Are LGBT People Being Damaged By Traditional Christian Teaching?

I have always held a soft spot in my heart for the LGBT community—which was once my community—and have labored vigorously to write about sexuality and faith with gentleness and respect. I’ve never hammered down on gays with hellfire and brimstone; I’ve pled with them to receive the love of Jesus and relinquish their sins. I’ve never demonized people who experience same sex attraction or gender dysphoria; I’ve been clear that every human being is corrupt and in desperate need of transformation. I have publicly criticized the whole “pray the gay away” mess, being honest with my readers about my own ongoing experience of same-sex attraction. And I have continually called professing Christians to repent of their fear and hatred of the LGBT community.

Nevertheless, many voices in this community sharply declare me a self-loathing bigot. They say the words I write about faith and sexuality are perhaps the vilest, most damaging thing a struggling LGBT person could run across. They tell me that my “good news” is a damnable message that has led thousands of LGBT teens into depression and even to commit suicide. They say that I have gay blood on my hands—that the brand of Christianity I promote is directly responsible for the inner turmoil that has led so many gays to their self-inflicted deaths.

I want to spend the rest of this article speaking directly to these people—to LGBT men, women, and allies who despise the Christian message and vilify those who proclaim it. Have you ever pondered the possibility that your message may be the damaging one? Have you ever considered that it could be your beliefs that are wrong and harmful to people who experience same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria? You say my beliefs are flimsy because they are informed by a 2,000-year-old book. But what informs your beliefs? I know you say your worldview is grounded in biology and science—but is it really? You defend the moral goodness of homosexual behavior by arguing that a gay person is biologically hardwired to be attracted to the same sex. You say the gay person must live according to their supposed biological “wiring” in order to live a full and healthy life. Yet, when it comes to transgenderism, you say people should live in contradiction to their biological anatomy in order to live a full and healthy life. Maybe it’s just me, but that seems inconsistent.

Can you and I just admit that, at the end of the day, we both believe what we believe because it feels right to us? You look at the I decide what is best for me message of postmodern individualism, and it resonates with you. I look at the God decides what is best for me message of the age-old Scriptures, and it resonates with me. Personally, I think there is a plethora of objective evidence that supports the legitimacy of the Christian faith. But for the sake of this argument, I’m willing to say that you and I both believe what we believe simply because it’s what feels right to us. So, if we’re standing on equal ground as far as our reasons for believing what we believe, how can you assume with absolute certainty that I’m wrong and you’re right? There isn’t any objective, beyond-the-shadow-of-a-doubt “proof” that your beliefs are correct, is there? I know you don’t think there’s any chance you could be wrong, but just entertain this self-loathing bigot for a couple of minutes.

Let’s say there is a God, and, for our own good and flourishing, he has set boundaries around human sexuality. Let’s say “sin” isn’t just a figment of the religious imagination, but there really is something inside of every person that inclines us toward evil and self-destruction. Let’s say homosexual desires and gender dysphoria are byproducts of the sin within us, and as we indulge these distorted thoughts and desires, we intensify the sickness of our souls. If these things are true—and I believe they are—isn’t the message you propagate the harmful one?

When you encourage people to embrace and satisfy their homosexual desires (sin), aren’t you the one pushing people toward a “lifestyle” that is destructive to their overall wellbeing? When you encourage people to define themselves according to their gender dysphoria, aren’t you the one pushing them away from what is good (God) and right (the way he designed them) and toward increased confusion and dysfunction? If the God of the Bible is the true God and the content of the Bible is legitimate, aren’t you the one who is persuading people away from vitality, joy, and freedom—and perhaps fueling depression, substance abuse, and even suicide in the LGBT community?

And let’s say the cure for the human condition is found in Jesus. Let’s say he sacrificed himself to cleanse us from the guilt of sin, break us free from sin’s dominion, and, one day, free us from the presence of sin. Let’s say that cherishing Jesus, basking in his love for us, and denying our fleshly inclinations is where the most robust vitality, joy, and freedom are found. Isn’t the message of Christianity, then, the healing message? When followers of Jesus encourage LGBT persons to trust in Jesus and walk in ongoing repentance, are we not encouraging them to live in a way that is beneficial to their overall wellbeing? If separation from God is the deepest cause of all brokenness—including depression, addiction, and suicidal tendencies—isn’t being reconciled to God through Jesus exactly what the depressed, the addicted, and the suicidal need most?

I can only speak for myself, but living in submission to the Savior and enjoying his love for me have brought greater peace, happiness, and emotional stability into my life than embracing my homosexual feelings ever did. Do I have to resist strong desires on a daily basis? Yes. Is it sometimes extremely difficult? Sure. But doing so hasn’t been the doom and gloom experience many allege it to be. I don’t spend my days obsessing about same-sex desires and feeling miserable because I can’t pursue them; I spend my days obsessing about Jesus and feeling thankful that I get to pursue him! Living in relationship with a good and loving God has been a far more fulfilling experience than living according to my broken propensities. Believing and obeying the gospel have not caused me to be depressed or addicted; I was depressed and addicted when I was rejecting the gospel and embracing my sinful desires. Rather, walking in faith and repentance has set me free from depression and addiction!

I’m not asking you to admit, right now, that you’re wrong and all the Jesus stuff is right. I’m just asking you to begin considering the possibility. Could the message you think is so harmful actually be the message of healing that the LGBT community needs most?

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  • Kathy Snyder

    Thank you for being so transparent in your struggle and in your desire to please God and not man. Until God transforms the heart, people are going to hate your message. But we all need to be faithful messengers of the good news, with love and compassion, because we don’t know who God will save or when.

  • Brandon Burrell

    What a beautiful post Matt. I almost have tears in my eyes writing this. I, personally, am grateful for your ministry. I know many others are too. You remain in my prayers.

  • Andrea

    Thanks Matt for being so transparent and unbiased. I’m so grateful Jesus has brought your voice to the Christian and LGBT community alike.

  • Lyle Nelson

    Matt, I wish I had seen this article back in the days when I was in the gay lifestyle some 13-14 years ago. I think it would have turned my thoughts in the right direction more quickly. I struggled and struggled and struggled with whether homosexuality was right in God’s eyes. I so wanted it to be, and so I went ahead and pursued it, but there was often this “still, small voice” that I now know was the Holy Spirit trying to get my attention. Over time, that voice became louder and louder.

    Initially, I bought into the lies of pro-gay theology that involved supposed mistranslations of the homosexuality-condemning Biblical passages. I was not a Bible scholar, particularly in the original Biblical languages, so who was I to know for certain who was right? And somehow the idea that marriage and sex was to be restricted to one man married to one woman was never addressed in these critiques.

    So I sat myself down in front of my computer and began to research the arguments for and against the acceptability of homosexuality. I basically set aside the Biblical arguments, feeling I was unqualified to judge between the two alternative views. But I looked at things like the incidence of various diseases transmitted by certain homosexual activity (other than HIV). I remember listening to a sermon on the radio where a pastor talked about having a conversation with his 9-year old daughter about homosexuality; the daughter had looked at a couple of anatomically-correct plastic male dolls and innocently observed “But the parts don’t fit!” The wisdom of an innocent child!

    And I thought about the amount of brokenness I had seen in the gay world, remembering various gatherings where I thought “I don’t belong with any of these people!” Of course everyone is broken in some way, but this seemed to be extreme. “Gay”, other than in a very false-mask way, seemed to be the last term I would use to describe these people.

    And putting this altogether, in what I can only describe as a “Holy Spirit goose bump moment”, I KNEW what I needed to do, even though I really couldn’t explain exactly why. The still small voice had become too loud, and I knew I had to obey it and walk away, and so I did.

    As you said, Matt, the road of celibacy is not always an easy one to travel either. But anytime I am tempted to throw the towel in and give up, I remember the things I outlined above and think “I can’t give up; I know too much now!”

    • Barb

      God bless you!!! So glad you are finally FREE from that destructive life!

  • what sort of drug is milo on

    “Have you ever pondered the possibility that your message may be the damaging one? ”

    AKA “no John, it is YOU who are the zombie!!1!”

    Look, the difference between you and me is that I’m not trying to impose my beliefs upon you. Yes, I think your attitude is harmful and most likely isn’t beneficial for your mental health, but I don’t advocate passing laws that make it illegal for you to disavow/disengage from “the gay lifestyle” if that’s what you want. People like you, on the other hand, DO want to impose your beliefs on me when you try to make gay marriage illegal and fight against anti-discrimination/bullying measures protecting LGBT people and lament decisions like Lawrence v. Texas. (Granted, I don’t recall if you’re against the last two but I do remember your salty blog post after Obergefell.)

    Please stop with this disingenuous false equivalency.

    • Thereals

      Because we see the big picture… the gay marriage ruling (not law btw) is a symptom of a huge, huge problem: that is, our society that has decided it is more righteous than God (the great bigot). And it doesn’t just stop at the altar of private decisions– it creeps into all areas of life: it’s what can get us fired, what can get us sued into losing our businesses, and even what is taught to young impressionable youths in our schools. This last one is the worst because it goes beyond persecution of ourselves. As Jesus said, it is better for us if a millstone is hung around our neck and we be thrown into the sea, than that we should cause one of these little ones to stumble. Truly this is the generation fits the description in Romans 1 by “approving of those who practice” homosexuality. The key word is approval. That is what these laws are really about.

    • Judy Ann Lyoness

      I think you are confusing the message of the gospel with the message of making laws to curb sin. For example, while alcohol is not good for your health in large amounts, banning it never did any good. Likewise, banning sexual activity on any level never changed anyone for the better or the worse. People do what they want to, and moralizing in our laws only puts added burdens on people. Jesus never tried to change laws. He changes hearts. That is why Jesus came, and why he hung on the cross to offer reconciliation to God. While I think that changing laws to allow things that violate God’s laws would be good for society, I do not want to see a return to law. Instead, I concentrate on seeing people saved, healed, and delivered. So did Jesus.

    • thatguyoverthere

      Marriage(man and woman) is equal. If you want to be with you’re gay partner, most western countries accept that. I’m against calling it a marriage as a same-sex couple isn’t the same as an opposite sex couple. While I’m against homosexuality, I think gay couples should be recognised and in quite a few countries, they can be, through civil unions.

    • Adam Jenson

      Funny how imposing gay marriage on a nation is NOT forcing a belief on someone but the opposite is. Funny how the forced labor (i.e. slavery) of having a baker make a cake for a gay wedding is not forcing a belief on someone but the opposite is.

  • Taylor

    “Could the message you think is so harmful actually be the message of healing that the LGBT community needs most?”

    Frankly, I find nothing healing in believing in a message that you can not possible prove, is even true.

    Live your life however you want, believe your unprovable beliefs, just don’t expect everyone to hop aboard your little faith train.

    When you can actually logically explain why an ALL KNOWING GOD, knowingly creates people that he KNOWS will be gay, when he doesn’t have to create them at all, then maybe you’ll get somewhere in attempting to convince me the that “message” you want me to heed is actually worthwhile.

    Until then, not so much. I simply will not be controlled by a belief based on faith as opposed to fact!

    • Bill Bushey

      I’m confused on a couple of points here:

      1.) If you insist on provable evidence, then why would you support homosexuality? I mean, they say they’re “born that way,” but to this day, there’s no science to prove that. In fact, there’s science that proves it’s NOT hereditary.

      2.) Segueing into my second question, if people aren’t born gay, then they have to have picked it up sometime during their lives, so it becomes clear that God doesn’t MAKE people gay. He didn’t make us into puppets, either. Why bother creating people and then control their lives and their decisions? Wouldn’t you resent God so much more if you KNEW He was keeping you from making your own choices in life? God’s not cruel, because He left CLEAR instructions on how to live the right way, but He also gave us the free will to choose whether or not we want to follow His advice.

      • Taylor

        “If you insist on provable evidence, then why would you support homosexuality? I mean, they say they’re “born that way,” but to this day, there’s no science to prove that. In fact, there’s science that proves it’s NOT hereditary.”

        I am my own proof. I know for a fact that I did not choose to be attracted to someone of the same sex. If you say that I chose my sexual orientation, it is up to you to prove it. It’s not up to me to disprove it.

