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#72065 - 11/12/03 11:45 PM Re: gay christian
Justin113 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
My personal view of the matter is that religion of the fundamentalist kind is essentially a primative practice. The more advanced a culture becomes, the more learned and intelligent, the less need it has for the goverance of a strident, mean spririted doctrine bent on punishing people for excercising natural impulses. What comes naturally and feels pleasing to the soul is what ought to be championed; this includes any sexual activity that doesn't harm the unwilling. The concept of "sin" is trite and unsupported and twisted. "Sin" is what people label their instinctive desires after being taught to hate and fear their own nature. Life should be celebrated, not condemned, we should infuse our time here with pleasure and peace instead of pain and violence. As for sex, whatever gets you off is perfectly healthy and acceptable so long as it harms no one. Anyone who claims otherwise lacks logical support to claim otherwise, and tends to support their fuzzy message by trying to make others feel shameful for their pleasure. What a sick tactic. I say enjoy yourself, and let others enjoy themselves. Then we'll all be happier and on the way to a better more peaceful society.

Just my two pennies.

-Justin


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#72066 - 11/13/03 02:57 AM Re: gay christian
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
I gave up on organized religion when I was sixteen. I was disillusioned earlier. I saw the guy who abused me every time I went to church when I was 11 to 13. He was very pious. The Boy Scout troop was sponsored by a church and a lot of the abuse happened on Scout outings and campouts. I know that it's a bit irrational blaming the church but I just felt that it was not right for me. I think that I am a spiritual person, a compassionate person. I am very non-judgemental lest I get judged myself. I don't know what my sexuality is. I've done a lot of acting out in my life but I loved my wife. Now that she's gone I'm just as confused as ever. But I do know that I can't stand to be around people who are so uncaring and condemning of people who are not exactly like them. My idea of god/higher power/whatever is a loving, inclusive one who knows that everyone is different, that people are affected by things beyond their control, that sometimes people do things that aren't healthy for them, that people are human beings and have human failings.

There's my two cents.

Take good care of yourselves guys,

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#72067 - 11/13/03 11:27 AM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Quote:
Originally posted by Stephen_5:
I know that it's a bit irrational blaming the church...
Steve,

I wonder if it is out of line to blame the church. It makes such huge claims about morality and compassion that I think it practically begs to be held accountable when it doesn't meet its own standards.

Isn't a church supposed to be a sort of it-takes-a-village sort of community? If it isn't, if those people are not thoroughly dedicated to looking out for one another, where in the world can we find such a thing?

Most of the individual Christians I talk to seem right in line with this kind of thing and yet the compassion for one another part of it seems to fall apart over and over again.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72068 - 11/16/03 10:40 AM Re: gay christian
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
Wow...thanks for the response guys. I guess I'll write one though I odn't know how much sense it'll make, as I am tired...so good luck if you're reading this \:\)

Btw, I am not that familiar with this site, but it may help for non-Christians (along with Christians) for some other resources...

http://www.iwgonline.org/interfaith/

Now, as far as the whole notion of separating from the extremist, fundamentalist Christians--I will say that it is the same as those say of the fundamentalist Taliban separated from mainstream Moslems. I do not mean to open a whole can of worms here, but the likes of extreme fundamentalism as Rev. Phelps are people who I can easily separate myself from.

Now, this is not to say, that all fundamentalists go that extreme, but rather, just to point out that it is not as hard as it seems--since everyone has to do that regularly anyway. More moderate fundamentalists (which I guess is an oxymoron--though my boyfriend/partner is technically from a fundamentalist Christian denomindation), separate themselves from Phelps as well.

Also, it really helps to be in a welcoming church, as it really shows you that you are NOT at all alone. Indeed, that community is to whom you belong and you have no need to separate yourself. Now your specific church may delineate itself from other churches, but I leave that to them and just pray. For me, it's just nice to really be able to go to church without having to hear the bigotry.

Furthermore, in cases where I do meet with fundamentalists, I simply ask them...well, do you really know the Bible? I talk to them about what I know from schooling (even before I really came out to myself) about the interpretations, the translations, the authorshiops, etc., That usually silences them as they really, for all their fundamental belief in the Bible, do not KNOW the Bible. They simply repeat was has been told to them by say their parents. In addition, I have done a lot of reading myself on Christian scholars and sermons. Indeed, their words to me are very poweful, which helps when I talk to people about what the Bible really says about homosexuals. Just as important, as a scholar, I tell them about the fraudulent methods of the ex-gay movement, and the words of the medical establishments FOR homosexual families/adoptoins and the like. Lastly, I think one thing that some fundamentalists (who know you well) can really listen to is your heartfelt conscience--I tell them what I've been through and how I was saved as a Christian. I tell them how, as a Christian, I really felt compelled to do this--in fact, I really feel that perhaps God wants serious change in this world...to welcome our homosexual brothers and sisters. At the very least, I remind them of the atrocities I went through in the coming out to sort of appeal to their humanity--as they can relate then that this is by no means a "choice" (why in my right mind would I choose it considering how tough it is?). At the end of the day, I can usually walk away with them at least, giving me the benefit of the doubt : )

Anyay, as I noted before though, the bottom line is that there are more people than it seems [from all sorts of denominations and faiths] that have opened their arms to homosexual persons (much as others have before opened their arms to interracial marriages, etc.,).

This is not say that our road is easy, by ANY means, but that there are many people there--homosexuals and NON-homosexuals--who are practicing their faith fully, welcoming homosexuals. Indeed, I think it is important to reach out to them, as I think, many are even just trying to wrestle with these ideas without even really knowing homosexual persons. I remember meeting this lady from a "welcoming" congregation, saying that she just wanted to come and attend this Evangelical Lutheran conference celebrating the welcoming of homosexuals simply because she just wanted to really know what it is like.

Man...this is long...oh well. I hope that made sense. Point is...reach out to welcoming Christian congregations if you can, it'll certianly show you that you are not alone. Moreover, I think it is truly how we can open the hearts and minds of those who have spoken against us.
_________________________________________
ADDENDUM: I actually wrote this message to one of you, but thought it might help to write it here...

Hey,

I was especially touched by your comments...I will say though that for many of us who are Christians, it helps to have that stability. Moreover, as a Christian, just as others may find it in their interest to condemn homosexuals, I find it in my interest to open the hearts of other Christians to homoesexuals. As I said in my response to everyone post (LOL), there are many welcoming, mainstream congregations out there. I think that they are helpful in the grand scheme of things--especially since I believe they can help those homosexual teens or young to live stable, monogamous lives.

Honestly, I just spoke with my brother yesterday (who is also homosexual but less a Christian), and it bothers me to hear him depressed--as he goes out with 4 boyfriends and does drugs. This is not major perhaps, but more rampant than it seems, in the gay community. In the end, what needs to control that is guidance from people as the Christian community--which aside from some of the community's condemning rhetoric against homosexuls--is really not that bad.

Lastly, I will say that the Christianity IS evolving. The truth is that younger people of today are more open to homosexuals (much like now older people were more open to Elvis than their grandparents). To stay the course and hold on to Christianity is a chance to save it from itself and really make a difference. I don't know if this is a stupid analogy, but people could have given up on their grandparents a long while ago too, but that would have made them as close-minded as ever.

That's just my 2 cents. Take it for what its worth. Thanks.


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#72069 - 11/16/03 08:37 PM Re: gay christian
gg1978 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/30/01
Posts: 14
Wow, it's been a long time since i've posted here last, but this thread has lots of interesting conversation...

I just wanted to say that i've thought about this a LOT since late 2001. I've not acknowledged God's existance or gone to church for over a year now, and i don't feel any different. Funny thing is i knew it was coming, before i even thought about accepting i was gay.

I'd like to believe in God, to be honest. I just can't believe though, because of what God is supposed to be. It made no sense to continue believing, so i became an agnostic.

