church…not really. We attended when I was too young to remember much of any of it, and although I always felt guilty every single Sunday that I wasn’t in church when I was little, I also didn’t want to go–because that would mean I would have to get dressed up and I hated dresses, lol. Eventually I grew halfway numb to this feeling inside me that I “should have been at church today”. When I went out into the world, I saw that I was not the only one in the world who didn’t attend church on a normal basis. It seemed like a lot of people were just like me in the big city, and I felt almost “normal” to be among people out at Walmart on a Sunday in jeans and a t-shirt. But there still was something missing. That hole was still there.

    I hid my personal life from everyone–from family, from friends, from coworkers. I didn’t want people to judge me, as I had seen and heard all while growing up. I didn’t want those accusations and condemnations to fall upon me. So, I led two separate lives. Eventually, I became friends with someone who taught me that it didn’t matter what other people thought of me. That I didn’t owe anyone anything. I was able to finally break free of the relationship that I had sworn myself into for years. I was finally able to be officially “on my own”. This friend began to teach me about God, and through this interaction over the years, I began to realize that yes, I was a lot like “everyone else”… I was a sinner, the things I did were sinful, and yet I couldn’t seem to stop doing them. I *wanted* to be loved, I *needed* to be accepted, I longed for someone to show me complete unconditional, devoted love. I would love others unconditionally and I wanted that in return. But I also realized how fake some people were.

    I grew up pretty fast, you could say. I had a decent life–but no one took the time to understand me personally. Completely. Fully. Without condition. Without judgment. I craved that. I needed that so desperately. And I knew God was there, as you say. I knew He was always…well… There. Not that I knew I was saved, because I wasn’t sure. I didn’t see how I could be–being that I wanted to do everything that I knew was wrong. I got into stealing, lying, talking trash…and it all seemed to fill a hole…..but it was a bottomless hole. And it made me more empty inside, more broken.

    I would hear people talking about God, and think “well I guess that’s not for me”, because I didn’t understand how I could ever have a relationship with God. Not after all I said and done. But, that was just the lie of satan. I would hear about people who had gone down some awful roads and had found Christ, and I would start thinking “maybe I can know Him…one day”. I would push it away though when I wanted to do my dirt… and then the hole would just get deeper.

    I didn’t understand how some people could be saved, but I felt like I would never–could never–be saved. I saw the light in certain people I had come to know. I saw their faith grow stronger and always look to Jesus for answers. I saw situations that I personally would have been in inner turmoil over, and yet I saw them go through it with strength, with grace, with a smile on their face. And I could just see the light–His light–shining….no, more like radiating, through them. I longed to have what they did. So, I started asking God to help me know him, to show Himself to me. To help me understand Him. I picked up my Bible and I tried to fast and pray—but I failed miserably. I didn’t know what I was reading, and it didn’t make sense to me…and I didn’t know a thing about fasting at all. But I knew somewhere I had to gain some kind of understanding…and I didn’t really know where to look. I’ve always been a type of person that thought “I have to figure this out for myself”. So, I thought the answers were in the Bible, and if I just read it maybe somehow, some way, I would start to understand what it meant to be saved. However, I would get so frustrated because the King James is not the easiest to read (didn’t have a clue about any other versions, other than the NIV) , and I didn’t have a clue what I had just read. The best way I can explain it is that my mind was trying to form thoughts and words –but it was my heart that wasn’t yet open, wasn’t yet ready, wasn’t yet able to comprehend or understand the depth, the magnitude of God. I had hardened my heart so hard over the years that I just felt so completely miserable and lost. I just kept looking toward the sky, and telling God over and over….in fact, one of my passwords I used every day was “jesusIneedyou”. I just didn’t understand what it meant to ‘come to God’. I didn’t know what that meant. But, I confided this to my friend at the time, and she kept telling me “ask Him to show you”. So, I figured “why not try it.” Over a period of two years, I kept asking Him… “help me see You. I know I need You, but I don’t even know anything about You, and I don’t know how to get to know You.”

    But I was half-hearted at first (even though I didn’t realize it at the time). I wanted to know His love, I wanted to know Him—and yet, I wanted to hang on to the things that I knew in my gut were displeasing to Him. And I certainly didn’t want to go to church—people would see how dirty and shameful I was. Another tactic of satan to keep me away from Christian believers.

    I even had it in my head that I was going to do ‘one last thing’…was pretty awful…and “after that”, I told God, “I know you will still be there waiting on me, so just let me do this one thing first, get it out of my system….and then I will come to You”. Well, guess what—my plan to commit that sin–to ‘do that one thing’ fell apart right before my eyes. I knew Who was behind it—and I had to laugh to myself…who was I trying to fool? God? He knew before I even thought those things what I wanted to do. And He loved me too much to even let it happen.

    After that, there really wasn’t any “one thing” that I had the desire to do anymore… the whole time I had been asking Him to help me see Him, to help me love Him, to help me know Him….I was also asking for Him (half heartedly, again–not really believing he could do it) to take away the emotions that I had inside me that I knew were keeping me from Him. Because I knew deep in my gut that living the lifestyle I was living was wrong–but I wanted this relationship more than I’d wanted anything in my life—I felt like it was the only unconditional love I’d known for as long as I lived. And I didn’t want to give it up. Because for the first time in my life, I had found acceptance. I had found someone who understood the depths of me and all my weirdness, awkwardness, and shyness. And also helped me to break free of some of those barriers. But the fact remained–deep down in my gut, I knew that I was committing a horrible sin. But my pride, and the fact that I didn’t want to give this relationship up was the biggest stone wall that I had formed between myself and Him. And I knew in my heart, and I knew in my mind, that as long as I kept holding on to that sin, I would never truly know Him. So, I asked for His help. I asked Him to break that tie that held me there so strongly. I asked for His help to break me apart, and do whatever it took (I knew it might be severe…I am a pretty stubborn individual) to make me, to help me, see Him. In all of His Glory, in all of His power, in all of His love.

    And you know what? He did. Over those two years I just kept praying for Him to show me, to heal me, to bring me to Himself. (As I mentioned, half heartedly at first, then it became such a strong, deep desire over time…to the point that I was so desperate for Him I couldn’t think of anything else.) He began pulling apart the relationship that I had worked so hard to keep together. He began untying the laces that had held me back from getting to know Him. He began dissolving the feelings that were so strong in my heart. Feelings I honestly in the beginning never really thought He could dissolve. I mean, sure–I knew He was God, and He could do anything He wanted….but that was–for a lack of a better term–a ‘head knowledge’. That knowledge wasn’t from my heart. I began seeing that this relationship I was praying for Him to change—it was changing. ………And I was scared. I didn’t know how it would turn out. But I knew that on the other side of this pain, this turmoil that I was about to go through—was Him. And so, during the day, I was struggling to hang on to the relationship—and at night, I prayed even harder that He would take it away. And He did.

    It was the most painful thing I think I ever went through. I was on my knees, all alone. Screaming and crying and feeling like the world was crashing down all around me… and I opened a book that my friend had lent me. It was filled with all kinds of scriptures. I flipped from one page to another to another…reading every one of them. And seeing myself in every last one. I was so determined to know God, I was so desperate to understand Him, that I think I finally for the first time in my life let my guard down…well 3/4 of the way down. I cried out to Jesus. I was so brutally honest with Him and I cried out, telling Him that I didn’t know how to get to Him…but I knew I needed Him. I knew I was a sinner and even though “i wasn’t ready yet” i knew “i needed Him to save me…to keep guiding me in the right direction, and don’t give up on me” I begged Him not to give up on me–my fear of rejection bubbling up from the depths of my heart. I finally felt a peace, and I knew in my heart that He would not give up on me. That He was going to be right there, waiting for me to run into His arms.

    I began studying the Bible, reading and trying to understand and comprehend (with my head still), the depths of His Living Word. I knew I needed some sort of ground, some sort of foundation, before I gave my life completely over to Him. Because I knew if I didn’t have that, it would be sooo very hard for me. I just knew this in my heart–and I do believe that God gave me that insight.

    After this, over the next week, when I looked at myself, all I could see was dirty, filthy rags. I watched a music video and it had clips from “The Passion of the Christ”, and my heart literally broke–tears were streaming down my face, and I was literally balling…right there in front of my computer…just balling my eyes out. For the first time, I saw my Jesus being beaten and crucified, and I knew that I had done that to Him. I had put Him there. It hit me so strongly–I realized the depth of my unworthiness—and in the same light, I realized the depths of His worthiness. I was amazed at the transformation that was taking place inside me. I was broken. –and yet, I saw a light dawning on the horizon. I was beyond words. All I could do was cry and pray…my heart breaking for the pain that I had put God and Jesus through.

    Within a week, I was on my knees, praying so hard–giving Him control of **any and every** thing in my life. And it was there that I met Jesus for the very first time. I knew then–finally–what it meant when someone said they “came to Jesus.” The Incredible JOY He filled me with was so intense–I felt so CLEAN for the very first time. I felt so PURE. I felt so ALIVE inside. The whole world changed before my eyes. I didn’t want to EVER do anything against Him. I wanted Him to finish the work He had begun in me…and I wanted to be His messenger to the whole world.

    I wanted to go on mission trips and spread the joy, the love, of Jesus to people who had never heard of Him. After all I had said and done in my life, and Jesus had died in place of my sins and prayed to the Father to forgive me—I knew He could and would forgive anyone. I wanted the entire world to be saved, and it broke my heart into pieces when I would see people “going to church” for their normal weekly routine, thinking that was ‘all there was to it’….but yet never really truly realizing the power of Christ. Never fully understanding what it meant to “Come to Jesus.” Never laying down their lives and fully trusting in God to completely——completely—-take over every single detail, every single aspect of their lives. Complete and utter Surrender.

    I realized some things in the weeks prior to giving my life to Jesus, and especially in those very moments when I was washed, cleansed, and purified in the Righteousness of Jesus’ blood. I realized what a sinner I was–that all of the things that I had done in my life that I had these deep desires for—the pride that had welled up inside me over the years, the things I had strived for, and relationships that I had devoted so much of my time and attention and love to—had been so utterly disgusting and sinful. Its a discernment that comes into you when you are washed, cleansed, and made righteous through Christ. It is of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit does not lie.

    And I do believe God’s word is infallible, unchanged, and preserved to the end of times. Because God says so. And I do believe that the laws of the old testament were fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross. Because the Bible says so. And I do believe His Word, all the way through the Bible. Not bits and pieces.

