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Controversial Already? Sorry, I Have to Do It.

34 Comments

I made many friends and acquaintances during my years in the porn business. Several of said people happened to be gay. This particular group of people, in my opinion, are amongst those most hurt by Christians.

Once again people, being a “Christian” means you’re supposed to be “like Christ”. Did HE ever once judge anyone for their sexual preferences?

Before I go any further let me explain why this has come up today. If you’ve ever posted on message boards you’re probably aware that most of those who participate use a nickname. On one of the boards I’ve been posting on for more than 4 years there is a man who uses the nickname “BoyAlley” and refers to himself as “Teh BoyAlley”.

I have a lot of love and respect for this man. He has raised a lot of money for charity. He’s a sensitive person who is very funny. He seems to have a heart of gold. But, understandably, he feels gay people are persecuted by Christians. When someone asked me on that message board if my newfound Christianity would affect how I feel about “Teh BoyAlley”, I responded with this:

Why would I feel any differently about teh Boy Alley? He is still teh sexy!

Seriously, don’t lump me into the preconceived notions you may have about Christians.

Why is it that I have to repeat, over and over and over again, that I’m not trying to change what anyone else does with their life?

PS: Feel free to quote all the Leviticus scriptures you want, Mr. Asian Diva whatever dude. Tell me how I’m hypocritical for x, y or z.

In that same thread, “Teh BoyAlley” wrote:

I’ll just say, that Teh BoyAlley has donated thousands and thouands and thousands of dollars over the years to organizations that exist to help defend myself, my partner of 8 years, and millions of other homosexuals, from the FUCKING GOD DAMN HORSE SHIT that Jebus fucking jackasses try to legislate down our throats and up our asses.

Christians can go on and on about how “they don’t judge people” and how they’re “entitled to their beliefs”, but at the end of the day, THEY’RE THE ONES forcing their fucked up world views on people like my partner and myself.

My opinion is that I have no right to judge anyone. I’m just going to love everyone to the best of my ability. And I oppose legislating how others act in their bedroom. Seriously, why is that my business?

“BoyAlley”, I love you man! And I’m going to do everything in my power to try to be a representative of what a true Christian should be. I know others claim to be non-judgemental and then turn around and try to force their beliefs down your throat. I promise I will do everything in my power to never do that to you. It is my job to show you the love that Jesus would show you. That is a big job and a big challenge. I hope I can live up to it.

34 thoughts on “Controversial Already? Sorry, I Have to Do It.

  1. If you intend to live life with an open heart and love everyone, then more power to you. My main problem with religion in general is that people always seem to twist the teachings into a system of controlling others.I was dismayed when I read about your sudden conversion, as I felt it was yet another closed mind added to a group of people intent on dictating how I live my life.I wish you the best on your journey, and I truly hope you can open the eyes of others. To witness people loving uncondtionally and non-judgmentally would be quite a sight to behold.Perhaps one day, your example may reach down to the very core of those who claim to share your beliefs, and we can all live together peacefully & accepting of everyone.

  2. If you intend to live life with an open heart and love everyone, then more power to you.

    My main problem with religion in general is that people always seem to twist the teachings into a system of controlling others.

    I was dismayed when I read about your sudden conversion, as I felt it was yet another closed mind added to a group of people intent on dictating how I live my life.

    I wish you the best on your journey, and I truly hope you can open the eyes of others.

    To witness people loving uncondtionally and non-judgmentally would be quite a sight to behold.

    Perhaps one day, your example may reach down to the very core of those who claim to share your beliefs, and we can all live together peacefully & accepting of everyone.

  3. As a pastor myself, I am embarrassed by how people who claim to follow Jesus have treated people throughout history. I believe our treatment of homosexuals is one of the greatest sins of the church in our modern day. You are on the right track, Donny. Don’t buy into a religious system. What I tell our church almost every week is that we are to daily ask, “What does it mean to follow Jesus in the is world we live in?” To answer that question we have to pull ourselves from the culture of religion and focus on the person of Jesus. I see you doing that. Props.

  4. As a pastor myself, I am embarrassed by how people who claim to follow Jesus have treated people throughout history. I believe our treatment of homosexuals is one of the greatest sins of the church in our modern day.

    You are on the right track, Donny. Don’t buy into a religious system. What I tell our church almost every week is that we are to daily ask, “What does it mean to follow Jesus in the is world we live in?” To answer that question we have to pull ourselves from the culture of religion and focus on the person of Jesus. I see you doing that. Props.

  5. Is homosexuality a sin?Should the Church support gay marriage?Should the Church ordain gay preachers?

  6. Is homosexuality a sin?

    Should the Church support gay marriage?

    Should the Church ordain gay preachers?

  7. Don’t let the ones who pick and choose which the part of the Books to take literally or not, corrupt you.I’m hear it sounds like you’re keeping some distance from them. But surely expect they will try to win you over to the ‘dark side’ as they will be covered in wool.

  8. Don’t let the ones who pick and choose which the part of the Books to take literally or not, corrupt you.

    I’m hear it sounds like you’re keeping some distance from them.

