Aug 30 2011
Breakfast and Honesty

I picked up my home phone.  I had no idea who this guy was, but he was pretty wound up.

Said his name was Rob, and he heard me singing with my band at an outdoor, on-campus gig a couple nights before.  He heard us do a cover of a vintage Crowded House tune, and loves Crowded House, so he opened his apartment window and listened.  We were pretty good.  He heard some songs about Jesus, too.  And then he heard something he didn't like: 

I was singing about gays and lesbians.

So he called the house that booked the show -- a place I'd lived when I was a student, called Koinonia House at the University of Illinois.  He'd asked for my name and number, and they'd given it to him.  (Thanks, fellas!)  And he was kinda steamed.  Rob had had it with Christians going off on homosexuals, because he was a church-going Christian...and so was his husband.

And yes -- Rob had me.  I had been singing about gays and lesbians...and demogogues and thespians, for that matter.  And evolutionists, creationists, perverts, slumlords, deadbeats, athletes, Protestants and Catholics, Philistines, homophobes...everybody, everywhere.

He understood the context -- but wasn't satisfied.  He wanted me to know how wrong Christians were on homosexuality, and maybe we should meet in person to discuss it.  It'd have to be in the next two days, because he was moving to take a job in D.C.

The next day, I'm driving to a bagel place to meet Rob.

----------------

I asked God on the way:  "PLEASE don't let me say something stupid.  PLEASE don't let me be done with this conversation, and think 'I shoulda said' or 'Why did I say THAT?'  PLEASE have mercy on me, and him.  I don't know this guy, and I don't know what I'm doing."

----------------

He wasn't hard to spot.  He wore a t-shirt that said, "HATE -- It's Not a Family Value".  He explained that some friends of his told him he should wear it, since he was meeting with some "conservative Christian guy".  I actually thought that was kind of funny, and laughed about it. 

I listened to him for about an hour and a half. 

He'd grown up in the church.  He couldn't remember ever being terribly attracted to girls.  He'd attended all the youth events.  He now went to fairly conservative church, but they knew he was gay, and people were fine with it.  He told me about his wedding ring, and that he wore one because he and his husband, while not legally married, were just as committed as anyone else. 

He loved his husband, he said, and how could God object to that?  God IS love, you know.   How could God have a problem with that?  And how could Christians be so hateful?  And how can someone say his relationship with his husband is "sin"? 

I did a lot of apologizing, I remember that. 

----------------

I apologized for Christians, for those who genuinely hated him.  I didn't doubt, for a moment, the pain he'd endured.  I told him I didn't regard him as morally worse -- not a whit -- than I was.  I told him I couldn't know what his relationship was really like, but I suspected much of it WAS good, that there were admirable aspects not only of his character, but of his lover, and of their relationship. 

I told him no, I didn't think he'd chosen to be a homosexual.  But -- humbly -- I didn't choose my brokenness, either.  And yet here I am, broken.

----------------

We talked about how some church-folk want to define people who are homosexual strictly by their sex lives, as though that were the whole of their being -- and how some people who are homosexual actually define themselves the same way.  But, I asked, couldn't we share interests in movies, art, culture, food, sense of humor, and a million other things...?  Surely, there are more aspects to a person, and bases for legitimate friendship, even in the midst of our mutual fallenness.

We talked about the nature of hate:  Was it "hate" for someone to say what I'd just said, about brokenness, about disorder?  Must one hate an alcoholic by recognizing, and lamenting, the alcoholism?  Is it "hate" when I object to my own behavior?  Is it "love" to applaud another's march to pain?  And we talked about the "short of the mark" nature of the term "sin". 

We talked about Jesus, and how yes, He'd had very strong words for people who thought they, themselves, were without sin. 

We talked about God's image -- male and female -- and what sex, and family, may represent.

We talked about the fact that I'd eaten five giant bagels, toasted, just sitting there.  He was alarmed and amused.

We talked...and talked...at the bagel-place for three-and-a-half hours.  I liked him. 

----------------

I asked him if he thought I hated him.  He said no, he didn't.  He hadn't expected the conversation we'd had.  He said he got the impression, actually, that I felt sorry for him.   He said he understood that I was convinced that his homosexuality, ultimately, was not his plan, but was the result of brokenness, and that I was concerned for him.  But no, I didn't hate him, that was apparent.

I told him I did feel sorry for him, I couldn't help it, and I kind of feel sorry for all of us.

We got ready to leave, realizing we'd talked a ridiculously long time, given our plastic-seated, bagel-themed environs.  I told him -- and I believed and believe this -- I can always be wrong.   Could he make the same statement?

He thought about it.  I told him, "I think -- I don't know, but I think -- if we honestly asked God, cried out to God, begged Him, open-mindedly, to show us the right way, I think we'll wind up in agreement on this.  It may be twenty years, but I honestly think he would honor our prayers."

I told him I'd earnestly ask.  He agreed to do the same thing.

----------------

One more thing, I said:  "And if I'm wrong, about anything, I want to know.  I honestly do.  I'm convinced on this, but if I'm shown otherwise, I will change my thinking on this.  I want you to know that."

He said that was cool.  He appreciated it.  Ultimately, God's the authority, and we have to submit to Him.

I asked him if he would do the same thing.  I told him I knew -- it would be much, much harder for him.  But IF he were completely convinced that this was not what God wanted for his sexuality, that it was actually hindering him from being who God wants him to be, if he were somehow convinced...

Would he change?  Would he submit that aspect of his life to God?

He paused and said...no. 

"Honestly?  No.  I know this doesn't sound good, but honestly...no.  I wouldn't." 

----------------

We shook hands, and I told him I admired his honesty, but I think we were both kind of sad.  And I told him I was glad he'd called me, and it would be cool to hang out again, but, he was moving to D.C.  It's been several years, but I was thinking about him tonight.

Comments (84) -

8/31/2011 1:32:28 AM
CJ United States
CJ
So whatever happened to the guy?
8/31/2011 6:51:13 AM
Mike United States
Mike
?? Why were my two comments and the comment of the guy above me deleted? Surely we weren't using hate speech. Laughing
8/31/2011 8:14:15 AM
brant United States
brant
Mike -- So sorry.  It wasn't deleted on purpose, apparently.  We have this recurring problem with losing comments on every thread.  Very frustrating.

PLEASE repost, if you get a moment.  
8/31/2011 9:15:50 AM
Joshua United States
Joshua
Good discussion and things to think about. I liked how you asked him to evaluate you and your position. I also liked the last question. That's a good question for everyone, dealing with each of their sins. I thought you could have been a little more firm with the Bible being the one thing you couldn't be dissuaded from believing, like what marriage "may represent" when Paul says marriage represents Christ and the church. Good reminders on how to have a good discussion about sin, even if they can't understand, 1 Corinthians 2:14.
8/31/2011 9:26:37 AM
Mike United States
Mike
Thanks, Brant. I was hoping it wasn't something you had against what I said. ;)

I just said that what you said was really good. I think you handled the situation better than many others I've heard have.

When talking to homosexuals, we need to remember that they really need love. We shouldn't be tolerant of their sin, however. We need to let them know, lovingly, that God calls their lifestyle sin--just like lying, stealing, and lust. He views it as an abomination because it rebells against the standard he set in Eden. (Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.)

We can't stray away from being firm with them, but we need to make certain that they know that we love them. But true love confronts, because we don't want to see them perish in hell. And if they're offended, that's okay, because our conscience will be clear, because we were only speaking the words of God.

Jesus Himself said that the world would hate us because of Him. He said that He didn't come to bring peace, but a sword. His message is offensive: We are terribly depraved, and we offend Him all day long. But it's also wonderfully terrific: He died for us anyway--despite our unworthiness--and now we can be seen as righteous, because He took the punishment for our sin!