    And it is my hope that those that truly believe they are walking with Jesus Christ will ask themselves if they are picking bits and pieces out of the Bible to fit their own wants and desires. And truly, truly be honest with yourself. Because I now realize that this is wrong, and so very, very dangerous. You do not want to be deceived. There is only this one life we live, and after we die, it’s either an eternal place of happiness, love and joy…or an eternal place of pure torment. Please be honest with yourselves and with God, and ask Him (and Him alone) to direct you. I know, because I have done this very thing in the past–I have been guilty of taking parts of scriptures out and quoting them around my particular situation and changing the entire meaning of them to fit my needs and my desires and my wants. But I now have a better understanding, and I plead with you out of love, to please understand what you are doing when you choose to do this. The Bible warns us against doing this very thing. We shall not take out of context parts of scripture and change it to make it fit what we want it to fit, how we want it to fit. We need to understand what God is saying (which applies from even before it was written to the end of times–never changing).

    It is my hope that everyone who wants to have a close walk with Jesus Christ will ask Him to help you clarify this in your mind—and be sincere when you ask for help and clarification. He doesn’t mind at all–in fact, He wants you to ask Him. You can’t do it yourself. Don’t let your pride get in the way. I’ve been there, done that. Pride is a horrible, horrible, horrible thing. And when we think we are right, and we are determined we are going to be right—and no one, not even God can change our hearts on a matter—-well….my friends, that’s pride. And it’s not about me being right or you being right—but as Abraham Lincoln said, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”

    Humility is the opposite of pride. Humility is being able to admit that we do not—and never will–have all the answers, but in all earnest humbleness we come to God and ask for His guidance when we are lost or confused or misguided. And we leave it in His hands to guide us in the right direction. We don’t take it upon ourselves to determine what is right or what is wrong, but rather, we let God lead us and help us to discern what is good and right and acceptable and pleasing to Him. And then, we have to make our own conscious choice to follow His guidance.

    And it is my sincere hope that you will do this. Never be afraid to ask Him for guidance in the areas you are struggling with.

    We shall lay down our lives daily, and pick up our cross. That is, we do not live by what “we deem” the scriptures “ought to mean” by our standards “in today’s society”. I used to say those words too. Rather, it means to walk closely with God. To live a Christian life is the daily laying aside of our own desires, our own habits, our own lusts and evil doings, and choosing the way of the cross. Choose the way that God has set out before us. Ask for guidance every minute of every day to do the right thing. As hard as it is sometimes–ask for His guidance and help. And He will help you. It is the deepest desire of the Believer to live a life walking so closely with God that you are able to discern and defeat the lies of the enemy–who only comes to kill and destroy. Please pray and ask Him for guidance if you find yourself struggling at any particular point, over any particular thing—and we all do. It doesn’t matter how big or small it seems to you. If it is hindering your walk with God, give it to Him to solve.

    Let God speak to you, and reveal His truths in the scriptures as you read them. And then, take to heart what He is saying. He does love each and every one of us, and His greatest desire is for us to turn from our sins and acknowledge Him and give to Him all of ourselves. Not bits and pieces, but all of ourselves. That’s why He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for us. Because we are not worthy on our own. We are born into sin. We are in need of a savior. But there are a lot of lies in this world, and the ruler of the world (satan) will try to get your pride to swell up and will lie to you over and over and over and over again. Do not be moved, stand firm against his lies. What God has given us is a guide to living a holy and righteous life—through the power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. No other will do.

    1 Corinthians 6:9
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [f]effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

    God warns us against the sins of this world, because He knows the damage they cause. And that is why he gave us clear instruction. Ask Him to open your heart and open your mind and renew your mind with His Word on a daily basis.

    Psalms 141:5
    5 Let the righteous smite me [d]in kindness and reprove me;
    It is oil upon the head;
    Do not let my head refuse it,
    [e]For still my prayer is [f]against their wicked deeds.

    From one sinner to another, I end this letter with much love—I hope you find it in your heart to humble yourself before God and ask for His guidance. As Believers, we are not called to ridicule or belittle, but rather, to help guide the lost into the Truth, and help turn our brothers and sisters from their sins:

    Luke 17 (NASB)
    Instructions
    17 He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that [a]stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2 It [b]would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 [c]Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ [d]forgive him.”

    • Thank you so much for posting this heart-rending story, TruthSeeker. You are so right in saying that sin keeps us from closeness to our Holy and Loving Father. Every sin. From self-deception and pride all the way through to the vilest of sins. Once a heart has truly become Purified, it’s a sensation like none other and there’s a compelling to keep that Purity. When we seek Him with all of our Heart, He Promises He will be found by us. I Pray for you, that your humble, Pure and obedient heart would grow more in closeness to True Love! ((hugs))

    • Wow, thank you SO MUCH for sharing your amazing story! You have such a beautiful testimony. You speak truth. Love and blessings to you!

    • I’ve read and reread your comment and am in awe of our awesome Father who gave you this testimony. Thank you for your courage in sharing and the brutal honesty. May Christ Jesus continue to be glorified in your life!

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  14. Here’s the list of sins from 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:

    – sexually immorality
    – idolatry
    – adulterery
    – men having sex with men
    – stealing
    – greed
    – drunkeness
    – slandering
    – swindling.

    I’d love to hear which of these other sins are also no longer sins. Is the whole list obsolete? Who decides? Isn’t God the one who decides? When Jesus said that even lusting after a woman is a sin, did he mean that men ought not lust after women, but it’s acceptable for men to lust after men?

    • Bill,
      I do appreciate Glennon’s post. However, I would say that Glennon and I would not be in 100% agreement on how to explain interacting with the Bible, so my response is probably not in line with how she might respond, but I do feel compelled to engage your questions.

      It’s common to refer to 1 Cor 6:9-10 as a “list of sins”–and as you are aware, there are other places in Paul’s writings where similar lists appear. I believe it is troublesome, though, in the light of the gospel and the whole of scripture, to view them this way.
      Paul is writing to people who are attempting to follow Jesus (i.e. Christians) first of all, so his “lists” were never intended to be use to draw a line in the sand over who’s in or who’s out, but rather to remind or inform these Jesus followers of who they are (as opposed to who they were) and what that means in regards to how they live and reflect Jesus in the world.

      As such, there is no way to discuss if a certain sin is “obsolete” — rather, it is an issue of whose agenda is being lived out: my own, or my Father’s. This is seen more clearly as you continue reading 1 Corinthians 6.

      So, yes, it is God who decides, but not based on how well one might adhere to one list or avoid another. We have the benefit of being in relationship with a Living God, after all, with His Spirit alive with in us. This is why, while we might all three disagree, I feel comfortable (from my limited knowledge of you both), saying that I can call both you my brother, and Glennon my sister, because it appears as though you are both seeking to align your agendas with Jesus and the Father. So long as we seek that and continue submitting our will and agendas to His, then we will be transformed more into the likeness of Christ and will probably come closer to agreement on how we understand and see things.

      This understanding also informs the way we treat people (as Glennon seems to communicate about so well), because we no longer have a list to compare people to, rather we want to reflect Jesus to them, and we also want to ultimately see them being transformed to be more like Jesus as well. If I may: the Pharisees had lists, and the way Jesus treated people who offended their lists was offensive to them, and they even took offense at Jesus on God’s behalf (or so they thought).

      We are a new creation, and as such we no longer view people or make judgements by the same standards we used to, rather we are controlled by the love of Christ as we engage the world on His behalf (2 Cor 5:14-21).

      • Well said, AB! Thank you.

      • AB,

        I can appreciate what you’re trying to do here. And taken at face value, it seems like a highly plausible option for coming to grips with this passage in 1 Corinthians and other places.

        But the text itself doesn’t support your argument or interpretation. In fact, it argues the opposite.

        You wrote: “It’s common to refer to 1 Cor 6:9-10 as a “list of sins”–and as you are aware, there are other places in Paul’s writings where similar lists appear. I believe it is troublesome, though, in the light of the gospel and the whole of scripture, to view them this way. Paul is writing to people who are attempting to follow Jesus (i.e. Christians) first of all, so his “lists” were never intended to be use to draw a line in the sand over who’s in or who’s out, but rather to remind or inform these Jesus followers of who they are (as opposed to who they were) and what that means in regards to how they live and reflect Jesus in the world.”

        But Paul’s own language is in fact a list. A list which explicitly describes the kind of habitual, unrepentant behavior that isn’t practiced by those who will inherit the Kingdom (aka, authentic Christ-followers)

        The problem seems to be putting forward a false dichotomy. We don’t need to choose between this as a list of sins that aren’t practiced by the faithful and the concept that we’re being reminded of who we once were and who we are to be. The list is intended to do both. I.e. You once were marked by these types of sinful activities, things that have no place in the Kingdom of Jesus. But now you’ve been washed, sanctified and justified…you no longer live in the way described in the list. Aka, your lives now reflect Jesus.

        The broader context of the letter, specifically the preceding chapter (1 Cor 5) specifically has Paul calling for the excommunication of a community member for the practice of sexual immorality (highly judgmental stuff, if we’re being honest!). In that context, Paul and the early church clearly understood that there were certain behaviors that were altogether inconsistent for someone who’d been united to Christ. (E.g.: 1 Cor 6:17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.) The upshot is that there are numerous habitually sinful practices that aren’t practiced by those who God has caused to be born again (1 Peter 1:3). It certainly isn’t just homosexuality, the lists include many things that we must work to avoid, repent of when we fail and seek forgiveness. But in the end, we recognize that Christ died to make payment for these things. That is why we have been washed, because the record of debt has been canceled and nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:13-15) and with it sins power.

        Here are those texts in detail (always good to put it down word for word and not paraphrase!):

        1 Cor 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
        3   For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. 4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

        1 Cor 6:9  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

        Grace and Peace

  15. This is the most fabulously written, beautiful honest and real blog I have read. You are truly my new hero :) Rock on!!!!!! and spread the love <3

  16. […] questions and concerns and confusion, I’ve decided to take the advice of Glennon Doyle Melton in her brilliant essay on Christians and homosexuality, when she […]

  17. This, and you, are amazing! Though, I am curious as to why you only address this to your son and not your daughters as well…

  18. Thank You for your BEAUTIFUL post.

    I found your blog tonight through another post, posted on FB.

    As a Bible believing, Jesus loving Bi-Sexual woman, thank you for this. Thank You for standing up for what you believe and your bravery and not holding back. I look forward to reading more of your posts and keeping up with your blog.

