This is written to special friends of mine and it is rather lengthy (my apologies for that). The contents, I think, would benefit other Christians, too. Therefore I'm putting these thoughts on the website for all to read and consider.
First, I want to tell you a little about me – introduce myself to you – so you will have more information on how to relate to me. There's a big difference between a person who becomes a Christian and that's the end of it, and a Christian who studies and grows and makes a spiritual difference in his life. You cannot tell the difference between a Christian who doesn't grow and any non-Christian. But Christians who are spiritual adults are going to relate differently to a peer.
I became a Christian when I was 14 in 1956. I attended Fairview Evangelical Free Church in San Antonio, Texas. In about 1958 I decided to grow in Christ and be a real, sincere Christian. In 1960 I went to Trinity Bible College in Chicago, which was its name before it became Trinity International Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois.
I was not successful at Trinity because I didn't know how to work full time to support myself and also go to school full time. I completed about 1 1/2 years at Trinity, and then joined the Army. I served as a medic for three years in Germany, then I went to military pharmacy school and served for another four years as a pharmacist. One of those years was in Korat, Thailand. I already wrote about my year in Thailand more extensively in The Year That Changed My Life.
Although I flunked out of college, that was not the end of my scholastic efforts. I understood there is no demand that I must learn everything right now, immediately. I understood that I could continue to learn and attend college courses at my leisure over the years. Consequently during my army years and afterwards I took many college courses, some on campus and some at remote classes. Besides attending college, I also regularly read instructional books outside of class.
I did the same thing with my spiritual effort, too. I read textbooks and study books on both secular topics and spiritual topics. I studied the Bible and did not let my Koine Greek die, although I had only one semester of it.
In all this, I continued to grow spiritually. Each year I can see how I've progressed in my spiritual walk from the last year. Around 1994, I decided to read the Bible through yearly, and have not failed in that quest. I've taught Bible class in my home and my pastor occasionally asks me questions about what the Bible says concerning this or that.
After the military, I returned to a local college and got a degree in Computer Science. I became a computer programmer in 1973 and discovered I absolutely loved computers. I was made for it, and it for me! In 1978 I moved from San Antonio, Texas, to Los Angeles, where I worked at several places as a senior programmer/analyst, including Lockheed Aeronautical Company (now displaced to Atlanta, Georgia), and Kaiser Permanente.
In 2001 I quit Kaiser and focused my efforts on the Internet. I now write websites for small businesses in my own company, and provide the website hosting as well.
In your email, you said you are reading the book When Homosexuality Hits Home by Joe Dallas, and watched the DVD of Sy Rogers story, "One of the Boys." I'm so proud of you! You are far ahead of many of your Christian peers. You're going out and seeking information instead of just accepting certain religious doctrine that truly hurts other people. You're thinking. Praise God for that.
I think you do not know how many gay military people passed through your doors in Thailand at Friendship House. If you had known who they were and that they were there, your ministry of spiritual healing and growth in Christ may have been multiplied several-fold. I was not there when you moved to His House, but because I know the military and the gay issue, I know you must also have had gay people there, too, seeking your help and solace.
About Gays Choosing their Lifestyle
A common Christian doctrine is that gay people "choose" their orientation. I know you've heard it. Before I talk about it, however, I want you to think about that statement.
- If a person does not choose his sexual orientation, then that means the Christian doctrine "homosexuality is a sin" is false. If being gay occurs to people just as naturally as does being black or yellow or white, then the Christian church has committed a grevious sin against a whole segment of humanity.
- If a person chooses his sexuality, then I'd like you to tell me when you chose to be heterosexual.
- If homosexuals (who are in the best position to know) say they did not choose their orientation, and if the current leading scientific thinking is that people do not choose their orientation, then the heterosexual Christian statement that homosexuals do choose their orientation is nothing more than a blatant attempt to prop up a false doctrine and avoid admitting they are wrong, at the cost of other people's lives.
I think that's the crux of the argument. If homosexuality is not chosen, then being homosexual is not a sin. If it is not chosen, then the Christian doctrine that says it is a sin must be wrong. And that becomes a problem, because nobody is willing to admit his religious doctrine is wrong.
The Church's Doctrine
It's analogous to the ancient church doctrine that the earth is the center of the universe, and the sun, moon and stars revolve around the earth. The church theologians could back up what they said by the Bible; the Bible says over and over that the sun rises and sets and goes back around again. When scientific evidence began to surface suggesting that religious doctrine was incorrect, the church reacted by threatening to kill people over it, as they threatened Galileo. That was in 1633. That church formally changed their doctrine in 1992.
Another church, the Southern Baptist Church, broke off from the American Baptist church in 1845 over the issue of slavery. There is no doubt, I think, that the Southern Baptists are doctrinally correct in most other areas. They were leaders in evangelism and proper Biblical exegesis. Their slavery doctrine, however, supported, defended and encouraged slavery in America. In 1995 the Southern Baptists renounced their doctrine of slavery being God's will, and right for America.