        “Segueing into my second question, if people aren’t born gay, then they have to have picked it up sometime during their lives, so it becomes clear that God doesn’t MAKE people gay. He didn’t make us into puppets, either. Why bother creating people and then control their lives and their decisions?”

        LOLOL….your sexual orientation isn’t something you “pick up” like the flu!! It’s not communicable. At least mine wasn’t. I’m pretty sure, I never passed on being gay to any one else.

        If it’s something that can be “picked up” where did the first homosexual come from, and where did he “pick it up”??

        If your god is all knowing, then he most certainly did make people who he knew were going to be gay, even before they existed. You don’t get to pick and choose when your god is all knowing and when he isn’t. He knew that I was going to be gay, he had the choice to not allow for my creation, if he didn’t like the fact that I was going to be gay, but he allowed me to be born instead.

        Which leads me to believe that 1) he doesn’t care that I’m gay, or 2) he purposefully created me, knowing that I would end up in hell.

        Why on earth would I worship a being that creates people who he knows are going to be tortured for all eternity when he doesn’t have to create them at all, and absolutely no one would know the difference?

        If your all knowing god purposefully creates people that he knows are going to end up being tortured…then your god is not loving, kind or benevolent. He’s a sadist!

        “Wouldn’t you resent God so much more if you KNEW He was keeping you from making your own choices in life? God’s not cruel, because He left CLEAR instructions on how to live the right way, but He also gave us the free will to choose whether or not we want to follow His advice.”

        If I didn’t know that I was able to make choices….why would I resent your ridiculous god for not allowing me to do so?

        You can only resent not having something, if you realize you don’t have it. If no one had choice, then no would would know that choice even existed. Problem solved!

        • Barb

          Actually, homosexual behavior CAN be “picked up” – Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (I Corinthians 15:33) The sexual revolution in this country that started decades ago has resulted in a breakdown of previous codes of moral decency. Thus, cultural influences have created a moral free-fall that is spiraling out of control. It’s everywhere! On TV and in movies especially. Young people are easily influenced and constantly bombarded with ungodly messages about their sexuality.

          • Taylor

            And where did the 1st homosexual, pick up this behavior??

          • Barb

            From the sin nature that is within every human being. Without God’s mercy and intervention, we all are lost. That’s why Jesus came – to seek and save the lost. Lostness is in all of us and manifests itself in various wrong behaviors, not just sexual acts.

          • Taylor

            Sorry, but that’s not “picking it up” that’s being born with it.

            So, you’ve actually made the case that gay people are born that way! Thanks!

            And you continue to ignore that your ALL KNOWING GOD knows who is going to accept Jesus, before he ever creates them. If he doesn’t know this, then he is NOT all knowing.

            Is he, or isn’t he?

          • Barb

            Yes, we are all born with a sin nature. But there are also strong cultural influences that factor in as well. When I was a teen, I hung out with the wrong crowd and did some foolish things like getting drunk, etc. I knew in my heart they were wrong, but did them anyway. That did not excuse my behavior, but the more I did them, the more excuses I made for myself.

            That’s what gays are doing by demanding marriage rights and balking at anyone who dares to disagree with their lifestyle. They are endlessly justifying themselves and demanding the right to continue practicing what they know in their hearts is wrong. The Supreme Court may have decided by one vote – due to political pressure – to grant that right last year, but the Supreme Judge of the Universe is the One to whom even the distinguished judges on that court will answer to someday.

          • Taylor

            I have no interest in your life history…I don’t care who you hung out with or what you did.

            The idea that you think I have to justify myself to you, borders on the ludicrous, why in the world would I have to justify my existence or my sexual orientation, or what consenting adult I choose to have sex with TO YOU???

            You can disagree with my so called “lifestyle” all you want. I DO NOT CARE..you aren’t the first and you won’t be the last! What you can’t do is insist that the laws of this country that are based on our Constitution, should be able to discriminate against me, because you don’t like who I’m sexually attracted to. Your church can discriminate against me, all it wants. But, my country doesn’t have that option. The government has to follow the Constitution not the laws of a being that you can not prove even exists.

            I’m not worried about the supposed “Supreme Judge of the Universe” because I don’t believe such a being exists.

            And you have absolutely ZERO proof that anyone will have to answer to any God, someday. All you have is a BELIEF that that will happen and a belief is NOT the same thing as proof.

            Knock yourself out, I don’t care if that’s what you believe, as long as you don’t expect me to believe it too.

    • Noel

      Hi Taylor,
      I am not sure why people assume following Jesus has nothing to do with facts. I suppose people have heard Christians say “just have faith” one too many times, instead of admitting they don’t have the answers to every question (after all, who could?). I think my faith stems from both my experiences and facts. Following Jesus is like eating. Fully understanding it is impossible until you have experienced it for yourself. You can learn about food, smell it, touch it, but not until you actually put food inside your stomach do you understand eating.
      We live our lives based in things that are not absolutely proven true. Many times, science even has to retract what it once said, because new evidence surfaces. But we have faith in these theories because they match our experiences with life.
      Personally, I believe God created people he knew would be gay for the same reason he created everyone. Compared to God’s holiness, we all screw-up in many ways; we are ALL at fault. But God wants us to have the free will to choose or reject him. He created you, he created me, because he loves us. And he wants us to choose to love him, so he is giving us a chance.
      Also, if God is really in control of the big-picture, he can work through people who are not Christians to accomplish his plans. Because the Bible says we are all made in his image, we are all capable of reflecting God’s goodness, his kindness, patients, love… I believe everyone is here for a reason.
      PS–If you want a resource about logically proving the existence of a Creator, without bringing in religion, CS Lewis does it remarkably well in the beginning of “Mere Christianity.”

      • Taylor

        “Personally, I believe God created people he knew would be gay for the same reason he created everyone. ”

        Which really doesn’t answer the question. Why create something that is an abomination to you, and who you know will be condemned for all eternity to suffer in hell, when you don’t have to create it at all? It’s not like an all knowing god, doesn’t know who’s going to end up in hell, BEFORE they take their first breath.

        If you want to worship a god that would do such things, knock yourself out. But I prefer not to worship sociopaths.

        Your god knows how we are going to use this supposed “FREE WILL” before he ever allows for our creation. If he doesn’t then he is NOT all knowing. So, which is it…he he all knowing or is he not?

        LOL – C.S. Lewis is the platitude king. No thanks, I’ve read more C.S. Lewis that anyone should have to read.

    • Liveth

      “AKA “no John, it is YOU who are the zombie!!1!”‘

      “Live your life however you want, believe your unprovable beliefs, just
      don’t expect everyone to hop aboard your ‘little faith train’.”

      This is something I see 99% of the time, even with close friends who prefer same-sex relationships. They either quickly turn on you with intense dislike, get sarcastic or rude. It’s the same across continents I see.

      And no, I’m not not speaking from experience and from a bubble in my head. I’m speaking from experience, I’m only lucky to have gotten out when my conscience wasn’t dead to this wrong. So I know. I also turned defensive and argumentative when faced with the truth. Adam did, Eve, did…it’s human nature.

      What’s my point here? Let’s make our point without trying hard to belittle someone else’s, even if they’ve done that to yours. It’s called being mature, calm and put together. The world needs it more than anything else these days.

      “When you can actually logically explain why an ALL KNOWING GOD, knowingly creates people that he KNOWS will be gay, when he doesn’t have to create them at all, then maybe you’ll get somewhere in attempting to convince me the that “message” you want me to heed is actually worthwhile.”

      I think you should read the bible sometime, if anything, it makes for fun reading and getting a little perspective on why humans are the way they are. God didn’t make robots unfortunately, as much as he could, he wanted and still wants people who would love him for who he is and not what he gives.

      You wouldn’t want to voodoo (I’m from the African continent and it does happen, my grandpa was a first hand example, but that’s another story all together) someone into loving you I’m sure. It’s never the same thing when they love you for you and all the junk you carry.

      That’s more than anything one area where we were made in God’s image.

      Now, I figure that God knew Adam and Eve would fall into sin still, he kind of held out hoping they’d stick with him the whole 9 yards. Now that they didn’t stick with him and sinned, our very natures are sinful. It cannot be helped, it’s like impurity in a solid mineral like gold, it cannot be helped but needs going through the fire for a really long period of time to get rid of every impurity.

      And nobody said getting put through a furnace was fun.

      “When you can actually logically explain why an ALL KNOWING GOD,
      knowingly creates people that he KNOWS will be gay”

      For some people, it’s preferring same-sex relationships, for others, it’s being a serial womanizer aka fornicator, for others it’s stealing, gossiping…it’s all sin, none greater than the other. So it’s not about ‘creating people he knows will be, as you call it, gay’, it’s the same sinful nature manifesting in different ways.

      God exists outside of time, he created time itself; so the ‘creation’ of human beings through reproduction is part of what has been etched into the time warp he’s created (watch the Matrix for further elucidation). There are laws, example, you jump up, you’ll come down, you sow a seed, you get a yield, you do good, you get good. There are however anomalies, and this is where sometimes the spiritual, and maybe an advanced knowledge of the physical (e.g, knowledge on how to make dessert sand fertile for planting) comes to play. The knowledge is there within that time warp, you just have to find it.

      So God does not create someone he knows will be gay, your creation via reproduction is etched in time. He’s only hoping you’ll find knowledge of the spiritual and come to love him.

      “when he doesn’t have to create them at all, then maybe you’ll get somewhere in attempting to convince me the that “message” you want me to heed is actually worthwhile.”

      Matt can’t convince you, it’s not his job, he’ll fail. Only the God’s spirit can however, the only thing God can’t do is change a man’s mind. God will try, but he’s not an enemy who’ll beat you into submission (this is also a point to note for all those churches making same-sex couples miserable by cursing on them/all those governments throwing them in jail. You give more power to the Resistance when you try to wipe them out – blacks, Jews, slaves…plus it’s a sin).

      If Matt’s beliefs are total shambles and he finds out that there is in fact, no God when he dies, he really won’t have lost much, just his enjoyment of what he used to term freedom. But, if he decides that there isn’t and he dies and finds out there is, then, well…

      • Taylor

        If you do not like how I respond, that’s fine…but I’m not going to alter my responses to suit your delicate sensibilities.

        “I think you should read the bible sometime, if anything, it makes for fun reading and getting a little perspective on why humans are the way they are. God didn’t make robots unfortunately, as much as he could, he wanted and still wants people who would love him for who he is and not what he gives.”

        LOL…so typical. Anyone who disagrees with a Christian, just needs to read the bible. Well…SURPRISE! I spent the first 30 years of my life attending Sunday School and Church and Choir Practice and Vacation Bible School and Wednesday Night Youth Fellowship. I still have the bible that I was presented for 5 years perfect attendance at Sunday School. So, your pathetic claim that all I need to do is read the bible, is utter BS!

        As long as you claim that your god is all knowing, then you have to admit that your god knows, who is going to “love” him before he ever creates them. Which means that he knowingly creates people that he knows are going to end up in hell, because they either don’t believe in his existence, or because they are gay, or because, they just don’t LOVE him. It’s a bit counter productive to create people that you know aren’t going to love you, if love is what you want.

        “Now, I figure that God knew Adam and Eve would fall into sin still, he kind of held out hoping they’d stick with him the whole 9 yards. Now that they didn’t stick with him and sinned, our very natures are sinful. It cannot be helped, it’s like impurity in a solid mineral like gold, it cannot be helped but needs going through the fire for a really long period of time to get rid of every impurity.”

        More BS!! Either all knowing means all knowing or it doesn’t. You can’t say that he “kind of held out hoping they’d stick with him” If your god is all knowing, He knew if they would “stick with him” or not BEFORE he ever created them.

        The dogma of your ridiculous religion has made your god all knowing and all powerful. You don’t get to ignore that dogma, when it’s convenient for your argument.

        “For some people, it’s preferring same-sex relationships, for others, it’s being a serial womanizer aka fornicator, for others it’s stealing, gossiping…it’s all sin, none greater than the other. So it’s not about ‘creating people he knows will be, as you call it, gay’, it’s the same sinful nature manifesting in different ways.”

        More double talk…it doesn’t matter what the supposed sin is…the fact remains, your GOD knows each and every sin someone is going to commit before they even exist. And knowing that he goes ahead and creates them anyway, when he doesn’t have to create them at all. The question you can’t answer is WHY?? Why does a loving god create people that HE KNOWS are going to end up being tortured for all eternity. There is absolutely NOTHING loving about that. It’s sadistic!

        “(watch the Matrix for further elucidation)”

        LOL…the MATRIX is a work of fiction!

        “So God does not create someone he knows will be gay, your creation via reproduction is etched in time. He’s only hoping you’ll find knowledge of the spiritual and come to love him.”

        Then your god is NOT all knowing. Either ALL KNOWING means ALL KNOWING or it doesn’t. Since your god is also ALL POWERFUL, he should also have the POWER to know what everyone is going to do and be before he ever creates them.

        Is your god All Knowing and All Powerful or isn’t he?

        “Only the God’s spirit can however, the only thing God can’t do is change a man’s mind.”

        Then he’s not All Powerful!

        “If Matt’s beliefs are total shambles and he finds out that there is in fact, no God when he dies, he really won’t have lost much, just his enjoyment of what he used to term freedom. But, if he decides that there isn’t and he dies and finds out there is, then, well…”

        Using the threat of the unknown is hardly a threat, to someone who doesn’t buy into your whole…heaven or hell paradigm. Got anything else?

    • Noel

      But your question is a good one. Christians also struggle with the answer to it.

    • Eric

      Taylor,

      Your statement “I find nothing healing in believing in a message that you can not possible prove” brings with it the implication that your current belief system has been proven true.

      Christianity, to be sure, cannot be logically proven to be true. However, that is the same for any system of belief, not just Christianity. At it’s root, ANY belief is founded on assumptions. Even Evolution, which is held up by so many in the scientific community as the origins of life, is based on assumptions. In the end we all CHOOSE what we want to believe.

      You say “I simply will not be controlled by a belief based on faith as opposed to fact,” but the choice that you make to accept the underlying assumptions of your beliefs is an act of faith. There may be factual evidence behind your beliefs, but that evidence must be interpreted and is easily shaped by your underlying assumptions. One person, assuming there is no supernatural, looks at the fossil record (seeing that there is a great deal of commonality between the species), and comes to the conclusion that everything evolved from a single organism. Another person, accepting that there is a God who created the universe, can look at the same fossil record and see the commonality as evidence that there was a common Creator. Two people looking at the same facts and coming to vastly different conclusions based on their underlying assumptions.

      I would love to engage you regarding a logical explanation as to why “an ALL KNOWING GOD, knowingly creates people that he KNOWS will be gay” but I have to see to some other responsibilities and will have to revisit that another time 🙂

      • Taylor

        My current belief system is that since I have no tangible proof that the Christian god, exists, I have no reason to worship such a god. So, far it has been proven true that you can not offer any tangible irrefutable proof for the existence of that god. And no other religion has offered any tangible proof for the existence of their gods, so I have no reason to worship their gods as well.

        No one has asked me to worship, Evolution! 🙂

        The only factual proof for my beliefs is the FACT, that you have no tangible proof that your god exists.

        You won’t be able to give a logical explanation for why an all knowing god creates people that he knows will be gay, because their isn’t one. So, don’t worry about revisiting the question, many have tried, all have failed.

        You can’t call this god you worship, loving, benevolent, and just, when he knowingly creates people that he knows will suffer for all eternity, when he doesn’t have to create them at all.

        If I don’t like something, I don’t do it. I don’t like liver and onions, therefore, I do not make liver and onions, because I know if I do make liver and onions they will end up in the garbage. For me, not making liver and onions because I don’t like them, is logical.

        Your god, doesn’t like homosexuals, he knows who will be homosexual before he ever allows for their creation, and that they will end up in hell. Yet he goes ahead an creates them anyway. WHY… Why create something you hate, unless you get your kicks by creating people you know will suffer for all eternity?

        Your god, is a psychopath! And I see no reason why anyone would worship such a being. And thankfully, because I don’t believe he exists…I do not feel badly or guilty about not doing so.

        • Barb

          Your harsh accusations against God being unjust are nothing new and are clearly addressed in His Word: Romans 9:14-29:

          14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

          19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea,

          “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
          and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
          26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
          there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”
          27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, 28 for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” 29 And as Isaiah predicted,

          “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
          we would have been like Sodom
          and become like Gomorrah.”

          • Taylor

            Once again, quoting the bible to someone who doesn’t buy what the bible has to say, is meaningless! 🙂

            And it certainly doesn’t answer the question why an ALL KNOWING GOD, who is supposedly, loving, kind, benevolent and just, knowingly creates people that he knows will being punished for all eternity. When he doesn’t have to create them at all.

            There is NOTHING, loving, kind benevolent or just about such an action.

          • Karen Thomas

            Taylor,

            Regardless of whether or not God made you gay, it is your own choices that will lead you to heaven or hell. It is not set in stone that because you are gay, you will go to hell, no matter what you have done or how long you have done it. It is not too late. You have a choice. So choose heaven and stop blaming God for how YOU lived YOUR life. We are all of us given choices all the time. It’s what we do with those choices that matter.

          • Taylor

            Once again, you ignore the fact that your god is supposedly ALL KNOWING, which means he KNOWS every choice I’m going to make BEFORE he ever allows for my creation. You’ve yet to answer why an all knowing god creates people that he knows, are going to be tortured for all eternity, when he doesn’t have to allow for their creation at all.

            All KNOWING means your god knows my destination when I die, before I take my first breath.

            No one has been able to explain why a supposed loving, benevolent, just god, creates people that are bound for hell. What is loving, benevolent and just about that, when he doesn’t create them at all? They would never know the difference if they weren’t created.

            ALL KNOWING means ALL KNOWING all of the time, not just when it’s convenient for your arguments.

          • Karen

            First of all, we are ALL bound for hell. But we don’t have to be. Our choice. And whatever choices WE make are already known to HIm. You are not the minority in this. We are all in it exactly the same. God is all knowing, yes. That being said, you don’t know what He knows. You act as if you already know your destination. Perhaps He knows that right before you die, you will change and accept Him, turn from your sins and not go to Hell. Why is “all knowing” to you the same as a “death sentance”?? He gave us free will, so take yours and repent, knowing that when you do, YOU have changed your destiny. Not to worry, though. He knew you would long before you were even born.

          • Taylor

            “First of all, we are ALL bound for hell.”

            That is an assertion that you can not prove! You can’t even prove that hell exists. But, for sake of the argument…I’ll pretend that it does.

            I don’t have to know what HE knows….If he’s all knowing, he knew where I was going to end up, before ever created me. And he went ahead and created me, knowing that I would be gay, and knowing, that I would end up in hell, when he didn’t have to create me at all.

            “Perhaps He knows that right before you die, you will change and accept Him, turn from your sins and not go to Hell. Why is “all knowing” to you the same as a “death sentance”?? ”

            Since I don’t believe that your god exists, it’s unlikely that I will change my mind. Just like it’s unlikely that Hindus will change right before they die, and accept him. So, I have to assume that IF he does exist, he being the ALL KNOWING GOD, that he supposedly is, knows where I will end up. Just like he knows where everyone else he creates will end up.

            You keep deflecting from answering the question. Which remains..”Why does an all knowing god knowingly create people that he knows are going to end up in hell when he doesn’t have to create them at all and no one would know the difference? That is not the act of a kind, loving, and benevolent god, no matter how you cut it.

            Free will has nothing to do with the question. However, if you want to talk about Free Will, I will say this. It can’t exist, if your god is omniscient. If God knows everything, I’m going to do, before he ever creates me, and that foreknowledge is PERFECT, then I can only do, what he knew what I would do, If I do something that he didn’t know I was going to do, then he is not omniscient, and if I can’t surprise your god, by doing something that he didn’t know I was going to do, then I do not have Free Will. I’m simply being controlled by the invisible strings of his perfect foreknowledge. Free Will and an Omniscient God, create a paradox…and the argument becomes circular! 🙂

            ” Not to worry, though. He knew you would long before you were even born.”

            And he also knew that there would be people who wouldn’t…long before they were even created. And it’s those people, which probably includes me, that the question is about. Why does your Loving GOD….create people that he knows will suffer for all eternity when he doesn’t have to create them at all?

            Try answering THAT question…without deflection. I bet you can’t! 🙂

          • Karen

            I am not trying to deflect your question. Seriously. I am just trying to understand it. First of all there was only one “perfect one”, and that was Christ. We are all broken and far from perfect. That is why we need Him. I have been a christian for many years and I am far from perfect, but I try. And that is all any of us can do. The only difference between you and me is that I accepted Him.

            He is all knowing. So what? What difference does that make to the choices you make, unless you are saying that “all knowing” means, what? That He knew you weren’t strong enough to make choices you knew weren’t good? Is that your argument? That He knew you were weak and couldn’t abstain? You believe He gets some sort of enjoyment out of this? It makes Him weep that any of His children would chose hell. Again, how do you know what He is thinking? Are you ALL KNOWING? Good Lord, man, HE DIED FOR YOUR SINS SO YOU WOULDN”T HAVE TO SUFFER FOR THEM. Do you not understand the reason for the cross??

            Either you believe or not. Stop sitting on the fence. A part of you must at least wonder, or the question you keep flinging out there wouldn’t even be on your mind. You wouldn’t be on this site. You would just be living your life happily. Or perhaps you are not happy, and after a lifetime you are beginning to wonder why. Perhaps there is something more…

            If you are genuinlely worried about your eternal salvation, then DO something about it. Or are you so caught up in your sin that you cannot? I am sorry for you if that is the case. So many are in your shoes with addictions, adultery, lying, theiving, etc. There are others that will walk with you through this. This site is an excellent example. Yet you are not alone unless you chose to be. Once again CHOICE enters into the equation.

            For the record, God did not make you gay so you can be damned to hell for an eternity. That part you got WAY wrong. You can be gay and not sin. Being gay in and of itself isn’t a sin. It is THE BAD CHOICES YOU MAKE THAT ARE THE SIN. Isn’t that why you are on THIS particular site?? BTW, God knew WE would be having this exchange. Why do you think that is? It reminds me of a story…

            There was an old man who lived by the river. The news forcast that a terrible storm was heading his way that would make the river rise. He said to himself “I am not worried, for I am a praying man and God will save me.” When the water level did rise, rescue workers in a boat came to his house to take him to safety. He refused, saying “I am not worried, for I am a praying man and God will save me!” When the waters came up to the roof of his house, a helicopter was sent to take him to safety. They called down to him “You there! Let us take you to safety!”, but the man refused, saying “I am not worried, for I am a praying man and God will save me!” The man drowned. When he reached the gates of heaven, he said to the Lord, “I am a praying man. I have believed in you all my life, why didn’t you save me?” and the Lord said to him, “My son, I sent you a news forcast, men in a boat, and a helicopter! What more do you want from me?”

            The people you have been speaking to on here, the amazing author of this article – we are your news cast, your lifeboat, your helicopter, and we are trying to take you to a place of safety. What more do you want from us?

          • Taylor

            “I am not trying to deflect your question. Seriously. I am just trying to understand it.”

            What’s so difficult to understand? The Question itself is quite simple and straight forward.

            Why does a supposed loving, benevolent, and just god who just happens to be all powerful and all knowing, create people that he knows will end up in hell when he doesn’t have to create them at all?

            Let me help you answer it….

            A loving, benevolent, and just god creates people that he knows will be tortured for all eternity, when he doesn’t have to create them at all, because _________(fill in the blank).

            My question has nothing to do with the choices I make. My question has to do with the choice your god makes, to create people that he knows will be tortured for ever and ever, when he doesn’t have to create them at all.

            It’s utterly ridiculous to say, this god of yours weeps, for creating people that he knows are going to be tortured for all eternity, before they even exist…when he doesn’t have to create them at all. It’s like saying I will weep for creating a meal that I know I will throw in the garbage, when I don’t have to create that meal at all.

            The reason for the “cross” is irrelevant, if your god, knows before he creates anyone who is going to follow your savior and who isn’t. You do not get to ignore your god’s omniscience. HE KNOWS…repeat that over and over again until it sinks in. He KNOWS who is going to hell BEFORE he ever creates them….when he doesn’t have to create them at all.