That's the most wonderful message you could share with anybody! I'm so glad you were man enough to talk to this man, Brant. I could tell you had a lasting impact on him. I just wish he would have surrendered his sexuality to God, so that there could have been a happy ending. All we can do is pray.
8/31/2011 10:48:35 AM
Virginia United States
Virginia
Wow. I admire your ability to do such a thing. I always wondered how exactly to love the sinner and hate the sin, especially in this situation. Good blessed you with wisdom in this situation, even if he didn't in shoes lol jk.
8/31/2011 11:03:30 AM
Deb United States
Deb
Thank you for sharing this and for reminding us that it's not about winning a disagreement. It's about touching hearts and lives with the love and compassion of Jesus!
8/31/2011 11:30:49 AM
Lauren.H United States
Lauren.H
Wow Brant you did a fantastic job with this guy. And to think you didn't know him! Man thats VERY impressive. Thank you for sharing this you are indeed a man after God's own heart. You once said that you had trouble communicating with people, if no1 knew that, reading this they would think you REALLY know how to talk to people. You do your job in a way that amazes me. Not only are you a DJ on a christian radio station but your ALSO trying your absolute BEST to lead people to Jesus, and to change them. And you pray for God's wisdom and guidence thru it all and thats amazing.

Keep doing what you do best. Serving the Lord Jesus and trying to lead people to HIM! Laughing

God Bless you Brant!! (please save please save PLEASE SAVE!) lol
8/31/2011 11:35:26 AM
Michelle United States
Michelle
Hi brant,

Thanks so much for sharing this.  It was so honest and humble, how you talked about brokenness that we all share, whether straight, gay, lesbian, etc.  I live in the Bay Area, and have non-Christian friends who either support gay rights or are themselves gay.  Through conversations, I've realized that I can't possibly understand a lot of what they're going through- some just struggle with their identity, some struggle with rejection and discrimination, and just normal stuff, like who to date and feeling lonely, like no one understands.  I have been thinking for a long time how to even think about homosexuality in a way that Jesus would.  I believe that Jesus would hang out with homosexuals, if he were here, because he hung out with prostitutes too.  I like how you emphasized the things you had in common with him, that homosexuality is no worse than a habit of lying and how you offered to change your mind if you were wrong, how you said you could always be wrong and how you gently turned that around to ask him to do the same.  

thanks again for sharing, it's good food for thought and a good example of how to approach such difficult topics with a spirit of love and humility.
8/31/2011 11:59:06 AM
stacy r adams United States
stacy r adams
brant, thank you for posting this.  i've had a conversation with someone recently that went exactly along these lines.  it's kind of a confirmation for me that i said the right things.  it didn't turn out as amicably, unfortunately, because he doesn't believe in the Bible, nor did he want to hear truth.  but I know for sure now that God did have His hand on that conversation, and maybe some seeds were planted that day.  i can only hope, and pray.  
8/31/2011 12:00:40 PM
brant United States
brant
Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

I think both "left" and "right" on this issue do a disservice to the word "love", acting as though it is separate, entirely, from an understanding that sin actually destroys and isolates.

I don't like to say, "Sure, love the person, BUT let's also take a stand against..." because it's implicit in love, that we'll not want to see people suffer. This becomes more obvious in a family situation.  There is no "love, BUT..."  It's just "love", and that can mean hard conversations, even interventions.

Secondly -- and thanks, Mike, for your reply:  As I grow older, and hopefully more wise, I'm seeing that the sword that Jesus brings does not separate "sinners" from "the good people", but instead separates those who are humble from those who are prideful.

For example, the two sons in the story of the "prodigal son".  That is the division.  Both were lost, but only one knew it.  The other was able to cloak his lost-ness from himself by means of his apparent righteousness.

That story cuts us, like a sword, and annoys the pharisees.

I'm decidedly NOT a universalist, but let's acknowledge that we are not being "too tolerant" in acknowledging that Jesus was mocked, beaten, and crucified for our sin.  The price has already been paid.  An awareness that the price has been paid for, say, homosexuals, is not theological softness.  It's the exact opposite.  It's taking Jesus' sacrifice seriously.  

So there is no moral hierarchy.  Rob, or I, may reject the invitation to the Kingdom, but there is no moral hierarchy.  My greed, my sexual brokenness, whatever, is to be no more "tolerated" than Rob's.  Acknowledging what Jesus did means 1) we obviously take sin very seriously, and 2) we're free to eat together as equals.
8/31/2011 12:22:11 PM
Lauren United States
Lauren
Btw Brant, (and im JUST CHECKING) you dont or didnt really have a band.... did you???? lol just making sure Smile
8/31/2011 12:47:33 PM
brant United States
brant
Sure did.  Several bands.

No accordion, but they let me play guitar and sing and stuff...
8/31/2011 12:57:29 PM
Jake United States
Jake
Brant,

Awesome insights for all of us in ministry to think on in handling relationships with our brothers and sisters who live in destructive life styles.  Thans for sharing.  

P.S. If you were in some bands back in the day, did you guys ever record? And when do we get to hear it?
8/31/2011 1:01:24 PM
Kaya United States
Kaya
Brant! I really did enjoy your blog! I apologize fervently for this, but when I went to click to rate it 5 stars I clicked the wrong end and hit the 1! I'm so sorry.

I have felt for a while that the most important thing we are here on Earth to do is love and help others. As people. Not as opinions.

Much love!
~Kaya
8/31/2011 1:17:34 PM
Christie United States
Christie
I admire you, Brant, for having such a long and thoughtful conversation with this man. I don't share the same view as you, and that's okay.

What is hard for me to understand is why so many Christians focus so much on what to call sin and then want to tell other people that they are sinning. For some reason people tend to focus a bunch of energy on other people who are doing the "wrong" thing.

My lack of understanding comes from how I understand the Great Commandment. We are to love. God and everyone else. Everything else hangs on this. I also do not understand why we don't take to heart that we are to focus on our own difficulties in living the Great Commandment before we point out our perceptions of others'. (Logs and splinters, etc.)

I don't mean that about you specifically, Brant, just as a general observation.

I'm starting to believe that the definition of sin is not concrete for all, but different to each person. As a society we have come to agree on many things that we view as wrong. That's been helpful.

But when it comes to sexuality, it's such a personal matter. It's really not other people's business.

I am glad you are open to such earnest prayer about things and that you are open to being wrong.

I admit I do not want to believe my opinion is wrong. I would have great difficulty accepting that. I would argue with God over it. It would break my heart to be wrong about this. I think my understanding of God is different. I also think my understanding of love is different. And maybe that's okay.

What if it didn't matter that we have different opinions and personal understandings on this or any other contentious "issue?"

What if the most important thing is to find a way to put it all aside and work together for a better  world? To feed the hungry, clothe and house the poor, and spread love and hugs and smiles.

I know you do a lot of that Brant. The world is better for it.

I don't really know what I'm trying to say here anymore. Thank you for sharing this story. I am definitely changed by having read it.
8/31/2011 1:33:35 PM
Lauren United States
Lauren
@Brant woow. I had absolutely NO. CLUE. lol. I thought you were joking about that haha wow. What were the bands called? (if you dont mind me asking lolSmile) oh & thnx 4 responding Smile
8/31/2011 1:47:51 PM
Mike Canada
Mike
Excellent blog!

There certainly are black and white issues regarding sin as is written in the Bible but being judgmental is certainly not something Jesus wants nor asks of us. That is reserved for God. There is not one person reading this blog who can claim to be without sin. We all sin in different ways so before we are too quick to point out someone else's sin we need to examine our own lives and ask God if He is happy with the choices we are making. We will never be perfect but thanks to Jesus Christ dying on the cross, we have been forgiven as long as we choose to accept it. Mercy and grace is not earned but freely given to us all that believe. Praise God!

