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“I Believe!”
By: Rev. Charles Burnett-Morrow

The old Native American adage (paraphrased) states, “I will not judge my neighbor until I have walked a mile in his moccasins.”  The Lord Jesus Christ said it a little differently…

Matthew 7:1-2
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Notice that this is not a suggestion or recommendation, it is a commandment.  Sadly, however, many within the Christian church world today continue to choose to sit in judgment of others whose lives they have not lived, and whose experience they have not known.  This fact is no truer than when we look at the issue of homosexuality.  Gay-Lesbian people are depicted as evil, ungodly, immoral animals that have made a conscious choice to abandon their natural sexual and emotional inclinations in order to embrace an unnatural “life style.”  It is far easier and acceptable to brand a group of people as evil and to demonize those whom we do not understand, nor for that matter have any interest in understanding.

The fact that the vast majority of stereotypes and accusations projected upon Gay-Lesbian people have been proven time and again to be invalid, incorrect, and unfair goes ignored as preachers and organizations continue to spew the same malicious and fictitious  vomit without any regard whatsoever for it’s accuracy or validity.

The American Psychiatric Institute decided in the early 1970’s that the homosexual orientation was a valid, natural, innate human sexual/romantic orientation.  Study after study has shown that the vast majority of sexual predators who victimize children are in fact heterosexual.  Sexual crimes are usually about violence, control, and manipulation, having nothing to do with the perpetrators sexual orientation.  Almost daily we witness on our television news teachers who engage in inappropriate sexual conduct with their teenage students, some going so far as to be impregnated by their adolescent lovers.  The vast majority of the time these illicit relationships are heterosexual in nature.  Often women are engaging in sexual activity with their young male pupils!

Yet, ours is a sexually driven society!  Our televisions, as well as print advertising, are inundated with sexual images meant to encourage the consumer to buy products ranging from beer to perfume.  “Girls Gone Wild” advertisements flood the airwaves each night showing us perverted,  ogling men who video tape women doing things that are not necessarily in keeping with their natural sexual orientation or decency threshold, but they are drunk enough to lay aside inhibitions and engage in activities in front of a camera of which they may later be ashamed!  However, alas, this is all right, because it is heterosexual perversion, not homosexual.

The truth of the matter is that our society is quickly degrading into a state of mindless decadence.  We are fast becoming a lawless, boundary less, and immoral society that pursues pleasure above all else and cares little for the precepts of love, fidelity, compassion, hospitality, or community.  These were in fact the true sins of the infamous cities of Sodom and Ghemorah as described in the Bible. 

49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination (idolatry) before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.    Ezekiel  16:49-50

Nowhere, without going to excessive lengths to twist and pervert the story found in Genesis chapters 18 and 19, are these cities spoken of or described as homosexual cities!  In fact, their sexual immorality was associated with their idolatry and was very much heterosexual in nature!  Look again at the story…

Genesis 19:4-11
4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: (all the people, male and female. And by the way, the same exact word translated here as “people“ appears in two other places in this verse and is misleadingly translated “men“)  5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. 

If these cities were indeed homosexual cities, how in the world did Lot find it comfortable living in such an environment?  He was clearly a heterosexual male as he had a wife and two daughters.  How did his two daughters find husbands in this city that is so often misrepresented as a homosexual haven?  Why then would Lot have offered his two daughters in place of the two angels if indeed he knew good and well that the men of this city strictly had appetites for members of their same sex?  Folks, we have been bamboozled and mislead for far too long.

Many mainstream preachers and theologians try to suggest that we Gay Christians are diluting ourselves by “rewriting” the Bible to suit ourselves and to justify our “lifestyle.”  The fact of the matter is, Gay-Lesbian ministers and theologians, this author among them, are not at all threatened by the Scriptures as it is not at all necessary to rewrite the Bible to gain a better, more accurate understanding of it, but rather it is necessary to only re-read it!  Careful examination reveals that those passages most commonly used to bash and abuse Gay-Lesbian people are in fact condemning very specific sexual behavior that is specifically associated with paganism and idolatry!  Most modern theologians, however, ignore these issues, as idolatry does not exist within our society today at levels even remotely similar to those found in Biblical times and at the time of the writing of those specific passages.

John  7:24
24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. 

The Lord Jesus Christ commanded His followers to make righteous judgments.  The term righteous literally means “right.”  To make righteous judgments, or to draw correct conclusions one must look beyond the outward, external appearances and allow the light of God to illuminate their vision.  For in the final analysis, God alone is able to see all matters clearly, without prejudice, cultural influence, or dogmatic assumptions.  As Samuell, the man of God, was sorting through the sons of Jesse in an effort to anoint the next king over Israel, God revealed to him a great and important truth;

1 Samuel 16:7 
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 

One of the greatest possessions of God’s New Testament church is the indwelling Spirit of God.  And it is this Spirit which the Word of God states;

John 14:17
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 

Romans 8:27
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 

1 Corinthians 2:11
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 

We feel so comfortable condemning Gay-Lesbian people for being who they are, believing that they have made a conscious choice to embrace a “lifestyle” that is offensive to God, when in fact all the evidence clearly points to homosexuality being a natural, innate orientation.  Are some so perverse and sexually unbridled that they genuinely exchange their natural inclinations for inclinations which contradict their natural orientation, simply because of lust and desire run amuck?  Absolutely!  Homosexual conduct is common in prisons where men have to live together without the benefit of females, and females have to live without the availability of men.  These individuals literally “exchange their natural orientation for that which is (for them) unnatural, simply because it is convenient under the circumstances.  Yet when these same individuals leave prison, they generally pursue relationships that are in keeping with their natural sexual orientations.