    C

  19. I would love to read your Bible study regarding this. Do you have anything like that available? If no, I think you should put one together.
    We’re a Christian family, and our teenage son came out to us. It didn’t surprise us at all. We knew in our hearts since he was an itty-bitty. We adore him and love who God has made him to be. He is exquisite inside and out.
    I have to say though, I’ve never read a scripture that says its ok. I want it to be ok. Please help. I’d love to read your point of view with the scriptures accompanying, so that I can prayerfully seek God’s heart on this.
    Thanks so much!

  20. Glennon, in love I must warn you that this is false teaching and goes against what is written in the Bible which is God’s Words to us (you mentioned the Bible in the post, so you have one… please start reading it and read all of the verses in context, don’t pluck them out to make them say whatever you want, they have an actual meaning).
    In love I must also warn you that there is way that seems right but in the end leads to death (Proverbs 14:12)
    Finally, and this is the biggest thing I must say to you and your readers, because I love God with all my heart and because I love you all enough to warn you of danger:
    Not everyone will go to heaven! Not everyone is a child of God! Hear these words of Jesus: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” The gate is Jesus, the way is following His Word and truth… agreeing that what He says is “good” is good and what He says is “sin” is sin. Repent of your sins (which means turning away from them and hating them) and believe in Jesus as the only Savior.
    Glennon, please quit telling people that you are a Christian blogger, what you wrote in this post is not what the Christ followers believe. You are hurting people and leading them astray. In love, you should repent, you should delete these posts… I would if I were you because Jesus also gives this warning to false teachers: “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 1:6
    I love you all enough to warn you… please be careful Glennon! please be careful other readers! Read your Bible, hold all things in light of the Scripture to see if it is true.
    Be blessed. <3

    • Preach it, Stacey!

      • Dear Glennon, I get comments like this too, and I’m glad to be in such good company. If your post is leading people astray, I’m walking with you — and I believe we’re both right next to Jesus, who went off the beaten to path to retrieve people who need him.

        Thank you for this. Love it.

        • Glennon – your thoughts on the Bible are exactly my own. It saddens me every time I see or hear a hateful person or bully. I was raised Catholic, and I will always be a Christian. And in my mind and heart, that means following the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated. That is all we can really do in this world. If we start judging people and telling people why they are wrong or sinful or whatever, then we are playing God and THAT is a bigger sin than anything else. I just discovered your blog today and just bought your book on Amazon. I feel that you are going to help me discover what has been missing in my life – faith. Without any conditions, exceptions, or loopholes. It’s so wonderful to know that I’m not alone in the way I feel about the world. I love you, love this blog, love God and look forward to reading more of your material!

    • As a queer, woman pastor who loves discovering the love of and the enormity of the Holy Trinity, I am thankful for Glennon’s words. The Bible is a living Word–not a dead one. The Holy Spirit did not shut the book and say “it is done.” We must continue to see the Word live and that means that we must look at the bible with new eyes generation after generation. We no longer have 25 year old men marry 2 or 3 13 year old girls, do we? Let’s hope not. Stacey? thoughts? The Word lives–it does not stagnate the imperfections of generations. The most wretched thing you said Stacey is that not everyone is a child of God. I assure you, everyone, everyone, everyone is a child of God. God’s yes is bigger than our No (that’s Barth). And, Stacey, God’s yes is even much bigger than your no. So, please don’t sign your name with blessings and a caricature heart and expect your words to feel honest or heartfelt or loving. I hear you. You’re hurting. You see a system you know and love being torn apart and I feel for the pain you are going through as you see the things you know changing. I also fully see that you just want people to see God, to know God, to follow God and that means you and I are walking together!!! Let’s walk together some more. I ask you to read some exegetical work, to understand that the Bible is not flat. I ask you to hear me. I hear you. You’re scared of what you do not know and using what you do know and love to hide from newness. Jesus was a rebel. A pirate. A homeless stranger who broke rules and busted up institutions. Stacey, jump on board the boat, and let’s make fishers of people as we spread the living Word of God.

      • As a straight male ordained pastor, your stance is indeed weak. They who know what is right and do it not, to them, that is sin. Sin is based on selfishness, while all the principles and benefits of the Word of God are based on love. Without love in operation, God cannot accomplish His plans; and without selfishness, Satan cannot fulfill his. The book of Galatians 5:22-23 reveals the components of the love walk. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” These characteristics describe what it means to walk in love. So if we want to measure the development of love in our lives, it can be determined by the extent to which these qualities are evident. Ask yourself: Do I have self-control? Am I patient and kind? Do I operate in faith? If any of the love “segments” are not present in your life, your love walk is out of balance and there is some form of selfishness taking place. The book of Ezekiel 28:14-17 paints the picture of the position Lucifer held until he allowed selfishness to corrupt him. The moment God found corruption in him, he was cast out of heaven. This is because love and selfishness cannot coexist. Love is not a feeling but a decision. Selfishness is being concerned excessively with oneself, without regard for others, self centered and self seeking. The selfish person is the one living only for themselves, fulfilling their own interest, whether or not those interest coincide with God’s will. The selfish person is completely focused on pleasing themselves at any cost. Selfishness is rooted in fear. Selfish people fear they will come up short in some area, such as being deprived of that which they desire, whether they believe it to be Godly or not. Any time a person is solely focused on themselves in any area, selfishness is involved. Wherever you find selfishness, you will find protectiveness over those areas that are pleasurable to the flesh. When we’re selfish, we want to preserve what makes us feel good, even though our habits and actions may be hurting us and other people. Our fleshly desires can hinder our spiritual growth obviously. We find these simple truths to be self evident. Every sin and work of the flesh can be linked back to selfishness, which can be cancelled by releasing the love of God. This release is made by decision to do so. Hence, freedom of choice. There is no selfishness in love. They who know what is right and do it not, to them, that is sin.

  21. Glennan,
    I came to your site, because of all the TED talks I watched this evening, I enjoyed yours the most. I just have to be candid about this letter you wrote to your son. I doubt you have ever heard it put this way, honestly. The reason our Creator has warned us against homosexuality is not because He is a cruel, angry , mean, hateful, brutal Heavenly Father…He is not any of those things at all…He created our bodies. True? Therefore He knows the harm or benefit of any action we take. He is a whole heck of alot smarter than all of us…When He has said men should not have relations with other men it is because He knows the damage it will cause and He loves us enough to tell us in advance about these things. We as loving parents should do the same. There is even scientific knowledge that backs up these things as well if we need proof that these acts do harm the human body as well as the mind. Why do people thing they know better than their Maker? True Love for our children is teaching them about the benefits and the consequences of every action that they take. If we really have the love of the Father in us towards our children, we will love them as He does us and tell them , No, son, I love you , but homosexuality will damage your mind and body and I do not want you to suffer in this way…I love you too much. It’s not about accepting our children or other peoples choices of sexuality ..Its about educating our children and everyone else of the harm that certain actions bring…Did you know (please forgive me, graphic stuff) that semen entering the intestines through the anus causes serious and dangerous health issues. Woudl you want that for your son, or anyone for that matter?..That mens bodies were not created to house other men’s sperm inside the intestines. As much as you love your son, would you want for his body to be harmed in this way …this is one way disease is caused. Don”t you think the One who created the human body knew EXACTLY what He was saying when He said for men not to have relations with other men (or women either with women) or men with animals or women with animals. So if adultery becomes the norm, fornication becomes the norm, homosexuality becomes the norm, what’s next? Beastiality? So will you be as loving and accepting of your sons actions if he chose to have relations with a dog? I”m serious. Where will it all end? The bible condemns beastiality as it does homosexuality. Beastiality causes harm to the human body. An animals “fluids” do not belong in a humans body. This causes disease. And as an animals fluids do not belong in a humans body, so does a mans fluids do not belong in another mans body…It is just not how we were Created and what an AWESOME , LOVING, MERCIFUL, COMPASSIONATE, etc. Heavenly Father we have that will tell us: A man should not have relations with another man, or an animal etc. and we would do very well to show the same kind of love to our own children and tell our children the same exact thing so they will not suffer the consequences that go with homosexuality. When we tell our children to not leave the yard when playing, it is the same kind of love our Heavenly Father has for us…It is not to restrict us , it is to protect us. I PASSIONATELY love my children..as do you yours.
    We should never show hate to anyone , no matter if they make the wrong choice of homosexuality, we should educate them of the dangers of it. . This is true love. :)
    By the way, I am one of those very sensitive people , just like you…I hid from this messy life 20 year ago with alcohol etc…now I am working on not using food to comfort myself…I also fear rejection from people and have social anxiety at times….Working on these things though.
    I hope I have not offended you in any way…
    Peace to you,
    Becky

    • Becky,
      As a medical doctor, I would be interested in the scientific evidence to which you refer. I cannot find any studies supporting your claim, and I have never heard anyone in the medical community make this claim. To your point of bestiality, there is one study which does seem to support your claim (Mendizabal MV, Naftalin RJ: Exposure of rat colonic mucosa to human semen in vivo induces mucosal cytolysis, abolishes fluid absorption and raises paracellular permeability. Clinical science 1992, 82:277-82.) However, the mechanism behind this is likely due to the involvement of a different species and cannot be generalized to human semen interacting with human colonic mucosa. Additionally, this study does not have data to support that the semen caused actual disease in rats. On the other hand, I don’t think I need to cite the millions of studies concerning disease related to heterosexual intercourse. Both homosexual and heterosexual relations can spread disease, but these are typically due to microorganisms and are certainly not related to human sperm.

      • Martin, you rock.

        Glennon, you also rock.

        Becky and Stacey, you still have quite a way to go, huh? Are you even aware of all the Bible Rules you ignore daily? I mean, we don’t need to know them, but you do, particularly before you judge anyone else’s actions. But lucky for you, Glennon and God are quick to forgive. **Be not afraid.**

      • This. It is absolutely ridiculous and false to claim that exchange of bodily fluids between the same sex cause disease. Ridiculous. And False. Unless of course we are talking about sexually transmitted diseases, but those do not discern not discriminate between gender or sexual orientation! Disease from semen entering a male’s intestines? Do you hear yourself??

        Also, we get kisses from our dogs every day and have yet to get any diseases. Stop being so ignorant!

    • Wow, honey. You are so blissfully ignorant, you don’t even realize how ridiculous you sound. If God created the earth, and humans, and everything else in this universe, then that means he created science as well. And science is God’s gift to us, so we can learn more about the world we live in. Your claims have absolutely no scientific basis. And I must also say, comparing homosexuality and bestiality is so lame and over-done, thanks to things like FoxNews. It’s apples and oranges. It makes no sense to even consider the two things in the same framework or realm. I know you are doing/saying what you truly believe is best – but only God knows what is best for each of us. Not you. Not your interpretation of the Bible. Just God. So “helping” homosexuals by “warning” them of all the “negative consequences” is awfully pretentious of you. We should each focus on our OWN lives and how we can be more holy. Hopefully others will follow our example, but lecturing them about how they should and should not live is the opposite of holy. It is hateful and presumptuous and just plain rude. MYOB.

