These Hallowed Grounds: “All I Have to Offer” by Micah

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I actually don’t remember how Micah and I became friends, but yet, here we are. I do remember, at first, being skeptical of him. It goes without saying, he’s a very talented writer, an honest one, a voice that brings out the freshness of following Christ in the aftershock of a shifted from childhood worldview. But as I often am regarding straight white writers that enter the LGBTQ conversation, I was skeptical of him.

 

Thing is, Micah has shown me, time and time again, that this is something strapped to his heart. We’ve had wonderful, fruitful dialogues about current happenings, how the faith is changing, what love really looks like, and through our friendship, I’ve seen that this matters in such a real deep way to him. It’s quite moving.

 

Today Micah brings us a story and a reflection of a time when this became very true in his life. I am so honored to have him share here today.

~ ~ ~

Before I even read between the lines, I knew what you were really saying.

Angry. Struggling. Confused. Alone.

We had been friends for a while, in the very loose sense that people our age use that word. Friends. We passed each other from time to time on the internet. We have never met in “real life”.

But you wanted to know if you could talk to me.

Pacing in my backyard with they phone pressed to my ear, the first time I heard your voice you were saying “I’m gay.”

I had already told you that I wouldn’t have any answers, no easy fixes for how to reconcile being gay and being a Christian. So I listened.

And then I was angry.

I was angry that you had to call me, a stranger from the internet.

I was angry at everyone in your life that should have been there to listen face-to-face, across the table from you.

I was angry at your parents, your Christian friends, your church. For abandoning you in the shadows. For pushing you away. For condemning “people like you” so many times that you couldn’t even speak.

I had already told you that I wouldn’t have any answers, so I listened. That’s all I had to offer. (I wish there was more I could do.)

I listened as you talked about living your teen years so desperately dedicated to loving and serving Jesus.

I listened as you told me about leading Bible studies in college.

I listened as you recounted your struggle to stay sexually pure, and your desire to save yourself for the wife you prayed God would bring you someday.

And I realized you were just like me.

Just. Like. Me.

But  there was a part of me that wanted to dismiss you anyway. To lable you as “other”. To call you “them” instead of “us”.

To think of you as a “sinner”, not a brother.

In that moment, I realized the arrogance of my own system. How I thought I knew everything I needed to know about you with that one word – “gay”. How quickly my mind raced to draw a circle in the sand around myself, with you on the outside. How naturally the word “them” rolled of my tongue when I spoke of you, to you.

And I was angry at myself.

Even as I said “them”, I apologized. I didn’t know what else to do.

But something changed in me as your story spilled out and I paced in the back yard listening.

For me, “gay” can never again simply be an “issue”, an “argument”, a “culture war.”

It has a story. It has a face. Yours.

The next day I sat down and wrote, “I’m done with saying ‘love the sinner, hate the sin.’ I’m done with speaking as if I’m different, better than you.”

I don’t know what else to do. I’m still here to listen. It’s still all I have to offer, but it’s yours.

And if you’re reading this today, I want you to know three things:

I’m sorry I drew that circle in the sand with you on the outside. I was wrong.

I’m grateful that you were brave enough to tell me your story.

And I love you. Not as a “sinner”, but as a brother. As a friend.

~ ~ ~

Be sure to check out Micah’s blog here!

And, if anything, follow him on twitter @micahjmurray. He’s always bringing out great conversations!

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  • John Kendrow

    Straight I can understand but what does his being “white” have to do with anything?

    • registeredrunaway

      good question! I probably could’ve done without the racial descriptor, particularly with this discussion. But in all honesty, race does play a factor when I think about privileged people talking about the marginalized. I’ve often been wary of progressive circles where the conversation regarding marginalized people is dominated by those that cannot identify with the specific realities of the marginalized. For me, straight white man sort of epitomizes the height of privilege. Of course, this highlights my own prejudice against the privileged, which blinds me to their sincere attempts at understanding. That was the point I was making above about my understanding Micah better!

    • Tracie Holladay

      White people are often blamed for all the world’s ills. If one is any or all of the following:

      white
      straight
      male
      military/veteran
      meat-eater

      …one is basically, in this PC world we live in, the most hated human being on the face of the earth. These are the people who, supposedly, engage in the most oppressive behavior (and always have, for hundreds of years) against anyone who is NOT of those groups.

      My husband is all of the above and has been made to feel like he is blamed for all forms of oppression, at least in the Western world, for the last 500 or so years.

      • Ross

        It’s not that someone in that group should feel blamed or responsible. The fact of the matter is that is the group that has been in power. If you fit those demographics you don’t have to live in someone else’s culture. You “know the secret handshake” so to speak. No matter how much you identify or align with those descriptors you have an innate privilege that you were born with that others weren’t. This does not preclude them from being successful and it doesn’t guarantee you a life a of happiness by any means. It does, however, make it easier for you to succeed than someone else of a different race with similar traits, background, ability, intelligence, etc.

