It is August 12 as I start this. I just read the front page lead article in The Tennessean and I must get my thoughts on paper. I would urge you to get a copy and read it as well. And if you miss it, there will be a book out in the near future. It's title - Loving Pearl.
I read the article. I won't be reading the book, because I have a good idea what it will say. In a sense, it will be reporting a story that I have carried in my heart for over a half century.
To help you understand what I am saying, here is the by-line to The Tennessean article: "A mother struggles to balance her Christian faith with her daughter's homosexuality." Don't stop reading. There is much more to come.
To begin with, I am a Christian. I believe in what I read in the Bible. I might have a different perspective than you, but let us always remember, God did not have clones in mind when He introduced the first of our kind. Adam was a male, Eve was a female. He made that clear. But before you start a rant centered on that old phrase, "Viva le difference", let me remind you that once the prototypes were established, God has been very patient with the balance of His creation. There are - for example, killers among us and He leaves it up to us to determine their fate. So it is, I have to believe, the same with the rest of us. Most importantly, He provided that gray matter that we discover between our ears and many among us have learned to use it to improve what we know and understand to be, society.
Now, without trying to disturb many of my readers, He also created differences in the features we have discovered between our legs. As a male, I have discovered that properly put to use, I can create life and I have, at least four times. Females have discovered their different features and like us, they know that properly uniting with the male, they can produce life as well.
I trust that I do not have to elaborate further regarding out respective anatomies.
I know and you ought to know, there are those who are not content with the basic structures and many do vile things to their bodies and through their respective appendages. More often than not, that occurs when they do not make use of the gray matter, previously mentioned.
The Bible tends to refer to such acts as sin and now, we come to what can be the worst part of our human nature. From the very beginning and throughout our lives, we learn there are other sins; we like to put all of them into a category called, human nature. We did not mean to offend God, we simply wanted to indulge ourselves in acts that give us real pleasure. The real problem is, we tend to offend others, especially when we have united ourselves with - the church.
God made a way for us to escape the penalties applicable to our sins. He sent us a - Savior. For those of us who call ourselves Christians, that person is the One we call Lord, Jesus the Christ.
And He spoke to those around Him and the generations to follow, "By this will others know that you are my disciples (followers), by your love for one another."
So, by tradition, we express our love by opening our Bibles and pointing to the sins of others and encourage them to repent. That is the way it typically happens, but it also typically ignores the commandment to love one another.
With that in mind, I need to refer to the article on the front page of The Tennessean, today. A Christian family is torn apart because the young daughter has listened to those around her and discovered - in the opinion of many of her peers, there is more to this affection we call love than a sense that we are honoring God by avoiding what the Bible identifies as sin. We have feeling for others, deep feelings and we would like to throw caution to the winds and express our love by a deeper, more physical sense. And with that, the church is aghast. The family is torn between the love for the others in their family and the love for the church. In this case, the daughter moves away to live in a different city and the story ends, there?
Is that the gospel, the good news? I don't think so. For the better part of three quarters of a century, I have been a part of the church and I have seen situations such as this happen more often that not. Worse than that, I have seen families torn apart by nothing more than different interpretations of the scriptures. I have it on good authority, that is why we have so many different churches today, all confessing an allegiance to Jesus Christ, but irrevocably divided by certain verses in the Bible. And some wonder why it appears that many are leaving the Christian church. My opinion is simplistic in nature, the real reason is that we are more concerned about our selves than others
I have many "gay" friends. Without exception, they live decent, God fearing lives. More often than not, they come from what some would say are "good" families and I enjoy their company.
All of which reminds me of a song I learned - many, years ago. "I serve a risen Savior, He's in this world today, I know that He is living, whatever men may say, I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, and just the time I need Him, He's always near. He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me, along life's narrow way, He lives, He lives, salvation to impart, you ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart."