My feeling on this one was right. The pastor stuck back! He replied not once but twice. I think he was pretty kind for coming from the strict background that gives him a literal interpretation of the Bible. Here are his two responses and then I will make some comments.
Thanks for your response. I did read your arguments and trust me, I have studied this issue and read from both perspectives more than most Pastors and I see that you did your work. However, my stance is still in the same. Do I know they (sic) are they (sic) gay people in my congregation? Of course! I am sure we could go back and forth on this issue but I doubt either of us will change our opinion or what we deem as being accepted. The assumption of me being deceptive is not really accurate but I understand why you can make that conclusion based on your experiences. It is nothing but love on my end, I hope it's the same your way as well..
Hi. Thanks and I feel you are kinder than most. I don't think you are being intentionally deceptive but the end result for the person who is gay is the same. I really do want to hear your view. Especially since you studied this. I really would like the dialogue. I also wonder if you have talked to people who have gone thru ministries that address this because it is a totally different thing when you are the person who is walking in these shoes. I will tell you that if I wasn't gay myself and maybe even if I was just bi-sexual, I would probably be holding fast to what you are too. But I swear to you, I don't have a choice. It's who I am and to live anything less is so destructive u can't even imagine. Yes, there is love here.
I hear you Larry. For me to dialogue, I don't think it would be fruitful. We both seem pretty confident in our beliefs but one thing is for sure we both need God's grace, so we can agree on that. I believe I have been gracious enough to hear you out and I always accept different viewpoints. It's a testament to both of our Christian walks that we can agree to disagree and treat each other with respect, regardless of our stances. Maybe if the world could have this discussions (sic) in a cordial manner like us, it would be in a better place.
I really would have liked to continue with him. But, indeed it may not have been fruitful since he saw himself as having already studied both sides. So, I concluded our conversation with stating that I thought he was a sweet man and that I indeed wanted to hear and was open to hearing his viewpoint. Out of the three pastors I have written so far, he is the better of the three though I sort of felt the line where he hinted that his 'grace' in listening to me had been reached was...hmmm...how should I say, special? Even so, I do feel that I accomplished something with him though. He remarked that it would be great if the world could have dialogue like we were having. So, at least that is something. It still amazes me that a story of a man I knew who cut off his penis in torment due to such struggles of living with condemned identity doesn't seem to phase anyone...give them pause to think. But I too once walked with blinders on and I used to think of him as an extreme case of a man getting just getting it wrong. And now I am that man in many a Christians eyes.
It is interesting to note this whole thing about holding to the "sanctity of marriage" as if only heterosexual unions and those who admonish them are "sanctified". I posted the following pic recently on Facebook which applies here. These are the types of people who would even go so far as creating American law around this yet look at their record.
I know that it shocks many, especially fellow Christians who are truly self-aware and spirit led, that other Christians ignore such stats and all the bigotry and hateful rhetoric like Trump engaged in during the election. How can a Christian bypass that? It really comes down to fake cold, hearted Christians who use religion as a cover for their own hate versus truly transformed, self-aware Christians. There are far more of the fake then there are the transformed ones. It is not a shock to me because I've seen it for years. The Bible itself even distinguishes between real and not real Christians, calling the fake ones "sheep in wolves clothing". And wolves they are. This pastor may be one of the gentler ones, though. Onward and upward!