    But surely expect they will try to win you over to the ‘dark side’ as they will be covered in wool.

  9. Insert “glad to hear” above. Not sure what happened there.

  10. Insert “glad to hear” above. Not sure what happened there.

  11. i back you 100% donny. i think you’re right on in this one. all christians aren’t the same, just like all homosexuals aren’t the same, just like all white people aren’t the same…i don’t want to be lumped in with the right wing, hidden agenda, nonchristian christian.

  12. i back you 100% donny. i think you’re right on in this one. all christians aren’t the same, just like all homosexuals aren’t the same, just like all white people aren’t the same…i don’t want to be lumped in with the right wing, hidden agenda, nonchristian christian.

  13. There is no debate over the Bible condemning homosexuality. It’s a perversion like any other sin.Of course, they need the Saviour too, and that’s what’s most important.Lastly, people have to use discretion between right and wrong, and to do that, you cannot avoid judging. Condemning is different.If I rob a bank, are you going to judge, make discretion, and conclude that I have done wrong? Of course. That is judging, and no problems there.btw, what do you shoot with? DSLR or medium format?

  14. There is no debate over the Bible condemning homosexuality. It’s a perversion like any other sin.

    Of course, they need the Saviour too, and that’s what’s most important.

    Lastly, people have to use discretion between right and wrong, and to do that, you cannot avoid judging.
    Condemning is different.

    If I rob a bank, are you going to judge, make discretion, and conclude that I have done wrong?
    Of course.
    That is judging, and no problems there.

    btw, what do you shoot with? DSLR or medium format?

  15. Donny… I am inspired by you. You are one awesome fella, especially remembering that the Big B not only condemns homo’s, but also the liars, thieves, adulterers and fornicators, the ‘abominable’, and all the rest… It says that we are all sinners… So I guess that’s got most of us condemned. But like I know you realised, that doesn’t mean the sin is ‘OK’, just that if we live with and can’t shake it, that is ‘OK’ as long as we would if God made it that we ‘could’.I have to admit, I was nervous as hell after I got the newsletter from the guys @ X3, talking about your turning to Jesus, and hearing your interview from ‘Dirty Little Secrets’. I was playing Need For Speed Underground, listening to your interview, thinking ‘Damn… If this guy sticks it out, that will really be something’, but I also felt fearful that you wouldn’t make it. Reading your blog lately has allayed all of that.I know you’ll be alright, so in Jesus’ Holy name, ‘Jah Nissi’, and run the race Donny! I’ll see you on the other side.

  16. Donny… I am inspired by you. You are one awesome fella, especially remembering that the Big B not only condemns homo’s, but also the liars, thieves, adulterers and fornicators, the ‘abominable’, and all the rest… It says that we are all sinners… So I guess that’s got most of us condemned. But like I know you realised, that doesn’t mean the sin is ‘OK’, just that if we live with and can’t shake it, that is ‘OK’ as long as we would if God made it that we ‘could’.

    I have to admit, I was nervous as hell after I got the newsletter from the guys @ X3, talking about your turning to Jesus, and hearing your interview from ‘Dirty Little Secrets’. I was playing Need For Speed Underground, listening to your interview, thinking ‘Damn… If this guy sticks it out, that will really be something’, but I also felt fearful that you wouldn’t make it. Reading your blog lately has allayed all of that.

    I know you’ll be alright, so in Jesus’ Holy name, ‘Jah Nissi’, and run the race Donny! I’ll see you on the other side.

  17. I’ve been in church my whole life. If there is one thing I am certain is true of many, many Christians, it is that we like to point out the sins of others in an effort to divert attention from our own.Jesus was pretty clear about the practice of throwing stones… try John 8:2-11, or this link http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%208:2-11;&version=31;.Why do Christians expect gays to “find Jesus” in our churches? We don’t seem to have found Him…

  18. I’ve been in church my whole life. If there is one thing I am certain is true of many, many Christians, it is that we like to point out the sins of others in an effort to divert attention from our own.

    Jesus was pretty clear about the practice of throwing stones… try John 8:2-11, or this link http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%208:2-11;&version=31;.

    Why do Christians expect gays to “find Jesus” in our churches? We don’t seem to have found Him…