In regards to how we should act towads each other, it is with love. Brant, I believe you have shown this through your actions. Praise God that you have chosen to love like this and may He continue to use you to reach out to people for His glory.
8/31/2011 2:02:46 PM
Jessica United States
Jessica
Great post Brant. You were really able to let God's love shine through you. I pray that everyone that encounters homosexuals would have a similar response to yours. Loving the person, hating the sin. That should be our response to every wrong thing someone does.

p.s. I love listening to you on Air1!
8/31/2011 2:21:06 PM
Lauri United States
Lauri
I love that. I never thought of it that way, but yes we live in a broken world. Thanks Brant for your openness and realness with him.
8/31/2011 2:25:21 PM
Adam United States
Adam
One interesting thing in the Bible is that the abominations are made up of lifestyles of sin; actually embracing and making it part of who you are. Things like witchcraft, there is no "Whoops, I just cast a spell. My bad God." Homosexuality, feeling the desires is no different than heterosexual lust, acting on them is. However quite interestingly, hate is often grouped right in there. A lifestyle where you accuse and persecute others in anger or self-righteousness. Jesus told the pharisees and, I believe he intended, future Chrisitans '...He who is without sin cast the first stone.' There are many ways to talk to a fellow sinner.  Anger or arrogance is the wrong way, love is the right way. Fear gets false results, love get real results. You don't change the outside or sin/works, to change the inside. You change the inside to change the outside. When one has faith their desire will be to avoid sin and do good works.
8/31/2011 2:31:05 PM
Becca United States
Becca
I admire your humbleness and honesty.  When one is defined by their sin- it seems to encompass all that they are, whether it be homosexuality or criminal behavior.  All of it is sin. One of my regrets as a Christian is that we as a group are so vocal against homosexuality yet we turn the blind eye towards promiscuity and permissive sexual behavior between heterosexuals.  How many of the Christian youth and young adults are involved in pre-marital sexual relationships? How many members of our church are having extra-marital affairs? Who is addressing these sins?  We are so ready to point and even discriminate against homosexuals- that they can't even get into the door of many evangelical churches to hear the truth and love of Jesus.... yet in our midst we are not addressing other sexual sins.  How is it that we've taken it upon ourselves to let one set of sinners in and reject others? Aren't we all sinners under the same grace? Shouldn't we all be asking ourselves the question you asked of Rob? Shouldn't we humble ourselves before those sitting right next to us in our church pew and ask them to tough questions? Where are we will to draw the line... in my opinion- either its all for Christ or non of it is!!!
8/31/2011 2:39:18 PM
timothy perkins United States
timothy perkins
hi im 16 and im already finding my self in a lot of situations with homosexualls many are my freinds and i have been hated for my opinion and actually  slapped over it a few times but its not an easy thing to deal with i wont deny that my natural reaction is to think lower of homosexuals but all in all God prevales in my life and i beleive their no worse a person than i am u rock and i love ya
8/31/2011 2:40:36 PM
Leisa United States
Leisa
Brant, I believe you did an awesome job handling this!!!  The seed has been planted.  Now it's in God's hands.  It sounds like you shared you beliefs with conviction, yet with compasion and love.
8/31/2011 2:43:03 PM
Helena United States
Helena
thanks for this. I really feel as if God has directed me towards this, since i have been dealing with this issue myself. I'm 14 and have grown up loving God my whole life. i could never get why Christians were so antI-Gay!!! i should also probably mention that i have felt bisexual feelings before. I was enrolled in a Christian school last year, and I started dating another girl. The school found out and I was expelled. I was so angry that they would discriminate against me, when just a week before, a hetrosexual couple had only been suspended. they had been doiing waay more than my girlfriend and I had been doing. I've been praying and asking around, and I really am glad you responded the way you did. I've tried to be honest about this, and I'm continuing to find my waySmile
8/31/2011 2:52:14 PM
... United States
...
thanks!
8/31/2011 2:58:50 PM
juls United States
juls
This is complicated for Christians, for most people. I love many people within this community (some with a strong Christian Faith and many without any faith).  God doesn't ask us to love only the easy to love, but to love all.  That is a tough thing to do whether we are meeting others from different races, classes, faiths, genders or cultures.  We just need to love those that walk into our world--harder said then done.

I challenge you to love and prayer for someone you consider an enemy.

PS.  Green Street has not changed much since you were around nor has CU. Go Illini!
8/31/2011 3:05:05 PM
Charlotte Graves United States
Charlotte Graves
Brant,
Well done brother!  You did a fantastic job witnessing to this man.  You approached a subject head on that would of had most of us running the other way!  I admire your candor and openness since coming to Air1.  You continue to bless me and I pray you won't be silenced.  We, as a nation, have become passive and like to sugar coat the issues that should be faced like Jesus faced them.  You do that and it's very refreshing and inspiring!

God bless you Brant!!
8/31/2011 3:05:57 PM
tom United States
tom
Do people actually hear themselves? Do you hear the way your comments on this (public) blog sound?

You put "homosexuals" in quotes, you talk about them as if they were "those people". You forget that you, like all of us, are just as mired in sin. It's so easy to call someone the "enemy"; so easy to figure out what makes me better than someone else....... Why is it so hard to accept we're all equal, children of God, saved by the mercy of grace?

When we go into a discussion and front with our predisposed notions about someone else; and we stop treating them as our equal, as a sinner, as a fellow child of God.... we lose them. That doesn't attract people to Christ, his unfailing love. That makes it seem like "Christians" are in some sort of exclusive club battling against the "world" (which is everyone else).

It isn't "us" against "them".... We're all children of God, we have all sinned, and nothing about proclaiming my faith and inviting Jesus into my heart, and calling myself a "christian" excludes me from my sinful nature.

It's not an exclusive club. We're born into it, born unto it, and we're all Children of God - whether we accept that or not.

@Brant, you're to be commended for trying to see someone else as just another child of God....
8/31/2011 3:15:01 PM
Sandi Felkner United States
Sandi Felkner
I thought that once you bacame a Christian, God no longer saw your sin.  Didn't Jesus DIE for our sins?  I believe this homosexual said he was a Christian, right?  Then he is FORGIVEN of his sin.  It's as simple as that. Who are we to "see" what God himself does not?  
8/31/2011 3:21:03 PM
Vicky United States
Vicky
Brant,

I'm so glad you preached so much love to this man. It's hard knowing that there are so many "Christians" out there who preach hatred to so many people...And in the name of God, no less. It really makes me sad.
I think homosexuality is a tricky sort of sin. People argue that we CHOOSE to lie, but people don't CHOOSE to be homosexuals. But how I see it, we were all born into a world of sin and everyone has a sin they struggle with. For instance, I can find it really easy to avoid alcohol while an alcoholic struggles with it, but for that alcoholic, they find it really easy to be truthful while I struggle with lying. Nevertheless, no sin is greater than the other.
The tricky thing about homosexuality is that it is a lifestyle; not necessarily needing acts to be done for every instance of sin, unlike lying. To give an example, it's like if I were to steal something, that would be committing a sin. It would be an instance of a sin. But homosexuality, whether they see their significant other that day or not, they're still sinning because it's a lifestyle; it's more of a matter of their heart than anything.
But I definitely try to preach the message of hating the sin while loving the sinner whenever I can. Thank you for being courageous enough to post such a controversial topic - even amongst the Christian community.

God bless
8/31/2011 3:21:07 PM
Hannah K United States
Hannah K
Thanks for sharing. I love that God gave you the words to say for this guy, and I love how down to earth you are about this subject. I've done research about this subject (both religious and otherwise) and these thoughts are so simple that they really put things into perspective.