  22. Dear Glennon,

    I just wanted to take the time to thank you for being brave enough to post this. I grew up in a non-denominational church and eventually walked away, because after some time away I realized that the things I were taught in church were not true and I often just felt guilty and burdened about things I shouldn’t have felt upset about. I have a five year old son who is asking a lot of questions about God at this point and have wanted him to decide for himself what he believed. In my heart I have wanted to believe in God, but couldn’t bring myself to believe in the kind of God that I had been taugth about. Thank you for restoring my faith on some level that you are right people decide what they want to cling to with the bible and at the end of the day, if there is a loving god, we are all his children and love trumps everything else. So thank you for restoring my faith in what christianity is all about. :)

  23. Wow. Heavy. Good read. My understanding of Scripture is that it’s the final authority and God has the last word.

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Cor. 5:17

  24. [...] piece from Momastery, where Glennon writes a letter to her young son for the future… just in case he’s gay. That even be that the case, she loves and accepts him and celebrates him, despite what her [...]

  25. [...] all a little more alike than we give ourselves credit for sometimes. I also adore this piece by her: “A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On.” Different topic entirely, but written from a place of such thoughtful consideration, faith, and [...]

  26. I have my children for two whole days. It would take way too long to explain but I am so joyous and thankful for this little time with them. As soon as my angels wake up, I am going to ask them to read this. G, you put all of my deepest feelings so eloquently.

  27. Thank you for being an example of bravey. I quoted you on my blog today, hope you don’t mind lol.

    Realology | the unexpected study of me
    https://mandimonblog.wordpress.com/

  28. First of all i love your blog! And this post is wonderful. I was brought up with not to judge people for their Sexuality. Infact a lot of my friends are gay or bisexual and i love them! I dont see them as GAY or BI…. who cares, they´re HUMAN BEINGS, worth to be loved!

    Have you ever read the post “iam christian unless you´re gay” on Danoah.com? Its one of the most powerful posts i have ever read :-)
    THank you for sharing this beautiful post with us Glennon

  29. “…you are okay. You are a child of God. As is everyone else. There is nothing that you can become or do that will make God love you any more or any less. Nothing that you already are or will become is a surprise to God. Tomorrow has already been approved.”

    Thank you for this.

    I am moved by your perspective, faith, hope and intelligence in your words. I feel them through every layer of my soul. I have tears in my eyes trying to read the words on the screen but they are tears of happyness.

    Thank you.

  30. More of us who are Christians should be willing to go tell this truth on the mountain!

  31. [...] A Mountain I am Willing to Die On by Glennon Melton Doyle. About bullying – and an absolute must read for everyone. Let’s [...]

  32. Amazing! Thank you for sharing your God given gifts! You love and write with the spirit. I look forward to reading your book! I have a Chase and plan to print and read this letter to him and my other son Cooper.

  33. I know this is a little late, and as the author you will probably never see or read this since reading every comment for every post seems ridiculous even to me, I’m still going to comment. I think you have a beautiful heart for people, and that is great. I think that God gave you a gift to love others and see people that others might not even think worthy of their time and make those people feel worthy. I think that you also mean well when you interpret scripture how you do. However I do disagree and it makes me a little sad because I feel that there are so many Christians that are and they do not fully know their heavenly father. Do I think that all Christians should run after “sinners” with pitchforks and harsh words? No. I think that sometimes Christians have a hard time saying the truth and I believe that is. “I am a Christian, and I don’t see anything wrong with homosexuality. I know the Bible says it is a sin and I don’t know why or agree. I just know that is what the Bible says.” Instead we say “the Bible is a text written so long ago that it is no longer relevant culturally.” If we believe that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, then isn’t His word? Just a thought. Also to say that the Bible is not culturally relevant suggests that cultures did not have to deal with homosexuality in their time period, but there is nothing new under the sun. Homosexuality has been around for a long time and these issues have been around for a long time. Did he not mean what he said then either?

    • Thank you for saying this! I have my Bible out right now jotting down notes because as a Christian I just can’t accept everything she’s saying. God hasn’t changed. His Word hasn’t changed. His standards haven’t changed. Thanks for going against the grain on this discussion.

      • How do you feel about poly-cotton blend? Or lobster? Or sitting in a hut during menstruation and not allowing your husband to come anywhere close to you for a week after your period? What about marrying off a rape victim to the man who raped her, now that she’s all unclean?

        Oh never mind, that’s not what you were referring to when you said “His standards haven’t changed.” You only meant the standards you choose to believe because they support your own particular small-minded view.

    • Thank you for your well written words. I believe you hit it head on. Christians need to firmly, but lovely take a stand for what is Biblically correct. Our world is a lost place, full of suffering.

      • Yes, but explain exactly how a homosexual couple living in a committed, loving marriage contributes to this suffering. I for one (as a life-long Christian) can’t see it.

  34. How would you feel, and what would be your reaction if your son came and told you he has converted to islam?

  35. Thank you.

  36. I think you are a well-intentioned, Christian, loving mother, and person. However, I humbly believe that you are overstating your case to your son. I’ll try not to make this brief and not make blanket statements as you have. There are elements of truth throughout your letter to your son, however, the logical outworking of your thought process is not biblically justifiable. You made a blanket statement that is outright not true when you stated that “The truth is that every Christian is a Christian who picks and chooses what to follow in the Bible, in one way or another.” That is an absolute statement that improperly categorizes all Christians. There might be disagreements between Christians regarding a few issues that do not compromise the truth of the Scriptures, but saying that all Christians pick and choose is an overstatement. And although we all have intrinsic worth because we are all created in the image of God, unfortunately…”people, every person, is” not “Divine”. There is only one that is Divine, and that is the Triune God. We as people, on the other hand, are all fallen. Hence the need for a Savior. But the fact that we are fallen does not give us the prerogative to redefine what is good and what is evil. That is the downfall of our Postmodern era. It’s exactly what Satan as the serpent asked Eve way at the beginning….”Did God really say??… ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Adam and Eve fell into the trap of wanting to redefine good and evil. What you are addressing isn’t about failing cover your head or being caught wearing jewelry…about failing to follow the law or rules. It’s about trying to redefine what is good and what is evil. Your salvation strictly hinges on your faith in Christ, His death and resurrection…however that does not change what God defines are good and evil. So when you consider the “progress” humanity has made since biblical times, by quite possibly progressing one day to the time of accepting interchangeable wives and husbands…will you just accept it to avoid conflict? So where is the line drawn? Where are you presuming God draws the line? Most people think that freedom is doing whatever you want to do with no boundaries. But that’s not freedom. Freedom is not doing whatever you want, however you want, whenever you want to. That is actually called anarchy…which is the absence of law and order, and there would be a loss of freedom with anarchy. Freedom can only exist with boundaries. So God created this world with a moral framework, NOT, to destroy us, but to protect and preserve that freedom. And the Bible is extremely clear on the definition of homosexuality as evil. If I justify homosexuality, I might as well justify my proclivity to go outside the boundaries of my marriage. As I stated, I think you are a well-intentioned Christian, loving mother and person. I highly recommend that you watch one of the most intelligent minds and one of the most genuine Christians of our time, Ravi Zacharias, in this video of him addressing this very issue of Christians accepting homosexuality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIw6ngIqaD0 .

    May God bless you and give us all wisdom to glorify Him and do His will.

    • *try to make this brief!

    • I am and have the lasting courage finally to be leaving an abusive marriage: and have three sons in the mix.
      What is “good” and What is “evil” shall be your own perspective obviously. Not God’s-. Your interpretation of such for you to stand on your interpretation of “laws and rules” will NOT be entertained in a world you are so out of touch with. I am looking forward to the freedom from this abuse within my God-blessed marriage– for my release and un-union from this: is as much God-blessed as the union once was an I firmly believed in and trusted.

      Seems those “laws and rules” you tout :should require me to withstand/be diminished/allow my kids to be subject to the MAN of the house and all his abuse. As you said, “DID GOD REALLY SAY…..”most people think that freedom is doing whatever you want to do with no boundaries. But that’s not freedom. Freedom is not doing whatever you want, however you want, whenever you want to. That is actually called anarchy…which is the absence of law and order, and there would be a loss of freedom with anarchy. Freedom can only exist with boundaries. So God created this world with a moral framework, NOT, to destroy us, but to protect and preserve that freedom.

      Where is your line drawn– JT? What does that MORAL FRAMEWORK LINE END? For if you could quote any other line of scripture: I should just CONTINUE TO ENDURE THIS…. for that would be my MORAL RESPONSIBILITY according to you.

      If my morality lies within the boundaries of your definition of “marriage” and fidelity, loyalty, and the rest: I’d be dead in two years…. and my sons: destined to either be dead soon or perpetuate the cycle.

      What re-definition of “good and evil” are you so insulated from that you cannot embrace love as LOVE is defined within ANY RELATIONSHIP and turn your deaf ear to real issues within “traditional marriages” that far trump the issue you wax poetically about in regard to “non-traditional marriages and love?”

      Seriously, and from a very educated, abused, recovering perspective: take care of yourself and yours, for all the rest of us are taking care of both ourselves and each other without the added weight of your view of God’s Love, and with all the grace we can pray for and muster; despite your kind of judgement on us all imperfect souls in imperfect relationships… (SAVE YOURS, I am sure.)

      How dare you throw stones from a perspective you have not traveled.

      • Dear Erin,

        First of all, I want apologize for writing in a way that you misinterpreted what I wrote. I take the blame for that. If you read what I wrote, I stated “What you are addressing IS NOT about failing to cover your head or being caught wearing jewelry…(and what I should have added) and is NOT about failing to follow the law or rules. It’s about trying to redefine what is good and what is evil.

        Erin, I’m sorry that you got the impression that I was touting “laws and rules”. I definitely do not want to be touting laws and rules, as I am a violator of those laws and rules. All I want to tout is the God’s grace, his inspired Scriptures, his love, and the good news and truth of Jesus Christ. And since Chase’s mom was writing her letter from the perspective of a Christian, I wrote my response as a Christian to a fellow Christian. And if it seemed as though I was throwing stones in any way, I apologize for that also. I don’t think I passed any judgements, but if I did, I am sorry.

        In contrast to when I responded to Chase’s mom, I am unsure as to if you are a Christian or not, and your familiarity with the Scriptures. And any statements I made were made in the light of the Scriptures….not myself. I have no place to pronounce judgments. Although I do believe God and His Word do have that place.

        It seems that you have gone through a terrible experience of marriage. And if you had to end that marriage because of that, I don’t think God or his Word would “require (you) to withstand/be diminished/allow my kids to be subject to the MAN of the house and all his abuse. If you have truly looked into God’s Word, I don’t think that you will find that it would condemn you for that. If you don’t pick things out of context, I don’t think the Bible says that “(You) should just CONTINUE TO ENDURE THIS…. for that would be my MORAL RESPONSIBILITY.” Any warm blooded human would find abuse unacceptable…and more so God. The Scripture says that wives AND HUSBANDS should submit to one another, and that husbands should be as Christ is to the church. What did Christ do? Knelt humbly down and washed the feet of his disciples…and gave his very life for the ones he loved. THAT is what the Word of God calls husbands to be for their wives. So if anyone is in violation, it would be the man you were with. However, he also is not out of the reach of God’s grace if he is one day repentant. I am glad that you are out of that situation.
        I hope nobody is turning a deaf ear to the issues within traditional marriage. Institutions such as marriage aren’t going to be perfect even though they were instituted by God….because we’re human and we are imperfect. I think the Church recognizes that, and you would find help there for such issues if you chose to seek it.

        And so “Where is (my) line drawn? What does that MORAL FRAMEWORK LINE END? I think the Word of God, if honestly studied, has drawn the lines for us. I’m not required to draw the lines. Someone once said that before you tear down a fence, find out why it was put there in the first place. I’m not saying that you can force people to do what you believe. God doesn’t even do that…he gives us a free will. But when you start to blur the lines and boundaries, you start to redefine deviations or evil as “ok” or good. Without a transcendent perfect being outside of us humans that are corrupt, it will be very difficult to agree on where to draw the lines and boundaries, and how to define rights. Is there such a thing as evil? If you say that there’s such a thing as evil, aren’t you saying that there’s such a thing as good? If you say that there’s such a thing as good aren’t you assuming there’s such a thing as moral law, on the basis to distinguish between good and evil? But if you say that there’s such a thing as a moral law, you must posit a moral law giver, and that is God. If there is no moral law giver, there’s no moral law. If there’s no moral law, there’s no good. If there’s no good, there’s no evil.

        Why do you actually need a moral law giver if you have a moral law?

        You must think of the alternatives.

        Who then does give that moral law? Which culture or group gives that moral law? How does naturalism even arrive at a moral law? The alternative theories cannot arrive at an objective source of moral law. Pragmatic theories might, which might say, “but this helps us to live and not die.” But that just assumes that living is morally superior to dying, it doesn’t tell you why it is superior dying. In fact, the very basis of naturalism will tell you that the only reason we are even here is because we got rid of the weaker elements. So in a naturalistic framework, why wouldn’t you kill off weak humans??

        There is no basis for a moral law in humanity’s closed system. There has to be something outside of us….a transcendent moral law. The transcendent moral law can only come on the basis of somebody who is self-existent and morally pure, NOT morally corrupt as we are.

        So the logic follows from the elimination of every other possibility that could be legitimate within a naturalistic framework. If humanism had only one ethic emerging, it would be fine. But humanism doesn’t. There are six or seven various forms of humanistic ethic, from the Immanuel Kant, one of the Categorical Imperative, to the Bentham and Mill version of Utilitarianism, or Joseph Fletcher’s Situation Ethics….it follows in so many different directions.
        So the humanitarian options ultimately are not self-evident. The only way it could be justified is if there is a transcendent order that sits over and above us in our own individual choices.

        That was the conflict of values between the forces of bin Laden and the rest of the world…even within their own ranks. His idea was that, this is not the way humanity is meant to be… “we are going to determine how humanity is going to be.”
        On what basis? His own ethic? So there is no way to posit an absolute moral law, unless there is an absolute source for that authority. And that person can only be God.

        So God must be in the picture and we NEED laws and boundaries. And since I believe in his existence and believe he is our Creator, I think he knows what the laws and boundaries should be better than I do.

        There are many religions and belief systems. But there are tests of truth that can be applied to reality, that will help you come to the conclusion of which one is true. After studying them, logic will tell you that they cannot all be true at the same time. It’s not the lack of the availability of truth, but the hypocrisy of our search for the truth. An existence without God places you in a naturalistic framework, where you’re just a product of random chance. The Judeo/Christian worldview is the only one that gives you intrinsic value, because you are created in the image of God. If you genuinely seek the truth, I believe, that it will lead you to Christ. He said “I am the way, the truth, and the life”.

        Don’t know if you’ve gotten to the bottom, but I should stop here…otherwise I could go on and on. If you did, thank you for hearing me out. Again, please forgive me if I have come across self-righteous or judgmental in any way.

        I am merely a wretch saved by God’s amazing grace.

  37. Wondrous stuff. Returning to re-read it because I needed to, apparently, this morning, be reminded that God’s Love is at the bottom of life.

    peace…

  38. Sweet story. Not with hatefulness but I will say that I continue to hold onto the Gods description of marriage as being between a man & woman. Therefore, I do not think same sex marriage is okay just like it is not okay for me to marry my brother.

    Christians are followers of Jesus Christ. Before Christ ascended into heaven he told his disciples, go into all the world & preach the Gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son & the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always. (King James Bible, New Testament)

    Sincerely,
    d taylor

  39. Amen. AMEN.

  40. Thank you for putting some if my own jumbled up thoughts into beautiful words.

  41. I just re-read this post and love it all over again. I’m thrilled to notice that it was first posted on my birthday!

  42. Hi dear Glennon,

    I’m happy about your book coming out. :-) Congratulations on that huge success, and on building such an important community here!

    I gave a lot of thought before responding to this post. I wrote about the same topic from a different angle on my blog here: http://aladyinfrance.com/2012/10/26/the-reverse-prejudice/. And because I stated my convictions there, I feel very free to show love and support to gay people without feeling like I’m hiding the fact that I believe the Bible is indeed all from God, including the parts that are difficult to understand.

    Out of all the sins listed, homosexuality is the only one that is a mystery to me. I don’t know why it’s considered a sin, but unlike the wearing of gold jewelry and having an uncovered head that you mentioned, the Bible says of homosexuality and all sexual immorality to not be deceived – those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    If God gives us a plate of cookies and says that only one is poisonous, then you dare not risk eating a single cookie. If he is not capable of assuring that the Bible is all from him, how can we trust him on anything else? It becomes a nice story that perhaps really happened, a nice moral code, a nice man … And yet Jesus’ power was not in his niceness. It was in his radical obedience to God’s Word.

    I think where we Christians err is in trying to set policy, something Jesus never did. We try to control whether gay people can get married or not and restrict their freedom in a way God never did with us. He lets us choose whether to follow him or not. On the other hand, we’re not doing anyone a favor by saying the Bible cannot be trusted completely, that it’s not all true. In Timothy it says to watch your life and your doctrine closely, and that by it you will save both yourself and your hearers. Jesus didn’t say what people wanted to hear – that the road was broad or that the wisdom of man was like the wisdom of God. He turned the world upside down.

    The most inspiring example I can think of for keeping God’s Word and loving like Jesus comes from a couple in the ministry from the church I attended in NY. When their son came out, they didn’t change what they believed about the Bible and he didn’t ask them to either. He stopped coming to church because he wanted to live in an immoral lifestyle, and they stepped out of their role as elders, but stayed in the full-time ministry. He stayed friends with tons of people in the church, even though he wasn’t going to it anymore. And he and his parents are closer than ever since he came out. It goes far beyond tolerance – this family deeply loves one another.

    So often we Christians can either lack grace or we lack convictions. Either we say that not everything in the Bible is important to follow, thereby watering it down. Or we become those hate-filled nasty bigots because people have not chosen to follow the Bible, and we judge them for the sins we don’t happen to struggle with.

    But Jesus was able to love deeply while urging people to repent, and as Christians he is the one we follow.

    • If a person loves Jesus, it is only because Jesus loved that person first. If a person let’s loose his/her life freely to gain His (Jesus’) life, then that person’s will is willingly surrendered to Jesus’ will. Jesus himself gave us this example when he stated ” not my will, but your will be done”; (Mat.26:39). Jesus was speaking to his Father God who had sent him to earth to seek and save the lost and he was willing to take on a violent death for a crime he didn’t do in order to do just that. Talk about something not being one’s preference! Yet Jesus set his own preferences aside to yield to The Creator God’s plan. When a person is “born again” , that person is re-birthed with Jesus’ identity. That person identifies with Jesus and his desires. That person becomes a new creation ; the old has passed away and the new has come! Nothing is impossible with God! It is God ‘s business as Creator to make us into what will glorify Him. Genesis 1:26,27,28 states that this is the reason He created human beings. God amazingly has allowed human beings to enter into the creative process! This is why He so decreed “therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to HIS wife (clearly denoting a man and a woman relationship) and they shall (literally) become one flesh” (for the purpose of loving each other and creating life out of that love) Genesis 2:24

    • Responding to this statement in particular: “homosexuality is the only one that is a mystery to me. I don’t know why it’s considered a sin.”

      I’m definitely no expert, but my interpretation is that since homosexual acts were an integral part of the Greek religion practiced at the time of the New Testament, the ban on homosexuality is not a ban on the sexual acts themselves, but on the idolatrous religious practices with which homosexuality was associated. I try to remember that the bible was not written directly by God, but by people recording God’s word. Since then, we’ve further translated the bible from the original Greek and Hebrew into languages that we understand (in my case English). In this context, what looks like a ban on homosexuality in a modern translation could have actually been a ban on paganism. This would be consistant with other parts of the bible; after all, the very first commandment is “thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

      • I would like to suggest that a more appropriate response might be from a Christian standpoint, since the subject is relating to the Scriptures.

        A Christian is a person who dies to self and puts on the life of Jesus. At least that is their dying and living desire. Therefore, that person would never think to take upon himself the interpretation of the Bible, because he did not write it. If giving ones’ life for a better life from One who knows better is the desire, then accepting the Word of God must also be the desire, because we do not know any better. A Christian practices humility, while only repeating what the Scripture states.

        Many people do not understand that the Bible was given thought by thought, and not word by word. People who were specially touched by the Holy Spirit were told to write in their own words that which was given them. This process was able to supersede the problems of copying and translation. What we have today is what God intended from the very beginning. It is indeed His Word. Else we have nothing and there is no Deity.