        I don’t think he should be meant to feel white guilt, but he should acknowledge his white privilege and understand why race still matters even though we were told it shouldn’t. As a child of the 80’s I was taught we’re all the same on the inside, and that’s what matters. It’s a great thought, but sadly, the more I learn about the way society works, the more I realize this isn’t true.

        • Jeff Nash

          What does it look like to acknowledge white privilege? What does white privilege look like? My dad was Air Force inlisted for 30 year career. We didnt go without, but we were far from rich. My parents came from poor, rural Illinois. I was the first in my family to complete BA and went on to get Masters. I paid for college by working as much as able. No scholarships for good students who are white males. Worked my way through school, studied and now have a successful career in Hospice. Where was the priviledge? How did my being white alone assist me in this. I am not saying white privilege does not exist, but I am fairly sure I have nothing to apologize for and not sure I ever benefited from it. The problem is, all white people, especially men are lumped together. … It’s called prejudice. I believe my story is much more common then success of white privilege alone.

  • Thank you for posting this. If you don’t mind my commenting, I’d like to share a little of my own experience. I’m a straight, white, married, conservative Christian woman. I grew up in the times where no one admitted to being gay. People whom I respected, good people, taught me that the Bible condemned homosexuality. I had no reason to dispute it—I had no experience with it. Then my second son was born. By the time he was about seven years old, he told me he wanted to be a girl. He liked pink and purple. I was terrified. I taught him the difference between male and female, physically and role-wise. I thought I fixed it. And his 18th birthday present to me was to tell me he was gay. I was devastated. I thought we had failed as parents, that he had been subverted, that he could be “cured”—all the typical things. We went through counseling. I sent him to something akin to “Exodus”. I told no one. The pain that we all experienced was immeasurable. But because of my son’s fine character, and because of his love for his family, he gave me the space to learn and accept over time. As a result, I now understand how wrong I was, how much pain I caused him, and I am trying to “overcome evil with good.” I now attend a gay church with my son and his partner, and they have been very gracious to us. I thank God for the chance to correct my wrongs, and perhaps help someone else. You may, justly, condemn my actions and former beliefs, but I hope it will be an encouragement to you to know that some people are willing to see the truth, no matter how costly it may be to them.

    • Has your son settled on his identity as a gay man? Or is he transitioning as a transgendered person? I’m curious because of the many stories I’ve read about the trans community. Gender is determined in the mind, not the genitalia, and those who are trans need extra help as they struggle to figure out their place in the world. I have a special love for the transgendered. Yours is only the second or third instance in which a trans maintains gender and is gay.

      • Jeff Nash

        Gender is biological, not psychological.

        • coffee1234

          Gender is cultural.
          Sex is biological.
          I’m a woman, i’ve got a Vag, AND I embrace …walk the edge of embrace.. my gender identity as a female. I mean, i’m a tad butch, but yah.
          Gender is modernly defined, however, as a cultural construct. Hence why it changes from culture to culture. Just look at the difference between how I express my gender and how my 85 year old grandmother expresses her gender? Our sex is both F. Our gender is both W. However, I wear bow-ties and cargo pants to school, I have short hair, and people are shocked when I wear makeup. My grandmother doesn’t leave the house without lipstick, and a good pair of shoes. We both identify as F, yet we both express that in totally different ways.

      • coffee1234

        I dunno, I use to envy men because they could kiss girls, and I had to kiss men. The second someone told me I didn’t HAVE to kiss boys then I was like “YES! Just, YES! I can have boobs, and make out with someone who has boobs too!” (This is not to say I was considering transitioning, if lesbian was a new concept to me I hadn’t even heard of T.)
        I’m not sure if the author was trying to convey an envy of men, or a MTF Trans*… I have this whole thing about jumping to conclusions and assigning cultural labels, if I’m not sure then I use gender neutral terms. Perhaps her child is simply a fem. cis male who loves men.
        <>

    • nlwanok

      As someone whose parents have gone through their own private journey, I appreciate your comment so much. Please know that if your son came out to you at 18, you did something very right. You raised him to value authenticity and integrity. You showed him love such that he was able to tolerate the risk of rejection. Also, and most importantly, you are a great mom for having the courage, faith, and love to make that journey. One of the things I had to realize is that, if it took me years to reconcile my faith and sexuality, I could not expect my parents to do that in an instant. Your son if very fortunate.

      All my very best to you –
      Ford

  • TMZ

    Beautiful. Touching beyond words. I’m a new fan of your blog, and I have a funny feeling I’ve suddenly become a new fan of Micah’s as well. How I wish I’d had “straight friends” like this growing up.

    After a tough isolating week, this inspires me onward. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Fix the type here: It reads “The next day I sat down and wrote, ‘I’m done with saying ‘hate the sinner, love the sin.'” It’s backwards. Micah actually said he was done saying love the sinner hate the sin. Good article. Us vs them is not what Jesus wants from us. We are all “us” and we are all “them”. One faith, one body, one baptism, one Lord and giver of all.

    • mw123

      Are you sure that your philosophy is true?

      Matt. 10:34-36: Not Peace, but a sword…

      “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.