I think you're right that if we really cry out to God about this subject he'll honor our prayer and bring healing both to us and to the people living in sexual sin; but I also believe that he'll put us on the front lines. My pastor used to say "be careful what you pray for." He and his wife prayed for Albania years before it was opened, and God sent them there to be missionaries.
8/31/2011 3:46:14 PM
michael United States
michael
Great blog Blant it's not easy to confront this issue with all the "p-c" now adays.Very nicely put and as christians who are we to judge.God didn't bring Jesus here for that reason.He brought him here so we could know love and to serve each other.God loves that person the same way he loves me,thats just God he loves all of us.Whether your a drug user, alcohlic the list can go on an on.As a christian all we can do is pray for them.My daughter of 15 is also in a same sex relationship
8/31/2011 4:02:08 PM
Steve United States
Steve
When you ask Christ to come into your life, to forgive you of your sins, you are forgiven and saved. But what if you keep doing the same things, living the same life style you lived? What have you learned? Asking forgiveness is acknowledging you have done things that is against God and are ashamed of. Why keep doing and living that same way. It would be the same as you never became a Christian, but are faking it and living a lie in front of God. Why ask for forgiveness when you are going to keep doing the same sin willingly? It could be continually doing one, or many types of sin. Yes you are forgiven for your sins, but you can not keep doing it willingly. You may slip up and do the sin again, or something you've never done that is sin, but the Holy Spirit will lead you into knowing that you need to ask for forgiveness and not do it again if you listen to Him. Romans 6.
8/31/2011 4:05:51 PM
Mark Stanford United States
Mark Stanford
Brant,
Awesome job with this conversation. I've had similar conversations, very similar. I really get angry when people talk about abominations when there are what 7 against homosexuals and 370 something against heterosexuals in the Bible. Seems to me that none of us has the right to make a "judgement" on anyone. Just what did Jesus say about homosexuals again ?? He made his point very clear on a lot of issues but, I'm having a hard time finding his stance on this one. If we take the Old Testament literally than there is so many things that are sinful even certain food. I know where I stand with my Savior and nobody can take that away from me. Thank God for people like you who will listen to people, you may be the only connection they have to Jesus today. They may need a kind word or ear. You may have saved them from something awful and not even have known it. I know that is the truth. Trust me I KNOW !!! Thank You for being you. If you've saved one life or kept one person from turning away from Christ because of something you've said, "you've done a good job faithful servant"
8/31/2011 4:41:44 PM
Sandra A. Wyzykowski United States
Sandra A. Wyzykowski
Hi..I have a gay neice who just asked me the same question..Why are Christians so cruel to gays?I apologized to her for theyre cruelty.But I had to point out to her what the Bible says about it.I told her God loves her,its the sin,or that lifestyle he doesnt approve of.And that no matter what I love her and will be praying for her.I also told her hell is real,and do Gays go there?Yes they do,and gave scripture to back it up.But if gays turn back to God and his plan for their life that he will forgive.I know Gays that have been healed and delivered from that lifestyle,and are happier then theyve ever been!I also told her to ask Jesus to show her the Truth,and he will.But we are to love them to Jesus,but with also asking them first..Do they believe the written Word of God?Cause if they dont,then whatever Gods Word says about Homosexuality,they wont believe it!So the most important thing we can do is PRAY PRAY PRAY for them and LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM.I know the Lord has BIG plans for my Neice,I believe she will find the Love of Jesus,and bring others out of that lifestyle with her powerful testimony!Thanks for this site!God Bless!
8/31/2011 4:43:47 PM
Nicole United States
Nicole
Hey there!
it's hard to live in a grey world when Christians see in black and white. i choose to see the world in a kaleidoscope of colors, because i feel that God has made me to see it that way. Love is behind everything we do, we don't get to choose who to condemn or who to idolize. i choose to love my friends who do drugs, are gay, are straight, are Christians, are atheists all the same. it's opened more doors for me being able to look past the outward exterior and lifestyle and see the soul behind the mask.
8/31/2011 4:49:56 PM
Sarah United States
Sarah
Brant, here's a question for you: How do you handle Christians who appear to "hate" homosexuals? My  husband has no tolerance for anything gay (his time in the military having something to do with it, surely) and can't stop (doesn't want to stop) seeing only the sin. When I realized years ago that all sin is equal in the eyes of God, I stopped being so judgmental, not just of homosexuals, but of everyone. I'd really like my husband to be more loving toward the lost and broken, and realize he is lost and broken himself, and saved by the grace of God, not anything he did or doesn't do.
8/31/2011 4:51:00 PM
Brian United States
Brian
Nice job Brandt and thank you for showing the love of Christ.   You may never know where this conversation leads.

I think one of the areas where Christians are inconsistent are NOT being as diligent speaking out about all sins, whether it is gossip, lying, unbelief, drunkeness, etc, etc.   Think where the state of the church would be, if only!
8/31/2011 4:51:04 PM
Timothy Miller United States
Timothy Miller
Ezekiel 3:18-19
The Message (MSG)

17-19 "Son of man, I've made you a watchman for the family of Israel. Whenever you hear me say something, warn them for me. If I say to the wicked, 'You are going to die,' and you don't sound the alarm warning them that it's a matter of life or death, they will die and it will be your fault. I'll hold you responsible. But if you warn the wicked and they keep right on sinning anyway, they'll most certainly die for their sin, but you won't die. You'll have saved your life.

Homosexuality is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things that we as Christians are supposed to speak out against. I believe that the reason it is spoken out against so much is that it is literally an epidemic that "they" brought it to light.

Drinking in excess is a sin, hence AA was formed. Drugs are a problem, and rehab places were formed. How many other problems have resulted in places to help fix them? People are so against speaking out against this problem known as homosexuality when in actuality it is all that we can do! Like the verse I put up there if we don't say something we will, per say, have their blood on our hands!


8/31/2011 5:06:29 PM
Alan Chambers United States
Alan Chambers
Brant,

This was forwarded to me and I loved it.  This is the answer to WWJD. I lived a gay life and begged God for the answers you encouraged Rob to beg God for--the difference was that when God answered I couldn't pass on what He asked me to do and over the last 20 years He's changed my heart and life.  I will pray for Rob.  I will also pray that you have a million more opportunities to hang with guys just like him---but, I guess that means 5 million more bagels.  

Seriously, though, you are a living example of who we all should be and doing what we all should be doing.

God Bless,

Alan Chambers
8/31/2011 6:08:29 PM
JW United States
JW
I appreciate the way you handled the situation, I think that is how things should be done when speaking with unbelievers.

However, one issue bothers me. Why is this man still in the Church? Whatever happened to church discipline? If a man who is clearly and continually committing a particular sin has been confronted multiple times by church leaders in the way that Christ prescribes in the Bible, and refuses to repent, why is he still being received into the Body of Christ? Jesus is clear and specific about how church discipline should be conducted.
8/31/2011 7:13:03 PM
Mark United States
Mark
You have to be kidding me JW. Your answer then is to throw all gay people out of church ??? First you are assuming homosexuality is a sin. So if you throw all sinners out of church who'd be left just you ??? I doubt it, you already showed your pride, you still believe you can work your way into heaven hey ??? Well, I hope to see you there. I'll pray for you, don't worry about me being gay, I'm covered, I accepted Christ not how good I can be.
8/31/2011 7:37:02 PM
Bree
Bree
what happened to the pics?
8/31/2011 7:43:26 PM
Christopher United States
Christopher
Homosexuality is unBiblical and yes GOD is love, but he meant for love to be between Man and Woman. GOD created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. You should have made him very clear of this. Homosexuality is a mental illness. It does not just happen to someone it is a mental illness. It is also sick to like another one of your own gender. He needs to stop living in this lie that he just turned out gay.
8/31/2011 9:13:51 PM
Adam United States
Adam
@Steve
That is the problem with gaining converts through fear.  They end up basing their faith on pascal's wager.  They do not fall in love with God and instead only want him to pardon them so they can do whatever they want.
@ Timothy Miller
I mean this with as little offense as possible, but you are deeply distorting the text of Ezekiel.  The context refers to a time when Israel was doing things that made heathen nations look righteous. Ezekiel was tasked with warning Gods people of the sin within their own group.  That verse is only safe to say is applicable to fellow believers in a modern sense.
@ the debate about barring sinners from the church
The sinners need to be in church to hear of Gods love more than the believers. Jesus said there is more celebration for a sinner who repents than a man who was always righteous. You should minister to those people with the love and gentleness of Christ; they need him more urgently than you do. Not turn your back on them.
9/1/2011 3:52:33 AM
Noeiza United States
Noeiza
I love the 6th paragraph, when the Guy realized you didn't hate him and you were concerned for him. And the last one too!
I wonder of you prayed for him when you thought about him.....
Thank you so much for sharing this episod of your life Brant, God bless you.
Can you pray for us homophobic people, I love this people but, to be honest im scared of lesbians!
Bye
9/1/2011 4:56:24 AM
Lauren United States
Lauren
God is so good. His plan is perfect and this conversation was so obviously His perfect will. I pray this gentlemen eventually talked to God and got to know Him more personally. I pray that he made the hard decision that I had to when I accepted Christ into my heart and was bisexual. I no longer am, thanks to God's mercy and love, but it is a sin I am continually struggling with. Homosexuality (and the like), is a sin just like every other sin, and like so many before me said in the comments to this blog, homosexuals need love, just like everybody else. They are broken... I was broken. But I've learned that it is a choice. (Thanks to God and thanks to my husband) I have to constantly remind myself that Christ has made me white as snow. I am, in Jesus' eyes His perfect princess. I am thankful for the Christians who have loved me and I am thankful for Christians like you Brant: Christians that love others, that truly love, like Christ truly loves.
9/1/2011 6:43:53 AM
Danielle United States
Danielle
Brant,

This conversation seems like the one that I have had a million times before, with my gay friends, and also with my unbeliever friends. You can try and try, and they will believe you, BUT, they just don't want to repent of their ways. The sin is too pleasureful, they are afraid of the unknown, and they just think that it's too hard to change.