The church will defend its Bible-based doctrines to the harm, torture, execution and death of other people. That was done in both the Roman Catholic Church and the evangelical Southern Baptist Church. When the church finally renounces its doctrine, it's hundreds of years too late, after the damage is done, and no one thinks about it any more.
I wrote a book, Key to Biblical Doctrine, that deals with the problems of that church doctrine which allows, encourages and demands Christians to attack gay people. I believe the book will be helpful to Christians dealing with homosexuality from either side of the argument. I hope you read it.
The Christian's Response to Homosexuals
The thoughts that heterosexual Christians have about homosexuals are, I think, twofold. This is only my opinion and you may know otherwise, based on your own experience.
First, heterosexual Christians believe (I think) that young gays are trying to be "naughty," like a child trying to get into the cookie jar, because children think it's cute and rebellious. These naughty children need to be restrained and disciplined – by heterosexual Christian adults.
Second, heterosexual Christians believe (I think) that seasoned gays have (knowingly or otherwise) made a league with the devil and they are openly flouting godless behavior, mocking God and Christianity. That is warfare, which calls for a like response. Christians have declared war on homosexuals to the death.
The Problem With the Theory that One Chooses His Sexual Orientation
These following statements are all true. Most of them are still being practiced today. Some are outlawed in some states. These are the things that gay people generally endure today.
First, there's mocking and ridicule. A gay's brothers, sisters, parents, children, cousins, friends, coworkers, fellow church members, and practically any one else they come in contact with, commonly and openly ridicule gay people. Nobody wants to be the butt of general society's displeasure and discipline. Therefore, gay people tend to hide who they are.
Gay people are fired from their jobs for no reason other than being gay. I know people who have been fired for that. One of my friends in 2008 was fired for being gay and no other reason. He was a highly skilled, respected leader in his profession, but one wagging tongue led to his accusation, admission and termination.
Gay people are kicked out of their rental apartments or denied rental altogether, for no reason other than they are gay.
Gay people are denied marriage, a basic human right.
Gay people, to this day, are still being murdered in the American military by their peers. Some of these murders make the newspapers; others are successfully covered up. A guest speaker at our church this past Sunday (January 19, 2009), told the story of when he was in the Air Force Academy and fellow cadets came into his room at night, threw a blanket over his head and beat him severely because they thought he was gay. (They were right, but they didn't know.)
If caught being GIM (Gay In Military), they are tried in a court and exposed to the world. Then they are dishonorably discharged, ruining in many cases their hopes for future gainful employment. Their families now know about them, too. Their lives are shattered.
Since the "Don't Tell, Don't Ask" regulation went into effect, the military now accepts allegations as evidence. If only one soldier reports, "I think he's gay" about another soldier, that other soldier is closely investigated and scrutinized. Every aspect and action of his life is watched and interpreted. If several soldiers say the same thing, that is considered as proof, although they are only allegations. This is a massive witchhunt in the military, and it destroys people.
Gays in the military and military academies now have underground organizations to protect themselves while in the military.
Let me ask you this: If being gay were a choice, don't you think gays would simply choose not to be gay while in the military? Why risk all that punishment, even to the death?
Suicide is higher among gays than in the general population, especially among gay children.
A child (aged 13-17) who is gay is liable to be rejected by his parents. They kick him out of the house. They throw him out. He walks the street with no place to live and no food to eat. Sometimes he turns to male prostitution just to survive. He no longer has parents, bothers, sisters, a home, a bed, or a table to eat at. Yet, he remains gay. Why should a 15-year-old lose everything? Don't you think it would be simple enough for such a child simply to choose not to be gay until he is 18? But he doesn't choose, because he can't choose. It's not a choice.
Being gay but not thrown out of his home brings another story. Ron and I were once friends with a young teenage gay boy, around 16. He hung himself in his parent's garage. He could not stand being gay with his parent's disapproval. He would rather be dead. Don't you think he would have chosen not to be gay if he could have?
Being gay in prison is a horror I won't elaborate on here, except to point out a recent practice that has now (generally) been discontinued. They were doing this in the 1950s and perhaps afterwards. Gay in prison got you a frontal lobotomy and/or electroshock treatments. Don't you think that if being gay were a choice, people would choose not to be gay while in prison?
If being gay were a choice, then few if any people would choose to be gay. Everybody wants to fit in to his society. Everybody wants to be a loved member of his family. Everybody wants a family of his own. Everybody wants to work and succeed and be appreciated for his deeds and achievements. Nobody wants to be excommunicated from his family and peers, to be tortured and to be brutally murdered.
"Except the LORD had delivered us from the hands of our enemies, we would all surely have perished." And this, our enemy, carries the name of the Lord.
The Christian church in America is guilty of these sins against gay people. Their doctrine routinely destroys lives and drives people away from God. The Bible says, "Offenses must come, but woe to that person from whom they come." (Luke 17:1) Woe to this Christian church, for what they have done to gay people.
This is the key doctrine in the Bible, spoken by Jesus:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.