Copyright © 2014 by Joseph Diop
LGBT, or not to be. That is the question. Does that little boy in our opening photo have a decision to make about his sexual orientation? Does he really have a choice in the matter? Ever take a look under the hood of a fine, new automobile – check out its horsepower? See what makes it run? Well, as promised, its time for us to do that on the LGBT matters of our present day. I promised a treatment of the subject, which is not your typical “homophobic rank.” With all the love I can muster therefore, here’s my effort.
For all who are not initiated, LGBT is the politically correct way of referring to all whose sexual orientation is not ‘straight’ heterosexual. With all the hub-bub surrounding the current Winter Olympic games in Russia, I’ve even heard there’s a class of LGBT known as the ‘Intersexual.’ In all honesty, I have no idea whatsoever what that means. But, LGBT addresses all who are not considered straight.
I know off the top that my treatment and views on the subject will not be acceptable to all. With such a hotly contested and controversial subject to address, I’ll be doomed if I do, and doomed if I don’t. I could just play it safe and sidestep the issue altogether. For several reasons, I have chosen not to do that. The first of which is that it would be a cowardly thing to do. This issue touches a nerve that goes throughout the entire warp and woof of America — of the whole world. I would immediately consign myself to the ranks of the irrelevant if I said nothing about the subject. If I claimed to be an ambassador of Jesus Christ and of God Almighty — a representative voice of Absolute Truth, and I do — simple professional integrity demands that I weigh in on the subject. And, if people want to know, “What about that?;” and they do, then I am compelled by duty to speak out on the subject.
Secondly, matters of sexual orientation are indeed replete throughout the Bible. And either directly or indirectly, Jesus DID comment on it. If anybody tells you otherwise, they are either outright lying to you, or are grossly misinformed, or are simply woefully ignorant to the facts. So, unless I planned to leave a gaping-wide hole in my Biblical commentary, I have to speak about it.
Thirdly, and most compellingly, I have personal loved ones and friends who are LGBT. You gotta love your own blood, and your own dear friends. You’d have to be a really cold, callous, misfited, and crude son-of-a-gun not to love them. People who have shared your life, love, affections, and upbringing have got to play a key role and have a big influence on your cultural mindset and your points of view. And so, an heroic approach to living demands that I take a stand on these issues, for better or worse.
I foresee addressing these LGBT issues in at least three (3) separate but related articles. So, stay tuned. In this post, let me begin with the story of one of my dearest relatives. All the names in these posts will be fictional. For anonymity’s sake, I’ll change their names, but otherwise leave their stories intact — true, faithful, and as accurate as possible.
Let’s begin with Kevin. Kevin and I are about the same age. Growing up, on visits to one another’s homes, Kevin was not only a playmate, but also my first cousin. As we were coming up, early on Kevin showed signs of being different. He was not much into ‘boy’ things. He hung closely to our other female cousins, and didn’t usually bother playing touch football, or baseball, or any other masculine things with us boys. Later in life, I found out that I should not have expected him to. Indeed, a key member of our family had provided us with an insightful prognosis on Kevin very early in his childhood development. Let me tell you about that.
When Kevin was only about three (3) years old, he was visiting at our grandparent’s house. My grandmother, being an extremely wise, perceptive, and spiritual woman, did not let much, if anything, pass her unnoticed. It was during that visit that she gave my mother, Bernice, a call on the phone. “Bernice, Bernice,” she said, “Kevin broke his wrist!” Now, my mother was a Registered Nurse. So, naturally supposing that grandmother was calling for some medical advice, mom responded: “Mama, that’s terrible! Did you take him to the doctor yet to get a cast put on it?” To which grandmother replied, “Ahh, Bernice, that’s not what I’m talking about. Kevin is [LGBT] !”
I remind you, Kevin at this point was no more than about three years of age. He was only a stone’s throw from the womb. He hadn’t had a chance to make a choice in the matter. So, exercising but a little common sense, that tells me that SOME individuals are indeed born that way.
I realize fully that there are some conservative and evangelical camps in the Christian faith that will deny that point of view to their dying breath. Simply because, the Bible quite apparently holds that the LGBT lifestyle is a ‘sin.’ God could not have possibly therefore ‘created’ them in that condition from birth. They deduce, “The LGBT lifestyle is a mortal sin — an offense leading unto eternal death and damnation. Holding God responsible is simply unthinkable!” If I didn’t know better, if Kevin was not my own dear proof to the contrary, then because I too believe God’s word, I might be willing to believe that. But, for me, Kevin helps me see that there is a built-in fallacy to that argument.
Admittedly, this is just one perspective belonging to a born-again Christian, who is a lover and promoter of gospel truth. So, please excuse me here, my LGBT friends, while I address my fellows in the Bible-believing camp. You know, kids are born with all other kinds of mortal, life-threatening, morbid, and ‘abnormal’ conditions. There’s spina bifida, heart diseases and malformations, cleft lip or cleft palate, mental retardation, and all kinds of behavioral disorders. There’s Asperger Syndrome, convulsions, and movement troubles. Some examples of “birth defects” that affect the nervous system include Autism, Down syndrome, and muscular dystrophy. And then there’s blindness, deafness, cycle cell anemia, and on and on and on. A child can enter this world with any variant or number or these afflictions. Do we say, “God created them with way?” Does not this discussion rightly begin with the universal and primeordial fall out and collateral damage of sin itself? Is it not true that if sin had never entered human existence, then man would have continued to live in a disease-free, paradisiacal state? But sin in general, entering the realm of human life, opened the door for all kinds of misery, destruction, sickness, disease, and even pre-mature death, which can and do indeed grip some young souls o’er ever they exit the womb.
Now, I fully realize that most of you who are LGBT do not consider your orientaion abnormal. You’ve come to accept your orientation as normal as any other. But, bear with me here for a moment. I am addressing all those who do not. I’ll get back to you LGBT readers later.
Dare I say here; yes, dare I say that even various forms and expressions of LGBT lay hold on infants before they are ever born? Furthermore I say, that it is incumbent on those of us who are born-again Christians to fulfill our roles and duties as priests for them, in order to lay hold on God’s power and His infinite mercies; and so, to deliver them. We cannot be content to merely rail away at them and to watch as indifferent bystanders, whilst any of them perish.
But, let’s get back to Kevin’s story for a moment. When we reached high school, a female cousin of ours had a birthday party. All the kids were dancing and having fun. A mutual aunt, Estelle, noticed Kevin dancing the night away. She became outraged when she observed that he was “dancing like a girl.” She immediately grabbed Kevin and pulled him to the side, telling him to “Stop that immediately!” Of course, I can’t imagine the shame Kevin must have experienced at that moment. Even for the most experienced of us, some things are just beyond the pale of our personal experience and comprehension.
Still fuming, Aunt Estelle immediately got on the phone and reported the matter to Kevin’s mom, Aunt Queen. On hearing the report, she broke down into a spell of crying, sobbing, and grief that lasted for the balance of the evening. During that time, Aunt Queen, who is a Christian, reported that God himself spoke very clearly to her heart, and told her not to judge Kevin. In ministering to her grief, God consoled her heart. Furthermore, He breathed life onto some words of the Bible that shed light and confirmation that she was in no way to accuse him. God assured her that He knew all about Kevin’s condition. Now, when I asked her recently if she recalled that passage of scripture, she said that she no longer remembered it. And, its just as well. You know how easily we take scripture passages and enshrine them as proof texts for all kinds of things. But like the apostle Paul’s mysterious and unidentified “thorn in the flesh,” God will minister grace and consolation to our hearts in many different ways and with many different passages from the Bible, regardless of what our ‘thorn’ may be.
Eventually, as this biographical sketch goes, Kevin “came out” of the closet. That as you might expect, caused even more trauma for the family. Kevin had come home from college that year, when he dropped the bomb on his parents. Then he proceeded to go up and down the block, announcing the news to all the neighbors from house to house. This floored, stunned, and saddened his father, Uncle Horace, beyond all measure. But being the true dad that he was, his grief was only exceeded by his undying love for his only son. Years later, Kevin moved to San Francisco. And when he wanted to bring his gay lover home for a holiday visit, his father suffered him to do so. He did this over the objections of other family members. Even though his father held classic Christian beliefs, his father’s heart could not bear to turn his son away, even with his gay lover in tow. He loved his son. Home was still home. Love, love, love. The things we do for love. The things we endure for love. Who can argue with love? The Bible does say, “the greatest of these is love” (1Cor 13:13).
Now, I am not finished with this subject; no, by no means. But, I will put a comma on my comments here until another day. Do not assume that you know where I am coming from, or where I am headed. My cousin, Kevin, even to this day resides in San Francisco and is a member of the LGBT community. But, I have not closed the book on him or what God will do with his life — pitiable ‘homophobe’ that I am. Kevin’s parents, Aunt Queen and Uncle Horace, still love him and pray quietly for him after all these years. They live with a settled and tangible hope. I still love Kevin just as much as I did when we were kids and he was my playmate. He’s my cousin. Blood is thicker than mud. And, being the concerned family that I am, still today I cannot talk about Kevin without getting a lump in my throat. He’s my cousin. I love him. How can I not?
So, I’ll close here with a humble and needful bow of my knee to the mystery of God at work here. There are in this life a million and one things that we cannot explain. To me, Kevin’s life is one of them. But what supercedes the mystery shrouding things here are those attributes which the apostle Paul said are still abiding; “faith, hope, love; these three…” (1Cor 13:12). And, if you have an LGBT mystery in your life, may these three sustain you too.
Do any of these LGBT issues have you confused? Don’t be confused about where you are going to spend eternity. Like Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). If you have the slightest doubt at all about your eternity, then right now consciously pray this prayer, and for the first time know for sure that if you died today you would go to heaven. Come now, this is no time to be shy or ashamed. So now, whether you are a rank sinner, or an ardent church-goer who’s not sure about your salvation, or an LGBT individual, pray this prayer and be sure once and for all.
Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open my heart and life now to receive you as Savior and Lord. Come in and take control of my life. Give me your Holy Spirit. Come and make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen.
Did you pray that prayer? Then, on the solid-rock foundation of simple child-like faith, I now pronounce you a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. Mark this date on your calendar. It’s the first day of your eternal life. Congratulations! And welcome to the family.
For 24-hour prayer and for help finding a church, call 1-888-731-1000.
If you are already a Christian, but are in need of repentance and rededication, then pray this prayer,
Lord Jesus, please forgive me for not serving you the way that I should. I open up my heart now, and give you full access and control. Have your way, Lord. Cleanse me from my all sin and idolatry. Fill me with your Holy Spirit again. Renew me, Lord. Make me the kind of person and servant I ought to be. Amen.
For 24-hour prayer and for help finding a church, call 1-888-731-1000