  19. Here’s the thing; Jesus loves the sinner; in fact he himself said that he didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:13).God demonstrated his love for the world by sending his son Jesus Christ “that whoesoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Jesus died to save the world from their sins; to save them from death; to make them holy and perfect forever (Hebrews 10:9-14). All you’ve got to do to receive this amazing gift is believe, IT’S AWESOME!Jesus makes it quite clear in John 8:34, that the man who sins “is a servant of sin”. He’s completely bound and imprisioned by it. He may want to change but he can’t – he doesn’t have the power (Romans 7). Is he therefore condemned to a life of sin and bondage with eventual death and eternal damnation as guarantees? NO!! God in his eternal grace and mercy has provided a solution, the ONLY solution, through his Son. In John 8:36 Jesus Christ boldy proclaims that “If the Son therefore shall make you free [from sins], you shall be free indeed.“. Halleluyah! Freedom from sin and bondage is what it’s about – regardless of what that sin is; be it an addiction to drugs or alcohol, pornography, illicit sex, adultery and yes even homosexuality :)God’s love is so amazing, it’s beyond words! What he has provided to us through his Son Jesus Christ truely blows the mind. There is an incredible story in 2 Chronicles about a King called Manasseh (this is before Jesus Christ, mind you). Now this king was bad, he was badder than bad, in fact the unbelievable wickedness he did was the main reason that God swore he would destroy Jerusalem. He killed many innocent people, sacrificed his own children to idols, used witchcraft, and messed around with familiar spirits (which could supposedly communicate to the dead) and wizards. He even placed an idol inside of the temple of Yehovah God!! Now you’d think that anyone with the audacity to perpetrate these kinds of wicked acts would be instantly struck down by the hand of a just God, but no, God had a plan for this man and instead sent the armies of the King of Assyria to Judah. They bound King Manasseh in chains and thorns and carried him to Babylon.While in Babylon, he sought and greatly humbled himself before Yehovah God, and guess what? God heard him! He had mercy on this horribly wicked man, freed him from captivity and brought him back to his Kingdom. Oh the mercy and grace of Yehovah God our Father!!Manasseh went on to faithfully serve Yehovah his God, and reighed for 55 years! Haha, that reminds me of another wonderful story I once read about a Christian girl who started to hang around with the wrong boys, and eventually began to sleep with them. She knew it was wrong, and would tell herself everday that she wouldn’t go out and do it again, but she would, again and again, night after night.She cried out to God for help and started to visit churches looking for answers, but they couldn’t help her, for you see she had been taken over by an demon, and the only way deliverance could be attained would be for a man of God to cast that unclean thing out of her :) To make a long story short, God filled a believer with his Holy Spirit and used him to free her from the darkness that had enveloped her.Even when this young girl was enamored in sin, God loved her. Ephesians 2:4-5 states that “God is rich in mercy for his great love with which he loved us even when we were dead in sins. The moral of these two stories? Never give up! No matter what happens in your life always run to God. He loved you, past tense. Nothing can or will ever separate you from that love, which is in Christ!. He has the answer and freedom you seek in his Son Jesus Christ.Remember “all things work together for those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28. I know that in my own life many things have happened which God has used for good – to shape and mold me into the person he wants me to be.That was quite long, but I pray that God will take these words, which he has gracefully placed into print through my hand, to help someone out there. Hehe, I was blessed just writing it :)Anyhow I really thank God for what he’s doing in your life Donny. I’ll be praying for you and your family – that God will fill you with his Holy Spirit and help you to grow in grace and in the knowledge of his Son Jesus Christ!Your brother in Christ…

  20. Here’s the thing; Jesus loves the sinner; in fact he himself said that he didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:13).

    God demonstrated his love for the world by sending his son Jesus Christ “that whoesoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

    Jesus died to save the world from their sins; to save them from death; to make them holy and perfect forever (Hebrews 10:9-14). All you’ve got to do to receive this amazing gift is believe, IT’S AWESOME!

    Jesus makes it quite clear in John 8:34, that the man who sins “is a servant of sin”. He’s completely bound and imprisioned by it. He may want to change but he can’t – he doesn’t have the power (Romans 7). Is he therefore condemned to a life of sin and bondage with eventual death and eternal damnation as guarantees? NO!! God in his eternal grace and mercy has provided a solution, the ONLY solution, through his Son. In John 8:36 Jesus Christ boldy proclaims that “If the Son therefore shall make you free [from sins], you shall be free indeed.“. Halleluyah!

    Freedom from sin and bondage is what it’s about – regardless of what that sin is; be it an addiction to drugs or alcohol, pornography, illicit sex, adultery and yes even homosexuality :)

    God’s love is so amazing, it’s beyond words! What he has provided to us through his Son Jesus Christ truely blows the mind.

    There is an incredible story in 2 Chronicles about a King called Manasseh (this is before Jesus Christ, mind you). Now this king was bad, he was badder than bad, in fact the unbelievable wickedness he did was the main reason that God swore he would destroy Jerusalem.

    He killed many innocent people, sacrificed his own children to idols, used witchcraft, and messed around with familiar spirits (which could supposedly communicate to the dead) and wizards. He even placed an idol inside of the temple of Yehovah God!!

    Now you’d think that anyone with the audacity to perpetrate these kinds of wicked acts would be instantly struck down by the hand of a just God, but no, God had a plan for this man and instead sent the armies of the King of Assyria to Judah. They bound King Manasseh in chains and thorns and carried him to Babylon.

    While in Babylon, he sought and greatly humbled himself before Yehovah God, and guess what? God heard him! He had mercy on this horribly wicked man, freed him from captivity and brought him back to his Kingdom. Oh the mercy and grace of Yehovah God our Father!!

    Manasseh went on to faithfully serve Yehovah his God, and reighed for 55 years!

    Haha, that reminds me of another wonderful story I once read about a Christian girl who started to hang around with the wrong boys, and eventually began to sleep with them. She knew it was wrong, and would tell herself everday that she wouldn’t go out and do it again, but she would, again and again, night after night.

