If you didn’t read last month’s e-teaching titled I Love Homosexuals, and I’m Frustrated, you missed what has proven to be, based on the feedback, one of my most popular e-teachings ever. I was encouraged by the sheer volume of positive feedback, and I was blessed by how many Christians expressed genuine love for the homosexual community. (I only received one strongly critical response, predictably from a professing Christian.)
This month I want to share one particular email response that I received, in hopes that it might contribute to further understanding between homosexuals (and their advocates), and those who, like me, believe that God condemns homosexuality (along with a host of other sins of which just about everyone has been guilty) but that He also offers forgiveness and freedom through Jesus Christ.
Of all the feedback I received, the following email, from a man to whom I’ve given the pseudonym “Jean Claude,” was the most thought provoking. Jean Claude, who grew up in a developing nation, wrote to me in somewhat broken English, so I slightly edited his email to make it easier to read, but without changing the content. I think his words will touch your heart:
David…I am gay and I don’t understand why I am born this way. I started to get attracted to a man when I was 6 years old. It doesn’t mean I’m attracted to all men but I have a certain type. I remember I was attracted to my neighbor, he was an adult, maybe around 25 years old. I wasn’t attracted to him sexually because I was just 6 years old. I just liked to see his face and body (he was running shirtless at that time) without understanding why. I never had that kind of attraction to adult female.
Then, when I entered elementary school, it was all boy, a Catholic school, I was attracted to one of my classmates when I was at grade 5. It wasn’t sexually either. I didnt understand what sex was.
The same thing happened when I was at junior and high school. I was attracted to one or two boys out of hundred of boys in my school. Same thing, when I was in a college. Always, there is always one or two I was attracted to. I felt weird cause my junior/high school/college classmates liked to talk about girls and I was not really interested in talking about girls. So, I was left out. I was sad and isolated. I didn’t understand. No one I could talk to. I was growing up in a third-world country. It is a homophobic community. I became a loner and felt separated from the rest. I felt I had no friends. How could I make friendship to guys who don’t understand me? I can’t talk to my family as well. Even though my parents are never divorced, my family was dysfunctional. Inside me, I was torn apart and confused.
I had sex for the first time when I was 29 and with a man not a woman.
Finally, I found out that my 2 younger brothers are gay but we all are closeted and we never talk about it.
The rest of my siblings are straight, 3 older brothers, 3 older sister and one younger sister. I made a conclusion I was born this way and it was genetic. I believe one or two of my ancestors are gay, maybe, I don’t know.
I stay away from church because those Christians ridicule homosexuals. It is easy for them to finger point us as sinners because they are heterosexuals. What if I flip the table, they become the homosexuals and I become the hetero one, how do they feel if I do the same thing to what they have done to us?
I feel straight male is the worst human. Straight female is better than them, more understanding.
I thought Bible was corrupted. How could God condemn homosexuals, it seems unfair to me? He create us this way and He is going to send us to hell because of what we are. So, what is the point to create us? Why not just kill all of us before we are born? That way, the world would be perfect, all heterosexuals without homosexuals. The world does not need garbage like us. It is better we are eradicated before we are appeared on earth. This sounds good, right, David.
I know a lot of gays are not Jesus followers. How could they follow our Lord if the Bible says homosexuals will be sent to hell?
In 2012, I start to believe the Bible is true 100%. It takes long process to get to where I am now. I believe in Jesus very strongly. I believed in Him in the past but it was like 50%. I just believe He found me not I found Him. However, I still don’t understand why I’m gay. I wish I were bi-sexual, that way, I can try to kill my desire toward men and try to increase my desire to women. Unfortunately, I can’t do that. I’m gay 100%. There is no way for me to get attracted to female.
So, I promise myself to celebate since I’m not attracted to female, I can’t marry one of them. To marry with a man, I’ll end up in hell. I have to be single forever and I cannot do fornication even though my desire to have sex is strong….
I really don’t understand with what God wants. I am confused. We can’t do this and that. I thought as long as we don’t harm other people, it was okay. I want to obey the Lord but at the same, I don’t understand. When I meet Jesus some day, I want to ask Him, why I am born this way. It’s not cool for me. 🙁 I wish David Servant were gay, that way he knew how I feel.
Several things that Jean Claude wrote stood out to me. I wonder if they did for you as well.
First, Jean Claude certainly didn’t fit the stereotypes of homosexuals that have been constructed in many of our minds. I found myself very sympathetic to his plight.
Second, I couldn’t help but wonder if the roots of Jean Claude’s homosexual desires were traceable to his childhood experiences. Jean Claude related a life story of rejection and alienation by men that seemed to feed on itself and culminate in a strong disapproval of heterosexual men.
Similarly, I wondered if Jean Claude’s early attraction to one particular man when he was just six years old was not a natural longing to fill a void in his life created by an absent, emotionally-detached, or abusive father. In my opinion, fathers should be the heroes of their 6-year old sons. Why would Jean Claude, at 6 years of age, have such an attraction to an adult male neighbor?
I could not help but notice that Jean Claude was the 7th out of 10 children. There were 6 boys and 4 girls. He mentioned that his two younger brothers are also homosexual, but that his three older brothers (and all of his sisters) are heterosexual. It would be interesting to learn if the relationship that Jean Claude and his two younger brothers had with their father or mother was different in some way than that of their three older brothers. I found myself speculating on different possible scenarios involving their parents. Might the demands of providing for ten children have pulled their father away from them? (In some developing nations, many fathers leave home for years at a time to work in other nations just so they can provide for their families.)