            If a man and a woman, kept having children, knowing that they would end up torturing them, you’d call them monsters. Your god, keeps creating people that HE KNOWS will end up being tortured….and you call, him, loving, just and benevolent. I fail to see the difference between the two….they are both psychopaths, who do not deserve worship.

            “Either you believe or not. Stop sitting on the fence.”

            There is no fence sitting for me. I absolutely do not believe that your god exists. The reason I ask the question, is to see how people like you attempt to justify worshiping a being that creates people that he knows will be tortured, when he doesn’t have to create them at all. So, far, you’ve done everything you can…to avoid answering that very simple question.

            “A part of you must at least wonder, or the question you keep flinging out there wouldn’t even be on your mind. You wouldn’t be on this site. You would just be living your life happily. Or perhaps you are not happy, and after a lifetime you are beginning to wonder why. Perhaps there is something more…”

            Sorry, dear, you don’t get to tell me why I do things, and what my motivations are. That’s well beyond your pay grade. Don’t try to psychoanalyze me…I’m doubtful that you have the credentials to do so.

            “If you are genuinlely worried about your eternal salvation, then DO something about it. ”

            I’m not worried at all…I don’t believe it exist. I believe that when I’m dead…I’m dead…and that’s the end of me.

            “For the record, God did not make you gay so you can be damned to hell for an eternity. ”

            For the record, it doesn’t make any difference if he “made me gay” or not. He KNEW that I would be gay BEFORE he created me and he KNEW that I would be gay until I die, and he KNEW where I would end up because I’m gay, and because I don’t believe that he exists.

            You’ve used a dump truck load of words to avoid answer the question. You’re very good at deflection and absolutely suck at answering direct questions.

            Here’s a reminder of the question that I asked…that you’ve avoided like the plague answering.

            “Why does a supposed loving, benevolent, and just god who just happens to be all powerful and all knowing, create people that he knows will end up in hell when he doesn’t have to create them at all?”

            Do you want to give it another attempt? Or will I just get more of the same deflection.

            Let me help you once again…if you choose to actually attempt to answer the question. Your response should start with maybe something like this.

            “A loving, benevolent, and just god creates people that he knows will be tortured for all eternity, when he doesn’t have to create them at all, because _________(fill in the blank).”

            Give it a shot, and see what you can come up with.

          • Joshua Johnson

            Whether you believe in God or not is one thing, but ignoring whether Eternity in Heaven or Hell makes me ask you this, Taylor: Why take a CHANCE.

          • Taylor

            Because, I don’t believe there is such a thing as Heaven and Hell. I’m not going to live my life in fear of something that I do not believe exists. If you want to live your life that way, knock yourself out.

            I have only one life. I’m not going to pretend I’m not sexually attracted to people of the same sex, on the off chance that I’ll be punished for all eternity if I don’t.

            I live my life in a way where I try not to do harm to anyone, and I also try to treat others the way that I would want to be treated…which is a philosophy that’s not just found in Christianity, but is part of the moral code of many societies and cultures.

            If that’s not good enough…then so be it. But, I’m simply not going to remain celibate, because a god who supposedly knew I was going to be gay before he ever created me, and who went ahead and created me anyway, doesn’t like it!

            Do you want to take a shot at answering this question? No one else has come up with an answer, maybe you’ll be the first.

            “Why does a supposed loving, benevolent, and just god who just happens to be all powerful and all knowing, create people that he knows will end up in hell when he doesn’t have to create them at all?”

          • Joshua Johnson

            Look, I obviously do not know you, but I’m going to be firm here. The irony here is that you do fear God’s judgment. You are so fearful that you pretend He does not exist, therefore you are deluding yourself. You said “I live my life in a way where I try not to do harm to anyone, and I also try to treat others the way that I would want to be treated…which is a philosophy that’s not just found in Christianity, but is part of the moral code of many societies and cultures.” Then you said “If that’s not good enough…then so be it.” How contradictory. You’ve clearly been abused by “religion,” and that’s sad, because it has happened and will continue to happen. Believe me, I have cried and screamed at God, and have a TON of questions for Him regarding why He allowed things in my life to occur. When I was agnostic, I was far more agitated, and grouchy, and self-contradictory. I don’t know why Jesus has not removed my same sex attractions, and I’m certainly not mad at Him for it. My heavenly Father adores me. My buddy (who was raised in a strict Christian home, is oldest of 3, and has total homosexual attraction to males, who just “came out,” and whose mother keeps telling him he is serving Satan if he continues to not deny his attractions) and I were talking on the phone recently about why the Creator allowed/allows homo/bi to be born, then throws them into Hell. It’s not that simple. Not even slightly. I have some idea of the kind of religion/denomination you grew up in, but I may be incorrect. My suggestion is getting to know the other Him, the Holy Spirit. Please ask God Himself why you are so bitter and angry. He will reveal it to you. “6Do not give dogs what is holy; do not throw your pearls before swine. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. 7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.…” – Matthew 7:6-8

          • Taylor

            “Look, I obviously do not know you, but I’m going to be firm here. The irony here is that you do fear God’s judgment.”

            You’re correct. You obviously do not know me, and you obviously do not know what I fear. Nor do you know what I believe, and what I don’t believe. Why are Christians always so self-righteous? Why do they seem to think that they can tell others what they are feeling and thinking, and what they believe and what they don’t believe? Does that gift come with being baptized??

            You can not tell me I’m deluding myself about the existence of your god, when you can not offer me any tangible irrefutable proof that this god of yours exists? I can easily say that YOU are the one who is deluding himself, because you believe in something that you can not actually prove is real.

            There is nothing contradictory about my statement. It’s simply fact, if me living my life they way I feel I should live it is not good enough for someone else, then so be it. There is absolutely nothing I can do to to change their minds.

            Nope, I’ve never been abused by any religion. I simply grew to realize, by using logic and reason, that it’s all a big load of hokum. I’ll leave it to the people who want to believe it. And as long as they do not expect me to live my life by their rules or their beliefs, I couldn’t care less.

            It’s when they expect me to not have sex with the consenting adult of my choice, or to not marry the consenting adult of my choice, because their religions says that I shouldn’t, that we will have the problem. Your religious beliefs do not get to run anyone’s life but your own. In this country, we all have to live under the same civil laws, but, we do not have to live under the same religious beliefs.

            Your life experience is of no interest to me, nor is your buddies. I can’t imagine why you would think I would care,

            You call me “bitter and angry” when you are the one doing the name calling because I’ve questioned the existence of your god who you can not prove exists, and who has asked a very simple question about your god, that you, nor anyone else can answer.

            Again, your all knowing god, knew I would be gay before he ever created me, and he knew that I would not believe in him, and he knew that I would end up in hell because of that. I’m still waiting for a plausible explanation, for why a supposed, loving benevolent and just god, would create people that he knows are going to be tortured for all eternity, when he doesn’t have to create them at all, and they, nor anyone else would know the difference.

            I think I’ve said this before…but quoting bible verses to someone who doesn’t believe that the Bible is anything more that some mediocre historical fiction is kind of pointless.

            Enjoy your celibate life!

          • Joshua Johnson

            Again, the irony is perplexing, brother. You called me (and ALL other Christians) “self-righteous,” yet said “I simply grew to realize, by using logic and reason, that it’s all a big load of hokum.” If that is not self-righteous, then what else is? I have nonbeliever/unsaved friends. We hang out and joke, but the similarities end there. The one thing they cannot do, because of pride, is admit they are wrong. Most were raised in the church, too. The are indeed bitter, angry, resentful people, just like you, and no, that is not name-calling. What are you, twelve? You’d be considered trolling on this website. Becoming an atheist is an emotional decision, not at all an intellectual decision, sir. Also, you saying “Your life experience is of no interest to me, nor is your buddies. I can’t imagine why you would think I would care,” is more than a little callous. No one, ever, has loved you the way you deserve to be loved? I’ve been burned many times. I was bullied for being a sissy gay kid in elementary school which led me to have trust issues as I got older. All humans have a ‘love-tank’ that needs to be filled. For someone who states that they don’t “believe” in Hell/eternal torment, you sure are fixated on it. Most of the atheists I’ve encountered are all, for the most part, FIXATED on Hell. I absolutely do not have a problem with it, and I’m certain I have had family members die in their sins and are there now. it’s really sad that you refer to God’s Word as “some mediocre historical fiction” really just shows you have no clue about church history, theology, religious studies, and things of that nature. I suggest William Lane Craig or Frank Turek to maybe answer your questions. Have you even picked up a Bible and looked for yourself? The Bible would say about your current situation, that you are already condemned, and are” spiritually dead.” Does that not mean anything to you, Taylor? I fear your heart has hardened to the point that you’ve lost reasoning abilities, but God is ALWAYS mighty to save that last 99th sheep.

          • Taylor

            I call you self-righteous, because you have the arrogance to believe that you can tell others their feelings. Me saying that I grew to realize that religion is nothing but hokum, is me expressing MY opinion, not me telling you YOURS!

            ” I have nonbeliever/unsaved friends. “We hang out and joke, but the similarities end there. The one thing they cannot do, because of pride, is admit they are wrong.”

            I do not care, what you do with your friends or whether they can admit they are wrong?

            But, perhaps they don’t admit they are wrong, because they are not. Can you prove they are wrong, or do you only assert they are wrong without offering tangible proof?

            “Most were raised in the church, too. The are indeed bitter, angry, resentful people, just like you, and no, that is not name-calling. What are you, twelve? ”

            LOL, yes it is name calling. You called them, bitter, angry and resentful people, if that’s not name calling I don’t know what is. Saying that someone is bitter, angry and resentful, because they don’t agree with you, doesn’t make them any of those things true, it simply means that they have an opinion different than yours, and you are not happy about it.

            “What are you, twelve?”

            No…I’m considerably older. And age has nothing to do with it, if the argument is a solid one!

            “You’d be considered trolling on this website.”

            A troll can only troll if you respond to them. You’ll notice that I’ve only responded to people who have responded to my original post. People like you!

            “Becoming an atheist is an emotional decision, not at all an intellectual decision, sir.”

            On the contrary, becoming an atheist is definitely an intellectual decision, because one must weigh the evidence, for the existence of a supreme being. Since no one has ever offered any irrefutable evidence to me that such a god exists, it is logic and reason that has led me to the conclusion that it doesn’t.

            Believing in a god that you can not prove exists, is an emotional decision.

            “Also, you saying “Your life experience is of no interest to me, nor is your buddies. I can’t imagine why you would think I would care,” is more than a little callous. ”

            Why exactly should I care that you think that it is or that I’m callous? You certainly have a high opinion of your opinions if you think that anyone but you would care what you think of them. I’ll put this as politely as I can. Your opinion of me, means nothing to me. To me, you are simply someone,who I’m responding to in a comments thread, nothing more. I will not lose sleep, if I never get another response from you.

            “No one, ever, has loved you the way you deserve to be loved? ”

            Is that a question or a statement of fact? If it’s a question, I believe that I have been loved the way I deserved to be loved. If it’s a statement of fact, it is an assertion that you can not prove.

            “I’ve been burned many times. I was bullied for being a sissy gay kid in elementary school which led me to have trust issues as I got older.”

            Again, I don’t care.

            ” For someone who states that they don’t “believe” in Hell/eternal torment, you sure are fixated on it. ”

            It’s not a fixation on hell, which I don’t believe exists, my question have to do with your beliefs not mine. I ask people who actually believe that there is a hell why their supposed LOVING, benevolent just, god keeps creating people that he knows are destined for this place called hell that YOU believe in, when he doesn’t have to create them at all. Like everyone else, you use a lot of words to deflect from answering that very simple question.

            “it’s really sad that you refer to God’s Word as “some mediocre historical fiction” really just shows you have no clue about church history, theology, religious studies, and things of that nature.”

            All of those things were created after the fact in an attempt to explain, the very failed writings of some Iron Age men, who didn’t have a clue as to how the world actually worked. If your god, was all powerful, he should have been able to write a book, that required no interpretation, and could be understood by anyone who read it. That way there would be only 1 church and NO denominations! Funny that an all knowing god didn’t see, what writing a book that required interpretation, would lead to.

            “Have you even picked up a Bible and looked for yourself? The Bible would say about your current situation, that you are already condemned, and are” spiritually dead.”