      • Sheila Warner

        I’m absolutely sure. Do you think Jesus was telling his followers that it was his intention to stir up family fighting? Of course not. He carried a sword–the Word of God, which is the sword by which we are convicted of our sins. A by-product of that is that some family members will become hostile to the one who chooses to follow Christ. Col. 4:6 instructs us to always make sure our speech is gracious, seasoned with salt. If we provoke, condemn, and are judgmental, then we aren’t following Col 4:6. And just look at Jesus’ actions. Did he cause problems for sinners? No, he freely forgave. His sword was aimed directly at the spiritual hypocrites of his day.

        • bluelove

          And tell me, are the hypocrites the ones who do not agree with you?

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  • natalie

    I find that my straight friends are new friends of mine. The straight friends that I had before I came out haven’t continued to be my friend once they found out that I am gay. I’m sure some of them would, but I took off running to avoid their stares and whispers. I’m slowly making my way back in their direction, and I pray that there are those who will graciously accept me. I’m not counting on it though. I wrote a letter to my friends and family on my blog if you’re interested. http://midlifenatalie.com/2013/12/24/an-open-letter-to-my-friends-and-family-2/ I don’t know how I’ll be treated, but I’m tired of hiding so as not to offend.

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  • PaMaDu

    so beautiful

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  • skthtrth

    1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (NLTSE)
    [9] When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin.
    [10] But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. [11] I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
    [12] It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.
    [13] God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

    How should bible believing Christians interpret the following verse in light of anyone that professes to be a Christian yet calls sexual sin good, natural and God’s will?

    • Una Nessuna

      Paul is not Jesus. Jesus said nothing about homosexuality or any particilar sexual identity. Jesus freely associated with sinners. He asked us to love all of our neighbors. He asked us. Not to judge others. He saw beyond sin even to the end with the thief on the cross as the love of God and belief in salvation is all you need to be saved in Jesus. On the other hand, the Christian murderer/hunter Paul never met Jesus and made up rules in direct contradiction to Jesus’ mandates. Whereas Jesus despised the rules of the Pharisees and showed their uselessness, even declaring that there were no unclean foods, Paul insisted on implementing rules including requiring new Christians to be circumcised. Thus it is not difficult to reconcile the love of all Christians which is what Jesus declared when he told us that the greatest commandmenr was “To love God above all else and to love they neighbor as thyself”.versus what a mortal man like Paul who himself was a murderer and a sinner. If you truly accept Jesus Christ, you follow Him and His Word, not the words of some never married man who refers to other men as beloved. Latent much?

      • Sandy Anderson

        I am sorry to tell you this but Paul did meet Jesus. It was his moment face to face with the Lord on the road to Damascus. Scripture is clear about all things. Scripture does not tell me that I can drive my car at 200 miles an hour either but it does tell me that I am to obey civil law. Scripture is complete 100 % God breathed and God inspired we can not just pick an choose the “red letters of Jesus” We have to obey ALL of scripture. Why? Because even in the Old Testament there are scriptures that say certain things. The one thing I know for sure is that Paul did not say that new Christians need to be circumcised he actually said just the opposite. you might want to read Colossians chapter 2 for starters. He actually says that God preforms the circumcision of the heart not the penis. Maybe you should look at all of the scripture instead of being pigeon toed. Actually in the words of Jesus He said He came to fulfill the law Matthew 5:17-18 17 “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter[b] or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished” so if that is true than to me the Old Testament must also be honored. Paul, though not Jesus met Jesus just like presumably you met Jesus. Should we then say that you did not meet Jesus???

        • Sheila Warner

          You are wrong about St Paul. Read Galatians 5 and Acts 15. Paul was one of the most vigorous opponent of requiring Gentile Christians to be circumcised. At the end of the controversy, this is what was decided–

          “You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.”

          No circumcision required. The food issue is something else altogether. I can give you links to that issue, if you wish.

        • Sheila Warner

          Ignore my reply. It was meant for Una, not for you.

          • Sandy Anderson

            Its ok.. I kind of figured it out once I read it… Blessings

          • Sheila Warner

            Blessings to you, too.

      • Sheila Warner

        You are absolutely wrong about St Paul. Read Galatians 5 and Acts 15. Paul was one of the most vigorous opponent of requiring Gentile Christians to be circumcised. At the end of the controversy, this is what was decided–

        “You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.”

        No circumcision required. The food issue is something else altogether. I can give you links to that issue, if you wish.

      • Jeff Nash

        It would be better if you knew what you were talking about before you hit send. 1) Paul never required curcumcision, in fact I e fought a good ainst that. 2) Paul was likely married at some point because he calls himself a Pharisee. 3) Pauls writings are Scripture, God breathed. 4) Jesus forgives sinners, but forgiveness requires repentence. 4) Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus which was his salvation experience. After that moment he never persecuted the church again. He left behind his old ways. 5) An argument from silence is a poor argument. Jesus said nothing about pedophiles and rapists but his silence would not lead us to condone these acts. Jesus came to fulfill the law. Jewish law specifically condemn homosexual relations and the new testament backs it up.

      • skthtrth

        Una, I think you hit on a good point. In order for me to accept a gay Christian I am required to disregard some portion of scripture I have based my faith on. Don’t get me wrong. I love people and would never seek to hurt anyone. I want the best for anyone God puts in my path. When it comes to someone who is living outside the truth of God, it is important for me to do whatever I can to show them they can have victory in Christ. God is great and is deserving of all our devotion, in every area of our lives. Anyone who has received the forgiveness of sins and has a guaranteed place in His eternal kingdom will care about holding to God’s truth. Giving an inch of God’s word to make a homosexual think their sin is “ok” is to step on the slippery slope to abandoning my faith for a man made Religion that calls sin “good’. I don’t label homosexuals as “sinners”, but I would call them lost if they think ignoring the scriptures is a sign of their spiritual rebirth.

      • bluelove

        Oh my gosh! Now you are saying we are to disregard what Paul wrote, an apostle who was inspired by God, to write most of the new testament. This ends any kind of serious debate about the scriptures. You obviously only want to pick and choose what you like about the scriptures, and what you dont! God help you.

    • bluelove

      yep. So very true. And anyone who does not agree, does not believe the bible.

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  • Monte Kitchens

    As conservative born again Christian, I started and led Bible studies, evangelized, did missions, attended Bible College and seminary, started college groups, wedded, had five children and proudly ran an openly Christian family business. At the age of Forty, I was diagnosed with a severe mental illness. It had been a rocky road and up and down ride for my wife up to that point but with the diagnosis came medication and the old demon of drug addiction raised its ugly head. She lasted another year and finally asked me to change or move out. I new changing enough wasn’t going to happen anymore than walking on water. I moved out. Nine months later she filed for divorce after I announced I was coming home. That, of course, was thwarted when I was served the papers during our marital counseling session–a bit irony there I suppose. A long and protracted divorce ensued which lasted a little over two years. Several attempts were made at reconciliation but in the end, mental illness or no it was clear that if I did heal and change it would be without promise or guarantee and a long slow arduous journey of growth and self-discovery. Her exact words at our last meeting to discuss reconciliation: “I can not think of a single reason there could possibly be for my wanting to get back together again.” Eighteen months later the divorce was final on October 17, 2007–eight days after my 44th birthday. Everything I had and the person I was were gone: friends, wife, children, family, Church, business, health, income, savings, house, retirement; even my car had been stolen. It was at this point I pulled myself together enough to get clean from the addictive medications and back into the Word so I could at least make a feeble attempt to parent my five children. It was also then that I admitted I was attracted only to men and my marriage had been a 17 year endeavor of denial. It was then that I made the decision to embrace who I was–being true to myself. Throughout this time, I questioned but never doubted or abandoned my faith in Christ. Nevertheless, my mental health collapsed once again, I relapsed into drugs several more times and finally, following an attempted suicide, I found myself checking out of a psychiatric hospital ready to try one more time to put some kind of life together. In August of 2010, I got together with my partner. I stabilized on my medication by the end of that year. I actually worked for the first time in six years for well over a year until the opportunity to go back to school and retrain became available just as my health was beginning to fail again. I still have not found a sound Church body and I fight everyday to remind myself I am not merely a sinner but hidden in Christ saved entirely by grace. But God is faithful and sustains me. I have been blessed in ways that would take more than several lines to share. Thank you for this article. It is men like yourself that have left enough crumbs from Christ’s table for me to follow. I hope one day God can see fit to use me to help other lost sheep find they’re way home too at the Cross where we ALL find God on the same terms. God bless you. And now, I’m done too 🙂

    • Sheila Warner

      Thanks for bravely sharing your story with us.

      • Monte Kitchens

        It feels good to be called brave rather than lost as many Christians do when I share. Thank you for that

    • David Kiester

      Thank you for opening up and telling your story. There was so much in your story that mirrored the road I have traveled. More than 50 years of psychiatric treatment/care/healing. Hospitalizations, drug addictions, jails, suicide attempts, marriage, children, divorce, job loss. It took me almost to 60 to accept myself and come out. Best thing I ever did for myself! I never thought God had deserted me. Now I have loving, accepting friendships (straight & gay) loving & accepting worship community. You and I are survivors that can tell others — especially when things seem hopeless — Life can be better!

      • Monte Kitchens

        That is utterly amazing! I would so love to hear more details of your story…very encouraging. I still can not find a place to worship comfortably. Perhaps you could share how God brought that about for you. I’ve prayed and searched for two years and recently just gave up. Thanks again for your encouraging words.

        • bluelove

          I pray God will help you, find a church, where your eyes and ears will open up to Gods’ truth.

  • Jeff Nash

    A very heart warming story, but when did our love for someone change the definition of sin. In your blog you alluded to the story of women caught in adultery. And it is a powerful example of God’s love. Jaesus didn’t condemn the woman, but he did tell her to “go and sin no more”. I do not believe she left that day and returned to her adulterous relationship. I understand what you are saying about us versus them and looking at someone who is gay as “other”. But God, with His great love for all people can never condone sin. … he will forgive it, but He can not condone it.

