What You Believe About Homosexuality Doesn’t Matter | In The Parlor


Very well said. Very well said…

The debate over the “rightness or wrongness” of homosexuality has once again been fired up. The appeals to the Biblical passages have been made. The academic rebuttals to the interpretation of those passages has no doubt been referenced. The calls for freedom and tolerance (from both sides) have been shouted…or at least typed out with great gusto. The theological debate (and I am using that term VERY generously here) has been raging all day long, and no doubt will continue to rage in the weeks to come.

But I refuse to engage in it. The way I see it, the time for that debate has long since passed. The stakes are too high now. The current research suggestions that teenagers that are gay are about 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. That puts the percentage of gay teens attempting suicide at about 30-some percent. 1 out of 3 teens who are gay or bisexual will try to kill themselves. And a lot of times they succeed. In fact, Rev. Schaefer’s son contemplated suicide on a number of occasions in his teens.

The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter whether or not you think homosexuality is a sin. Let me say that again. It does not matter if you think homosexuality is a sin, or if you think it is simply another expression of human love. It doesn’t matter. Why doesn’t it matter? Because people are dying. Kids are literally killing themselves because they are so tired of being rejected and dehumanized that they feel their only option left is to end their life. As a Youth Pastor, this makes me physically ill. And as a human, it should make you feel the same way. So, I’m through with the debate.

via What You Believe About Homosexuality Doesn’t Matter | In The Parlor.

 

2 Comments

  1. I am also a youth pastor and can actually speak from experience when it comes to suicidal depression having been their myself in my late teens. In my case, it was my complete bondage to sin and seeking fulfillment in that sin that was driving me to the point where I didn’t want to live anymore, and it was people who loved me and prayed for me while still speaking out boldly against the sin I secretly loved that actually made a difference in my life, the other people that agreed with and promoted what I was in bondage to occasionally made me comfortable but they were powerless to give me any escape from the depression. Please Love and speak truth that can set people free, don’t tell them they are ok if they aren’t
    It is an interesting link, However this youth pastor seems to be somehow deduce that the gay suicide phenomenon is caused mostly by Christians speaking out against sin. He seems to think that somehow if we simply stop labeling sin as sin, then we will save lives. But it’s not merely Christians speaking out against sin that drives these people to take their lives, it is that they feel they simply having nothing to live for. So if we tell them they are just ok and still give them nothing to live for, we aren’t helping at all. Jesus would want us to love these people. But he didn’t come just to save our lives so we could have a few more years down here on earth, he came to save our souls, he came to deliver us from sin in any and every form. So when we tell people that they don’t have any sin, or not to worry about it, how can we expect them to see the need for a Savior? And if we take this approach we become ultimately responsible for loosing their souls for eternity… Very bad move. Saving a mortal life is noble, but it is an eternal soul that God is concerned with. And He entrusted us with responsibility to deliver His truth as he gave it, so that mankind can know his need, and know the remedy. True love will tell the truth even when it hurts. And I for one am thankful my youth pastor never worried about offending me. He was more concerned about sin getting in the way of my relationship with God, than me being comfortable with the message.

    1. It is not about fearing that a person who is suicidal may be offended. It is about helping someone who is in psychological duress before he/she does harm to him/herself.

      And most gay & lesbian youth are in duress in the United States because they are regularly bombarded by family and neighbor messages that tell them they are sinners who will go to hell. They hear, if they are fortunate, that they have feelings that are unnatural and an abomination.

      I say they are “fortunate” because the majority of Christians I have known in my life do not make the fine theological distinction between the person and the sin. So often, these youth hear regularly that they are themselves unnatural abominations. Then they hear from the same folks conflicting notions about God’s love and forgiveness. So they are scared, confused, and self-loathing.

      You bear witness to the effects of this issue yourself. All religious education should be something that makes a growing youth begin to ask him/herself, Can I be better? Yet how often can we look around our culture and see folks who are suicidal over other activities that Christian denominations label as sin? Why would this be the behavior that is upsetting to a young mind?

      The conservative and fundamentalist Christian communities in the United States have so concentrated on this act and a few others having to do with sex that youth are totally mixed up.

      There are so many reasons why a youth might become confused and depressed enough to want to commit suicide. Notions of sinfulness and unworthiness feed into this. Yet how, if Christianity is being taught in a loving way, would the notion of suicide ever get connected to being sinful? What sin in the mind of a youth hearing about the love of Christ would make a person think, better I just kill myself? The only sin that Jesus labels as unforgivable is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

      During the time that I was immersed in the study of theology and scripture, I never read anywhere that a man who lies down with a man or a woman who lies down with a woman has done something that equates to such a blasphemy.

      So how are kids being taught if their depression over the issues of being a gay/lesbian youth lead them to consider suicide as the only answer? They are being taught all the time by the folks around them that they are unnatural abominations whose very existence is a blasphemy.

      This youth pastor is in on the right track because he is working to help the youth rather than continue this debate with them. When they are in the right mind to think for themselves and to make decisions, they can engage in the issue.

      _/|\_

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