    She cried out to God for help and started to visit churches looking for answers, but they couldn’t help her, for you see she had been taken over by an demon, and the only way deliverance could be attained would be for a man of God to cast that unclean thing out of her :)

    To make a long story short, God filled a believer with his Holy Spirit and used him to free her from the darkness that had enveloped her.

    Even when this young girl was enamored in sin, God loved her. Ephesians 2:4-5 states that “God is rich in mercy for his great love with which he loved us even when we were dead in sins.

    The moral of these two stories? Never give up! No matter what happens in your life always run to God. He loved you, past tense. Nothing can or will ever separate you from that love, which is in Christ!. He has the answer and freedom you seek in his Son Jesus Christ.

    Remember “all things work together for those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28. I know that in my own life many things have happened which God has used for good – to shape and mold me into the person he wants me to be.

    That was quite long, but I pray that God will take these words, which he has gracefully placed into print through my hand, to help someone out there. Hehe, I was blessed just writing it :)

    Anyhow I really thank God for what he’s doing in your life Donny. I’ll be praying for you and your family – that God will fill you with his Holy Spirit and help you to grow in grace and in the knowledge of his Son Jesus Christ!

    Your brother in Christ…

  21. Our small group actually had this discussion at Bible study a few nights ago. Someone was mentioning that homosexuality seems to be the “flagship” of condemnation from Christians; even though the church tries to bring adulterers and alcoholics and other “sinners” in to forgive them and help them and love them, it doesn’t seem to be the case with homosexuals. It’s sad that so many of people who claim to love Christ have shown gay people the exact opposite message that He came for: to love others as ourselves. No wonder so many homosexuals are so anti-Christian! Keep that love for other people and they will see Christ’s love for them through that.

  22. Our small group actually had this discussion at Bible study a few nights ago. Someone was mentioning that homosexuality seems to be the “flagship” of condemnation from Christians; even though the church tries to bring adulterers and alcoholics and other “sinners” in to forgive them and help them and love them, it doesn’t seem to be the case with homosexuals.

    It’s sad that so many of people who claim to love Christ have shown gay people the exact opposite message that He came for: to love others as ourselves. No wonder so many homosexuals are so anti-Christian! Keep that love for other people and they will see Christ’s love for them through that.

  23. Thank you for your words standing up for our homosexual brothers and sisters…As a devout Christian of many years, I think that we sometimes forget that we too will be judged…Here’s an interesting sermon from a Lutheran theologian I read a while back which may be englightening…God Bless…
    ___________________________________
    A Sermon in Acts…

    The Story in Acts that forms the text for this sermon is the conversion of Cornelius. He is the first Gentile or non-Jew who becomes a believer in Jesus, a disciple. A Roman soldier, a centurion (10:1) or what we would call an officer, the text claims that he feared God. But he had not become a Jew. This man has a vision in which an angel told him to send for Peter. Meanwhile, God is also communicating with Peter himself: vv. 9-16:

    About noon the next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the
    city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something
    to eat; and while it was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the heaven
    opened and something like a large sheet coming down, being lowered to the
    ground by four corners. In it were all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds of the air. Then Peter hear a voice saying, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.
    But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane
    or unclean.” The voice said to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” This happened three times, and the thing was suddenly taken up to heaven.

    The vision offers unclean animals, things that were not kosher to eat. The vision is at times referred to under “creepies and crawlies.” Biblical texts have explicitly forbidden certain foods. Leviticus 11: among unclean animals are camels and pigs, anything moving on its belly (snakes), and in the water: anything that does not have fins and scales (shrimp, scallops). All winged insects are “detestable to you.” Touching such things defiles a person.

    Peter is told to kill and eat three times. But not even a divine voice can get him to do it.
    For Peter these animals are disgusting. Only the French would eat such stuff!
    “I would not touch that with a ten-foot pole.” It’s enough to make a man gag. (For me: raw oysters). Note that this involves not just a biblical prohibition but a visceral reaction: disgusting!

    As Christians we are not obligated by Ancient Israel’s food laws. Indeed, we have left behind other biblical texts that advocate: holy warfare, slavery, the second-rank status of women (no women could testify in court, study scripture). And some of the texts we leave behind are found in the NT. We measure these texts by what we know of God’s love in Jesus Christ. We judge texts by other texts. We claim that we can no longer see God speaking to us in the ancient harsh verses (though Missouri and Wisconsin Synods may be more reluctant to leave these texts alone). But one text many of us still cling to as expressing God’s will rather than the voice of the times is the condemnation of homosexual acts. Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

    In these rules for sexual relations the same word is used as in ch. 11: “Do not defile yourselves…” (v. 24). Here and elsewhere the weight of biblical texts that address sexual relations lies clearly on the side condemning homosexuality.