    • David Kiester

      You continue to hold on to some fundamentally flawed ideas that homosexuals, ipso facto, are committing a sin. The theological requirement for sin is both knowledge & intent. I don’t recall you being in any of my conversations with God so you are in no position to judge. What you are spreading is calumny!

      • Jeff Nash

        I do not believe that your assertion about the theological requirements for sin are accurate. I did a fair share of research on the matter after receiving your reply and it would appear that you hold to either a Subjectivist or Voluntarist theory of sin. The Subjectivist states that the subject themselves are the only measure of their sin. This would lead to relativism and deny the Truth of the Gospel or that there in fact ANY truths of Scripture, any divine absolute morals. The Volunarist theory limits sin to only willful wrongdoing. This would seem to reject the Christian awareness of divine holiness. It would also fly in the face of Romans 1:20 which clearly states that people are without excuse. In reality, sin is an act, attitude or course of life that betrays the divine intent for created beings. As such, sin alienates us from God. Even if sin falls into the Voluntarist model, the fact that Scripture is clear on the matter of sexual sin; any act or attitude contrary to what Scripture teaches would be a willful act comitted with knowledge and intent. You may choose to not believe the truth of Scripture, however, that does not change the truth; therefore, to willfully fo against those teachings would be sin, literally missing the mark.
        As far as my “calumny” (BTW big words dont impress people, you could have just said slander); that is a ridiculous statement because I am not atacking a particular person and also, there is NO evidence that what I have siad is false. The truth is the best defense against slander or “calumny”. Besides, it is not my intent to attack any particular person. I am sharing my views on the topic of the blog. I find the blog itself to be heart warming, but the truth of Scripture and the truth of God is not found in warm fuzzies. I do not believe it is our place to inform God that we have decided to change the defintiion of sin in order to permit acts and attitudes that clearly betrays the divine intent for created beings as recorded in Holy Scripture.
        Jeff Nash

        JWNash <

    • coffee1234

      Jeff, I didn’t choose to be gay. I know you’ve heard it before, but I’m telling you now.
      I have always been a lesbian. Period.
      I used to be a devout christian. My calling, I thought, was to move to Russia and work in missions. I explained to friends and family that men were of no interest to me, so I would happily abstain from that sort of entanglement. However, as a female, it’s not really recomended that we run off and never get married, agh! I’d fall into sin or something! So, I decided that I’d marry a man for whom was a pastor. Preferably one who’d never want to sleep with me.
      Used to be. Uhm. One day, my best friend came out as a gay man… which gave me the courage to just- just tell him. Girls. Yah. Love them.
      Problem: my church just finalized a law suite that required we drop 4-5 million dollars to re-buy our church b/c we wanted to be stricter that PCUSA on the whole gay-thing.
      Option 1: leave the church. Option 2: stay in the closet.
      Option 1, easy.
      Now, why am I a dyke, you ask? Well, God made me this way.

      Sorta. Natural Selection, she’s a bitch. (If evolution isn’t your deal, then just assume that God borrowed genetic material as he made each new species.)
      Bonobos are closely related to chimps, which are our genetic ancestors. They exhibit immense homoerotic behavior.. About 20% are fairly committed to being purely gay/straight (in our terms) the other 80%? Screws anything that walks in their species. And they do it missionary style, like us- just represents an ability to build intimacy.
      They’re just cousins of Chimps, which are considered our closest living relative.. In biology we didn’t come from them, we came from some prehistory primate that evolved to them.. and bonobos just happened to converge (converge: separately evolve the same trait) on similar mating habits. Here’s why: It works.
      Bonobos screw their girl friends to say “hey, I love you girl”. They screw their male friends to say “Hey, share those mangos man.” They literally use sex as a community building tool. Having sexual attraction to both genders was/would be/is an extremely powerful way to connect a community/clan of pre-human/ homo-erectus like creatures for whom still were developing a language capacity to connect them differently. Biologists know that traits prominence in a pop. falls on a bell curve.. Sexuality does as well, as represented by the roughly 10% of exclusively gay human in any given population. There’s been countless studies suggesting that some form of bi-sexuality exists in roughly 80% of the population.
      “The Gays” evolved to build community, “the straights” exist in roughly 10% of the population. Everyone else- just loves to get it on.
      Straight is actually more a choice than gay.
      I know, i know, you think I’m this horrid brain washed sinner, it’s alright man. That’s between me and god.

      • Jeff Nash

        First off I dont know you, so I would never refer to you as a horrid sinner. I Cove from the”Fire all have sinned school of thought. ..” I do reject you’re thesis because I believe despite some biologixal similaritues necesary for life, I consider humanity wholly other from the rest of creation. We have free will and the ability to choose. I try to be visitant in this statement. .. When it comes to sin, God has no hierarchy. When is comes to sex; sexual relations outside of marriage is called sin. Though all have and do sin, we should not seek to make it a life style. I hate that you had to make that decision regarding your church. A church is just the people and therfore a church is full of sinners saved by grace and trying to live Good honoring lives. At least it should be.

