First, I would like to thank everyone for the responses I have received from the original article. So many of you have sent such heart-warming responses and thus far, I have not received a single negative response.
Many of you have inquired about the response I received from Greg so here it is. I talked to Greg briefly in person after he received my letter. It was a very pleasant and comfortable conversation. He said he had an article that he would like for me to read with some opposing views. He asked that I, too, read it with an open mind and open heart.
The xeroxed sheets were from a magazine article and I’m sorry that I do not know what magazine it was taken from. The name of the article is “Awaiting the Redemption of Our Bodies: The Witness of Scripture Concerning Homosexuality” by Richard B. Hays.
While some of the views in this article are in opposition to the views in “A Letter to Louise”, many of them are in agreement.
It is the story of a man named Gary, a Yale graduate and friend of the author, who died of AIDS in 1990. Gary grappled with his homosexuality for more than twenty years, experiencing it as a compulsion and an affliction.
Knowing that he was going to die soon, Gary wanted to learn all he could about homosexuality and how it was viewed in the Bible. As the author says, “Although Gary was not trained as a biblical exegete, he knew the difference between sensitive readings and tendentious ones.
Gary read several books advocating the acceptance of homosexuality in the church, but in the end, he came away disappointed, believing that the authors of these books, despite their good intentions, had imposed a wishful interpretation on the biblical passages.
I read this article with an open mind and open heart several times. It only reinforced my belief that God created every single person to be who they are and I can not believe God would create a person homosexual to live out their life alone and celibate or to live the way it is natural for them, only to be condemned to Hell.
The following is the email that I sent to Greg. We plan to meet and have more discussions on this highly sensitive subject, but so far we have not been able to do that.
I have read the article you gave me, not once, but several times. I have
read it with an open heart and an open mind and I agree that it is very
thought-provoking. I have it lying here side by side with the article I sent
you, along with my Bible. I certainly am no bible scholar nor a biblical
exegete (as a matter of fact, I should also include my Merriam Webster in my
study material that I have surrounded myself with).
I consider myself an infant in my spiritual journey. I cannot quote you but
very few verses in the Bible. The very idea that I had the courage to engage
a man with your credentials in this very controversial subject is nothing
short of miraculous in itself. I’m sure any number of my family and friends
would have to agree that it must have come from some divine intervention.
Please indulge me as I try to explain the conclusions I have come to during
my intense studying and praying on this information that I have been
When I first started reading about Gary, I could have cried. My heart truly
ached for this poor man who endured such agony and turmoil trying to be what
he thought he needed to be in order to be a good Christian and to serve his
Lord. I imagined Jesus crying, too. I know that Gary died in 1990 and I
wondered, if he were still alive today if his ideas and beliefs might have
been different. I wondered if he had the chance to know that scientific
studies have shown that autopsies on the brains of gay men have shown that
the hypothalamus is distinctively different than that of a straight man. I
was happy that Gary had good friends to comfort him in his last days, but
felt so sorry for him that if there were a true life partner out there that
he truly loved but had to turn his back on to be true to his beliefs, well,
how sad for both of them! Would Jesus have wanted this?
Here are the things that stood out to me in the article:
First, I see no reason to even look into the Old Testament since many
prohibitions and commandments have been deemed obsolete and disregarded as
Reading Romans 1: 18-32: I see nowhere here that even implies anything about
a man in a loving homosexual relationship doing what is innately natural to
him. What I see here is lust. Lust being the abomination. I see it as
heterosexual men and women who turn away from God and participate in
perverted, unnatural, lustful sexual acts… People full of greed, evil,
wickedness, depravity,envy, murder,deceit and malice. None of these
adjectives describe my son nor any other gay relative or friend that I know.
This author tells us what the aim of Romans 1 is and is not. He tells us
what Paul “means” by what he is saying. How does he know this? He further
states “If Paul were shown the poll results today of the normative ethical
deliberation showing that 10% of people in the US were of homosexual
orientation that he would reply sadly, “Indeed, the power of sin is rampant
in the world!” I had a lot of respect for the author up to this point, but I
found this statement to be arrogant and presumptuous. Maybe that is due to
my infantile understanding of the Bible, but regardless, this is how I saw
I think we can all agree that the church is not a community of sinless
perfection. We are all sinners, no argument there. The idea of whether
homosexuality is a sin or not is a very complex issue. People will argue
this till the end of time. For myself, I feel even more assured that it is
not a sin. I believe people are born this way and I do not believe our
loving God would create a person to be denied the love and companionship of
another human being that we all desire.
I remember hearing this question one time and I can’t remember exactly how
it was said, but something to the effect of “Would you prefer to believe
Jesus died for our sins and then find out someday this was just a myth, or
would you prefer to not believe that Jesus died for our sins only to find
out someday that it was true? Who would be the big loser here?
That is much the way I believe about this issue. Would I rather believe that
homosexuality is not a sin, that gays and lesbians should be accepted and
affirmed by the church, only to find out someday that I was wrong? Or would
I rather believe that it is a sin, and they should only be welcomed into the
church, but not really accepted and affirmed, where we could pray for them
and with them, where they might change, and live out their lives abstaining,
where we might love the sinner but hate the sin, only to find out someday
that I was wrong?
I’ll choose the former.
Thank you so much, Greg, for letting me share my thoughts. Thank you for
your time, your kind words, and for giving me this article that made me look
even deeper into this issue. My heart seems even fuller now and
peacefulness surrounds me.
May God bless,