Winning Gay Youth Through Compassion and Support
It seems that there are more people coming out as being lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, or queer. This is especially true among youth who are coming out at different ages. YouTube, for example, seems to have a plethora of videos of gay youth telling their coming out stories.
Whether or not we agree with a particular lifestyle is really not the question. The real question that we need to ask ourselves is whether we can still love and support persons who identify themselves as part of the LGBTQ community, and especially those who are members of our own families, close friends, or associates, and in particular the future leaders of tomorrow – the youth.
The reality is that none of us live perfect, sinless lives, and that includes anyone who considers himself or herself to be a devout Christian. Because a person identifies his or herself as lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, or queer, it does not change who that person is on the inside. We must avoid being quick to judge another, and pushing him or her away. Instead we need to learn how to be more compassionate and more understanding of one another. We need to try walking a mile in their shoes, and seeing the world from their perspective for a change.
The purpose of this blog, which is different from what I normally post, is not to offend anyone who is adamantly opposed to the LBGTQ community and their lifestyle, nor is the intent to start a religious dialogue or debate of any sort as a defense for what some may feel differentiates right from wrong. And, it is not the intent of this blog to demean, degrade, or belittle any person, regardless of their sexual orientation, or religious or personal beliefs.
The purpose of this blog is to help make people aware of what is taking place in the LGBTQ community, in particular among the youth. The stories presented in the videos are real. We cannot live our lives with our heads buried in the sand, continue to look away and walk away, or simply wish that the LGBTQ community would just somehow disappear, especially since it has existed for centuries, albeit not as prominent as it is today. We need to listen to what the youth are telling us. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer is a very real part of life for these people, and even if we are not personally accepting of their lifestyles, we should still do whatever we can to love and respect them for who they are. Maybe there are some who consider them to be different because of their lifestyle, but the point of the matter is that they are still human beings and deserve to live their lives without the fear of being constantly bullied or harassed.
Gay Hudson seniors named king and queen of prom in open vote of classmates ( Charlie Ferrusi and Timmy Howard; June 2010; Hudson High School; New York)
Gay Youth Coming Out Stories
Being Gay and Christian – Open Views & Opinions
Gay teen makes decision to leave Christian school after being told to delete his YouTube videos
Austin Wallis, a 17-year-old openly gay teen, says he was called into the principal’s office at Lutheran High North in Houston, Texas after the principal discovered his YouTube videos, and was given the ultimatum to delete his YouTube channel or find another school to attend.
Austin stated that the principal told him that “in the Bible, it declares that being a homosexual is a sin and we cannot have you promoting a sinful lifestyle.” Though faced with a difficult decision, Austin commented, “I realized that I don’t want to be somewhere where I can be kicked out for being gay and being open it.” And so, regrettably, he decided to leave Lutheran High North. He further commented that he knows the private school has the legal ability to decide who should be allowed to attend, but questions whether the school’s actions are moral or ethical.
Austin came out last August in a YouTube post. Since then he regularly vlogs about topics affecting gay youth, and activities and adventures with his boyfriend.
School officials refused to comment on Austin‘s allegations, but in a statement issued by the Lutheran Education Association of Houston, executive director Wayne Kramer said, “We respectfully require students to adhere to these accepted values and moral beliefs.” Kramer further remarked, “Students have to make choices and decide whether their beliefs align with our community.
Source: Gay teen leaves Christian school after being told to delete his YouTube videos; LGBTQ Nation; 7 February 2015
Is it any wonder?
Our world is rapidly spinning out of control on a downward spiral of moral decay. With all the immoral and inhumane acts that plague our societies at this daunting hour, and with so many good hearten people who have chosen to sit by and just watch things “take their course” without interacting and standing up for what is right, is it any wonder that our world is in the shape that it is in?
A great revolution is taking place, and now is not the time to slumber nor sleep, but now is the time to become anxiously engaged and answer the call to arms to defend those things which we know to be right, moral, decent, and humane. It starts within the four walls of our homes as we fight to defend the sanctity of the central core of the society – the FAMILY. If that foundation is destroyed, what can the righteous do?