Then I thought about Jean Claude’s comment that his family was dysfunctional, indicating something undesirable that would certainly have involved his parents in some way. Could an angry, abusive, or uncaring father have been the catalyst for the roots of homosexuality in Jean Claude and his two younger brothers, who as children all only longed for a true father? Might their mother have taken a perversely dominant or abusive role in the family that affected their attitude towards women?
Of course, there are many other possible scenarios that can characterize dysfunctional families. I am only questioning if, in some cases such as Jean Claude’s, homosexuality might initially stem from an unmet natural longing for love from a parent of the same sex, or from an unnatural role adopted by a parent of the opposite sex. (I am certainly not saying that all homosexuals came from dysfunctional homes. I know homosexuals who were raised in very good homes.)
Some readers might disapprove of my amateur attempt at psychoanalysis. Others might accuse me of absolving people of personal responsibility. All I can say is that I know, from 20 years of serving as a pastor, from observing and counseling large numbers of people, and from my own experiences over 55 years of life, that we all need and long for love, and those who are deprived of it often find ways to cope. Behavior is frequently shaped by one’s environment, and certainly from home life. Scientific studies prove it. For example:
63 percent of youth suicides come from father-deprived homes, 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children are from father-deprived homes, 85 percent of all children exhibiting behavioral disorders come from father-deprived homes, 80 percent of rapists motivated by displaced anger come from father-deprived homes, 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from father-deprived homes, 75 percent of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from father-deprived homes, 70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from father-deprived homes, and 85 percent of all youths in prisons grew up in father-deprived homes (see mensdefense.org/STM_Book/FatherDeprivation).
In his book, Bringing Up Boys, Dr. James Dobson shared some of his views regarding possible environmental factors for homosexuality. Interestingly, he wrote that homosexuality is not fundamentally about sex:
It is about everything else…loneliness, rejection, affirmation, intimacy, identity, relationships, parenting, self-hatred, gender confusion, and search for belonging. This explains why the homosexual experience is so intense….
Dr. Dobson’s words certainly seem to describe Jean Claude to some degree. Fathers and mothers, take heed!
It was heartbreaking to read Jean Claude’s words, “I feel straight male is the worst human. Straight female is better than them, more understanding.” How does an attitude like that develop apart from suffering significant male rejection?
It was even more heartbreaking to read, “I stay away from church because those Christians ridicule homosexuals.” When professing Christians act hatefully towards homosexuals, they only exacerbate the very feelings that may well be the genesis of homosexuality.
If the roots of Jean Claude’s homosexuality are childhood and adolescent wounds, how will those wounds be healed by a church that he perceives to be full of ridicule and rejection? If Christian men distance themselves from Jean Claude because he seems different (or somewhat feminine), how will any potential longings he has for male acceptance be fulfilled? My overriding thought as I read Jean Claude’s email was, This man needs genuine Christian love.
It was even more heartbreaking to read, “The world does not need garbage like us. It is better we are eradicated before we are appeared on earth. This sounds good, right, David.”
Remember, Jean Claude is no longer a practicing homosexual, but one who is trying to follow Jesus as he struggles against what seems to him to be inherent homosexuality. He is determined not to sin against God. I did not quote the part of Jean Claude’s email in which he declared that he not only abstains from homosexual sex, but from masturbation, for fear that it would send him to hell.
May I stop again and make the disclaimer that I am not saying that Jean Claude’s experience is representative of every homosexual, that the parents of homosexuals are always to blame, or that I’m certain that my speculations are the reason for Jean Claude’s homosexuality. Although I don’t believe that homosexuality is genetic, and I do believe that personal choice plays a part, I am not so foolish as to think other envirnomental or biological factors I have not addressed might not be factors. And may I affirm once again that I believe, based on the Word of God and the testimonies of former homosexuals who have turned to Christ, that forgiveness and freedom are available in Him.
From Gay to Joyous
It seemed providential that the most recent issue of World magazine (for which I am grateful to have a subscription through the generosity of friends) contained an interview with author Christopher Yuan, a former homosexual and drug dealer who is currently pursuing a doctorate of ministry. Yuan was asked in that interview what he believes was the catalyst for his homosexuality, and he listed both exposure to porn at age 9 and peer rejection. Concerning the latter, he said, “I was born in the Chicago area, at a time in the suburbs when there were not many Asians. I was bullied for being Asian and was not good at sports, so I was called gay, fag, sissy, and began to ask myself, ‘Who am I?'”
Having read the Bible, and having some experience at dealing with the devil, I recognize how he works. His primary weapon is the repetitive lie, and he is always on the prowl for anyone who will lend him their ear. Although Yuan listened to Satan’s lies for a time, thankfully he eventually believed God’s truth and found his identity in Christ. He was delivered first from drug addiction and then from homosexuality. Neither occurred apart from his own will, which is why his deliverance from homosexuality occurred later than his deliverance from drug addiction.
In closing, my primary purpose in writing this e-teaching was to garner a little more sympathy and love for homosexuals than what is commonly found in some Christian circles. Too many of us have stereotyped all homosexuals to be the intentionally-offensive, stomach-turning, God-hating creatures who seek photo ops at gay pride parades. But many of them are like Jean Claude. Either way, Jesus died for them all.
I’ll likely broach this subject one more time next month based on reader feedback. I do read it all (except for hate mail). — David