        • coffee1234

          Jeff, So, Given that I haven’t chosen my sexual orientation, I’m as attracted to the same gender as you are to the opposite- of no willingness of my own (however don’t let it be thought that I am in continuing to be ashamed of this fact, however it was something that i disdained of myself for some time). Would it be better for me to sin in my lust for women, ultimately failing because I’m no Paul and wouldn’t control my sexual urges for a lifetime? (You’ll remember his letter to the Corinthians in which he wrote it was better to not wed at all, but if you must it is better to be married than sin.) To sin in my lies and wed a man who I then led on to believe I desired to have sexual relations with? To sin and off myself because, based on your logic, my merely being alive and attracted to women is to sin? Or, finally, to sin and wed a women who I genuinely loved fully, and had the utmost desire to be with as much as you desire your wife? Which path do you recommend I follow?

          I believe, ultimately, your underlying thesis is that sexual orientation is a choice. Which is an interesting argument at it’s best. I’ve done considerable research in this field, and I’m unaware of any academically credentialed scientists who’ve presented any relevant data suggesting that sexual orientation is a choice. If you happen to have a relevant, peer reviewed, academically relevant source in favor of such a debacle I’d be happy to look over the evidence.

          You’ll note Biological is spelt with a “c” not an “x”… I’m assuming you haven’t cross examined your beliefs thoroughly with counter arguments given that you can’t spell the field of study that seeks to explain the world without divine intervention. Truly a perplexing, yet interesting, way to lead your life- blindly following by faith alone? Typically before I adopt a perspective I ensure that I can thoroughly argue both sides, that I understand the underlying assumptions of both arguments, and that I’m able to thoroughly support any given assumption with credible evidence. Perhaps you can explain to me the benefits of blind faith and ignorance? (Note: ignorance typically has a negative connotation in our culture, but I simply use this word for lack of a better word. It is not intended as an insult, it truly is confusing to me that any one would walk any other path than one that seeks to use critical thinking to understand the world and people around them.)

          Finally, on your denial of science, it saddens me to see an intelligent individual deny widely accepted data. While I recognize it is yours to lead a life in ignorance, there is some truly compelling research on why your brain seeks to explain the world with the supernatural- truly it’s merely another attempt to build community. Have you examined hominid skeletal structures? Convergence? Genetic data? Primate social interaction? The Fossil Record? Evolution is a truly compelling line of study which opens up the door to understanding of life as we know it. This is not to say you should deny the existence of your creator, but taking an objective look at the world opens up the minds eye to alternate lives, and in a sense allows for a true, humbling love of all humans one encounters. One could argue it’s just as much a spiritual study as a scientific endeavor; understanding the origin of man humbles ones own soul.

          • Jeff Nash

            Congrats, it took you only three posts to move from a reasonable exchange of ideas to insults, name calling, personal attacks and using a minor typo as an attack on my intelligence. I have attacked no one and have only expressed views which I believe are Biblical and based on my faith. So many people scream tolerance but you dont mean it…or you only mean it for ideas you agree with. You make complete assumptions about me and the person I am from a few words in a blog comment. You call it blind faith, I do not. I believe in a very personal experience with Christ and I believe His Word. I may have my views, but I have never attacked anyone personally regarding this. I have tried to treat all people with love and respect. I know you consider my views unloving but I truly believe that God calls us to love others and to preach salvation and redemption. I have spent hours at the bedside of a persons dying from AIDS related disease. I have held their partners hand and wept with them. I have taught others about the disenfranchised grief associated with this kind of loss and that what people need at that time is not a lecture but a shoulder. You see, I see sin as sin…but I do not rank them. In those moments it is a sinner giving another sinner a shoulder and praying for strength. I have no trouble exchanging ideas and beliefs and convictions; but you coffee1234 do not know me and therefore you are the one truly speaking out of ignorance.

          • coffee1234

            I understand how the biology comment may have been interpreted as an insult. Do you understand, however, why you’re statements that were very well intended to be innocent could also come off as insulting?

            “When is comes to sex; sexual relations outside of marriage is called sin. Though all have and do sin, we should not seek to make it a life style.”

            “I see sin as sin”

            Or, perhaps if I turned it around.
            What if I told you that “sexual relations outside of marriage is called sin” implying that the deep, personal bond you have/could have for your wife (I’m assuming your married) do not constitute marriage, and therefore invalid and less real. Would you find this offensive as well?

            Or, suppose I told you that being attracted to the opposite gender is sin?

            However, I certainly wasn’t intentionally attempting to insult you Jeff. I was discussing my beliefs, and certainly questioning yours but they weren’t necessarily a personal attack.

            I honestly do not understand how, given the over whelming evidence in favor of science and sexuality, you could deny my two presumptions: evolution, and sexuality being not choice based. I genuinely intended for you to give me an honest, and frank reply. It saddens me that I wasn’t met with one, because I was legitimately looking for enlightenment on your position.