When I watch local news broadcast or read some of the articles in the local newspapers or on the internet, and I learn of some of the horrific things that are taking place in our world today, I cannot help but wonder if we are rapidly returning to the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, or are we already there?
When I was a boy growing up it seemed that such words as honesty, integrity, morality, decency, and family all had special meaning. My parents did not have to worry about what I was watching on television because the programs that were shown had the same values that they taught us in the home. A family show was exactly that – a family show, with emphasis on FAMILY.
Today even the “family shows” contain sexual undertones in their scripts. What was once considered taboo and would have never been shown on live television is now the highlight of a lot of television shows. At any time of the day or night one can turn on their television and see programs that undermine the sanctity of the family unit by supporting such things as premarital relationships, alternative lifestyle relationships, and sexual innuendos that leave nothing to the imagination. All the while these things are being portrayed as if they are or should be accepted as the social norm, and those who oppose such things are the ones who are branded as social misfits or socially abnormal.
Television, however, is not the only media that has become grossly infected by the immorality of our society. Notice how many ratings we have on movies today to filter the age group that should be allowed to see the movies that are produced. With that, there are some of us with inquiring minds who would like to know how Hollywood can justify putting a child in a movie that the child is not allowed to go to the theater and watch because he is underage. There appears to be some double standards involved. One could suppose that the child actor helps to bring in the ratings and cash flow for the movie that is being produced, and so it is alright to have him or her on the set to shoot certain scenes and then have him or her leave when other scenes are being shot. It is like putting the child into a pit full of poisonous snakes and snatching him out just as one of them is about to strike and inject its deadly venom. The attitude is that the child did not get bit so all is well.
The music industry has also contributed to the immoral behaviors that are taking place in our society today. I believe that parents need to be a little more proactive and pay stricter attention to some of the lyrics that their children listen to and the messages that certain songs send out. I am not advocating that we should only listen to Church hymns, but certainly we should be a little more discerning in our music choice.
We have fast become a society of people who lives by the philosophy that, “Everyone is doing it so it must be alright.” With that mentality, one could assume that if everyone were jumping off a high tower into freezing cold water, and there was a person who was afraid of heights or did not know how to swim; to be a part of the “normal” crowd that person should just jump anyway and hope for the best. How insane is that?
We are living in a day when what was once considered undeniably wrong is now considered totally acceptable, and that which has always been considered acceptable is now considered something to do only if it feels right, or even in some cases is considered an insane way of thinking or doing things. The things that once seared our conscience have become things that we tend to overlook or dismiss completely. I ask again in all sincerity, is it any wonder that our world is in the shape that it is in?
When I was a boy, couples on TV never slept together in the same bed, and the idea of walking around half-clothed or totally nude, or having open sex acts would have never been heard of. Now, you can turn on the TV to almost any channel and almost expect to see such things. The sad commentary is that parents allow their children to watch those things without realizing the impression that it makes on their young minds. Do parents not realize that whatever a young child sees, or hears for that matter, is what he will try to imitate?
And it is not only what children watch on television, see in movies, or learn from the lyrics of a song that influences them, but the behaviors that they see in their own homes also have a very strong influence on them. My parents would have never walked around the house half-dressed or totally nude in front of their children, and we were not allowed to run around half-dressed or nude either. We were taught to have respect for our bodies, and to have respect for others. Yet there are some families in the world that believe living the nudist lifestyle is a lifestyle that should be accepted by society. These days you can also walk into the local grocery store and see more than one should, or just look at some of the children that walk down the streets and notice the way their parents allow them to dress.
Is it any wonder that sex crimes are on the rise today? Is it any wonder that the number of unwed teenage pregnancies is higher than it has ever been? Is it any wonder that it seems with each passing generation, our children are becoming more sexually active at younger ages, and are “experimenting” with sex with people of the opposite or same gender – of the same age group, or sometimes even older? Is it any wonder?
Scriptures teach us that we are to be in the world, but not of the world. That does not mean that we should hibernate or go and bury our heads in the sand to avoid being influenced by the wickedness of the world, rather we need to be beacons of shining light to be the most positive influence that we can be on the world. There is indeed a vast difference in being influenced by the world, and influencing the world. We have to live in the world, but we do not have to frolic and play on its dangerous playgrounds and entertain its foolish follies.