            In a box, I still have the Bible I was given for 5 years PERFECT ATTENDANCE at Sunday School. I went to Sunday School and Church EVERY Sunday from the time I was a toddler, all the way through College. Please, don’t tell me that I need to pick up a Bible. I can quote the Bible, like I can quote the Gettysburg Address.

            If I am already condemned and spiritually dead, your ALL KNOWING GOD knew I would be, before he ever created me. You can’t explain why he went ahead and created me anyway. I’m still waiting for that answer.

            “Does that not mean anything to you, Taylor?”

            Nope…it doesn’t mean a thing to me. Because it’s a statement, you can not prove! 🙂

          • Joshua Johnson

            “I call you self-righteous, because you have the arrogance to believe that you can tell others their feelings. Me saying that I grew to realize that religion is nothing but hokum, is me expressing MY opinion, not me telling you YOURS!” Don’t shoot the messenger, buddy. Don’t hate on me because you hate Truth. You’re also extremely defensive. Atheists use the same cop-outs, same excuses and the same tactics, ad nauseum, and all it comes down to is rebellion. God humbled me a few years ago before my faith in Christ was renewed, and I thank Him for that! How do you, at 65, wake up every day without any ounce of gratitude to the GOD who gave you breath? If you grew up in a Christian environment, what exactly happened that you just outgrew your faith? You replaced your faith with…? Anger, resentment, bitterness, all dead fruits. I would recommend counseling, sir. You have decades of layers of grouchiness, to say the least (!) that need to be peeled back and removed. Something must have triggered your deception. But concerning Hell, it was not even created for humans. It was created for Satan and his demonic angels. Someone close to me said that God, in His infinite love and mercy, cried when Hitler rejected his Savior, killed himself, and chose damnation. You’ll come to the truth eventually, Taylor. Maybe not tomorrow, or the day after, but eventually.

          • Taylor

            “Don’t shoot the messenger, buddy. Don’t hate on me because you hate Truth. You’re also extremely defensive. ”

            I defend my opinions…if that’s being “extremely definsive” then so be it. I can live with that.

            “Atheists use the same cop-outs, same excuses and the same tactics, ad nauseum, and all it comes down to is rebellion.”

            Stating that there is no irrefutable proof for the existence of your god is NOT a tactic, it’s the truth. If you actually had irrefutable proof no one could deny it. When you offer some, I won’t be able to deny it, and then I’ll believe your god exists.

            “God humbled me a few years ago before my faith in Christ was renewed, and I thank Him for that! ”

            Again, not interested in what you think happened in your life.

            “How do you, at 65, wake up every day without any ounce of gratitude to the GOD who gave you breath?”

            Easy, I don’t believe your god exists. What’s so difficult about that to understand? I believe that I exist because a sperm and an egg came together, and 9 months later I was born.

            ” If you grew up in a Christian environment, what exactly happened that you just outgrew your faith? ”

            Actually examining the religion, and using logic and reason is what happened. The older I became, the less sense it made. Trying to make sense of why this fictional all knowing god would allow for the creation of babies, that he knew would suffer horrible deaths through starvation, when he didn’t have to create them at all…trying to make sense of why he would drop manna from heaven to the Jews in the wilderness for 40 years, but wouldn’t drop some for the starving babies. Trying to make sense of why he makes things that he supposedly hates. Logically speaking, it simply does not make sense. I simply can not justify the belief in the existence of a god that is supposedly loving, just, and benevolent, who would KNOWINGLY allow those things and many more to happen, when has the power to not allow any of those things to happen.

            If you’re satisfied with not questioning those things, fine. But, don’t expect me not to.

            “Anger, resentment, bitterness, all dead fruits. I would recommend counseling, sir.”

            But, I’m not angry, resentful or bitter, I’m very happy with my life and how I live it. You seem to be the one who is angry, resentful and bitter that I have the temerity to question the existence of your god…or to question why he does what he does.

            “I would recommend counseling, sir.”

            LOLOLOL…do you recommend counseling to everyone who disagrees with you. You must have quite a list of people who you think should go to counseling.

            “You have decades of layers of grouchiness, to say the least (!) that need to be peeled back and removed. ”

            Once again, you know nothing about me, disagreeing with you doesn’t mean that I’m grouchy, it simply means we have a difference of opinion. If you think I’m grouchy, that’s fine. As I said, your opinion of me, is not anything I concern myself with. I value the opinions of people who actually know me, not the opinions of those on a comments thread with whom I disagree.

            “But concerning Hell, it was not even created for humans. It was created for Satan and his demonic angels.”

            You can not even prove hell exists…save your reasons for WHY it was created for those who by into your flavor of mythology.

            “Someone close to me said that God, in His infinite love and mercy, cried when Hitler rejected his Savior, killed himself, and chose damnation. ”

            LOLOLOL..seriously…re-read that sentence, and ask yourself if any of that is remotely provable. Was the person “close to you” actually witness to this god of yours crying. I mean honestly, you wonder why people don’t by into your religion when you come up with things like this?? HYSTERICAL!!

            “You’ll come to the truth eventually, Taylor. Maybe not tomorrow, or the day after, but eventually.”

            You can not say with 100% certainty that I haven’t already come to the truth.

            By the way….you’ve avoided answering the question that I asked. Wanna try? Or do you want to deflect from answering it with a couple of thousand more words?

            Why does a loving, benevolent, and just, ALL KNOWING, ALL POWER god, knowingly create people that he KNOWS will suffer for all eternity, when he doesn’t have to create them at all, and no one will know the difference? What exactly is loving, benevolent and just about those actions?

          • Joshua Johnson

            Atheists and the starving babies. Another tactic. Don’t you think, sir, that sinful humans have let that happen? Blame God for everything but don’t blame humans! It’s Christians, the people you despise, that are out there risking their necks, feeding lost souls, doing thankless dirty work for God’s Kingdom, winning souls for Christ, doing missionary work. You sit behind your computer screen like a coward blame Christians on your misery. It’s shameful and pathetic, and your thinking is feeble. False equivalence do not a good argument make.

            “Why does a loving, benevolent, and just, ALL KNOWING, ALL POWER god, knowingly create people that he KNOWS will suffer for all eternity, when he doesn’t have to create them at all, and no one will know the difference? What exactly is loving, benevolent and just about those actions?” Because He always does what is right because of Who He is. When you meet Him, which you will, you can ask Him yourself.

          • Taylor

            “Atheists and the starving babies. Another tactic.”

            You are the one that asked what led me to my belief that your god doesn’t exist. I told you. If you don’t want the answer, then don’t ask the question.

            “Don’t you think, sir, that sinful humans have let that happen?”

            And your ALL KNOWING GOD, knew that it would happen and went ahead and created those starving babies, anyway. And YOU can’t explain why a LOVING, JUST and BENEVOLENT god would allow for such a thing to happen.

            “Blame God for everything but don’t blame humans! ”

            It’s your supposed GOD that has the power to not allow babies that he know will starve to be conceived in the first place. When humans attempt to take control to keep those babies from being born, through abortions, you complain!

            “It’s Christians, the people you despise, that are out there risking their necks, feeding lost souls, doing thankless dirty work for God’s Kingdom, winning souls for Christ, doing missionary work.”

            Oh sweetie, I don’t despise you? That would take too much effort. I simply don’t believe your god exists. And because of that you think I despise you.

            “You sit behind your computer screen like a coward blame Christians on your misery. ”

            Where have I, in this entire thread blamed “Christians” for anything?

            “It’s shameful and pathetic, and your thinking is feeble. False equivalence do not a good argument make.”

            And your whining about, being despised and blamed for things that you haven’t been blamed for…doesn’t make a very good argument either.

            “Because He always does what is right because of Who He is. When you meet Him, which you will, you can ask Him yourself.”

            So, you think it’s loving, kind, benevolent and just, to create things that you know are going to be tortured? If a human did that, I’m guessing that you’d say that they were sadistic sociopaths. Your god does it, and you say it’s RIGHT!

            Wow…Yet one more reason NOT to be a Christian! The idea that you think it’s RIGHT that your god creates people that he knows will be tortured, when he doesn’t have to create them at all. Says a lot about you….and none of it good.

          • Joshua Johnson

            What else do you have BUT to blame Christians for how you were treated? It wouldn’t take an astrophysicist to see you harbor ill will. The atheist always projects his own internal self-loathing (like a lot of lost homosexuals do) onto anything having to do with Christianity. I don’t see you making a peep about Islam. I hear they treat gays really well in the Middle East. “So, you think it’s loving, kind, benevolent and just, to create things that you know are going to be tortured? If a human did that, I’m guessing that you’d say that they were sadistic sociopaths. Your god does it, and you say it’s RIGHT!” God is not a “sadistic sociopath.” Is that the language of someone who is not grouchy, resentful, bitter, & prideful? Atheists don’t exist. How about that?

          • Joshua Johnson
          • Taylor

            ““Mockers resent correction” (Proverbs 15:12).”

            I’m assuming that applies to “Christian Mockers” as well! 🙂

          • Joshua Johnson

            Who is mocking whom here, sir?

          • Taylor

            Did I accuse someone of mocking? No, what I did, was ask a question.

            Which seems to remain unanswered! 🙂

          • Joshua Johnson

            This one? : “Why does a loving, benevolent, and just, ALL KNOWING, ALL POWER (sic) god, knowingly create people that he KNOWS will suffer for all eternity, when he doesn’t have to create them at all, and no one will know the difference? What exactly is loving, benevolent and just about those actions?”

          • Taylor

            You consider asking a “Why” question “mocking”?

            Don’t ever become a teacher.

          • Taylor

            “What else do you have BUT to blame Christians for how you were treated?”

            Where have I ever complained about the treatment I’ve received by Christians? You must have me confused with someone else. There is not one claim in this entire thread, made by me about being mistreated by Christians.

            “The atheist always projects his own internal self-loathing (like a lot of lost homosexuals do) onto anything having to do with Christianity. ”

            Assertion without proof! 🙂 You can not say what an atheist ALWAYS does…because you don’t know all Atheist, and you don’t know what all Atheist do.

            ” I don’t see you making a peep about Islam. I hear they treat gays really well in the Middle East.”

            So, give yourself a big pat on the back that Christians haven’t thrown any gay people off buildings or beheaded, them, if that makes you feel better.

            “Is that the language of someone who is not grouchy, resentful, bitter, & prideful? Atheists don’t exist. How about that?”

            Yes, it’s NOT the language of someone who is not grouchy, resentful, bitter, and prideful, it’s the language of someone who has asked a question of you, on whether if a human, created people that he knew would be tortured, wouldn’t be called a sadistic sociopath. What would YOU call a person who knowingly created people that he knew would be tortured?? Loving, Benevolent and Just??

            “Atheists don’t exist. How about that?”

            If that’s your opinion, your entitled to it. How about that? 🙂 I’m not all that invested in whether you believe atheist, exist or not.

          • Karen

            I can’t answer your question because your question is not based on biblical fact. He does not create people just so they can be tortured for all eternity. He gives them a choice. You’ve made yours. Now. You let that sink in.

          • Taylor

            Is it biblical fact that your god is Omniscient? Yes or No?
            Is it biblical fact that your god is Omnipotent? Yes or No?

            If the answer to both of those questions is YES. Then my question remains.

            Why does your OMNISCIENT, OMNIPOTENT god create people that HE KNOWS will suffer for all eternity when he doesn’t have to create them at all.

            How many different ways can you deflect from answering that question??

            First you say you don’t understand the question and now you say it’s not based on “biblical fact”??? What next, are you going to tell me that you don’t understand what OMNISCIENT means?? Or OMINPOTENT?? You’ve just about run out of things you can use to deflect.

            Whether he has “given” me a choice, or not, does not in anyway change that he KNEW what that choice would be, BEFORE he created me. Which means he KNOWINGLY created me KNOWING that I would end up in Hell when he didn’t have to create me at all.

            The question remains…….WHY?? Why does a loving, benevolent, just god, create people that he KNOWS are going to suffer for all eternity. What exactly do you find LOVING about a being who does this?

            Would you find parents who have children, knowing that they will torture them, to be loving?

            By the way, I didn’t say your god created people, “just so they can be tortured” I ASKED why he creates people that he knows will be tortured when he doesn’t have to create them at all.

          • Karen

            Show me in the bible where it says that God creates people just to send them to hell. Where do you get your beliefs from?