        Having false gods, as the Greeks had, is directly proscribed by the moral law, but homosexuality is a small subset of those laws. For instance, one must understand the concept of the One, the Two, the Ten and the Many. The one law is Love. It is God’s very character, and is His motivating power to create, to save and to recreate into His own likeness; Love. The Two are love your God with all you are, and love your fellow human beings as yourself. The Ten are the Ten Commandments, and the Many are the extension of those into all of everything surrounding our lives.

        Since humans are imperfect, we have an impossible time with doing right. Therefore, we cannot figure out what is the application of our responsibility in all things as we should; even when attempting to apply the One – Love. We often go to extremes in all we do. That problem leaves us to either kill people in God’s name, or to allow anything to go, out of love. Both are wrong.

        The Bible remains its own interpreter, because it was given by the Holy Spirit who is able to make us understand it. Those two parts, while seemingly contradictory, are very important in our process of understanding the truth. First, the Bible must be studied in its entirety, passage by passage and precept upon precept. Second, that must be done on our knees, or in a state of prayerful open-mindedness toward the Great Spirit, and none other, including ourselves.

        The implication here is that we are not expected to understand everything, but rather to do what we are told in the Bible, because it was brought to us for our good and in Love.

        However, we may ask God at any time, because He invites us to reason with Him. If something bothers our minds, we should and must take it to Him Who know everything. We then wait for the response while studying His Word, the Bible, diligently.

        I might also add that while the Bible condemns the sin of Sodom, it also says that the sin of Sodom was apathy. That is when we cease to care about others more than ourselves.

        It is also interesting to note that sexuality is a private matter between two people, and yet some wish to make their choice public. That always confuses me. Who do they really care for? The true test of love is if two people can have a close and enduring relationship without sex. If they can’t, there is no love.

        So, who do we care the most for; ourselves or God?

        I hope we all choose to do whatever God states for us to do in His Word.

    • Beautiful, Lady Jennie. Thank you!

  43. Glennon, this is one of the most spectacular posts on this subject I have ever read. You are an amazing mom, an amazing woman, an amazing Christian – and your husband is all the same. Well, not the woman part.

    Truly – I was in tears. My girls are in high school now, and I cannot imagine NOT loving everything about them, and everyone they love. God is finally finding beautiful voices like yours to speak the loving truth!

  44. I’m saddened by this post and all the support it’s receiving. I’m an ex-lesbian who completely accidentally and unintentionally was healed by the grace of God. It just happened. I didn’t want it to. I wanted to rebel against what I thought was the “unfairness” of Christianity but as soon as I let God in he started taking sin out.

    It’s not love to celebrate someone’s harmful behavior. I believe, to love somebody is to want what’s best for that person. What’s best for anybody is heaven. And I don’t believe any Christian who, knowing the bible, still delights in homosexuality can get to heaven.

    Most people would not celebrate their child’s choice to become a heroin addict. To celebrate someone’s choice to live a homosexual lifestyle is the spiritual equivalent. If someone I loved (or anyone really) was unknowingly running straight into the path of an oncoming train I’d tell them to stop! Not say “well, whatever makes you happy”.

    So that woman in bible study who was dressed immodestly and speaking in church? Someone should have told her! It would have been an act of charity to do so just like it’s an act of charity to tell someone living a homosexual lifestyle to repent. Simply because she was sinning doesn’t render her observations invalid because we all fall short of the glory of God.

    No one told me that it wrong to be a lesbian. Pretty much all my friends Christian and otherwise completely supported it. I came to the realization on my own that all those people who I’d hated for their, what I then thought were, bigoted beliefs were actually right. I don’t think one has to be Christian or have recourse to the bible to realize homosexual behavior is wrong. One only need be human! God’s truths are written on all our hearts if only we can let go of ourselves enough to see them. I hadn’t even cracked a bible yet (I was raised in a vague and very liberal conglomeration of Lutheranism and Islam) when I started seeing a change within myself.

    I’ve received much, much, greater hostility for being a practicing Christian than I ever did when I identified as a homosexual. To truly live one’s faith is to be opposed to nearly everything modern society values and will generate so much hate from those who are in the grasp of the devil. I know, I was one of them. I was persecuting Christ and his Church. I was Saul.

    I view the bible as the inerrant word of God, written by the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe there is any need to take into consideration cultural climates or so called progress made by society since the time of the writing of the bible. (And, yes, I accept the NT teaching on slavery. And on gender roles. And anything else.) It’s not as if the Holy Spirit was somehow deficient and couldn’t foresee the 21st century. I don’t see how any honest reading of the NT could show, both in both spirit and letter, anything but a condemnation of homosexual behavior.

    I don’t usually comment online and I know I’m not very eloquent but I hope somebody will read this and re-examine their acceptance of homosexual behavior. We should, of course, not just tolerate but love those who are living a homosexual lifestyle. But loving them is to doing whatever is best to get them to stop sinning and get them to heaven. I wish someone had loved me like that. But, I forget, Someone did! Please, I pray, love homosexuals the way Christ loved me. By calling me to Him with gentleness in repentance.

    • Julia,

      I have a feeling the hostility you are experiencing has less to do with you being a Christian and more to do with the assumption you make that you/your church knows best what is for everyone and the compulsion you evidently feel to tell people they are wrong/bad/sinning if they don’t agree. I have come to know and love a number of Christians through Momastery. I never thought that was possible because I have (wrongly) assumed that to be Christian=to be judgmental and hurtful. I am glad you have found a path that works for you. And, I don’t really need a stranger to deem whether or not they think the way I love and walk in the world is sinful or acceptable. I am prepared to answer for my own decisions and choices I made in my life when I die if there is a God, and if that God happens to be judgmental (which I doubt). I wish you luck on your journey.

      • Jamie,

        Completely accidentally and unintentionally, not wanting it to happen… these aren’t the words to fit some assumption she is just going with as you say…

    • Julia,
      I encourage you to listen to Matthew Vines http://www.matthewvines.com/
      or visit Canyonwalker Connections to read detailed scripture discussion supporting the Christian view that it is NOT a sin to be gay.
      It will help you understand how others can be supportive even if you do not find yourself agreeing with what you read/hear.

      Glennon’s post Part Two has a section that really made an impression on me.
      Here is a quote followed by the link to the whole piece:
      QUOTE:

      “Because listen – here’s the thing. After my wrestling match with God, I wasn’t really exhausted enough. I still came up swinging. For a little while, I felt angry. Angry at anyone who had a different understanding of scripture than I did. Angry at people who taught that God disapproved of homosexuality. Prideful about my position, really. And then one day God sat my butt down with the Bible again.

      And he said something to me like, “Wait a minute, Lovie. Yes, I love those gays, but I love the ones picketing against them every bit as much. That’s the point.”

      And There’s the rub. There’s Christianity. It’s not deciding that one group shouldn’t be judged and then turning around and judging the other group. That is not being a peacemaker. Peacemakers resist categorizing people. They find the light, the good, in each and every person. They don’t try to change people, except by example. They know everyone has something important to teach. They are humble about their ideas and their opinions. They try to find common ground, always.”

      http://momastery.com/blog/2011/02/27/a-mountain-im-willing-to-die-on-part-two/

      I’m sorry you are feeling so troubled by the supportive comments here. I can see how it must be hard on you when it seems like so many are not seeing what you are seeing. I wish you peace and I hope you can find love and acceptance from others and give that in return to them. We try very hard to do that here at Momastery.

    • Ah, Julia – the confusion you must feel. Because there is no such thing as an “ex-lesbian,” so you’ve been fed so much that is wrong. I am sorry that the Christianity you’ve found is of the minority, the fundamentalism branch that revels in judging and creating an “us vs. them” climate – which is so NOT what God would choose for us. They’ve made you hate your past – and that’s sad.

      I’m not gay – I’m the straight mom of two straight teenage daughters. We all have friends who are gay. One of them, a girl, is bisexual, which is likely what you are. If you are able to have romantic feelings for men after having a romance with a woman, you are not an ex-lesbian, dear – you are simply bisexual. That means you can be attracted to, and fall in love with, either sex. And that can happen without actual sex acts ever being involved. My daughter’s friend, who is now in college, had a boyfriend for a long time, but remained a virgin. After a time alone, she fell in love with a girl. They had a long relationship (in teen years). They recently broke up, but remain friends. She will probably fall in love again, and it will be the person she falls in love with, not the sex. That’s actually a pretty beautiful thing. My daughter, who’s best friend is a lesbian, said to me once, as she lamented the fact that the boy she liked did not return the feelings, “Mom, I WISH I was gay. That way X and I could just be couple. But nope, I am SO not. Dang.”

      Being LGBT is not dangerous, Julia. Sure, a gay person can engage in dangerous behavior, but, um, have you seen how many straight people do? Loving, monogamous relationships are not, in any way, dangerous – because love is the foundation. That someone has compared this to heroin addiction is shameful – because it has absolutely nothing in common with such a dangerous, debilitating disease as addiction. All that shows is the ignorance of whomever taught you that.

      Blessings on your journey, young woman. I hope you find your way without hate, without judgment, and with love.

      • Mindy, To say that there is “no such thing” as an ex-lesbian is as judgmental as saying there is “no such thing” as a gay Christian. I use to share in the frustration of Julia that everyone doent live according to Christian morale standards ,then through prayer I realized that it is completely unrealistic to expect non Christians to live according to the moral standards of Christians (just as unrealistic as it is for a Hindu to be frustrated with Christians for not living according to Hindu morals). I am a Christian, and I love gay, straight, bisexual, transgender people all the same. The point is to love them into the kingdom of God and let them know that Christianity is not about being against them. God loves and accepts them DESPITE their sexual orientation just as he loves me DESPITE the fact that I’m a liar, an adulterer, a murderer ect. We as Christians have to get better at loving the PERSON and hating the SIN. We absolutely can and should love people who identify themselves as being gay even if we dont agree with their lifestyle.

      • Mindy,

        She was saying that what was fed to her was the opposite of what God was showing her. You people really twist testimonies even when written in plain English!

    • Thanks, Julia, & thanks Glennon.

    • Amen Julia,
      That is the utmost beauty of God, HE LOVES US SO, He sent His Son to die for us sinners, NOT FOR OUR SIN. The payment for sin is death or Hell. Sin is Sin, whether it is homosexuality, stealing or any sin it is sin. If you are a follower of Christ – you will not want to do ANY sin, not jus what you consider sin. It is what God considers. And Glennon, it is truly sad how you defile God’s kingdom by encouraging sin because you feel sorry for a person, and use an example of a women who also is a hypocrite to justify your “compassion”.
      What about GOD and what He thinks? His Honor and Righteousness? Was Christ’s death for naught so we can feel good about sin?
      A true Christian loves the sinner but alas like God hates sin.