    And not just the Bible speaks this way but our own feelings. For the judgment of our culture is similarly condemning. To be sure, we seem not to be all that perturbed by female homosexuality: it’s OK for women to hold hands and to live together. But when it comes it comes to men, the reaction of men is visceral and hostile. For many years male homosexuality was never acknowledged openly by anyone. Social condemnation was total. Even now, it takes courage for a person “to come out of the closet.” Courage because the people they love most may disown them.
    “You are no son of mine!” is a parental reaction to be feared.
    “You are no comrade of ours!” is the judgment of many in the military.
    “You are no pastor of ours!” is what we say as Lutherans to practicing homosexual ministers.

    The biblical word for how our culture regards homosexual persons is “unclean.” The charge is that they are dirty. They pollute; they offend. And resentment of homosexuals can be so intense that it can get them killed. One need go no farther than Virginia to encounter murderous resentment. Resentment expresses itself in the church: a former member of our church said to me: “I would never take communion from someone like that.”

    Even our language reflects our dislike and hostility. But I shall not recite all the mean words, the expletives, that have been coined. Yet even when one speaks of “the homosexual,” one actually makes their sexuality definitive of them. Much as when we say “the aged,” “the handicapped,” “the dying,” we define persons in terms of one characteristics. The condition defines them. And in every case that dehumanizes.

    As a culture, as Christians, and as Lutherans we stand divided. The Virginia Synod has pledged itself for the last two years to come to grips with this issue, to study, discuss, and pray about it. The national synod has just offered the same resolve–giving itself four years, no less. The issue is not about to disappear.

    Permit me to share with you my own understanding. It is already implied in the text chosen from Acts: Peter is persuaded by the vision, but not about food. Rather he sees here a divine metaphor. God does not share the Jewish designation of gentiles as unclean. In v. 28 of Acts 10 Peter concludes to his fellow Jews: “You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.”

    As best I can tell, this text is spoken to us in this context: God insists that we should not call anyone profane or unclean.

    What happens to us all, more or less, is that we are shaped by our culture. We speak the language, we think as members of our own age and culture. There is no avoiding it. Of course it is seen best in others: on campus overnight racing bikes disappear for cross-country bikes; platform shoes suddenly become a necessity for young women. But not just our dress and our wants are culturally conditioned, our values and attitudes bear the stamp of our times as well. We are not bound to stay there, however. A text from Paul’s letter to the Romans (12:2) gives us hope: “Do not be conformed to this world (or this age) but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God–what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

    That is what should be going on in our church: a transforming and renewing of our minds, so that we may discern what is the will of God. And whatever we conclude after these years of reflection, we must show it to God. Perhaps the question is not about homosexual persons but about us: who are we in our decisions? Will we be glad to show it to God? Will God be glad to look? Note how different that is from where and how we usually look when we assume that the problem lies with “them.”

    Three objections to what I think would make God and us and gay and lesbians glad:
    “These people have chosen to become perverts! It is their lifestyle.”
    Yet would anyone choose to be homosexual in a culture that is so hostile. This is a factual question, and I do not know the answer. But, unless one suffers from masochism, would anyone so choose? One suspects that homosexual men and women discover that they are attracted by persons of their own gender. And some discover it late, even after they have married. For in our culture one resists such a conclusion about oneself as long as possible.

    Objection: “Homosexual acts are unnatural and therefore wrong.” And it is true that for the likes of most of us, same gender sex is unnatural. But does my own visceral dislike of homosexual acts reflect Nature or even the will of the Creator? Or is it something of which I need to be ashamed and repent? I suspect that it is the latter. Moreover, heterosexual relationships would be unnatural for those who find themselves attracted to persons of their own gender. Paul Jersild of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbia, SC writes: “To impose heterosexual behavior on a homosexual person is a denial of who that person is; to deny the possibility of a homosexual person living in partnership with another person is also to deny who that person is” (Spirit Ethics, p. 141).

    Objection: “Let them be celibate!” This sounds vaguely like a suggestion by Marie Antoinette. It may have cost her her head. Perhaps we, too, have lost our heads when we recommend such council. If we were Roman Catholic, there would be precedent. But as Lutherans we understand human sexuality to be God’s good creation not to be limited to procreation. Sex is not just for having children. In the context of commitment and loyalty, it expresses our love. It keeps us out of trouble, it sustains and delights us. (Amen?)

    The immediate question before Lutherans in the Virginia Synod is whether Lutherans pastors should bless same gender unions… This is a question of blessing. I find the place of blessings in our liturgy to be remarkable and wonderful: The pastor blesses us with “The Lord be with you!” And we respond “And also with you!” And we do this how often during the service? We also share the peace: Peace be with you! And the same response. That’s a blessing, too. And at the end of the service we get another blessing! Amen!

    Again, the key question is how we as the church can become a blessing, a community through which God blesses those whom our society curses. How we can be a blessing to persons whose sexuality expresses itself differently. Those who affirm a pastoral blessing of same-gender unions believe that the loyalty, commitment, and mutual affection we find in marriage should be available as well … From that perspective the loving thing–and that is the divine command that trumps all other laws–is that we should establish structures that enable and encourage loving, stable partnerships in the gay community as well as among those of us who are straight.

    My hope and prayer then is that God bless us all, so that in this issue we as a church may become a blessing. Amen.