            I would certainly hope that when someone is loosing a loved one you’d comfort them. However, it concerns me that you associate this purely with gay men. It is in fact a disease that kills more heterosexual women globally then gay men… ever. In the western world, education has begun to take it’s effects aligning to self-protection.

            On tolerance, let it be noted that I do not seek to be tolerated- that implies their is something wrong with me. I am merely human. I live, I love, I debate, I learn, I grow, I fail, I will one day die. I am no greater or less than you, and nobody has to “tolerate” your love, I do not see why my love has to be “tolerated”. I do not believe it is inheritantly different than anyone else. However, I do not think that telling children that they are wrong and sinful is something that should be “tolerated”.

            On your theology, are you aware that the whole bible references anything remotely “homosexual” 7 times. The first one has a lot of cultural studies that have since been reflected upon, and sodom and gomoroah, it turns out, had NOTHING to do with homosexuality. Are you aware of how many times is speaks positively of slavery? Do not tell me you brandish a fleet of slaves. Are you aware of the number of times it condones abusing women? Biblical womanhood constitutes a wholly different lifestyle than that of what women lead.

            Before you completely write me off as some internet troll, if you already haven’t, then I’d like you to answer a couple questions for me in light of my genuine curiosity:
            1) What causes you to believe sexual orientation is a choice?
            2) Are you, in fact, attracted to both genders- does this play into your hypothesis that it is a choice, because for you straight is a choice?
            3) Have you genuinely done a deep academic study on human sexuality?
            4) Why do you believe that you lord the ability to make sovereign judgements on what is “divine” and relevant in a biblical context, and what is no longer relevant in todays world?
            5) Given your previous statements, you obviously deny modern science, but I beg the question why?
            6) You state that I am not tolerant for taking offense at your insult of a deeply personal part of my existence, but do you understand why I find your opinion on this matter insulting?
            7) Are you aware of approximately how many LGBT kids are bullied?
            8) Why do you think someone would choose this “lifestyle” if it wasn’t built into their core?

          • Roger Griffin

            Such a shame Jeff Nash declined to answer your questions. I am so impressed at your reasoning, throughout the discussion. I was recommended the article by a friend, as part of our ongoing investigation to reconcile being gay with being a Christian. I’d love to discuss this more with you. Maybe you could look me up on Facebook? So we could inbox one another? If you do, it’s facebook dot com slash rogerjgriffin

          • bluelove

            I agree with you, Jeff. Coffee1234, We pray your eyes will be opened, to Gods’ truth. We can not pick and choose, from the bible, what we want to live by, and what we dont. May God fill you with His Holy Spirit, and allow you to see His truth.

        • coffee1234

          Forgive me, obviously your position on the world is fairly intriguing, and I’d like to seek to better understand why you hold it.
          Take no offense at what I’m about to ask, because I was merely cross examining my primary assumptions in my reply… essay…

          Research shows that most people who fundamentally cling to this assumption that leading a gay “lifestyle” is a choice tend to be highly attracted to homoerotic behavior. Supporting my previous hypothesis that roughly 80% of the population is some varying degree of bisexual, it would make sense that they would cling to this belief; choosing to exclusively date the opposite gender IS a choice for them.

          My question then, merely in an attempt to better understand your primary assumptions and get to the root of your argument, is do you find homo-erotic behavior attractive? Have you ever been attracted to the same gender? I mean, obviously, given your primary assumptions you are not acting on this, but if this is in fact true then it would explain why you believe that this is a lifestyle choice- because you choose to be “straight.” I’m not suggesting you should deviate from this choice, I don’t think their is anything wrong with it, it’s your life to live, not mine to judge. I just want to better understand people like yourselves primary assumptions.

      • bluelove

        I am so sorry that you felt you had to leave your church. I include myself in the “creation” school of thought. I believe in Genesis, and Adam and Eve, and original sin. I take it literally, and do not look at it, as being a fable. To me, when I look at our world, and see the evil that is rampant, the bible is the only thing that makes sense to me! We are all sinners, in need of the saving Grace of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I am one of “the others” in church, because I come from an alcoholic, single-parent family. Growing up, my mom was the first to divorce, in her family. We were kind of the “black sheep” with all of our relatives. I grew up in New Orleans, where drinking and partying were what people did. I grew up drinking, doing drugs, partying; and the church was a place where people were so differentfrom me. Thank God, a friend started talking to me about Jesus, and I listened. God is love, and I had been missing that “LOVE” all my life. We all have our sins. What people fail to realize is some of them only God can see. The sins of the heart, hate, and revenge. People in the church (me included) are quick to talk about the sins we see, drinking, homosexuality. Never the less, ALL of them are sins, and our sins are what put our Lord on the cross. If you do not believe in what the bible says about how the world started, Genesis, then you are picking and choosing what you want to believe about the bible, and what you dont. If you do that, you are making a god, into what you want him to be, instead of believing in the one TRUE GOD, the only God there is, the GOD of the bible. When you do this, you make a god of your choice. This is dangerous, as it goes against the bible, and God Himself. He gave us His word, and all its truth is right there. It isnt complicated, or hard to understand. We can not choose what is sin, and what isnt. God allready did that, and mercifully gave us a way out- if we so choose, His son, Jesus Christ. May God bless you, and shine His face, and truth on you.