That is my prayer for everyone, not just gays and lesbians, that though they are willing to open up to the bible and to God, they aren't ready to fully commit to living a life without sin.
9/1/2011 8:01:35 AM
breanna United States
breanna
brant-

Thank you so much for writing this down! As a Christian living in the "Bible belt" (who named it that anyway?), I sometimes struggle greatly with finding the right words when talking to my family on the West coast. Where is that balance between what people call "tolerance", respect for others' beliefs and opinions, and standing by the truths in God's word? It can be tough! I loved how you approached the situation with a "You're broken, I'm broken" mentality- reading that was a lightbulb moment for me. I also loved how you addressed "love" and "hate"- it bothers me the way those words are thrown around today, as though disagreeing with a person is hateful and the only way to love someone is to leave them alone. There's so much more depth to those words, especially for a Christian.

Anyway just thanks for the encouragement Smile
9/1/2011 11:46:18 AM
Molly United States
Molly
To Tom and Danielle:
No one will ever be perfect this side of heaven!

I thank Brant for the fantastic blog (first one I have read from you) and for the encouraging words to help us all love each other in this broken world.

Let us never forget where we could be right now if we had grown up in the shoes of another.

Let us remember how many things could be different in our lives if God's grace hadn't saved us from ourselves and our own sinful desires, regardless which sin it is.

May we continue to thank God everyday for the opportunity to be his hands, feet, mouth, and ears to the rest of the world.

Thanks Air 1 and God bless,
Molly
9/1/2011 12:27:25 PM
Jessica United States
Jessica
Brant,Once again you rocked my world spirtually with your honesty and spritually complexity of everyday living!. I quit calling myself a christian many years ago.I now call myself a believer.I believe in Gods,love,truth,and his words. I believe that God hates the sin and not the sinner.I believe God loves ALL and Created us ALL in his likeness and well being.The reason I quit calling myself a christian was I saw so much hate and anger and self rightiness from other "christians" it was ONLY black and white to them.I lost a dear friend like the one in this story.He grew a christian,went to church,got baptized and even married and had a daughter only because he wanted to not shun his parents and his family with the truth that he was a homosexual.When he finally confessed to his parents how he felt,he was ridiculed,banned,and spit apon.He died a sad and lonely death.He didnt choose to be a homosexual no more than we choose to be disabled,left handed, short or different races .I have a disability that makes me older than what I am(werner's syndrome.look it up) I will never have children and I will never live up to the life and expectations of the church to give my husband offspring without invitro or other drugs.We were actually banned from another church because of me not be able to give my husband children.We were considered damaged goods of God. Frown  Do people honestly think that Homosexuals chose to be abused,yelled at,spit apon,beaten,killed,raped or even worse just so they can love someone like we love our wives and husbands??its not about the sex..its about the love they have for everyone and I believe that some christians are so hateful because homosexuals have this open love about thim that God does.God got the same thing done to him just for showing love and humanity to the weak and the wronged.Sound oddly familiar..thing about it. Loves and God bless Smile
9/1/2011 12:41:10 PM
Lauren United States
Lauren
Exactly like Anthem Lights says. Smile I love that saying because its true. We need to have Peace AND Love! Tom and Danielle, do you really think this conversation is necissary?? I mean, really?

Tom, I encourage you to go back to church at least ONE more time and see if your life doesn't change. Im begging you. You never know. Turning back to Christ will be the BEST dicision you'll ever make. I promise. Please do it. You WON'T regret it. If you do, I want you to come back on here and tell me aaaaalll about your experience and what it made you feel.

Danielle,  I encourage you to show love to EVERY1 you come in contact with, including tom and your friends and even people you've NEVER met before in. your. LIFE.

I don't think Brant meant for this blog to have hate splattered all over it!

The Bible says to LOVE our enemies. Hopefully in this case none of us are enemies but that is just simply a friendly reminder to treat others as YOU would like to be treated! Not with hate but with LOVE!


Keep in mind what I said. And as always,
Peace AND Love.
9/1/2011 12:43:45 PM
Lauren United States
Lauren
Oh and also a friendly reminder, NONE OF US ARE PERFECT!! Take a chill pill and CHIL-AX. No1 is perfect UNTIL they're in heaven.


Peace and Love
9/1/2011 3:33:26 PM
Mercedez United States
Mercedez
Wait...  This is copied and pasted from your blog branthansen.typepad.com...  Weird that you didn't even mention that it was an old post.
9/1/2011 7:56:38 PM
Bree
Bree
who cares its just as affective now as it was then
Smile Peace and Love
9/1/2011 8:26:51 PM
Timothy Miller United States
Timothy Miller
Adam,
I was taught that the Bible is a guideline for how we should live our lives...am I wrong? Yes Ezekiel was tasked with warning, are we not also tasked with the same thing but in a larger aspect of outside Israel? It is set in a time that Israel was doing things that made heathen nations look righteous, the only difference between then and now with the rest of the world is that nations aren't trying to look righteous. Our job is not to sit back and let things happen and say well I'm saved and that's all that matters, not in the least bit! That one soul that we help bring to Christ could bring hundreds if not thousands to Christ. I know that a majority of Christians did not simply say hey this sounds good I think I will follow it, no, somebody, somewhere told them in one sence or another "Hey man, what your doing is wrong and if you continue along this path you are going to lose your soul." So, in a sense if we don't tell someone we know (or don't know) "Hey man,......" and "Jesus died for you and He loves you and He is the only way..." then we are responsible for costing the Kingdom possibly thousands of souls. (Their blood will be on our hands) This "taking it out of context" is quiet frankly crap, it's the same thing as saying that when Revelations saying the moon will turn blood red and the waters will turn to blood as "figurative" images.....also, saying this doesn't apply to our time is the same as saying that in John 15:12-14 “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” doesn't apply because it was written thousands of years ago, it's not in our time period...you can not pick and choose what to follow from the bible...take all of it and apply to your life....and you didn't offend me
9/1/2011 8:36:10 PM
Timothy Miller United States
Timothy Miller
let me say one more thing....I am still learning. I will never claim I know everything about the bible so before somebody pops off with something not necessary I am more than willing to take guidence if you have verses that either clarify or make a clearer point, I welcome them. The only way to grow is to study and have people who are willing to point things out with back up from verses.
9/1/2011 9:34:40 PM
Michelle United States
Michelle
Hi Timothy, I definitely have heard both things 1) that Ezekiel watchman analogy to evangelism and 2) that it's taken out of context.  I do believe that God does not mean to make us responsible for other people going to hell- after all, everyone makes their own decisions on right and wrong, according to what they know (Romans 2:12-16). A person can't go to hell and then turn around and blame every Christian he or she has ever known- God will hold him/her accountable.  I did some searching cuz I was curious myself and I didn't bother to really confirm the validity of the writer, but just trusted that it was on the christianitytoday site. www.christianitytoday.com/.../070110.html

Once you place your trust in Jesus, you are saved, but you can be rewarded (or not rewarded) on top of that based on how you do or don't use your life to honor God.  I was pretty confused on this, but we had a Bible study on the Bema Judgement seat and it was very helpful for me.  Here's a very thorough article I just found if you're interested (but it has a lot of Greek... eek!): bible.org/.../doctrine-rewards-judgment-seat-bema-christ

If anyone can correct/add/explain more, that would be cool, I'm no theologian. =D
9/2/2011 5:46:21 AM
JJ United States
JJ
Homosexuality is a mental illness. It does not just happen to someone it is a mental illness.

