Tag Archive - gay rights

What Bothers Me Most About the Scout Debate

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In the past forty-eight hours, my email inbox has been flooded with alarming warnings about the historic implications of the decision by Boy Scouts of America leaders to admit young men who openly claim to be homosexual. To be fair, I share the concern of many Americans that the sweeping change in public opinion is bringing forth swift and at times irrational decisions in this area. Still, I think the seemingly sudden shift in sentiment for all things related to gay rights has revealed a flaw in much of Christian thinking:

We shouldn’t be against gay rights because we are against homosexuals. We should question gay rights because we don’t believe homosexual tendencies or lifestyle define any person. Period.

When it comes to the Boy Scouts, just because a young man believes himself to “be gay” doesn’t mean parents, Scout leaders, or others should believe him to be so. He may have some tendency to be attracted to young men, or something in his past that drew him away from the heterosexual norm (and by norm – for the sake of this blog – I mean the lifestyle that over 98% of the population claims, according to a recent study.) According to Scripture, God’s plan for everyone is either to enjoy a single life or to marry someone of the opposite gender. So why do so many in the Church seem to be identifying people solely on this particular preference – as if we agree that they were born this way? Instead, why wouldn’t we treat homosexual tendencies as one variable of a person’s choices rather than his or her core identity? When we exclude someone from a congregation, or family, or Scout troop, because they claim to be “gay,” aren’t we acknowledging the lie that they are who they are and cannot change?

With all of the publicity over the gay agenda in the past six months, I think a lot of people are missing the point: in at least a half century of attempting to do so, no one has offered any substantive evidence that anyone is born a homosexual. No one.

In fact, one recent headline grabber related to gay rights unintentionally makes my point about the myth of the homosexual identity. It came from the announcement of NBA player Jason Collins that he was gay. Ironically, he might have been more honest to say he had chosen the homosexual lifestyle, since he actually had been engaged to a woman as recently as four years ago. Of course, he instead argued that it was his heterosexual behavior that was the choice, and his homosexual behavior was his true identity. But lost in the story was what I would deem the most important part: that Jason Collins has a straight twin brother. If homosexuality was a genetic part of one’s nature, after all, wouldn’t one’s genetic twin have the exact same nature? This is exactly why homosexuality twin studies have been a consistent “best kept secret” among the homosexual population: they consistently disprove a genetic factor. (See Schacter, Daniel L., Gilbert, Daniel T., and Wegner, Daniel M. (2009) “Psychology”. Worth Publishers: 435.)

I believe that much of the current debate is the result of decades of mistakes in the American Church. Instead of facing the issue of homosexuality with healthy conversation and an honest look at the factors that may have led people into this lifestyle, many reacted with anger, rejection, and cruel jokes. It’s as though we – and not them – really believed that participation in such activity completely defined who they were, and left them beyond redemption.

I also fear we will make the same mistake again with Boy Scouts. Our church hosts a troop, and has for many years. If a young man wanted to participate who was struggling with his sexual identity, I hope our leaders would welcome him with open arms – and refuse to accept that this is the only aspect of the young man’s identity. I’m not talking about coercive reparative therapy happening during Scout meetings. I’m talking about sharing the love of Christ with a young man. And I have tremendous confidence in the powerful influence of Godly male mentors.

When the next Scout debate comes along – the one over allowing Scout Leaders who participate in the homosexual lifestyle – I will be far more interested in the outcome. This is not because I hate anybody, or I am falling into the trap of core identity based on choice. It is because, apart from all of the PR efforts thrust upon us to the contrary, there is evidence that this could be a risk to children.

In the meantime, I challenge you to join me in looking beyond the labels and see the people all around us who are longing to hear about the love of Christ – regardless of the choices they have made or are making.

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The spiritual barriers people face are countless, but they can be categorized into Eight Primary Walls. These walls correlate with the 8 primary breakthroughs that everyone needs.
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I am so busy that I find myself ignoring the most important things in my life.
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The possibility of gaining a good friend is worth the risk.
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I spend too much of my energy pursuing material things.
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When bad things happen, I feel like I am getting what I deserve.
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I am amazed at God's power.
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I believe God is loving and kind.
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When bad things happen, I wonder if God can make things better.
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I believe God loves me in spite of who I am.
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I feel compelled to make the world around me better.
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I have a hard time trusting people.
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I find myself drawn to things I know are bad for me.
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I find myself more focused on the things I don't have but wish I did.
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I have witnessed things that make me wonder if God is in control.
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I feel I can turn to God for direction.
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I believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing God.
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I am confident God has forgiven me for my past.
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I believe God wants what is best for me.
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I don't believe anyone can ever know what is absolutely true.
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I am willing to serve others for nothing in return.
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I have to guard against judging people when I learn they are dealing with tough circumstances.
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I observe things that make me wonder if I should believe the Bible.
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I believe the Bible has answers for today's circumstances.
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I am grateful for the things I have been given.
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I think God cares about the details of my life.
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People who have hurt me in the past cause me to avoid some relationships today.
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My faith practices are more about routine than relationship.
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I believe truth is the same for everyone.
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I have too many of my own problems to deal with the problems of others.
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I think that God will meet all my needs.
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When I am facing a difficult situation, I feel like I can solve problems on my own.
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I know a lot of people, but don't feel very close to many people.
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I have been wronged in the past in a way I cannot get over.
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I worry about the problems that the future holds.
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I look forward to good things in my future.
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I try to avoid temptations that would bring me harm.
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I am willing to sacrifice immediate gratification for something better down the road.
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People would describe me as a giving person.
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I am intentionally seeking to grow in my relationships with others.
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I tend to expect the worst to happen.
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When looking back on my life, I tend to focus on all of the things I did wrong.
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I question why God allowed certain things to happen in my life.
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I feel with God's help, I can face any situation.
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It humbles me to think I can know God.
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I believe God is willing and able to answer my prayers.
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I feel strong relationships are hard, but worth it.
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I worry that God is angry with me.
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I feel there is a disconnect between who I really am and how I act in front of other people.
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It troubles me that God has not answered my prayers.
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