I've thought of going to a gay accepting congregation about 30 miles away, but i've never gotten around to actually going. Perhaps i should consider going there, at least once..


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#72070 - 11/16/03 09:27 PM Re: gay christian
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
I can't change the way I am and if churches impose their self will on me and have their god condemn me, so be it. I don't have a use for them or a need to subscribe to their way of thinking.

The God I know, is one of compassion, love, understanding all of which the world has turned their back on today.

I did not choose to be gay. It is not something that is easy for me because society turns their noses down on those of us who are gay. I can't hold hands with my partner out in public because I may just be beaten and killed for it. I can't talk openly about my partner in the way others can talk about their husbands/wives because of what may happen to me. I am not accepted in this society with respect to insurance, legal matters, and other issues in society - all because my life is different. Even though it is hard for me to accept, I was born this way. I can't change how I was created. I tried to fit in to society and churches the way they wanted me to, only to be frustrated, depressed, suicidal. I now have been accepting myself for who I am and my life has been the best it has ever been for me.

I've now been with my partner for 4 years and we have grown together and within ourselves as well. We love and cherish each other no matter what some religions preach or what society says. To us, we are who we are and it is hard to change something which you are.

There is more to life that I have found than being caught up in how churches seem to be the designated spoke's person for God. ONe of these days, I think God is going to come down and file lawsuits against so many religions for many speak in libel and slander of God.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#72071 - 11/17/03 08:52 AM Re: gay christian
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
Hey,

Just wanted to drop a quick note, as I have to run...but hey, I agree with you guys. I do believe in a God of compassion and all that. I am not by any means forcing or pressuring anyone to go to church or whatever...Certainly, I am mindful of the hypocrisy and the like of many churches.

My point was just that there is a growing community of Christian gays and welcoming non-gays, however, and that for those (like me who are young, are new to coming out, and may have grown up in conservative backgrounds), there is INDEED a community out there for support (hence, the links above in the 1st post). I mean we all know what it's like to feel alone, right? Well, this stuff has really helped me--at the very least, it's not too much of a shock. It's bad enough when you're grappling with abuse and homosexuality (with all their stigma). It's nice to be able to hold on and even build upon something that has helped you in the past, rather than throw it out unnecessarily thinking that these things can never be reconciled. In fact, not only can these things be reconciled, but as I noted, there is a community out there to whom you can reach out. Also, on a political sense, I think it is the strengthening of these types of communities that will continue to dispel the hatred that is out there (as the Bible and religious doctrines can no longer be logically used to discriminate against us). Even in a non-churchy sense, its just nice (for someone again new to the scene) to see gay parents holding their child's hand at church and all that. Does that make sense?

Anyway, that's it. My two cents. Gotta run, and thanks for your comments.


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#72072 - 11/18/03 11:06 AM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
I think you are an optimist and an active one changing perceptions one conversation at a time. I think your strength may be in thinking of it in those terms.

I, on the other hand, think of the endless, numberless, fruitless and hurtful conversations that I would have to instigate or be a part of if I tried to truly be part of a Christian community.

I guess I have always resented being pushed into the role of educator and resist it and so separate myself not only from groups which reject me but also from individuals who have not already educated themselves.

My rights as a human being and the fact that gayness is a natural phenomenon are not a matter of opinion or belief. To paraphrase Thoreau, people can persist in the ridiculous belief that the sky is green, it is still plainly blue. Is it my job to convince them of the obvious?

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72073 - 11/18/03 06:58 PM Re: gay christian
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
Thanks Brayton for your replies (I read your private one as well). You make valid points, and I cannot and do not plan to force any one to have the difficult task of convincing everyone the obvious.

However, I am a deeply sympathetic person. In my "regular life," I try my best to help those in need...including the poor and the like. I am an optimist perhaps that I can change the world--in "regular matters"--I have met with some success, if I say so myself.