...aaaaaaand this kind of ignorance from people like Christopher is why it's really, really hard to have a rational discussion on the subject.  I'm going to pull an appeal to authority and direct you all to the American Psychological Association: www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/orientation.aspx

Take-away points include:

- "[M]ost people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation." (p. 4)
- Homosexuality is not a mental disorder, and hasn't been classified as such since 1975 (p. 7)
- No evidence exists to suggest that one's orientation can be changed through "reparative therapy" - in fact, such efforts are often psychologically harmful (p. 8)

Now that we've gotten that out there, I'd like to talk a little bit about myself personally. I was raised in a conservative Christian home, with all the negative views of homosexuality that you would expect from that environment. I was never abused (sexually or otherwise) as a child, and I'm fortunate enough to have a wonderful relationship with my father. (I believe those are the two most commonly cited "reasons" for being gay? Daddy issues and sexual abuse as a child?) I certainly didn't choose to feel attracted to men (who in their right mind would want feelings that go against everything you've ever been taught?), but for as long as I can remember I've never wanted a relationship with women. Despite all the odds to the contrary, here I am.

I don't know "why" I'm gay. Heck, even the APA will tell you straight up that they have little to no idea what causes sexual orientation. But I've come to the comclusion that I just don't care anymore. It's not something that I can change, it's apparently not something that God's willing to change (believe me, I've been pleading with Him about this for the better part of five years), and I've decided I've had enough of living a life that makes me constantly miserable and guilty for things I have absolutely no amount of control over.

If this sounds bitter or disillusioned, I apologize.  I harbor no ill will toward anyone here (even if I wish people would be slightly more scientifically informed).  But in the end, if being gay makes me a "bad Christian", then that's the label I'll wear proudly.
9/2/2011 3:40:50 PM
Rachael United States
Rachael
I am really glad that I finally read this post. I have been meaning to for a couple days.
The thing that you said that I think was most significant to me was when you asked if he would change if he was convinced he was wrong. Nothing else matters in the end, although God may use something you (or some other willing servant) said to change his mind on that one point.
Praise God that He doesn't ask us to try to save people but allows us to be part of His work anyway.
9/6/2011 4:22:35 PM
Randy Thomas United States
Randy Thomas
Fantastic post. I appreciate your honesty, humility and humor.  Really, fantastic.
9/7/2011 6:31:10 PM
Lauren
Lauren
Randy, I completely agree and couldn't have said it better myself.
9/7/2011 10:04:51 PM
anonymous United States
anonymous
Thank you for touching on this. I'm 17 years old, and raised catholic. I being in Highschool, am surounded by numbers of lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals, and those who are questioning the orientation. I've even explored some bi-curious feelings, and repented. Heres the gist of what i beleive, love the sinner and hate the sin. And that there isn't anythign wrong with being /attracted/ to someone of the same gender, the sin comes in when you act on this attraction.

My first expireince with anything of the sort was when i was in 8th grade, and my good friend went through a literal idenitiy cises over this kinda thing. She actually resorted t self-injury over it. I was the first person she came out too, i stayed friends with her and still am to this day. Why? Because the fact she was gay didn't change the fun person she was. I didn't agree with it, but inside she was still the person i grew up with.

And as i said, i've sinned myself on this topic, it doesn't make me who i am. The sin doesn't make the person. When Jesus looks on us, he sees not our sins, but /US/. The person we are, and the person we were made to be, and he takes away our aflications. We're all sinners, but it doesn't make us who we are, rather, what was done for us on the cross, makes us who we are.

Thogh i still think you should try to avoid sin ,the sin being acting on homosexual tendencies. If you fail though ,it isn't the end of the world. If they're truly repenant, then Jesus will forgive them. If they aren't repentant for the /ACT/then thats that, we cant do anything for them, but pray they may change their minds.
9/8/2011 2:05:25 PM
Kersley United States
Kersley
Regarding the "buts"...

I can't imagine how I would feel if my deepest, darkest sin was plastered all over everywhere. If everyone in my church saw me first as my sin. I imagine, after a while, my shame would turn to defensiveness. And I would certainly gravitate toward those who saw *me* first.
9/8/2011 6:26:22 PM
Jennifer United States
Jennifer
Great Story.
Love it when you mentioned we do not choose our brokenness but we still have it in our lives. Just like they believe they do not choose being gay.

"I told him no, I didn't think he'd chosen to be a homosexual.  But -- humbly -- I didn't choose my brokenness, either.  And yet here I am, broken."
9/9/2011 4:09:08 AM
pregnant quiz United States
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9/19/2011 5:45:48 AM
Mike United States
Mike
God loves fags.  No seriously, she does.  You probably think I'm messing with you.  What I probably should say is "God made gay people," or even "God made gay people gay."  I mean, if the world can be round and revolve around the sun, why can't there be dinosaurs, or gay people lovin God?  I know it sounds silly to some but I'm being 100% honest.  Yes I believe in God, yes I am spiritual, and no, I a not gay.  I don't say that to save face, but to show where I'm coming from.

There are obviously major differences between humans and other furry creatures, but the right (you may say wrong) ratio of hormones, exposed to a fetus through the mother will repeatedly lead to an animal that expresses  homosexual behavior sometimes, or always.  I learned it in a neurophysiology class when we were discussing endocrinology (the hormone system).  It's not any special hormone or a lack of a certain hormone, it's just a certain ratio of the normal hormones, present at a certain time.

I read more and more about this because I used to be anti-gay.  I've said some pretty mean stuff in my younger days of high school and college.  God doesn't want any of us to do that, why would she want us to hurt eachother?  At the very least, this should put to rest the idea that gay people 'choose' to like the same sex. Of course, they have the choice to act on that or not.  Voting against gay marriage, in a sense, is pushing people into pre-marital sex, and that's not your bizzz.  If you don't like gay marriages, don't have one! hehe

My roommate is much more traditionally christian than I, and we recently ended a conversation with him saying "It's cool if gay people have sex, just as long as they are married before they do it."  I couldn't believe he said it because he is often so full of hate for people of other religions and homosexuals, a hate that he bases in his love for God.  I know, I don't get it either.  

So if it can be accepted that gay people are born gay, is it too far to say that God made them gay?  And loves them for it?  And if at least one of those are true, can it possibly be bad?  I am of the understanding that the Bible didn't even mention homosexuals until the King James version.  It's like when I bought a CD at Walmart and they had changed a bunch of the words.  I was like "OK guys, I think I was cool with the original version, thanks for altering the original purity of it with your ideas of what it should be like."

Should we really believe that God sets traps for us?  Traps that lead to either eternal damnation or a life without love from another sweet human? That kind of cruel trickery seems more reserved for the spectators who watched the Christians be thrown to the lions, or the old Greek gods who had so many human characteristics that they would lead their lives like a soap opera.

I didn't realize Christians hated, and I didn't realize they hated homosexuals until I was probably 18 or 19.  It had never occurred to me.  It would be like finding out that God punished you for using green food coloring in your Xmas cookies but blue food coloring was OK. This selective bigotry drove me away from the church until I had learned enough science to know that God is very real.  The more science I learned (especially biology and physics) the more obvious it became.  God revealed herself to me in so many ways through science that I am now more devout than I was when I used to go to church.  

May I be so bold as to continue?  Please know that I am being serious here.  The scientific world is an endless enigma of beauty and God's depth.  Evolution doesn't describe creation, it just gives an idea about how there are so many different types of animals and species that work together so perfectly.  Evolution and adaptation can be God's way of interacting with the world.  These sciences that we have been taught to fear for their 'ability' to bring our beliefs down are actually God's magnum opus.  God loves you, God loves gays, God would giggle and smile if all Her gay and straight children got along.  Evolution is Her greatest masterpiece, and the Fibonacci number sequence is the paintbrush that she used to design it all.

If you've ever been to an art museum and looked close, you can see the actual texture of the brush strokes.  You can see the actual imprint of the fibers of the brush.  Despite the color, the brush is the same.  The Fibonacci sequence is the brush!  I love God, I love the world and nature, and I don't feel bad saying these things, they have been revealed to me in the most gentle but obvious ways.  It all just fits without having to make it fit, or rationalize.

If you think God is mad at me for saying this and wants to hurt me with fire and burn me forever, I think you should re-evaluate why you apply such barbaric human reactions to the greatest power in the universe.  