          • Taylor

            I never said that your god, creates people JUST TO SEND THEM TO HELL.

            Do not put words into my mouth.

            I asked WHY your god creates people that HE KNOWS will end up in Hell, when he doesn’t have to create them at all?

            I’m still asking.

          • Karen

            “I absolutely do not believe that your god exists”
            But you believe that God made you gay. What proof do you have of that?

          • Taylor

            LOLOL…no. I do not believe that, because I do not believe your god exist. I believe that biology made me gay.

            There is no tangible irrefutable proof that your god exists…that’s why I do not believe in him, and that’s why I do not believe that he “made me” anything.

            My argument is based on your belief that this god of yours exists. Not mine.

            There is proof that I exist and there is proof that I’m gay. I can send you pictures if you’d like! 🙂

            Do you see…how I answer questions. I actually address the question as asked.

            You should try it….

            Why does your All Knowing God create people that HE KNOWS will be gay, or murders, or thieves, or any of the thousands of other things that he supposedly hates when he doesn’t have to create them at all? It’s nonsensical, and counter productive…why create things that you supposedly hate, when you don’t have to??

            Simple question…but, one that seems impossible for you to answer.

            Are you in the habit of cooking things that you hate? Or, making things that you hate? Your god seems to do it every single day!

          • karen

            Pictures are not necessary, thanks. I get the gist of it. So you are worried about us. It is our faith, not yours. Why worry? We got this. Besides, God doesn’t hate the sinner, He hates the sin. We all might be what we are, but we have a choice in how we act.

            There is no answer to your question because your question is not based on anything to do with my faith or anything written in the bible. So you can keep searching if you like. Perhaps another type of faith? There are many to choose from out there. And maybe someone will eventually tell you what you want to hear – and based on the fear written within your responses, I would imagine that to be that you want someone to say not to worry about it. No one goes to hell. God is a just God but never punishes wrong. He loves everyone. He is probably hugging Hitler right now.

            Maybe if you had a valid question…

          • Taylor

            “So you are worried about us. ”

            No…I’m not worried about you at all? I don’t know what gave you the impression I’m worried about you, when all I want is an answer to a very simple question that you seem to have had an absolutely terrible time answering.

            How can there not be an answer to the question, if the two things that the question is based on are true?

            Is your god, Omniscient? Yes or No?
            Is your god, Omnipotent? Yes or No?

            My question was based on those two things. So, there has to be an answer, unless of course…neither of those two things are true. Which is it?

            If it’s not written in the bible, how do you know that your god is omnipotent and omniscient? Did you all, just make that up?

            You say your god, “hates the sin”…and yet, he keeps on creating people that he knows will sin, and not only that, he knows exactly what sins they will commit BEFORE he ever creates them and he knows if they will be punished for those sins, before they take their first breath. YOU can not explain why this supposed LOVING god of yours does this, when he has the power to not create them at all, and no one would know the difference.

            Once again, I ask you…do you create things that you know you’re hate, on a regular basis?

            LOL…fear in my responses? I sense the fear is in you, for not being able to answer a very simple question about your supposed god! Don’t project your fear onto me!

            “No one goes to hell.”

            I’m guessing there would be a lot of Fundamentalist Christians who would disagree with that statement.

            Where can I find this in the Bible?? Chapter and verse please!

            If no one goes to hell…why create it in the first place? It’s like building a swimming pool and then not putting it to use. Nonsensical.

            Don’t feel bad about not being able to answer my very simple question. You are not the first…and I’m doubtful that you’ll be the last.

            It’s funny that people who preach about their god, sometimes have an impossible time answering the simplest questions about him.

            If you want to take one more shot at it here’s the question.

            Why does an ALL KNOWING GOD, KNOWINGLY create people that HE KNOWS will be tortured for all eternity when he doesn’t have to create them at all and no one would know the difference??

        • Barb

          You say you have “no tangible proof” of the Christian God? Creation itself is all the proof God gives to anyone! Romans 1:18-25:

          18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

          24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

          26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

          28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

          • Taylor

            No, it may be all the proof that YOU need. But, It’s not all the proof that I need. I require more proof than what your holy book gives.

            You do realize that quoting the Bible to someone who doesn’t believe that the Bible is anything more than some Iron Age writers explanation for where we came from and why we are here, is meaningless to them, don’t you?

            It’s like me quoting Harry Potter to you, to prove that wizards exist.

          • Barb

            You are living proof of what is described above in Romans 1. Your refusal to acknowledge God has resulted in your angry demeanor and vitriolic tone. When you refuse to acknowledge His lordship, you develop a debased mind and despise His name. Turn to Christ, ask for His forgiveness, and He will cleanse you. His mercy endures forever and is new every morning.

            Every human being knows deep down in his/her soul that there is a power greater than self to which we must answer. We cannot save ourselves, no matter how strong we think we are. Tomorrow you could encounter a terrible situation and would have no one to turn to for help. There are many situations in life no other human being can help you with. I’m sure those people in Orlando went to that club thinking they would be home in a few hours after having a good time.

            God planted His own image on humanity, but sin marred that image. There is only one way to restore it, and that is to turn to Christ. His peace passes all understanding and He will give you a new heart and new desires. That is His promise to everyone who will sincerely ask for it. God bless you.

          • Taylor

            My refusal to acknowledge god, is because no one has offered any tangible irrefutable proof that this god of yours exists.

            It’s difficult to “despise” something that you don’t believe exists. It’s like telling me that I despise leprechauns.

            Why would I turn to Christ, when I don’t believe in the divinity of that person?

            You don’t get to tell me what I feel deep down in my “soul”. Your self-righteous arrogance is showing!

            I’m 65 years old..you don’t have to give me life lessons about what I may or may not experience tomorrow. Good grief…climb down off of that high horse of yours, you’re not offering anything to me, that many people before you haven’t already said.

            All that talk, and you still haven’t answered the ONE question that I have asked.

            Why does a supposed, loving, benevolent, just, ALL KNOWING GOD create gay people that he knows will be Gay, and who he knows will end up being punished for all eternity when he doesn’t have to create them at all????

            You seem to have an answer for everything else…but not that.

            Save your God’s blessing for someone who actually believes your god exists, and believes that those blessing will do some good.

            I’m not that person.

          • george

            The scripture referenses don’t work and do you know why? I grew up in church, ministered, prayed, cried him to heal and he never answered. I knew him and honored him, loved him and obeyed him (v.21)
            There are a lot of people who worship animals, idols but they are not samesexattracted. My christian SSA friends never worshiped idols, animals, but jesus only.we were born samesex attracted and he never saw our tears and heared our prayers for decades. (V.23)
            SSA Christians always seek more knowlage of god but he still does not heal them.

            If romans one is true-there are many who abandoned christian teachings and turned to wrong ones, started worshiping idols, but they never became same sex attracted. They are heterosexuals.
            There are atheists who laugh about god, but are heterosexuals.
            There are people in churches who dont seek to learn more about god, but they are heterosexuals.and the list can go on…
            But we, who grew up in churches and felt same sex attracted since we were 3 or 4, lived as virgins till 30, 40, hoping he would help us, we wanted wife, kids, ffamily…normal life with its joys and pains, as husbands, as men caring for their families….but you see, we did not change god, but he still made us living in hell on the earth and more hell is ahead. So romans can not be a book which shows why people are born same sex attracted.

  • Suzan D Reed

    No one wants to hear any message that says you can’t do whatever you want. We are all spoiled brat sinners who want our own way.

    • Barb

      Amen, Suzan!

    • Tammy Rainey

      Trans people are not doing what the want, but what they must to survive. Over half of us attempt to take our own lives at some point in order to relieve the mental and emotional distress that arises from our condition. Partly that’s because of the conflict between our brains and our reflection, partly it’s because the culture has decided we’re freaks and perverts who should be shunned and mocked, and partly because we do not WANT this and can find no other escape from it.

      As a follower of Christ, perhaps a more christ-like course of action is to empathize with hurting people and show kindness and compassion, rather than condemnation?

      • Suzan D Reed

        Have you considered that maybe you’re under spiritual war fare?

        • Tammy Rainey

          I have considered that – used to preach it. But that’s nothing more than hand-waving away something you find too hard to deal with because you are emotionally invested in false doctrine.

          The FIRST step, on ANY subject that you call for repentance on is demonstrating FROM SCRIPTURE, rightly divided, that the act in question is, in fact, definitively described as sinful.

          Transsexual transition is not so described, neither directly nor by clear and compelling inference (and any doctrine built on inference is questionable anyway).

          So you do not have standing to even bring up spiritual warfare without doing the first thing first. Which you can’t.

          The simplest explanation is usually the right one – we know that gender identity is innate (we can discern this from it’s presence in young children despite no consistency in external factors); we know that it sometimes is at odds with visible sex-specific traits (again, with no pattern of external influences which might produce that outcome); we know that gender identity can only derive from the brain, and that many regions of the brain are different in males and females; we know that Disorders of Sexual Development occasionally cause a child to be born with ambiguous or conflicting sex-specific traits.

          None of these are in dispute, even generally among conservatives. The simplest logical conclusion from the sum of these facts is that being transsexual is biological and innate. A “birth defect” to use a crude but common term.

          Do you believe in a God which demands that those suffering the effects of a birth defect are required to endure it when it is treatable? Have you not read “man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks upon the heart”?
          How then can you folks condemn people because of modifications to the outward appearance?

          • Suzan D Reed

            Of course the Bible doesn’t pay mention to any form of “sex reassignment” surgery, it was way beyond their ken at the time, like light bulbs, computers, airplanes, etc. I don’t think eunuchs are in the same grouping because they were still men, just very damaged men.
            When I said spiritual war fare I meant your turmoil, your conflict. Many people have their things they don’t like, feel discomfort with, etc. Your’s is the reflection of the person you see in the mirror, but this human form, your flesh, is temporary. Is there being research done by good credible scientists as to why this happens? Is it becoming more prevalent? Is it the water, something messing with the endocrine systems of babies in utero? What is causing it? As for treatments, they don’t really change you, anymore than a boob job & liposuction would make me a super model, they merely alter your outward appearance to what you think society is expecting you to appear as.
            Someday it would be great if people could live in comfort as the souls we are inside with out worry as to what our physical bodies are, but maybe that’s heaven.

  • mike

    Everyone has faith as faith is a trust in something. Currently psychology says that being gay is normal. But psychology didn’t always say that. Prior to the early 1970s psychology taught that being gay was an illness. Did psychology suddenly base this change on Science? Science has as its gold standard: the RCT which is a double blind random controlled study duplicated by others to arrive at the same outcome. None of this happened. That psychology changes its mind without valid scientific proof is evidence that there is no science there and nothing to hang your hat that being gay is in fact normal.
    Instead the democratic process and politics made it normal and let’s be honest here.
    Faith or trust has to have substance otherwise one is on shaky ground.

    • Catholic Caretaker

      Well said Mike.
      – Reg

  • A.j. Beck

    Great article, right on target! Thanks for posting.

  • Bill Bushey

    I think pretty much ANY sexual deviancy (even watching porn) is a very unsatisfying experience because that thirst is never quenched. With God, one finds the peace and love they so desperately need. I pray that more men and women who struggle with same-sex attraction will find salvation through Jesus.

    • Barb

      AMEN!

  • Alan

    Hey Matt, I love that you’re willing to stand and take the hits for the faith and never water down truth in your posts. For me, the truth you write is living water that refreshes and builds up my heart and soul. That others can take the same words as a flood of delusion you’re under just makes the point that spiritual truth is never arrived at by reason alone. . . never.

    I think it’s also fair to admit that church could do way better being like Jesus. With how it treats others the church often doesn’t do truth well at all both in and outside the body. Individually as members and together as church, truth = doctrine often trumps love and acts like a wall rather than a door between the church and the world. It’s not just the extremes of a Westboro baptist who use the bible as a cover for hate, it’s also the hard hearts of the KJV only who damn their brothers who find Jesus in a different translation, or the Calvinist who closes his heart to the Arminian – or vice versa- all due to their allegiance to the ‘truth.’ Truth that’s just held but is unliving always is unloving and experienced as judgmental. It’s different with Jesus, he is Truth and what he said is only Truth, but even the hard things he spoke were living and made a difference. So often the church is set on the truth/judgment thing but misses/lacks love. We would impact greater if we cared as much about having open hearts as we do about being correct.