  24. Thank you for your words standing up for our homosexual brothers and sisters…As a devout Christian of many years, I think that we sometimes forget that we too will be judged…Here’s an interesting sermon from a Lutheran theologian I read a while back which may be englightening…God Bless…
    ___________________________________
    A Sermon in Acts…

    The Story in Acts that forms the text for this sermon is the conversion of Cornelius. He is the first Gentile or non-Jew who becomes a believer in Jesus, a disciple. A Roman soldier, a centurion (10:1) or what we would call an officer, the text claims that he feared God. But he had not become a Jew. This man has a vision in which an angel told him to send for Peter. Meanwhile, God is also communicating with Peter himself: vv. 9-16:

    About noon the next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the
    city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something
    to eat; and while it was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the heaven
    opened and something like a large sheet coming down, being lowered to the
    ground by four corners. In it were all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds of the air. Then Peter hear a voice saying, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.
    But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane
    or unclean.” The voice said to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” This happened three times, and the thing was suddenly taken up to heaven.

    The vision offers unclean animals, things that were not kosher to eat. The vision is at times referred to under “creepies and crawlies.” Biblical texts have explicitly forbidden certain foods. Leviticus 11: among unclean animals are camels and pigs, anything moving on its belly (snakes), and in the water: anything that does not have fins and scales (shrimp, scallops). All winged insects are “detestable to you.” Touching such things defiles a person.

    Peter is told to kill and eat three times. But not even a divine voice can get him to do it.
    For Peter these animals are disgusting. Only the French would eat such stuff!
    “I would not touch that with a ten-foot pole.” It’s enough to make a man gag. (For me: raw oysters). Note that this involves not just a biblical prohibition but a visceral reaction: disgusting!

    As Christians we are not obligated by Ancient Israel’s food laws. Indeed, we have left behind other biblical texts that advocate: holy warfare, slavery, the second-rank status of women (no women could testify in court, study scripture). And some of the texts we leave behind are found in the NT. We measure these texts by what we know of God’s love in Jesus Christ. We judge texts by other texts. We claim that we can no longer see God speaking to us in the ancient harsh verses (though Missouri and Wisconsin Synods may be more reluctant to leave these texts alone). But one text many of us still cling to as expressing God’s will rather than the voice of the times is the condemnation of homosexual acts. Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

    In these rules for sexual relations the same word is used as in ch. 11: “Do not defile yourselves…” (v. 24). Here and elsewhere the weight of biblical texts that address sexual relations lies clearly on the side condemning homosexuality.

    And not just the Bible speaks this way but our own feelings. For the judgment of our culture is similarly condemning. To be sure, we seem not to be all that perturbed by female homosexuality: it’s OK for women to hold hands and to live together. But when it comes it comes to men, the reaction of men is visceral and hostile. For many years male homosexuality was never acknowledged openly by anyone. Social condemnation was total. Even now, it takes courage for a person “to come out of the closet.” Courage because the people they love most may disown them.
    “You are no son of mine!” is a parental reaction to be feared.
    “You are no comrade of ours!” is the judgment of many in the military.
    “You are no pastor of ours!” is what we say as Lutherans to practicing homosexual ministers.

    The biblical word for how our culture regards homosexual persons is “unclean.” The charge is that they are dirty. They pollute; they offend. And resentment of homosexuals can be so intense that it can get them killed. One need go no farther than Virginia to encounter murderous resentment. Resentment expresses itself in the church: a former member of our church said to me: “I would never take communion from someone like that.”

    Even our language reflects our dislike and hostility. But I shall not recite all the mean words, the expletives, that have been coined. Yet even when one speaks of “the homosexual,” one actually makes their sexuality definitive of them. Much as when we say “the aged,” “the handicapped,” “the dying,” we define persons in terms of one characteristics. The condition defines them. And in every case that dehumanizes.

    As a culture, as Christians, and as Lutherans we stand divided. The Virginia Synod has pledged itself for the last two years to come to grips with this issue, to study, discuss, and pray about it. The national synod has just offered the same resolve–giving itself four years, no less. The issue is not about to disappear.

    Permit me to share with you my own understanding. It is already implied in the text chosen from Acts: Peter is persuaded by the vision, but not about food. Rather he sees here a divine metaphor. God does not share the Jewish designation of gentiles as unclean. In v. 28 of Acts 10 Peter concludes to his fellow Jews: “You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.”

    As best I can tell, this text is spoken to us in this context: God insists that we should not call anyone profane or unclean.

    What happens to us all, more or less, is that we are shaped by our culture. We speak the language, we think as members of our own age and culture. There is no avoiding it. Of course it is seen best in others: on campus overnight racing bikes disappear for cross-country bikes; platform shoes suddenly become a necessity for young women. But not just our dress and our wants are culturally conditioned, our values and attitudes bear the stamp of our times as well. We are not bound to stay there, however. A text from Paul’s letter to the Romans (12:2) gives us hope: “Do not be conformed to this world (or this age) but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God–what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

    That is what should be going on in our church: a transforming and renewing of our minds, so that we may discern what is the will of God. And whatever we conclude after these years of reflection, we must show it to God. Perhaps the question is not about homosexual persons but about us: who are we in our decisions? Will we be glad to show it to God? Will God be glad to look? Note how different that is from where and how we usually look when we assume that the problem lies with “them.”