"I love your Christ.  I don't care much for your Christians though, they are so unlike your Christ." - Gandhi

"I dig Jesus, brotha had STYLE!"  - Winston from Ghostbusters

"Dear Lord, please protect me from your followers." - bumper sticker
9/26/2011 7:36:00 PM
Timothy Miller United States
Timothy Miller
um yeah the bible says FATHER GOD not MOTHER GOD.....science is not the answer...the bible is
9/27/2011 1:24:25 PM
Bree
Bree
Mike God doesnt want us to be mean to people that are gay but God didn't create them gay He created man for woman and GOD isnt a woman.
10/24/2011 8:22:46 AM
Christina Johnson United States
Christina Johnson
As I read through these comments, I keep seeing references between homosexuality and murder, deceit, malice, things of that nature.  I read one person state that sins consume the entire person (with a comparison to witchcraft).  I've been a Christian for twelve years.  I've been an out transsexual lesbian for a little over two years.  When it comes right down to it, my life prior to my transition was a miserable one.  I hated myself, and it showed in every aspect of my life.  However, since transition, I'm not perfect, but I think it was a turning point for me where God told me "Okay, you need to be honest with yourself, or you'll never be able to do anything with your life.  It's okay, I'll be right there with you."

It hasn't been perfect.  It's been an uphill battle just about the whole way.  I've been harassed, threatened, propositioned for sex, discriminated against, accused of all manner of shamefulness.  Even worse, being compared with murderers and thieves for simply calling on God, and making a decision based on where I felt Him leading me.  When it comes right down to it, I know I am broken and flawed.  However, I can draw a definitive line between my misery prior to transition, and the joy I feel now, knowing that I am acceptable to God as I am.

My point?  Love wins out.  Organizations like "Focus on the Family", the "Allegiance Defense Fund", and the "Family Research Council" have it all wrong by saying that they want to "defend marriage" or "save marriage" or "protect the children from those icky fags and trannies."  This idea that homosexuality and transsexuality (something that one is biologically predisposed to, according to various scientific studies), is somehow morally depraved only serves to add fuel to the fires of violence against the GLBT community.

On the issue of "black and white", maybe the Bible isn't so black and white on this issue.  Those verses in Leviticus are found with a holiness code with provisions that we, as Christians are no longer obligated to follow.  The term sodomite as translated in the KJV from the Old Testament refers to "temple male prostitutes" rather than the person spoke of in this article.  On top of that, how could Paul have understood the concept of a homosexual orientation?  He wrote about it as if it's a punishment, while he encouraged slaves to serve their masters as they would serve Jesus.  Why must we jump to conclusions about the nature of sin?  I understand hating murder, but loving murderers, or hating theivery whilst loving the theives.  Murderers, theives, oppresors, they hurt people.  GLBT people, for the most part, just want to live and love.  Those who are Christian provide wonderful service to their faith communities and congregations.  Homosexuality as we understand it today just doesn't seem to fit into the categorigical sinfulness that is spoken of a far greater number of times in the Bible.  I agree with the idea that God made a helper suitable for everyone, and that the ideal of Adam and Eve being fruitful and multiplying shouldn't apply in a world where half of her citizens are starving.  People's "suitable helpers" are suitable to their needs and attractions, and sometimes, people are called to be eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom.

Of course, maybe I'm wrong, and Jesus will tell me that I never knew Him...  imaging it brings tears to my eyes.  However, I know that is not the case, because I am redeemed by a loving God and saved by grace.
10/24/2011 8:30:28 AM
Christina Johnson United States
Christina Johnson
@Bree: God is both and neither gender simultaneously.  To my understanding the original Hebrew of the Old Testament uses both pronouns in reference to God.  She falls outside of all the lines we humans draw in the sand, and He loved us enough to save us despite those lines.
11/8/2011 2:53:25 PM
Ruth United States
Ruth
I know what the bible says about homosexuality, that it is a sin, etc.  And I do not believe that a man/man or woman/woman relationship was how God intended his people to relate to each other.  But what do you say to people who bring up the eating shellfish statement?  Or the wearing certain kinds of clothes/material?  Or stoning people for certain offenses - what can you say about that?  Can we say that was changed later in the bible?  
I saw the movie "Prayers for Bobby" and the mother had some real issues with accepting that her son was gay which eventually drove the boy to kill himself.  Only then did she try to be more accepting of homosexuality, but I think she went to the other extreme of saying that it is normal.

Is it possible that something went genetically wrong with the people that are gay so that they do not procreate but are attracted to the same sex?  I think there are some people who chose to be gay because of social situation,etc.  But I also believe that there are some who are truly attracted to the same sex and cannot help that.  They do not have to act on it, but they are not purposely doing it.

I also believe that if Jesus were to return today, he would love the homosexual just the same as he loves you and me.  Though I can imagine he might say "go and sin no more" to them, just as he would to us for any sins we commit every day.

11/10/2011 10:11:46 PM
Anna United States
Anna
I have to say a few things after reading this post and the comments.  First, I was raised in the Christian faith.  Went to a fundamentalist church for most of my growing years. Second, I've done a lot of thinking about homosexuality and it is one of the reasons I no longer attend church.

A great number of my friends are gay.  Do I care? Not particularly.  The fact that they love someone who looks like them (in gender specific areas) is irrelevant. The fact is - they love.  My sister has been a lesbian for several years and she is quite out about it.  She is one of the kindest, most compassionate people I know and LOVES her wife more than life itself. Yes, I said love, of the variety of 1 Corinthians 13.  I love my sister so very much and no, I'd never tell her that being a lesbian was wrong or that she was going to hell.  

I do NOT agree with the statement "love the sinner, hate the sin."  To say that you hate sin is one thing, but the above statement implies that you hate everything wrong with anyone you know.  How is that love? Really?  I don't love a person with the exception of everything thats wrong with them.  I love a person IN SPITE OF everything that's wrong with them.  You take the good with the bad. I don't concentrate on the bad, that's awfully rude and unfriendly.  

I don't mind those who believe that homosexuality is wrong. I won't ever try to change your mind, that'd be an exercise in futility.  

Does anyone realize how convoluted it sounds to say that you will always love people who are gay but you just know they are going to hell?  

Do I believe I'm wrong?  No. Do I think you could ever change my mind? No.  

I am bisexual.  That's not the first thing that defines me and I rarely bring it up.  I am a woman, I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a future teacher, etc.  I am impatient and I have a fiery temper, but I'm also kind and compassionate.  I am loyal to a fault and I will stand up for what I believe in no matter the costs.  I'm aware that I'm not perfect, but that's what makes me HUMAN.  The fact is, so many qualifiers that define me come before "bisexual" that I don't believe it is a lifestyle.  Ya, I'm attracted to some women. I never make advances that I don't believe would be welcome and you would never know that I was bisexual unless you were one of my bestest friends. It's not something I think about constantly. If you believe it's a choice, you haven't walked a mile in my shoes.  

Love isn't strictly something only heterosexual couples are capable of. It's something HUMANS are capable of.  And, it's one of the greatest gifts God ever gave us, if not THE greatest gift.  To imply that someone in a gay relationship isn't capable of the same love that a husband has for his wife is wrong.  

Sorry for rambling.
12/1/2011 3:27:19 PM
Mandy United States
Mandy
Brant... you get it. You did a great job in that situation. Truth has become less than relevant. Somehow our generation has accepted gray in exchange for black and white. Reading through these comments makes me sad.
12/2/2011 8:24:37 AM
Michael United States
Michael
Who knows how active this blog is, or if anyone will read this comment, but I have a few ideas regarding homosexuality that I didn't see in any of the comments that I had read (but I didn't read ALL of them, so sorry if this is a repeat).

I think attraction to the same sex and attraction to the opposite sex are both feelings that need to be addressed.  I think that "Today's Church" is far too accepting of lust when it is deemed "heterosexual" than if it was "homosexual".  I feel that temptation itself isn't inherently sinful, but the actions that follow the temptation are the problem.

The Bible's stance on homosexuality isn't only in the Old Testament. Paul is pretty clear in Romans 1:26-27 that homosexual ACTIONS are not pleasing to God (i.e., a sin). However, while it may not seem fair that people who are tempted by heterosexual lust can get married, Paul also paints marriage as a secondary choice to being single (1 Corinthians 7:25-28), but he clarifies that as being his own opinion, not God's.