    • Julia I think you are a woman of great courage. Press on my friend.

    • Julia – you are right. God bless you as you see to live for Him!

    • Julia,

      In these days, the wheat will be separated from the chaff. The time of Faith’s testing has come. What may look like love via tolerance to the masses will be brought before a Holy Judge regardless of mankind’s viewpoints. I wish to anger no one and am a Peace-Lover! I know, though, that the days of contented ‘safety’ are over. I know full-well the Church will be persecuted. It hurts. To proclaim to be a Christ-Servant while delivering a message viewed by most as ‘hateful’ is doing just what our Master told us to do if we Love Him. I would not be able to look Him in His Holy and Loving Face if I didn’t proclaim His Word and obey Him as He told me to do. Each of us will appear before Him to give account. Thank you Julia, for doing this in the face of disagreement. How He would have me Love the homosexual will come with words of Truth and a heart of Unconditional Love. His Spirit will Lead and Empower. We are to empty ourselves so He fills us completely. I am to seek to please Him and likewise be open to words of Truth that could bring shock to me, if I have been believing untruths. I agree so much, that we are to display His Glory and that can’t be done while I sin. A quote I love from my pastor, ‘We don’t break God’s Law, we break ourselves on it’. It’s time for the Body of Christ to stand up. We WILL find Him when we seek Him with our whole heart….we need to make sure we do not allow ourselves to be led by feelings or anything but the Solid Rock of Truth. Julia, stand strong and Obey Christ always.

      Glennon, thank you for the great things you are doing. You’re a Gifted writer. Thank you for being open to disagreement. Much of what you say is awesome, however, I respectfully and thoughtfully disagree with you regarding your Biblical view of homosexual behavior. I say this after much Prayer and personal Bible study, while considering opposing views. I truly do wish all the Best for you.

      • Caring Heart posted a link to Matthew Vines’ video, above. I just want to point out that there are many refutations of that video on the web, and these are easily found by doing a Google.

    • Thankyou Julia. Your testimony is beautiful and encourages me in my faith. Please, keep sharing your story.

    • Julia,
      Don’t be discouraged. I was so very happy to see your post. I have a brother whom I love very much but he feels that those who disagree with him are comparable to racists and he feels that I really don’t love Him because I don’t accept his way of life. I know he is hurt and I wish I could make everything ok but I can’t. I feel that standing om my own beliefs and God’s priciples are the best way I can show him how much I really love him. I don’t treat him any different than before I knew but it is clear that we disagree on this issue and I undersatnd his hurt. He keeps posting things on his facebook page about Christian pastors who secretly marry homesexuals or who agree that is is not a sin and how he still has hope b/c of this. I am soooooo very baffled. This erroneos view is giving my brother fuel. I can’t help but have resentment towards these Chistians, something I pray for forgiveness and tolerance to my Lord. I love my brother! I want him saved and following Christ. It is the best gift anyone could wish on anyone else. This world seems to hold on to the principles of LOVE and NOT judging as excuses for breaking God’s word. Christ himself was very quick to point out sin, but redemption always followed, or an opportunity for redemption. Please, do not let anyone convince you otherwise. Homosexuality is a sin as are many other things this world regularly practices and things I myself have to ask forgiveness for almost on a daily basis. You are the HOPE the Lord has given me for my brother. Better said, your story should be told. I pray you to grow in Him and serve Him eternally. Thank you, Julia. Thak you my heavenly Father!

  45. [...] Your dad and I, we will love whomever you love. We trust you to choose well for [...]

  46. [...]   And then I read her post admonishing young mamas NOT to carpe diem and by the time I found this letter to her son, I was all-in.   I started reading all her past posts and developed a serious blog [...]

  47. [...] Table issues a Challenge to both sides of the Amendment One debate.Glennon at Momastery talks about A Mountain she’s Willing to Die On, on what it would mean to her if one of her children were gay.Rachel Held Evans made me cry [...]

  48. What an amazing and inspirational post. It reminds me very much of another post from a blogger Dad that I have been following for some time now. Dan Pierce is “Single Dad Laughing” and he wrote this wonderful blog post some time ago: http://www.danoah.com/2011/11/im-christian-unless-youre-gay.html

  49. Your post reminds me of a recent blog post by our Senior Pastor — made a lot of sense about the religion and homosexuality. http://www.markmillerblog.com/2012/09/20/three-reasons-why-christians-might-find-homosexuality-morally-acceptabl/
    His post gives us a different way to understand God’s lessons and plans for us.

  50. [...] or two.  I began reading Momastery back in January after Bethany linked to it.  It was such a great post about bullying that I immediately emailed Glenna and asked for permission to copy it and distribute it to my [...]

  51. While I am not a religious person, I certainly appreciated your blog post here. Thank you for being such a strong ally! I’m glad you are not in fear of the Big Gay Agenda:http://hulshofschmidt.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/more-on-the-gay-agenda-caution-for-readers/

  52. Wow!

    I am newly exploring Christianity, and you squashed my concerns in one post! I love the way you speak about God and what God stands for. I love what you said about the woman at church who chose to follow only SOME rules herself. I am struggling to find a community of people who believe what we believe, and who can teach my son this all-loving outlook on God and life.

    Thank you for saying what was in my heart, and for saying what so many others can’t, or won’t.

    This post – and so many others – really speak to my soul, and I have truly been blessed by you, Glennon!

  53. [...] you’d be all for gay rights ANYWAY, but that argument has been made beautifully by much more dutiful Christians like her.) Like this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  54. In the midst of all that’s just gone on with Chick-Fil-A, this was water to my soul. I desperately needed to read something loving from a Christian. Thank you.

  55. I laughed and cried at this. You have written everything I want to say to my friends, family and children (only I have two girls, so it would read a little different… sadly, Daddy would get the “most important” male role at that point and I’d be a number two woman, which I’d be fine with!).

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so eloquent and well versed. Thank you for speaking my heart on your blog.

    God is good.

  56. I have not one, but two, gay children. Two daughters. They and their partners have brought me much joy and love. My acceptance and that of their father, has helped them accept and love themselves. They have never had to be “in the closet,” have never had to hide the truth from themselves or their parents. They are welcome in our love, our hearts, and our home to be completely who they are. I believe that selective interpretation of the Bible has done much irreparable harm. If you quote the Old Testament to condemn those who are gay, then you must obey the Old Testament in all its passages. Corinthians prohibits women from speaking in church; Deuteronomy commands that a rebellious son be stoned to death; Deuteronomy also says that if a wife cannot prove herself to be a virgin, then she should be stoned to death; and that a woman must not wear a man’s clothing, nor a man woman’s clothing, because God “detests” this; Deuteronomy would have us punish rapists by requiring the rapist to pay the girl’s father 50 shekels and also to marry the girl he has raped. There are numerous passages describing such horror. And Jesus never preached against homosexuality, but was instead tolerant and kind. Also, different versions of the Bible such as The King James Version and the New International Version have completely different interpretations for the same verses. The fact that people have used the Bible to condemn my precious daughters has kept us out of their churches. How sad that is…

  57. There may be one possible difference you may not have considered.
    “And so there would be celebrating.”
    What if your precious, precious child decides he doesn’t buy into Christianity?
    If you would pray for him and trust that some day before he died, God would take care of it somehow, that would be the same as “tolerating homosexuality.”
    Could you really celebrate a difference in faith belief without desire for it to change or without taking a fresh look at your whole faith heritage and the bullying eternal consequences at its core?
    It is a hell on earth i hope you never have to face. But I think you may do well with it if you do, based on your story.

  58. [...] about parenting from a social justice perspective. In the meantime, here’s a good post from Momastery to get your juices flowing. (Thanks Jessi for the link!) Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to [...]

  59. I have only seen a couple of your blogs, and find you thoughtful, passionate, and eloquent. The only thing I would add to your fiercely loving– or lovingly fierce– views is this: it is surely not true that children need to be taught to be cruel, that they are merely mirrors of adult behavior or thought. There is such a thing as original sin. Humans are not born ‘tabula rasa.’ We are fallen, sinful, broken, at birth. Thus the need for a Saviour, for salvation, for redemption. And glory be, there is Hope for the human race! John 3:16 may be one of the most famous verses of the Bible. I think too many people stop emotionally with the part that says “For God so loved the world.” But the essence is that ‘He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes on Him shall have eternal life.” And absolutely, through that redemption we can love unconditionally, as we have been unconditionally loved!

  60. [...] that’s too succinct for you, here is another writer who says the same thing, so beautifully, in many more words! Share this:ShareEmailTwitterRedditStumbleUponFacebookPrintDiggLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first [...]

  61. Thank you for this wonderful post! This world would be a different place if we would only love and embrace others as Jesus did.

  62. I’m another North Carolinian reassured and inspired (again) by this post this week. Thank you.

  63. Thanks for having the courage to voice your opinion. I guess my question is this: If, as you argue, we are to interpret the Bible based upon humanity’s progress and in light of our culture, would you also argue that divorce and drunkenness aren’t really sins? From what I can tell, both of these are more accepted in our culture than homosexuality…

  64. Posted this (again) to my Facebook page today. In the aftermath of my state writing discrimination against gays (oh, and unmarried heterosexual couples living together and old people who have been in a lifetime committed relationship but are legally divorced for financial reasons) into our constitution. So very sad. But this makes me happy and hopeful all at the same time, so back to my Facebook it goes. Thank you.

  65. I was trying to copy this for my Mom and others to read, but there seems to be a big white box right in the middle of the article! Help!!

  66. Thanks, have a great day!

  67. I do not even understand how I finished up right here, however I assumed this post was once great. I don’t realize who you might be but definitely you are going to a well-known blogger should you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

  68. I love this. Love, love, love. You so eloquently said what’s on my heart.

  69. Beautifully written, Glennon. My son, 13, has been bullied at several schools for being slightly overweight and for being a little different. “Different” meaning he is very kind and harbors no ill will for anyone. He has the biggest heart of anyone I know. Thank you for calling attention to the fact that the problem comes from our homes. Children listen and watch and imitate everything they see adults DO.

  70. Such a beautifully written blog piece! How you explained your views on Christianity was wonderful and easy to understand. Thank you for sharing your position on homosexuality ! It isn’t easy to be a straight loving person in a world where there is so much hate and misunderstanding. As a lesbian Christian it is uplifting to come across written pieces that express so eloquently what is felt by so many in the gay community. I can’t wait to share this with my 10 year old daughter. I cannot say THANK YOU enough for the words your wrote. Tonja

  71. This is beautiful. It puts into writing everything I’ve been trying to explain wrt religion and tolerance. I know you have many writing opportunities, but I would love to see you wrote a children’s book that covers this subject matter. Regardless, keep writing and sharing!