    • Barb

      AMEN!

  • Judy Ann Lyoness

    The people that condemn you for offering Christ are only using you as the scapegoat. All of those who are depressed and suicidal over their gender crisis are feeling bad because God gave each of us a conscience that tells us when we have done wrong, whether they ever hear the gospel or not. LGBT would not be an “alternative” if it did not vary from what they know in their hearts is “normal”. They may blame society’s teachings for their discomfort (just like the blame Christians and anyone who holds a moral stance), but it is an indisputable fact that societies all over the whole world have the same beliefs in the difference of the sexes. I challenge anyone to find a society in history or today that totally embraced the LGBT lifestyle and survived. So it is not even evolutionarily feasible, if you want to use science as a basis. I do not hate those who are LGBT. I have LGBT friends. But I have never hated anyone for being a sinner. It’s what we are until we let Christ change us. Keep on loving, Matt!

    • Barb

      So very true!

    • Tammy Rainey

      “All of those who are depressed and suicidal over their gender crisis are
      feeling bad because God gave each of us a conscience that tells us when
      we have done wrong,”

      Nonsense. You make claims which you cannot in any wise support.

      I was saved by grace at the age of nine, except for one five year episode of near suicidal depression after high school, I spent the following decades as a very faithful Christian. At 24 I was licensed to the ministry in the SBC and spent 2 decades preaching the conservative Christian party line.

      Even though I’d experienced gender dysphoria since I was 5 or 6 years old.

      I have prayed seemingly a million prayers of repentance while mistakenly convinced this was sin, begged for healing at every turn, cried countless tears, sought ONLY to seek his will in this life and wanting more than anything to be a “normal” man who did not have this condition.

      And it never EVER lessened let alone went away. For 40 years and more, it never went away. The only healing I ever got was when I realized my religious leaders, and the culture around me, had been lying to me all my life.

      If being trans was wrong, something for our conscience to convict us of and push us to turn away from, then WHY was it that in those 20 years as a minister when I fully embraced the false anti-trans doctrine, even preaching it from time to time, and wanted nothing more in life than to be delivered from the sinful temptation so that it never crossed my mind again, always avoiding any thought of indulging it and repenting even for the existence of the desire….yet no peace came?
      Why?

      Frankly, madam, it is wildly arrogant and grossly insulting for someone who has no experience with this, no education or training about it, and no theological understanding of the subject (the Bible says nothing whatsoever against it) to try and explain it away with your uninformed speculation which serves no purpose but to make you feel better about your desire to look down on these people.

      Your Lord modeled empathy, compassion, kindness, mercy, grace and love towards the outcast and the marginalized – will you follow Him? Or follow the path of the Pharisees?

  • James

    We’ve heard this. We know this argument and theology. It’s always the churches response. It’s always the action that’s taken. It’s always the push for the theology and the apologetics.

    But this doesn’t raise money for Orlando. This doesn’t cause the church to say “no one should ever fear for their life for holding someone’s hand.”

    • Sandi Luckins

      Orlando was committed by a homosexual. It was homosexual against homosexual

      • James

        Umm, no he was not. The FBI even states so about 4 days ago. Regardless, what’s your point?

        • Sandi Luckins

          I don’t care what the FBI is saying now. It was committed by a homosexual. Homosexual violence against other homosexuals.

          • James

            You’re going to need a few more credentials or logic to make a statement you expect anyone to believe to be more accurate than that of the Federal Buraeu of Investigation. AGAIN, regardless, the hell is your point?

          • Sandi Luckins

            I’m sorry it was too clear for you to understand. It is not the church, or church teaching hurting homosexuals – they hurt each other. Feel better?

          • James

            Yet, again, you have no proof that he was gay. However, let’s assume he is. An isolated case of like hurting like does not overrule or erase the countless cases and decades, no centuries, of “Christians” or people in the name of Jesus, hurting or abusing the LGBT community

          • Sandi Luckins

            Like it or not, Jesus said that homosexuality is a sin that will keep one out of the Kingdom of Heaven. He created us – He sets the rules.
            People who suffer with homosexuals urges hurt each other all of the time. They keep each other out of God’s blessings – all in the name of love – which is no more than sin. They lie to each other that their sin is immutable and innate when Jesus said that He would heal us of our sin. If loving me is keeping me out of the blessings of God, I would say that is not love.

          • James

            If rig the point and shifting blame. Cool.

          • Sandi Luckins

            We know you ignore the truth. What are you trying to shift blame on now, James?

          • James

            I’m not shifting the blame on anyone. I’m calling out the church for its lack of empathy

          • Sandi Luckins

            The church has a lot of empathy for these sinners. I haven’t seen that much shown for adulterers, murderers and thieves. No one wants these people to go to Hell like the culture today does. The church keeps trying to protect them from that James.

        • Adam Jenson
      • Guy New

        http://freedomoutpost.com/judge-fbi-transcript-shows-nobody-died-in-orlando-shooting-until-swat-teams-entered-the-building/
        ……………………..
        http://,,,,,freedomoutpost.,,,,,com ,,,,,/judge-fbi-transcript-shows-nobody-died-in-orlando-shooting-until-swat-teams-entered-the-building/
        ……………….

        • Sandi Luckins

          Sorry, I don’t read links from people I don’t know

    • David Foster

      I understand that the church represents Christ on Earth, but the church is still a sinful, tainted body and organization. Just like Pope Francis said today, the church will let people down and should probably apologize to different organizations and groups. This is because its a business, and a business doesn’t save people. Yes, a business can raise money for events and causes, but Jesus (a person) moves, touches, and enters into our hearts that changes our lives.

      • Barb

        Exactly!

      • James

        Again, the vast majority is aware of that message. But unlike Jesus, the church seems to have little interest in backing it up with actions. And they only seem to care about the LGBT community whenever it’s convenient to help them look pious.

        • David Foster

          ???

          • James

            You can try to repeat the gospel to every LGBT person you meet, but most if not all will not care to hear it. Because it will the millionth time they’ve heard it. They are very aware of the church and what it teaches. What they never seem to see are Christians who actually care about their lives and day to day needs. Why should they listen to the gospel of Christians who never put it to practice?

          • Judith77

            Because seeds are planted, and they are cultivated by love. Of course many care about day to day lives of LGBT, some are our neighbors, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, etc. Even if they respond harshly, please don’t doubt that one or many of the seeds will flourish. We may not see how Christ is working in them. With Christ, all things are possible.

          • James

            Except, seeds aren’t being planted. Because the church does nothing. It makes a sermon or prays a prayer in church about the LGBT people but never puts their faith to practice. As James said, faith without works is dead.

          • mike

            The church are people who are suppose to be followers of Jesus. But many of these followers have treated LGBT+ as lepers sending them away, pretending they don’t exist, and when one is found among them many churches use ‘discipline’ to cast them out while ignoring their own many sins!
            This is a valid criticism James and the church will lose its charitable status soon which is good in my humble opinion. Persecution of the church has always been purifying and redemptive.And then maybe there will be authentic caring an loving of LGBT+ folk. Who can refuse genuine love?

          • cryptical

            That’s a pretty huge generalization, James. I have no doubt there are some churches who are “doing nothing”, as you say. There are many others who indeed are doing something. Personally, as a Christian, I’ve had many gay friends, and one of my best friends is a gay man. We are able to frankly discuss our differences and continue loving each other. I seek to love him and share Jesus with him as much as I can. Maybe you’ve been hurt by some church sometime, but please don’t let yourself use that as an excuse to reject Jesus. I agree with what David says upthread about where we are to look is to a holy and righteous and loving God. It’s to him we’re going to answer at the end of our lives. Not to a church or another human being. Peace.

  • Guy New

    as an EX TRANSSEXUAL = I AGREE = I USE TO BE A NASTY SINNER.. BUT I WAS TURNED AROUND AND FINALLY HAD TRUE GODLY SORROW AND THEN HAD MINISTERING ANGELS COME CELEBRATE ME A LOST SHEEP BACK INTO THE FOLD.. yes i was baptized 5 yrs previous but i still was living in willful sins.. yes i had reverted back to living as male as best as possible sine i had all the surgeries.. but i was still doing other sins.. yes we need to stop ALL SINS .. ALL WILLFUL SINS TAKE US TO HELL IF WE DO NOT REPENT.. .. one knows when they are willfully sinning.. i pray someone reads this and is convicted the the truth.. please repent and turn.. i am getting down on hands and knees for you now.. amen

    • Guy New

      Father you are the potter i am your clay.. form me into that which you desire for me to be.. i surrender my life to you and your Son.. i thank you for sending your Son Jesus to die for me so that i might be free.. amen.. i love you my sweet Jesus ..

      • Judith77

        Guy New, you didn’t allow evil to completely take your soul. Thanks be to God! I hope that you talk and write about your experiences, you may be an instrument to Christ in saving someones soul and from self mutilation. Christ be with you, always.

        • Tammy Rainey

          he’d need a Biblical case to do that – and there isn’t one.

          As a follower of Christ, perhaps a more christ-like course of action is
          to empathize with hurting people and show kindness and compassion,
          rather than condemnation?

    • Tammy Rainey

      please explain to me in specific detail, using proper Biblical exegesis, how specifically we may conclude that transsexual transition is “nasty sin”?

  • Alan

    Maybe the better question is, “Are LGBT people being damaged by Traditional Christians?”
    There is huge need for believers to be alive in Truth, not just live on truths they were brought up with.

  • Eddie

    I get where you are coming from Matt. It is difficult to maintain one’s path along the straight and narrow (no pun intended!) yet hear the heartbreak from those individuals who opt to live the gay lifestyle because they don’t want to go through this life alone. Loneliness sucks, yet so does regret. It is this life, not the afterlife that people tend to focus on mostly because this is their reality — the here and now, but this reality will pass away. They say life is short, live in the moment, etc. Then what? How long is the life and how much time is in the moment? I don’t want the loneliness either. I don’t want to perish more so.

  • None ya

    If we’re admitting that “what we believe is what we believe because it is what feels right to us”, then let us belive what we believe and leave us be. Quit pushing your beliefs on others. The end.

  • love2write

    I have had and do have gay friends and not one of them is ever happy in their lifestyle. When they admitted the burden and sorrow of their chosen lifestyle was too much, some came to the Lord and were joyfully transformed. Overall, we need to recognize our own desperate need for God before change is even possible. As long as we see ourselves as self-sufficient and all-knowing, we have idolized ourselves and will consistently deny our need for God. Also, as long as we hold onto this attitude, our sin and self-deception will continue to harden our hearts which takes us further and further away from any hope of salvation. (I am speaking from experience, not a gay lifestyle, just a very self-centred one that nearly destroyed me. Learned that the pleasure of sin only lasts a moment, then there’s hell to pay and no escape outside of the gracious help of God).

    Heb 3:8  Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
    Heb 3:12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
    Heb 3:13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

    To continue to sin hardens our hearts, and the longer we continue, the harder it is to change. Therefore, repentance must be more than a mental assent that we are doing wrong. When we are touched by God, it is then that we fall on our face and recognize our depravity. King David recognized his own sin and had a godly sorrow for it. It was his heart that changed:

    Pas 51:2  Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
    Psa 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

    ALL HAVE SINNED! This is true for ALL OF US! God loves us and is there waiting for us to respond to Him! He’ll pull us out of any pit and change our sorrow into joy! He did it for me and many of my friends, and He’ll do it for anyone!

    • Mr. M

      I’m gay and am happy as ever. The only time I wasn’t happy in my life was when I was in the closet and felt the need to date women.

      • love2write

        It is not about our personal happiness. It is about doing the right thing according to the Word of God.

        • Mr. M

          And what is the “word of God” exactly?

          • love2write

            The Bible. Also, Jesus: John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

          • Mr. M

            Says who? Maybe Buddhists or Hindus are the correct religion. Maybe one of the many hundreds of religions that preceded the Abrahamic religions is the true and correct religion.

          • love2write

            Isa 45:5  I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
            Isa 45:6  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
            Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
            Isa 45:8  Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.
            Isa 45:9  Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

            Bible prophecies are fulfilled to the letter concerning the birth of Christ, death, resurrection, and continue to be and will be fulfilled re: the state of Israel, world events and end times prophecies. Mostly, God cannot lie whereas man is flawed in his thinking and theology. All religions are man-made.