So my idea is this: Those who love the Lord but struggle with homosexual temptation, don't think of your struggle as "not fair" or "something that is wrong." Think of yourself as blessed to be chosen to be married to God's work! Temptation is an opportunity to practice self-control and the verses in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 may be all the more applicable:

"32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."

(I realize the verse can also apply to people WITHOUT homosexual temptations, but I felt this view is relevant with this blog post. I, like Brant, know I can be wrong and by no means consider myself an expert on these matters.)
12/8/2011 5:10:48 PM
Britt United States
Britt
Another great post, Brant!

"I told him no, I didn't think he'd chosen to be a homosexual.  But -- humbly -- I didn't choose my brokenness, either.  And yet here I am, broken."

Some of the most beautiful words ever written.

And I especially love that you were more than willing to acknowledge your own brokenness. Your own imperfection.

Hate is dumb, because if one were to hate everyone who is broken, we'd hate ourselves and everyone in the world. All sin separates from God, not some more than others -- ALL.

We're all in the same position of being in desparate need of a savior.

I appreciate this post! THANK YOU!
1/17/2012 6:29:18 PM
Meagan United States
Meagan
This issue is very difficult for me, my brother is gay. He is an amazing intelligent person, but he doesn't want to believe that God would allow him to go to hell just because he is attracted to men instead of women. I have heard from him the argument that it is natural and even animals do it. I have heard that I don't accept him, that I don't love him for who he is. Not true. I always feel like I have failed him because he continues in this "lifestyle," I feel that I didn't have the right words to bring him closer to God. I pray over him so often, and I don't know what to do. I have been told that I should love him (and make sure he knows it) and pray for him and that's all I need to do. What is your opinion? What would you do?
1/18/2012 5:12:14 AM
Christina Johnson United States
Christina Johnson
Meagan

Honestly, just let your brother be.  You don't have to save him.  Jesus will do His thing in His time.

However, my response is biased as all get-out, because I'm a cardcarrying member of the GLBT community.  However, I have studied this issue for some time, now, and I honestly don't think the writers of the Bible had any idea of the idea of a homosexual orientation or a gender identity that differed from one's anatomy.  There's obviously a lot more to it than that, suffice it to say that there is a wealth of information on GLBT issues and how they relate to the Bible's texts.  A good place to start is the film "Fish Out of Water".  Past that, Mark Sandlin of "The God Article" wrote about this topic in an article called "Clobbering 'Biblical' Gay-Bashing".  The basic idea is that being a GLBT person, by itself, does not restrict the rights of others, and therefore, cannot logically be considered a sin.

Just love your brother, and find ways to accept him as he is.  That's what Jesus would probably want you to do.  Don't tell him he's going to hell, or how much he needs to repent, because he'll figure out where he stands with God through prayer and study of the scriptures, and he'll repent as the Spirit calls him to repent.  Being a GLBT person and being a Christian are not mutually exclusive, but I do think Christianity and exclusion are mutually exclusive to one another.
2/3/2012 7:52:52 PM
Wesley United States
Wesley
Really sorry to bump and old post. But relating this to your post about Tim Tebow, how can a person be purposefully living in sin, and be unrepentant, and be saved? I don't believe that practicing gays can be genuinely Christian.

Aside from that, how about the fact that they also have sex while unmarried?
3/15/2012 3:02:50 PM
Lauren A. United States
Lauren A.
i love how you went and met this frustrated guy who is homosexual. i absolutely HATE how people hear that they are, then immediately judge them. i do do it, but i don't completely shun them, unlike certain people. it just so sad. and when i judge, i don't think it's wrong, just relatively unusual within the Christian population.
in my opinion, we all need to start being less judgey..... (not a word) and be more loving toward the people who are unlike us. i'm almost 13, and it bugs me how the "popular" people virtually shun the "unpopular" people. i'm not popular, but i'm not UNPOPULAR either. i've gotten WWWAAAAAAYYY off-topic here, but i needed to bring up some points. basically, my actual POINT is that whether we are Christian or not, we all need to reach out with open arms to the broken, lost, different, etc. so, we all need to stop being so ignorant about the world around us and stop taking our amazing life for granted. God put these people in our lives for a reason. FIND IT.
3/20/2012 1:38:53 PM
ginafer United States
ginafer
I realize this is now a really old blog post... and yet people are randomly still replying so it's not locked!
Brant I really appreciate your ability to meet this man where he was at that point. I too would have laughed at his shirt!! haha... I really appreciate the prayers you said before meeting up as well.
I think I've read all responses..I really appreciate Christina Johnson's response. It seems she has studied much on the subject, maybe from a biased perspective, but haven't we all?!
I used to be very relaxed in my opinion on homosexuality. I too have friends and family that I care for deeply who currently live this way. But then... I had children! I find it very hard to believe people are born or created this way when we have an enemy so full of hatred for us and our creator. I raise my children to accept who God created them to be. If they are a girl then I believe that is what God intended. God doesn't make mistakes. But then there are within the human  genome abnormalities that make that statement hard to accept. So do you tell gays that they are the product of a deformity? That doesn't seem very nice either. I also find it hard to tell gays that their lifestyle is sin and is akin to gossip or murder! 8O Of course I believe my own sin is kin to gossip and murder but gays are very hurt that we would compare it so harshly especially when they believe they were born this way. The fact is that ALL sin is equal in Gods eyes. No sin is worse than another. We have a hard time accepting that, but that is how I see it. I strongly believe that Satan convinces people to commit suicide, murder, abuse, sexual sins, promiscuity, lies, gossip or even homosexual acts. I believe that all sin is the devils handy work trying desperately to ruin our lives. My husband and I discuss this topic regularly. I can see the curiosity of 'how or why' causing people to act on homosexual lust...and the fun of identifying with a group of people. But then what? How do you define yourself if not for your sexuality? How do you 'change' your mind with out losing your identity? You become trapped in a lifestyle that you have claimed for so long that you don't know how to change it without being judged yet again. Another area that I ponder regularly is the mere sexual tension of our society as a whole. In the original post and in a response it is mentioned, "not being attracted to the opposite sex." My question then is...at what point is that the objective? I know people who are gay simply because they don't feel attractive to the opposite sex. Personally I am no more attracted to the opposite sex than I am to same sex. I am married to a man who I am deeply, and more every day, in love with. But I didn't base my sexuality on men in general. I fell in love with one man, because that is what I believe is right, not the whole gender. As a society we seem to think dating is a good way to find a mate...in my opinion dating is great way to practice divorce! If within 6 months of courting you don't feel like you want to marry that person it is time to move on. I really liked what Michael had to say on 12/2 about not marrying at all if you are confused about your sexuality. Bottom line for me is, as a mother, this is a topic which should be discussed at home. Parents should have the freedom to impart their views! As a mom I don't want to confuse my children but I don't want them to think my views are based on hate or fear. How then do we love our gay friends and family while making it clear that we believe it is sin? I tend to avoid gays simply because of this. I do love them but I don't want my love to be misconstrued as tolerance or even acceptance, especially to my children. Even Jesus told people to 'sin no more' sure he ate with sinners...but he expected them to accept their acts as sin and sin no more. When gays refuse to see this as sin what do we do? I've sinned and I admit it, what is so wrong with that. FICM.org I think can be a great help to people confused about their sexuality.
...I guess in the end...I wouldn't have been able to have this conversation with a stranger, not without God speaking through me at least.
8/15/2012 1:02:52 AM
Sarah Ray United States
Sarah Ray
I appreciate your honesty and your sincere compassion for people, even when you disagree.

One more thing, I said:  "And if I'm wrong, about anything, I want to know.  I honestly do.  I'm convinced on this, but if I'm shown otherwise, I will change my thinking on this.  I want you to know that."

I think this article my sister sent me can show you otherwise.  I respect you, Brant, and I think this will help you to see why this man said no.  Because in his heart, he knew that God did NOT disapprove of his relationship.

I know this is not your current blog, but I remembered this one and it's gotten soooo many comments.  I hope you'll let me know what you think of this:

www.thegodarticle.com/.../...ical-gay-bashing.html
11/1/2012 4:26:04 AM
Bed and Breakfast Brighton United States
Bed and Breakfast Brighton
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