Monday, May 14, 2018

Jon Responds to a Small-Town Pastor's Anti-Gay Newspaper Essay

I was visiting family up north over the weekend. My mom is subscribed to all of these city and county newspapers, including the Fillmore County Journal. I usually scan through them when I'm visiting, but otherwise don't pay too much attention to them. I started reading this one commentary titled "Good Old Fashioned Morals and Common Sense" from the 05/07/18 edition of the paper by a writer named Pastor Bobbie Horning of Ostrander, MN:
I am writing to oppose, in love, of course, a commentary written last year titled “Give me that old time secularism.” (Fillmore County Journal, December 4, 2017) The article bashed God, Christians and the Bible. How awful and sad and untrue the things that were stated. First of all, the really real Christians are never violent towards the gay lifestyle or anyone in it. They disagree though and believe God can heal them and bring them out into a victory lifesyle (man and woman as God created). They pray for them and show them unconditional love. There are always those who profess to be a Christian but arent if they are violent in any way! There have been instances where the gay community has rallied and had a big sign that said “BURN CHURCHES NOT QUEERS,” and violence was generated on their end, attacking churches and people that oppose them! We have a right to raise our children and families in a way we choose without being told to not talk against it or have no views in the matter. God has always been against homosexuality and all wrongdoing but he loves everyone sooo much!! There is freedom of speech and the real Christians have a voice and a right to choose the way they believe. (Without violence!!!! or hate!) Paul in the Bible was not for slavery. Let me quote a verse from 1 Timothy 1: 10, “For the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers – and for whatever else is sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” Paul lived in a time when slavery was permitted, but he was not for it! You can’t just take one scripture out of God’s Word, you must study it. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both lived in a time when slavery was permitted; they were not for it though!! George was able to free his slaves in 1799 in his last will and testament. Jefferson was unable to free his slaves because he couldn’t fulfill the reguirements of the law. But he was a strong advocate against slavery!! Just because I live in a time where abortion is legal does not mean I am for it, there are laws and people’s freedoms that I cannot stop, only pray for. I am not bashing or hating that lady that wrote the article. In fact I love and pray for her. It really boils down to the fact that God is a good God! And the devil is a bad devil. God gives us choices and he does not cause earthquakes, tornados and killings. He has given us this earth to take care of and things will turn out for our good if we would listen to Him. Go on YouTube and see the testamonials of homosexuals being set free; it’s awesome. People that stayed away from the 911 incident had strong senses that something said, “Don’t go to work today.” God is speaking to help us but are we listening?
This commentary was such a jumble of mismatched thoughts that I couldn't get it out of my head during the ride home. I consulted with some online friends and decided to write up my own response to her essay. And yes, I know that it's somewhat snarky. I did my best to avoid too much of that:
I was visiting the area for Mother’s Day weekend and stumbled across a commentary in the 05/07/18 edition of the Fillmore County Journal titled “Good Old Fashioned Morals and Common Sense” by Pastor Bobbie Horning. She was responding to an old commentary against Biblical literalism. Which somehow required a “loving” response 
against homosexuality. Five months later. In a rambling mess of generalized thoughts and ideas. 
Let’s set aside the irony that Pastor Horning cited 1 Timothy 1:10 to speak out against homosexuality while seemingly ignoring the commandment against female religious leaders that also appears within 1 Timothy 2:11-14. 
I really want to focus on Pastor Horning’s discussions about LGBTQ people. First, there haven’t been instance*s* where the gay community has rallied and had a big sign that said “BURN CHURCHES NOT QUEERS.” There was one incident last year in the middle of a contentious political campaign in Australia where two women held up that sign. Violence wasn’t generated from that sign, nor were churches or church people attacked because of that sign. So let’s not exaggerate. 
Instead, let’s talk about ex-gay testimonies, which Pastor Horning referenced twice within her commentary. I’m old enough and have been in the gay community long enough to know how few of those testimonies actually play out long-term. I would refer you to the premier ex-gay Christian ministry, Exodus International, for a list of its successes – except that the agency eventually collapsed on its own lies and on its founders’ admission that ex-gay ministries don’t work back in 2013. 
Both reparative treatment and ex-gay ministries nurture self-doubt and depression. It falsely blames parents as bad parents who messed up their LGBTQ children. It kills the faith of religious LGBTQ people. And it leads to increased incidents of self-harm and suicidal actions by LGBTQ teens and adults. 
Sadly, local church leaders like Pastor Horning continue to urge LGBTQ people to marry heterosexually in hopes that their unwanted same-sex attraction will get wiped away. Unfortunately, this is a false hope. It just latches unsuspecting heterosexual spouses and their children to unhappy gay spouses. Pastor Horning referred readers to check out ex-gay testimonies on YouTube. I would invite her and other readers to check out the testimonies of ex-ex-gay people on YouTube – and to do it without the veil of Christian anti-gay agenda. 
I will end with the following rhetorical question for Pastor Horning – or for any other readers: How many of you would seriously encourage your son or daughter to enter into marriage with a gay person? Regardless of how much he or she says that she or he has been set free of their same-sex attractions. My hunch is that their own inner voice will urge them to “Don’t unequally yoke yourself to that person.” God is speaking to help us, but are we listening?

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