            True Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with God.

            Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
            Joh 1:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

          • Mr. M

            “All religions are man-made” – and so is the bible. It was written and edited by men and kings throughout the centuries. It is not the “word of God”.

          • love2write

            Scripture says otherwise.

            2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
            2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

            2Pe 1:20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
            2Pe 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

            Many can attest that once they not only read it, but begin to believe it and apply it to their own life, their life changes dramatically. It is a “living” Word.

            Isa 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
            Isa 55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
            Isa 55:10  For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
            Isa 55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

  • Rollan McCleary

    To answer the recycle of this article in the Christian Post, it should be perfectly obvious that gays have been and are damaged by traditional church teaching. Suicide, depression and homelessness caused by conservative family churches and attitudes are not to be swept under the carpet, as good as denied in their sheer unacceptable horror.. Nor is it reasonable to suppose that the average Christian or would-be ex gay can be expected so to find their answers in Jesus they will “obsess” over him daily and live almost continually in his light as Matt describes himself as doing. Which is fine if it works for him, but practically speaking little answer for most people gay or straight with or without faith. Life presses in and outside of evangelicalism that degree of attachment is normally left to the monastery.
    Gays are still being damaged because of (among evangelicals at least) of a biblioatry which nonetheless makes selective reading of that same bible. If conservatives genuinely took the bible to the letter with no cultural, historical or psychological questions asked, women would be silent, always have their heads covered in church and if they were virgins raped would be forced to marry their rapists too (an alarming Mosaic requirement). Evangelicals need to stop being like Peter who because the bible seems to say something contrary says “not so Lord” when he is given vision of a need to change his teaching and views.
    Perhaps the most crucial belief to change today is the one that holds that all homosexuality is necessarily the result and expression of brokenness, a result of the Fall itself. This can be challenged on theological and other grounds . Even so, as holder of the first doctorate from any religious studies dept anywhere in gay spiritualities, and even having that doctorate published in Europe, it is well nigh impossible to get through facts and ideas which I maintain need to be known. Queer theorists, American evangelicals and academics who seem to imagine no one outside of America knows or could know anything at all, these and more go to create a massive system of hidden censorship which prevents the gay and religion issue being adequately addressed at especially the more spiritual levels. Enough said within the space of a message, but for what will seem some new and unfamiliar perspectives on homosexuality and faith see the two part essay at https://goo.gl/ojXEIt

  • Tammy Rainey

    “You defend the moral goodness of homosexual behavior by arguing that a gay person is biologically hardwired to be attracted to the same sex. You say the gay person must live according to their supposed biological “wiring” in order to live a
    full and healthy life. Yet, when it comes to transgenderism, you say people should live in contradiction to their biological anatomy in order to live a full and healthy life.

    Maybe it’s just me, but that seems inconsistent.”

    It’s just you. Because you are so intent on defeating the claims of those with whom you disagree that you have not paused to think logically. Where is this “hardwiring” you refer to? Why in the brain, of course. That’s the assertion being made.And what do trans people (and the medical science which supports their claim) say of themselves? That their gender identity is hardwired in their brain (which, by the way, is as true of you or any other non-trans person as of trans people – the brain, not the mirror, dictates gender identity).

    The brain, you may recall, is part of one’s biological anatomy.

    So in BOTH cases the claim is being made “I wish to be free to live according to the “hardwiring” in my brain. For homosexuals, this has to do with romantic attraction, for transsexuals it has to do with the dysphoria we experience in regards to many of our body’s sex-specific traits – and the way that people like you react to us as a consequence of those traits.

    But IS it biological you may ask? Well, there’s plenty of sound science that says it is and virtually none that doesn’t derive from a religious bias McHugh, Zucker, etc)that says otherwise but all you need is a little logical thinking to suss this out.

    Consider this:

    1. intersex people exist. No one denies this. For the slower among us, these are people with physical characteristics, present from birth and caused by atypical development in the womb, typical of both males and females.

    2. People can be born with brains which are affected by atypical development in the womb (such as autism for one example)

    3. The brain has many traits that are different in the typical male than in the typical female.

    as a simple matter of logic, there is no reason why – if all the others aspects of the body that are sexually dimorphic can be subject to the occasional atypical development pattern which leads to a multitude of intersex conditions, there is no rational reason who the brain would be immune to this type of phenomena. There’s yet to be any shred of scientific evidence which would disprove this thesis.

    While we do not yet know precisely what physical trait (or combination of traits) in the brain specifically lead to the sense of gender identity in humans, sophisticated brain scans make it very clear that the brain of a trans person differs in significant ways from their genitally-indicated sex and more closely – but not perfectly – aligns with their gender identity. The hypothesis that gender identity originates in the structure of the brain is therefore supported by this ongoing research.

    Moreover, we have a good and growing understanding of how sexually dimorphic characteristics develop prior to birth and there is an increasingly clear picture of how those processes occasionally “go sideways” resulting in an atypical outcome.

    There is an identified and understood point during prenatal development at which the differentiation of gonadal sex occurs, and another understood point where the sexual identity of the brain is developed – in both cases due to the actions of hormones. In 99% or more of cases this goes as it should and the brain aligns with the gonads and all is well. On rare occasion one end or the other of this course of development does not go as it should which results in the “birth defect” – analogous to intersex conditions – known as being transsexual.

    In short, by simply process of reasoning, there is no good argument to support a contention that one may be born with a vagina and a Y chromosome (which objectively happens) but one CANNOT be born with a female type brain structure which drives a female gender identity, and also a Y chromosome.

    Now, I’ll leave the debate about homosexuality to others in the interest of being tightly focused (albeit, it is not honest for someone to argue that the Biblical teaching on that subject is beyond debate) but in terms of being born transsexual, You simply display a shallow understanding of the claims being made regarding the biological claim.

    Beyond that, you also imply far too much in terms of Biblical morality in regards to trans people. I defy you or anyone else in this conversation to build a case, from scripture, using sound conservative exegesis that the Bible unambiguously disapproves of transsexual transition. In reality, the subject is neither directly mentioned nor refereed to by unmistakable implication. Unless one wants to count Jesus’ comments on eunuchs which may have some implication, but not one which supports your position.

    The only crutch which you might cite as direct support is Duet. 22:5 – I commend to your attention the commentary of the great John Gil, along with a multitude of other conservative and orthodox Bible scholars which do not support that view.

    Absent misrepresenting that verse, you have nothing at all but trying to draw implication and inference from unrelated passages and that, sir, is the opposite of sound exegesis.

    What you believe regarding the sinfulness of trans-ness is based in human tradition, not Biblical teaching. It is the epitome of the Pharisee attitude of the sort that Christ was very blunt about in the gospels. You follow a Savior which modeled for us compassion, grace, empathy, kindness, love and mercy and commanded us to walk in them – and that MOST particularly to the outcast and the marginalized. Instead, you follow, however inadvertently, the model of the Pharisees whom he condemned in that you impose the burden of obeying human traditional rules which god has not spoken upon those same marginalized and despised people.

    And for the record, I do not say these things as a leftist or an atheist – I say them as one who’s been saved by grace for over 40 years and spent almost half that time licensed by the SBC to the gospel ministry, and to my shame propagating the same false doctrine I’m pointing out to you now. From that background I call on you, sir, in love – re-examine your assumptions; view the Word with fresh eyes; shake off the shackles of human tradition which is loaded with the bias and prejudice of our sinful natures, and have the heart of Christ towards these people who are struggling with a medical condition not engaging in sin.

  • For two decades I was poisoned with the idea that if I was gay, I was going to hell. No one had told me of the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. Sure Jesus was out there, and if only I was saved I would no longer be gay. When I came to the Lord, my depression had ended and I longer wanted to kill myself, but why was I still attracted to the same sex? Had I done something wrong? Was God really sending me to hell because I was gay? This was bad theology and it lead me to a hardcore gay lifestyle.
    But it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows as promised by the LGBT community. I saw much death and disease, facing the prospect of having HIV myself (about the scariest time in my life). Yeah, they don’t want to talk about that. There was much promiscuity. They don’t want to talk about that. There was no love from any of the guys I dated, nor did I love any of them. It was all about sex. They don’t want to talk about that.
    It was only when I came back to the Father that I was able to heal. I was able to see the lies that both sides had spoken to me. I was not going to hell for being gay, but for being a sinner. The LGBT community had done nothing but lie, to keep me away from my Lord.

  • Andrew Carter

    i love Jesus and accepted Him as my Lord. I’m also gay. Before you say I’m not a genuine enough Christian, because Im living in the so called gay lifestyle, I don’t party hard (I don’t like bars or nightclubs) I don’t binge drink, I def do not do drugs, I don’t engage in promiscuous sex, I don’t go to pride parades etc. I love God and yes I’m def not perfect and I don’t plan on sleeping with every guy I encounter no matter how handsome he might be. I want a monogamous loving relationship that includes Christ in my life with a husband based on love, trust, commitment, and respect. Just like any hetero Christian my age does. I know that at least we can agree that turning to Christ doesn’t make us straight and into women, and that we are no less followers of Christ for the lack of heterosexuality. I have to be honest that even though I am told I’m being set free, it feels like a death sentence and that I have to work for my salvation even though we are all saved by grace. Suppose your interpretation of scripture is right. What will my life be like then? I ask because I honestly don’t know. Would it be to come home and read the bible and spen weekends evangelizing in the street? (Btw I don’t want to do that). Will it be living alone and smiling on the outside because God is glorified? That’s kind of what I’m doing now (I’m not seeing anyone) and to be honest I dont feel like celibacy is What God is asking me to do. That being said I do read your blogs and I do appreciate the time you put into your articles. I appreciate the love you show to LGBT folks who may or may not agree with you. And most of all I appreciate your love for God and devotion to Him.

  • Whitney

    Matt Moore I read your article and I think you are right we have been demonizing each other. You have the right to live your life as you want and I respect your walk with Christ as you fight you SSA. I disagree with you about the LGBT’s message of self acceptance. I grew up in the Church, Pentecostal, and I hated having SSA. I hated it because I fully believed I was going to hell and that my sin was the worst kind of sin, my sin was worse that stealing, killing, lying, drunkness or even having sex before marriage. I thought these things because my church preached these things, I felt even worse about it because I had to lie to everyone in order to escape having their beliefs directed towards me. One young man was outed in our church and the family ended up leaving because of the treatment and gossiping. You see I made the decision to never go back to church after I left home because of the churches message, I know some will say I shouldn’t feel the message is hateful peole are only “speaking in truth”. That message was hurtful and nearly destroyed my relationship with god and nearly destroyed my life because I internalized the message there was something wrong with me. As I actually accepted my SSA and learned to love myself I started to want to rebuild my relationship with god, but I will never go back to the church. I was depressed when I was in church, having left the church and fully embracing who I am has lead me to a much happier life. I do not wallow in pity and angre like before, I actually wake up and look forward to the day. Many will think I am lying or fooling myself but the LGBT community’s message helped me. I regreat that gay christians are treated with distain within the community, we should be more understanding and accepting of your message since it’s possible to disagree with someone with hating them. As I said I respect your walk but I fully disagree with your premise that church’s message is the message our community needs the most.

    • Hi Whitney. Like you I was exposed to religion that constantly pounded in my head that all gays go to hell. It led to the denial that I was SSA, but knowing I was. I hated myself and was dealing with the suicide of my best friend. I nearly killed myself, but that was the night I actually came to the Lord. Then again I heard that I was going to hell for being gay. But I was saved, wasn’t I? I quit going to church, and no one came after me.
      I delved hard into the hardcore gay lifestyle and lived this way for about eighteen months. I got out of it when I was offered money for sex, and when a guy tried to rape me. Still I would not go back to church. I thought I could learn about the Bible and spirituality on my own, but I was deluding myself. All I leaned was pure garbage. In the mean time I became more bitter and angry at Christians and thought of them as phonies. You couldn’t pay me to go to church.
      Then a massive stroke hit four years ago. I almost died. My memories were totally erased, including the death of my friend and what I had heard. I needed God just to relearn how to walk. I started going back to church, and relearning everything I thought I knew and realized I didn’t know anything at all.