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  • David Kiester

    Micah, I don’t know the words to tell you thank. Tears are streaming down my face as I realize, you understand.

  • Valeina Rhenae Taber

    I have 2 daughters who are bisexual, and 2 gay cousins. I don’t see them as bisexual or gay. I see them as people that I love and care about. We cannot help who our hearts decide to love. Just because you are attracted to your same sex does not make you a bad person. I say keep an open mind at all times. Don’t label people and don’t judge. You don’t know their story or the journey they have traveled. Being gay or lesbian or bisexual does not mean that you have leprosy or that you should be treated any differently than a straight, heterosexual. Some of the most interesting people who have come into my life are gay. I’ve even wondered a time or 10 whether I was gay because I could say that this or that woman was beautiful. I’ve heard it said that everyone has a moment or more in their lives when they find themselves attracted to a person of the same sex. Does that make you gay? No it does not. Gay people are people too and they deserve the right to love whomever they please.

  • Dorothy

    On so many levels this is not right. How do you reconcile scripture with this. I agree we are not to hate them but we are also not to condone sin. When the woman was caught in adultery, Jesus didn’t say go and don’t bother about changing, He said go and sin no more. You talk about not drawing a line in the sand, so that to me is saying there is no moral absolutes. God’s word is clear. There is no room in heaven for adulterers, murderers, homosexual, liars, thieves. Only repentance daily sets us free from our sins. I’m forgiven not rejected but I can not keep going out and doing the same things I’ve done in the past. There was a song back in the 70,s or 80,s I’m not quite sure when but I remember the phrase,”Fools who march to justify there sin.” We all can justify our sin when it suits our purpose. We are called to be separate and holy, as He is holy. You are right in that our sexual preference does not identify us, but we can’t change the word to suit us and our choices. I have a grandson who has chosen this life style and my daily prayer is Lord reveal your truth to him. My heart aches for him. But I am also aware that we are not like the animals and we can make godly choices.It’s no different then anyone else who chooses to justify their sin. I still have to say “hate the sin, love the sinner. That’s what Jesus did for me, He will always hate my sin but love me.

    • bluelove

      Amen, sister Dorothy. We can, and should love the sinner, but hate the sin. Whether it be drunkenness, homosexuality, gluttoney, idolatry, theft, gossip, adultery, hate, or revenge. And God does love us all, but He hates all of our sins! God bless.

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  • SftPwr

    The argumentative atmosphere within the christian community is linked to the style of apologetics that has been taught in many seminaries; it’s cultural, nurtured, and it has been handed down to some congregations and through media outlets. This abrasive way of engaging such personal subjects could not be further from Jesus’ example.

    This argumentative spirit easily bleeds into areas that are, in my opinion, NOT core questions of Faith – waving red herrings that are divisive, and at best a distraction. If I choose to stand with LGBTQ believers, and it makes other believers angry, or uncomfortable – this is an internal issue to be dealt with! It is a matter of our fellowship. And if it is a matter of fellowship, there is much restorative work to be done.

    If someone believes that, somehow, a person can not be in the body of Christ and be gay – this is another issue. But to this I would say that I leave all the judgement of souls up to God. My task on this earth is to share the Good News of Jesus’ Grace and the Freedom of Christ. I am not the judge, the sword… and if lines are being drawn in the sand, then I would much rather stand on the fringes.

  • Gareth

    There is one important fact that we can not miss when talking about gay people and how we are to treat them. Our friends and family who might be gay are still living in a lifestyle of sin. I think that is important to make it clear that it is no biblical to say that a gay person is a true follower of Christ. For in Romans 1 we see that God turns people who reject Him over to the lost of the flesh which in those verses can end up being a gay lifestyle among other things. When talking to gays, we should desire to see them repent from that lifestyle and come to walk in the light. Now of course we all sin even after we are saved, but as it says in 1 John 1:6-7 we cannot be living in lifestyles of sin “in darkness”. Our goal when dealing with gay people should be to show the the love of God and urge them to repent and to turn to “walk in the light”.

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  • tekwrite

    YOU sound like you are better than Christians who acknowledge a sin but loves the sinner as Jesus does. NO ONE but God can judge and Christians should not. ALL have sinned so no one is better than another. However, Jesus calls on us to REPENT of our sin. A gay Christian is an oxymoron. Being gay is a CHOICE, not hard wired by God so he can delight in tossing someone into hell.

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  • John Kreitzer

    Thankfully many major denominations now realize that the bible speaks of various heterosexual and homosexual sexual sins. It does not say homosexuality itself is a sin just like heterosexuality isn’t a sin just because some heterosexual sexual acts are sins.

    Understand the difference at http://www.notasin.com