Now regarding the homosexuality issue and Christianity...Personally, I am as outraged as you about the hypocrisy and the loudness of some so-called "Christians." Even now, I am still reeling from this uncomfortability with my sexuality and people. It is extremely tough, and frustrating.

In fact, it is precisely because of that frustration, that I am trying to point out what may not be so obvious: there are many Christians out there who ARE for homosexuals. There are many opening congregations (and some of them are even actively trying to campaign for the homosexual movement). While they are arguably strengthening, they need support from the gay community, and the gay community needs to know they exist. Once other more conservative Christians realize that there are Christians who do not believe what Phelps does, they do start to open their mind a little to the truth. It's just a small thing, but slowly, but surely.

Now in terms of the gay community...Right now, we are fighting on a simply legal front, but there are those with such deep seated prejudice that could care less about it regardless of what the law says--to them the Bible is everything. Until they are shown that they are many who believe in the Bible and also believe in our rights as homosexual persons (and God's love for us), many more like me will suffer. It is painful still to come out, and I still do not know how to balance everything.

I know that perhaps many of you have fought the good fight before, and have grown tired. Trust me, I know how it feels, but I am not asking you to fight. We have much to deal with already. Rather, I am asking just for those who are willing (especially those who may have been part of a Christian community), to join or interact with the "open" Christian community--one that is growing in numbers, but still needs support and our stories. I mean it is like if you have children--why bother to tell them anything? It's the only way to change things.

Right now, with things as the Lawrence case, Canada, and now, Massachusetts, we are on the cusp of something that could really help us for good. Indeed, there are those in the Christian community who have never even known a homosexual, but for homosexual rights simply on the basis of reason and "REAL" Christian love. As the debates heat up, I would imagine that those who know them and may be part of other, close-minded, Christian communities, that they will be swayed to the stereotypes once more. I know because some of my friends have indeed NEVER known a homosexual (until I revealed to them that "I" was)...I can only imagine what would have been told of them about the homosexual community by some of my so-called "friends."

Indeed, it is disturbing to see polls that recently come out, as from Pew Research, regarding whether people think people can change their sexuality. The half/half viewpoint to me is atrocius, considering how clear the medical community has been that re-orientation is damaging and does not work. It convinces me that the half thinking that homosexuals can change their sexuality NEVER even met a homosexual, because a homosexual would have easily told them that this is NOT a choice. If we continue to keep our silence, especially when there are people out there willing to support us, the vocal extremist conservatives will convince our friends of the wrong things. Certainly, they will try to have our legislators enact damaging laws.

I KNOW this is the case because I even recently spoke with a legislator's aide regarding this issue (how some people are calling in to try to ban gay marriages--of course, he said that it would never happen in NJ to ban gay marriages...still, it shows how organized the extreme, conservative, Christian right is). I recently told them, however, that there is a growing Christian community that will speak for gay marriages if they so choose to work with them. There are P-FLAG's and many other groups as well.

BOTTOM LINE: There is a new, growing Christian network out there willing to support us fight this fight--we need not be alone and neither should they. It does not have to be that way, certainly.


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#72074 - 11/19/03 12:48 PM Re: gay christian
Bigmac Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/02/03
Posts: 4
I am a pastor in a United Methodist Church that was sexually abused by my older brother(s) and an uncle for a number of years. Because of that abuse I still struggle with homosexual feels and attractions toward men and boys.
I am also a product of the 60's where the montra was; "if it feels good do it."
I am now a 55 year old man who has struggled with the different issues surrounding homosexuality all of my life and I only know one thing.
If God and the Bible says that a certain behavior or attitude is tabo-it is always for my own good and for the good of society.
I have found out the hard way over and over again that I am a fallen creature living in a fallen world and but for the love, the forgiveness, the salvation of Christ I would still be condoning my self destructive behaviors, be they, homosexuality, greed, pride or all the other affliction that the evil of this world has cursed me with.
Believe me I hurt every moment of every day for those who are engaged in self destructive behaviors, because I often find myself engaged in them as well.

Bigmac


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