  72. Excellent perception. There’s a quote: “When you see worthiness praise it. And when you see unworthiness, trace it.” It means don’t judge. Trace anything you don’t like in someone else back to their own unique history. Then trace it back to yourself because anything you don’t like in someone else is somewhere in you. ( Stolen from 12 x 12 by Williams Powers.) Good stuff Mama. Will you please run for president? We need someone with a balanced head on their shoulders.

  73. The thing to remember about bullies is that they are in pain. So much pain that they must drag others into their pain and will do so in any number of ways; judgment being among them. They do this unconsciously, often hiding behind rules and regulations, but the reason is their pain. Facing that pain is too daunting for them, so they judge out of fear instead. When you can understand that is truly is not personal, that it is becuase of their own tremendous pain; it’s a little easier to have that one amazing thing that Jesus would tell us to- compassion. Understanding leads to compassion, compassion leads to love and love is God. That is the true test of our souls, to have compassion for everyone, even those who would seek to pull you down with their books and beliefs. They need our love the most.

  74. I love, love, love your post! My son is a sixth grader and recently was bullied when a friend told a bunch of kids to call him gay. He came home in tears (he is a wise, old and compassionate soul) but he was confused. He was hurt because he knew the words were meant to hurt, but he said “Mom being gay isn’t a bad thing. Some of our best friends are gay.” Well I grabbed him and hugged him as tight as I could with my heart filled with pride. My kiddo loves people for who they are and thank God we have done something right in our parenting to help foster that. I have spent my entire adult life searching for a church where folks weren’t judged, but fully loved and embraced for the brilliant beautiful miracles they are. I have bounced around to different places and tried to take the best of each and what I have learned and share that with my kiddos. I have always believed with all my heart and soul that God is a loving God and not a judging and punishing one. Thank you for sharing your brilliance with us and for reminding us to see and appreciate the beauty in everyone and to walk humbly with God.

  75. Thank you Glennon. I don’t have anything else to say but thank you.

    love from west texas…cecilee

  76. [...] recently wrote a post, A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On, written as a letter to her son. It is beautiful and funny and so full of love, I just want to [...]

  77. Glennon,

    First of all, thank you for having the courage and the tenacity to write such poignant and powerful words that clearly were well thought-out and incredibly heartfelt. Whoever Chase grows up to be, he’s blessed beyond measure to have a Mom with a heart like yours.

    I’m a gay man, 27. And I’m a Christian. Jesus and my partner are both the loves of my life. Oh, and I’m in seminary getting my Master of Divinity, pursuing ordination in a mainstream denomination.

    It took a long time for me to find reconciliation between my identity and my faith. I’d be lying if I said I never regressed into a place of doubt or self-loathing, but those days are more few and far between than they were while I was growing up. It took my choosing to write a research paper last spring for my Intro to New Testament class on Romans 1:26-27. I spent nearly 3 solid months sitting down with different translations, commentaries, books, and articles. Sorting through the material, both those of an affirmative nature and of a condemning nature. I cried many nights, writing and re-writing my paragraphs, knowing full well how much I love my partner and fearful that I’d be led to a conclusion that forced me to leave him, but I found myself willing to listen to whatever answer I received, even the harder one.

    I had a conversation with a theologian/biblical scholar from Australia during my studies, William Loader. In one of his books, he quotes another South African theologian who basically says that, if given a choice between the biblical imposition against same-gendered relationships and the love commandment, the latter should take precedence.

    “The truth is that every Christian is a Christian who picks and chooses what to follow in the Bible, in one way or another.” This is probably one of the truest statements I’ve ever heard, and I know it took guts to say it. We all do it. We walk about different Old Testament passages (Hebrew Bible for those of us in seminary) and how they’re no longer applicable. Yet people throw out 1 Corinthians or 1 Timothy in their English translations without knowing anything about the original text or language. They talk about Romans 1, not noticing that Paul is, over and over again, using “other” language (they, them, etc), but the moment we get to Romans 2, he switches to “therefore you…”. He was getting his listeners fired up, feeding on their arrogance and sense of judgment, only to turn it back on them. We hear sermons that use scripture out of context, or worse, with no knowledge of context, used to spread bile and separatism.

    If every single believer, no wait, every single human had even a fraction of the love that you’ve expressed in this post, we’d see a major transformation in the Church and in how Christians are perceived by those outside our sometimes impenetrable walls. That’s my prayer. Those of us whose families have rejected us, turned us away… we thank God (by whatever name we know Him or Her) everyday for Moms and Dads like you who step up to the plate.

    I have gay friends who are Christian and are in relationships. I have other gay friends who have opted to be celibate. I know gay people who have tried to change their orientations. Some are married. Some are divorced. Some are dead having committed suicide because of how many people told them that their faith just must not be strong enough, or they simply didn’t love God enough, or they didn’t really want to change. I was nearly one of these people. Thankfully, I’m still here.

    Finally, just to plug in some knowledge from my own personal studies…
    There are a total of 6, maybe 7 passages that many consider to be speaking directly about homosexuality (the Genesis Sodom narrative is repeated in Judges). People often assume that opening creation story in Genesis is literal, not knowing or recognizing that there are 2 different creation narratives, back to back. They assume that any passage affirming or speaking to heterosexual relationships is a sign that those are the only possible God-honoring ones. I just think it means maybe straight relationships need more guidance or advice :D

    Like I said before, the Romans passage I believe is more about rhetorical argument than it is about Paul’s opposition against same-sex relationships. With the 1 Corinthians and the 1 Timothy passage, the words used (malakoi and arsenokoitai) don’t seem to have existed before Paul’s usage of them, and therefore translation is spotty at best (we lose a lot in the translation from the original text to English, in numerous passages).

    If we’re gonna use the Leviticus passages, then we can’t simply say that some are valid and others are not. Picking and choosing again people. Sheesh.

    Paul tells us in Phillippians to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. I’ll tell ya… there is no fear like sitting down with the good book and numerous other materials and making yourself open to the possibility that tomorrow, you might be living alone, and that, up until yesterday, everything you thought was right… was wrong. That’s fear.

    Forgive the ramble and the rant. I read through most if not all the comments before I sat down to write this. Hopefully, it’s been coherent and adds to the conversation. Either way, again, thank you. More than you know.

    Peace,
    Michael

    I believe that we all need to work out these answers for ourselves, and yes, this means that you might hear one thing and I might hear another. But if at the end of the day we’re filled up with more love for each other and for the Divine because of it, so what if we disagree. At the end of the day, my love for my parter only affects your life as much as you let it.

    • Beautiful addition, Michael, to a beautiful post from Mama!

    • Michael, thanks for adding to this. I stumbled across this post from Glennon and read it with tears streaming down my face. I am not gay, but several of my best friends are. I watched as they struggled (at a Christian university) and experienced much of what you did. I wish I had been able to verbalize my unconditional love for them as Glennon has. I would love to know more about your research and your interpretations and/or thoughts on the passages you mentioned. I’m always seeking to understand the Biblical perspective on homosexuality better, especially from the perspective of someone who is gay AND well studied in theology, Biblical translation, and cultural application. Thanks again for all that you shared. All my best as you continue to love, seek, and learn.

    • Michael- your addition to this is beautiful. Blessings to you and thank you for putting your thoughts down so eloquently!

    • Thanks for sharing this Michael. Really found it helpful to hear things from your perspective.

  78. I cried! You articulated my own feelings & discussions so well…& I’ve put my son in the mix, too, bc as a momma, damn it if I would do anything different! Thank you sooo much! I’m taking this to our Civil Right Student Association meeting & our anti-bullying program development meeting. One of our topics is “Is gay the new black?” I think this may help. Thanks again!

  79. THAT WAS AWESOME! Perfectly written and I’m so thrilled to have found your blog this week. Of course, I’ve spent hours reading past posts and completely neglecting laundry and house. Love it.

  80. [...] And if none of this makes any sense, read this great post over at Momastery [...]

  81. [...] And if none of this makes any sense, read this great post over at Momastery [...]

  82. You are so right… Religion needs to be about love. For those who think they can be the judge and jury of what God feels and who is loved, this article talks about what happens. For those who think they would tolerate a loved one, or love the sinner hate the sin, really? Sorry, but no one wants to be in a relationship with someone who tolerates who they are, and who feels as though they are lesser somehow. If that is how you want your kids to feel, it is very sad. This hate is captured well in this article, which is so very sad.
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202

  83. I enjoy the honesty of your blog immensely, yet like I’m guessing many others who read somewhat regularly, I’m a little bummed to see this here. I haven’t read the other 799 comments (I’m sure you understand), but I would like to just say this one thing: be careful not to confuse God’s eternal truths in the Bible with man-made culturual truths laced througout the Bible. The former are timeless and always point us to true relationship with God and others (eg. God created Adam and Eve, man and woman, to complement and complete each other) and the latter dissipated as the culture changed or after Jesus completed the way to salvation (eg. headcoverings or sacrifices). Just something to consider.

    • And I feel I must add… if my child were to come to me to tell me he was homosexual, I would not love him any less or reject him. I would have much more than “tolerance” for him–I would pursue him with the wild love of a mother. And in so doing, I would counsel him and pray that he would find his way to God’s perfect design for life and avoid the inevitable pain of living outside of that design. And P.S. It’s driving me batty to see a typo in my first comment. :)

      • I completely agree with what Tiff said. Sin is sin. I have learned much in this life about grace but there are still moral laws that we have disobeyed, and need to repent of. I don’t believe in rating sins (one being greater than another), but I do believe in calling what God calls sin, sin. I love Tiff’s second comment too, about pursuing my child with the wild love of a mother… :-)

  84. I just want to thank you for more eloquently verbalizing my own personal faith. I have always had a hard time going to church and being part of an organized religion because I always felt they spent too much time judging others instead of loving them. It’s not just a modern problem either, history is full of wars that were fought over religious differences where one party felt it was their right to judge someone else’s view to be wrong. I grew up in a mixed religion household with a Mormon mother and Church of God father. Both of them are good, kind and caring people but they both thought they were right and the other was wrong. If your religion doesn’t teach you love and tolerance for someone with different views then you aren’t living according to Christ. I do my best to follow the ten commandments and after that the rest is subject to interpretation (hence the reason we have so many different churches). I know so many people who will judge someone who is on the wrong path because their transgressiosn are out in the open when they have worse ones that are just hidden from view.

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