He said he was shunned ever so slowly over time as the standoff was revealingly obvious; church members who would be very friendly and supportive of his leadership in the youth group are hardly speaking to him, and if they do it is very limited and formalised than before. Other rumours suggest that he was involved in some other action with another man who used to attend the church; the booted gay man is indeed same sex attracted and has borne the anti gay rhetoric in sermons, strong opposition to homosexuality in youth meetings especially in the height of the Professor Bain fiasco and subsequent antigay advocacy by groups such as Lovemarch, Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS and Jamaica CAUSE. His church was also targeted in the campaign on a national church tour by one or more of the aforementioned groups. He participated as his obligations allowed but was also aware of his own sexuality and such. To have to hide who one is for so long must have been difficult; effectively living a lie in all places in the house of God and now to face this ostracism and out casting or othering.
The Sodom & Gomorrah story was often brought into the mix time and time again and he just got fed up of it; I have been evolving on this matter of Lot and his family’s exit from the city that was doomed for a long time, if we were to follow the teachings and warnings before. The real story to me is about the abuse of women as opposed to homosexuality as it conveniently used to justify the destruction of the city. The frame of reference tends to start at the angels visit to the city to clear it of qualified persons to the Lot engagement and instructions to exit the area through to the mistakenness of the soldiers of the visitors as spies when they were angels to the actual destruction to the turning into a pillar of salt the disobeying wife of Lot and finally ends at the departure of Lot and his two daughters. What is often not addressed either by theologians or fire brand preachers is the incest that took place afterwards which to me is the more problematic issue. Theologically it would be too uncomfortable to say it was about abuse of women and the sexual aspersions that the related family members seem to display coupled with the interpretation of the term “to know” in Hebrew as sex. Just as Abraham went into Egypt and speculated they would kill him so he effectively pimps his own wife Sarah they relations as they are seem to go to territories and cast sexual issues on others or are carrying out a permissive type of incest in Hebrew culture in the name of procreation and the continuation of the bloodline in the face of an absent matriarch in the household seeing she was turned into a pillar of salt.
The daughters are blamed for the incest albeit Lot was drunk but evidently not too drunk to get an erection and somehow make it happen; and the justification of homosexuality is easier to roll of the tongue from the pulpit. The church and theologians seem not to want to deal with the story in its entirety.
Booted man has left the church
He left the church body in March he said after some several months of pressure and continued ostracism and things came to a head when a meeting was called to discuss ‘change’ with strong hints of some sort of reparative therapy and prayer as the only way out. Lord knows my own experience in my twenties when I too like so many others tried the ‘pray the gay away’ strategy when in ignorance thought and was led to belief my homosexuality is a sin and a deviant behaviour; try as I might and pray as fervently as I did with even abstinence attempted the ‘gay’ did not go away; in fact it became even more pronounced. Urges and desires cannot be just driven away like that; if God did not want me to be a homosexual he would have made it so from the very beginning. Why would so many other animals display same gender sexual tendencies so much, are they guilty of some deviance too?
I like the young man went on fasting, asked for the Holy Spirit to (re)wash me or change me and it never came to fruition. In fact the opposite occurred where it was if the spirit spoke and said you are good as you are and there is no need to amend anything in that department. I would have loved to have asked or ask the young man to ask his elders the question of Luke 17:34 and its tenets where Jesus in a teaching on the rapture makes what appears to be a neutral non-discriminatory reference where it read (King James Version):
I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
Let me end here for now but I did this post just to show the madness coming from ignorant folks who in an information age refuse to accept the reality. If I may use the JCHS’s own biblical quote they end their newsletters with:
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” Isaiah 9: 2 KJV
JCHS needs to take their own counsel and step out of darkness into the present realities. The church overall is missing the need to fulfil the word yet at the same time realise that other matters in society needs attention such as the loss of life. Where are these antigay groups apart from obligatory condemnation during child’s month on abuse of children, pastors in inappropriate acts with congregants and or children as well or the crime, murders and highly suspected political corruption?
Bearing in mind King James in whose name the most popular English translation of the Bible in 1610 is in was actually bisexual even in the face of a buggery law; pity the goody King would not have foreseen the work put in would be used as a destructive weapon hundreds of years later against LGBT people. Let us put to rest the silliness about “homosexual lifestyle” once and for all; as a phrase it is pure propaganda, a gossipy generalization and completely unworthy of a Christian who, following the counsel in Proverbs seeks understanding and insight into life and people. As Christians some will have to decide if we are going to partake of divisive “party spirit” that racked the church at Corinth or follow Christ as discerning attentive principles – to that still small voice and sharpen concerns for the ostracized instead of creating more strife.
Oh these modern day Pharisees, Saducees and Scribes who think their correctness is the be all and end all. Frankly envy of the apparent freedom of LGBT people could be called ‘freedom envy’ in my view. The role of freedom envy in the anti LGBT crusade is confirmed by the repeated and emphatic reference to “the homosexual lifestyle.” This is left a vague generality, as though it were something everyone already understands. The so called “homosexual lifestyle” is associated with a US view of homosexuality and dates back to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and stories of bath houses in places such as San Francisco; hence folks like Dr Wayne West of JCHS uses it as well to vectorise gays in his antigay advocacy or the deceptive “HIV is a gay disease ploy.” There is no such thing as a ‘homosexual lifestyle’ just as there is no such thing as “heterosexual lifestyle” heterosexual live on a “lifestyle” continuum just as homosexuals do. The continuum includes people in decades long monogamous relationships, people who live in social isolation, people who in into bar scenes etc people who move from relationship to relationship.
The gay Christian minded brethren has since moved on though disappointed that he cannot serve as he is used to but is searching for a worship space that can afford him that; I told him he may have a hard time finding one that is so embracing; I too have been finding it difficult to find such a space.
Finally as for the Levitical or Leviticusal or holiness codes (on homosexuality) bear in mind in the KJV the preamble is quite clear as it reads in part:
“The book of Leviticus accordingly is a manual for priests detailing the religious rules and procedures which the priests had to observe and enforce for the covenant nation of Israel. Its historical setting is the two years Israel spent encamped at Mount Sinai; it contains no further account of Israel’s journeys from Egypt to Canaan.”
“The fact that Moses, the author of Leviticus devoted an entire book to priestly matters shows the importance that the religious observances were to have ever afterwards for the Israelites. Christians, under the terms of Christ’s new covenant do not regard these Levitical regulations as binding, but they do obey the same God, not in the letter of the law but in the spirit of Christ.”
Peace & tolerance