So many preachers and teachers fail to mention that the sexual immorality described in Romans chapter one was also specifically associated with idolatry.  Same sex sexual activity was often engaged in by heathens, like the ungodly people of pagan Rome spoken of by the Apostle Paul, as a means of manipulation, torture, and punishment.  Sexual arousal in these instances was based upon the hormones released in response to military victories and abuse of power and position.  Rape is rape no matter who commits it.  Its motivations are again usually based upon violence, manipulation, and control. 

Romans  14:12-14
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. 14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 

I myself have had to live through the torment of feeling something within that I dare not share with anyone around me.  I know the pain and anguish of loving the Lord with all of my heart and yet feeling disgusting and dirty because my physical and emotional affections were somehow directed toward members of my same gender. I have suffered through excruciating depression, even becoming suicidal, because years of my cries to God for change and deliverence yielded only silence from heaven’s throne room.  Contrary to popular misconception, I never considered trying to “convert” a non-Gay male to the homosexual “lifestyle.”  (And I must say here, the term “Gay lifestyle,” as if all homosexual people embrace the same manner of living and moral precepts, is about as much a joke as one saying that all heterosexuals embrace the same “lifestyle,” or all Blacks or all Hispanics engage in the same “lifestyle”)  That would be absurd!  Instead, like the vast majority of Gay people, I always sought others who were like myself and had the same orientation as I.  

I lived through years of self-hatred, believing all the lies and exaggerations told about Gay people, even while my life experience was clearly showing these hateful untruths to be anything but factual.  It took me years to come to accept myself and to realize that all Gay people were not at all the same or embraced the same identical moral standards or lifestyle choices.  I have known Gay couples who have been together for half a century.  They have lived quiet, unassuming lives.  They have believed in and practiced monogamy.  In fact, I have come to know multiplied dozens of Gay-Lesbian couples who have shared their lives with one partner for twenty-five years or more.  It is absurd to think that anyone can judge the Gay-Lesbian community by the one segment of our population that frequents bars and nightclubs.  

If aliens were to come from outer space and make judgments about our society and culture based upon their observations of the heterosexual, mainstream nightlife and alcohol drenched subculture within our population, no one would want them to act upon or condemn us for the actions of this particular group of people.  Yet, the mainstream church continues to point to the worldliest and most decadent among the Gay-Lesbian population, claiming all the while that these represent all within the homosexual community - which is not true!  Good, decent, moral, hard working, and contributing members of our society are daily assaulted and accused of every kind of evil, when in fact they are merely trying to live their lives and achieve the same ends and goals as their heterosexual neighbors and peers.   Most Christian people are so limited in their view of and exposure to the world around them that they fail to recognize that the wildest and most evil behaviors projected upon Gay people are also regularly embraced and practiced by the vast majority of un-churched heterosexual people.  There is absolutely no difference between the Gay world and the straight world.  You can be ungodly and heterosexual just as easily as you can be Gay and ungodly.  Conversely, you can be Gay and moral just as quickly as you can be heterosexual and moral.  Each community in fact mirrors the other.  The same diversity and demographics found within heterosexual society are found within the homosexual community.

We refuse to allow Gay people to marry, but then accuse them of not embracing any morality that acknowledges or embraces monogamy or fidelity.  This same exact attitude was projected upon slaves who were brought to this country and viewed by their captors and owners as less than human, possessing no souls!  They too were not permitted to marry, and then looked upon as immoral and ungodly when they coupled themselves and engaged in marital relations outside of the bonds of a state recognized, church administered wedding ceremony.

I can tell you as one who has lived the experience; Gay-Lesbian people are not at all even remotely similar to the evil characters described by many preachers.  Many of us love the Lord and value our faith. The largest Gay organization on planet earth is in fact a Christian church organization founded in the late 1960’s by Gay-Lesbian folks who were not welcome in any established churches but who desired to have a spiritual home and place to fellowship and grow in their faith.  Many of us go to church under cover, so to speak, and sit through the verbal assaults of ignorant and uninformed preachers because we desire the fellowship of God’s people and the benefits of studying and learning from the Word of God.

It took me many years to learn to accept myself and to realize that the Lord fully understands who I am, and why I am as I am. I had to suffer through many years of dark depression before finally getting to the place where I am today.  Moreover, no one is going to take my faith away.  It does not even begin to matter if the television evangelist or local pastor understands these issues, my God does!  I have come to realize that if God’s grace is real, and I certainly believe it is, it is also for me!  

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  Matthew  11:28-30

I am capable of believing, embracing, and obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am able to hold fast to my conviction that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh.  I am convinced that He came to earth to live a sinless life, to die a sacrificial death, and to physically, literally rise from the dead after three days for my redemption.  

8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.      Romans  10:8-11

I do not need anyone’s approval or acceptance of who I am to be able to believe this wonderful Gospel.  I have received my acceptance from the Lord.  Today I want more than anything to share with you my neighbor this one important truth, so that you may be enlightened and exalted to a higher place of understanding and compassion…  You may judge me, condemn me, criticize me, and ostracize me all you wish, but with or without your love and support, I will continue to believe!

For more information relative to the issue of homosexuality as it relates to Biblical Christianity, please visit our website located at  www.GayChristians.org                     For more information and articles published by this author on various doctrinal and theological issues, please visit our website at  www.WayTruth.org