    Three objections to what I think would make God and us and gay and lesbians glad:
    “These people have chosen to become perverts! It is their lifestyle.”
    Yet would anyone choose to be homosexual in a culture that is so hostile. This is a factual question, and I do not know the answer. But, unless one suffers from masochism, would anyone so choose? One suspects that homosexual men and women discover that they are attracted by persons of their own gender. And some discover it late, even after they have married. For in our culture one resists such a conclusion about oneself as long as possible.

    Objection: “Homosexual acts are unnatural and therefore wrong.” And it is true that for the likes of most of us, same gender sex is unnatural. But does my own visceral dislike of homosexual acts reflect Nature or even the will of the Creator? Or is it something of which I need to be ashamed and repent? I suspect that it is the latter. Moreover, heterosexual relationships would be unnatural for those who find themselves attracted to persons of their own gender. Paul Jersild of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbia, SC writes: “To impose heterosexual behavior on a homosexual person is a denial of who that person is; to deny the possibility of a homosexual person living in partnership with another person is also to deny who that person is” (Spirit Ethics, p. 141).

    Objection: “Let them be celibate!” This sounds vaguely like a suggestion by Marie Antoinette. It may have cost her her head. Perhaps we, too, have lost our heads when we recommend such council. If we were Roman Catholic, there would be precedent. But as Lutherans we understand human sexuality to be God’s good creation not to be limited to procreation. Sex is not just for having children. In the context of commitment and loyalty, it expresses our love. It keeps us out of trouble, it sustains and delights us. (Amen?)

    The immediate question before Lutherans in the Virginia Synod is whether Lutherans pastors should bless same gender unions… This is a question of blessing. I find the place of blessings in our liturgy to be remarkable and wonderful: The pastor blesses us with “The Lord be with you!” And we respond “And also with you!” And we do this how often during the service? We also share the peace: Peace be with you! And the same response. That’s a blessing, too. And at the end of the service we get another blessing! Amen!

    Again, the key question is how we as the church can become a blessing, a community through which God blesses those whom our society curses. How we can be a blessing to persons whose sexuality expresses itself differently. Those who affirm a pastoral blessing of same-gender unions believe that the loyalty, commitment, and mutual affection we find in marriage should be available as well … From that perspective the loving thing–and that is the divine command that trumps all other laws–is that we should establish structures that enable and encourage loving, stable partnerships in the gay community as well as among those of us who are straight.

    My hope and prayer then is that God bless us all, so that in this issue we as a church may become a blessing. Amen.

  25. Donny,

    I am really glad to learn of the work God has done in you, and continues to do. I agree with you that we are called by God to love homosexuals as we are called to love all others, even enemies and the self-righteous.

    However, loving them does not mean we say nothing against their sinful lifestyle. Just as you speak about or against the evils of pornography, why would you refuse to speak about or against the evils of the homosexual lifestyle?

    Remember what our Lord Jesus said: “Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

    We are not condemn the person, but we must pass judgment on the sinful act or behavior. Even our Lord Jesus, who did not condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery, said to her: “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11).

    Just as we must speak against the sin of stealing, murder, adultery, fornication, lying, blasphemy, etc., we must also speak against the sin of homosexual acts.

  26. Donny,

    I am really glad to learn of the work God has done in you, and continues to do. I agree with you that we are called by God to love homosexuals as we are called to love all others, even enemies and the self-righteous.

    However, loving them does not mean we say nothing against their sinful lifestyle. Just as you speak about or against the evils of pornography, why would you refuse to speak about or against the evils of the homosexual lifestyle?

    Remember what our Lord Jesus said: “Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

    We are not condemn the person, but we must pass judgment on the sinful act or behavior. Even our Lord Jesus, who did not condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery, said to her: “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11).

    Just as we must speak against the sin of stealing, murder, adultery, fornication, lying, blasphemy, etc., we must also speak against the sin of homosexual acts.

  27. I agree with LA…we need to show them unconditional love for them as a person but we can’t sit by and say “oh, go ahead and keep sinning…that’s perfectly OK!” Now, I think too many Christians can’t separate the sin from the sinner and that’s probably a large part of the problem.

  28. I agree with LA…we need to show them unconditional love for them as a person but we can’t sit by and say “oh, go ahead and keep sinning…that’s perfectly OK!” Now, I think too many Christians can’t separate the sin from the sinner and that’s probably a large part of the problem.

  29. Donny,

    I was going to tell Jharp in an Myspace message the other day that the XXXChurch guys should start GAYChurch.com, or something to that affect. I think that would really fly in the face of “Christians” and we could truly see the Followers of God who will be left standing.

    That is something the Lord dropped in my spirit a couple of days ago.

    Keep up the good work. You inspired me to start a blog when you were on the Triad podcast.

  30. Donny,

    I was going to tell Jharp in an Myspace message the other day that the XXXChurch guys should start GAYChurch.com, or something to that affect. I think that would really fly in the face of “Christians” and we could truly see the Followers of God who will be left standing.

    That is something the Lord dropped in my spirit a couple of days ago.

    Keep up the good work. You inspired me to start a blog when you were on the Triad podcast.

  31. Funny how people want to pick and choose what scriptures to use in regards to homosexuality. As cliche as it might sound, I always tryo to find an example of “what would Jesus do”. And in the case of homosexuality, Jesus NEVER once mentions homosexuality! Now before you guys all pick up your stones and start demanding a pound of flesh, hear me out. I am in NO way saying that I believe homosexuality is O.K. But what I am saying is this. I will follow Christs example and keep my mouth shut and love them. Oh, and for those of you who do not think he loved them, take another look at Matthew 5 8-13. Thats right. The Centurions servant was his lover! And Christ healed him! Research it for yourself! Pais did not have the many meanings it does today when the story took place. Back then it refered to the younger lover in a same sex relationship!

    Dr. Gagnon certainly does not believe Matthew and Luke told the Centurion and pais story to legitimate gay relationships.

    However, that Dr. Gagnon, the leading antigay apologist admits pais described a partner in a homosexual relationship is encouraging. At least he admits that linguistic fact.

    For six hundred years before Matthew wrote his Gospel, Greek language and literature used pais to mean “a beloved lover” or “the younger partner in a same sex relationship.” That legitimates the probability that the Centurion and pais story deals with an ancient gay relationship…”

    Here, read it for your self.

    “Matthew 8:5-13

    5When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6″Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”
    7Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”

    8The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

    10When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

    13Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.”

    Well, what a strange thing has just happened! Christ healed a HOMOSEXUAL! Befor you eat your foot trying to discount this Biblical truth as false, consider the word of the Evangelical authority on Homosexual apologetics. Dr Robert Gagnon.

    Dr. Gagnon earned his B.A. degree from Dartmouth, his M.T.S. (Master of Theological Studies) from Harvard Divinity School and his Ph.D. (Magna Cum Laude) from Princeton Theological Seminary.
    He is an Associate Professor, with tenure, at Pittsburg Theological Seminary, teaching Greek and New Testament Exegesis.

    He wrote the leading antigay apologetic, The Bible And Homosexual Practice, 520pp, published, 2001.

    Not only is this man an Authority on Gays in the Church. But he is also a noted Greek scholar!

    Bottom Line, Crist healed a homosexual and NEVER said ANYTHING to him about his sexual preferences. Does that condone it? No. But it does give me an example to live by. LOVE THE HOMOSEXUALS!

  32. Funny how people want to pick and choose what scriptures to use in regards to homosexuality. As cliche as it might sound, I always tryo to find an example of “what would Jesus do”. And in the case of homosexuality, Jesus NEVER once mentions homosexuality! Now before you guys all pick up your stones and start demanding a pound of flesh, hear me out. I am in NO way saying that I believe homosexuality is O.K. But what I am saying is this. I will follow Christs example and keep my mouth shut and love them. Oh, and for those of you who do not think he loved them, take another look at Matthew 5 8-13. Thats right. The Centurions servant was his lover! And Christ healed him! Research it for yourself! Pais did not have the many meanings it does today when the story took place. Back then it refered to the younger lover in a same sex relationship!

    Dr. Gagnon certainly does not believe Matthew and Luke told the Centurion and pais story to legitimate gay relationships.

    However, that Dr. Gagnon, the leading antigay apologist admits pais described a partner in a homosexual relationship is encouraging. At least he admits that linguistic fact.

    For six hundred years before Matthew wrote his Gospel, Greek language and literature used pais to mean “a beloved lover” or “the younger partner in a same sex relationship.” That legitimates the probability that the Centurion and pais story deals with an ancient gay relationship…”

    Here, read it for your self.

    “Matthew 8:5-13

    5When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6″Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”
    7Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”

    8The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

    10When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

    13Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.”

    Well, what a strange thing has just happened! Christ healed a HOMOSEXUAL! Befor you eat your foot trying to discount this Biblical truth as false, consider the word of the Evangelical authority on Homosexual apologetics. Dr Robert Gagnon.

    Dr. Gagnon earned his B.A. degree from Dartmouth, his M.T.S. (Master of Theological Studies) from Harvard Divinity School and his Ph.D. (Magna Cum Laude) from Princeton Theological Seminary.
    He is an Associate Professor, with tenure, at Pittsburg Theological Seminary, teaching Greek and New Testament Exegesis.

    He wrote the leading antigay apologetic, The Bible And Homosexual Practice, 520pp, published, 2001.

    Not only is this man an Authority on Gays in the Church. But he is also a noted Greek scholar!

    Bottom Line, Crist healed a homosexual and NEVER said ANYTHING to him about his sexual preferences. Does that condone it? No. But it does give me an example to live by. LOVE THE HOMOSEXUALS!

  33. sweet post Donny i am definitely with you on this one ….

  34. sweet post Donny i am definitely with you on this one ….

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