In so many ways we are heading back to the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is no wonder that God said that He would never destroy the world again by a flood, but next time the fire!
There are too many people in this world, including some good hearten Christians who confuse God’s love to mean that He is accepting of any and all behaviors. That simply is not true according to His infallible Word. Yes, it is true that He loves All of His children, but at the same time, He emphatically states in many places in His Word that He abhors sin.
Yes, it is true that His Son, Jesus Christ, sat among, taught, and broke bread with sinners, but at no time did He ever sin, or in any way show that the sins of the people were acceptable. Instead, He repeatedly warned them about the dangers and pitfalls of sin.
Still, because of His tremendous LOVE for humanity, He willingly gave His life as a ransom for the sins of all people – past, present, and future. But, lest anyone misunderstand or misinterpret the true intent of His vicarious Atonement, it was a Divine act of LOVE, and was not by any means a banner of acceptance of the sins of the people for whom He bled, suffered, and died.
Just because man chooses to enact new laws and legislation, it does not equate to God changing His laws and His commandments to coincide with the things that man finds pleasing and acceptable. The scriptures also teach that there is pleasure in sin for a season, but please take note that nowhere does it mention the length or duration of that season. In reality, it is not as long as some may think.
Man has his free agency to do as He pleases, but what so many fail to realize is that with every choice made in life, there are consequences that follow. We are free to choose what we want to do in life and how we want to live our lives, but we are not free to choose the consequences of our choices. God is true to His Word and He Will Not Be Mocked. Regardless of what man deems right, proper, and just – in any and all circumstances in life – God will always have the last say.
Caveat: Five years have passed since I penned an essay titled “Gay Rights Movement vs Civil Rights Movement.” That treatise was written in response to comments that I had made in a discussion forum that I was participating in at that time. After reviewing what I wrote at that time, and taking into consideration some of the things that I have learned about gays and gay rights, I feel that a revision of my original thoughts are somewhat in order. I have borrowed several thoughts from the original essay to include as part of this treatise, while at the same time expounding upon those original statements based on new insights.
I will admit that there may be some slight similarities between the Gay Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Movement, but at the same time, they are two entirely different issues, with each having a major impact on society.
If by the term “Civil Rights” we are referring to those inalienable rights which we are all guaranteed by the Constitution of this great nation, then yes, everyone regardless of their sexual orientation are guaranteed those rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But that is where the proverbial line in the sand is drawn to distinguish between the active Gay Rights Movement of today and the Civil Rights Movement which was prominent in this country from 1955 until 1968. I believe that one of the main differences between the two movements lies in the concept and ideology of “choice.”
There are many homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people who declare that their sexual orientation is not a matter of choice, but rather they were born with those types of sexual attractions and tendencies. As I am not a medical doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, or a member of any like profession, I do not claim to be adequately justified in making a declaration as to whether or not what is being said is true or false. Nevertheless, I do emphatically believe that even if a person pronounces to be gay, they do have a choice as to whether they will be active partners in sexual relationships, or any other illicit activities which go with the lifestyle, or remain celibate and refrain from becoming involved in such activities. I further believe that regardless of a person’s sexual orientation, he or she are still children of Almighty God, and they are deserving of love, respect, and to be treated as human beings of dignity and self-worth.
There are some good-hearten Christians who have family members and friends who are gay and actively support gay rights. They strive to show the same compassion towards their gay brothers and sisters that the Savior Himself would have for each of them. However, we should not misconstrue their support as necessarily condoning the lifestyle, as Christ Himself would not condone the lifestyle, but rather their support should be viewed as acts of understanding and compassion.
As Christians, we must understand that the Savior loved all people equally and unconditionally. His atoning sacrifice was not only for the few or the select, but rather He willingly atoned for the sins of all humanity, and those who profess to be gay, bisexual, homosexual, lesbian, or transgender were by no means excluded as part of that wondrous atonement.
There are also some Christians with good intentions who are extremely boisterous about their disdain for the gay lifestyle and anyone who claims to be a member of said lifestyle. Some of them even go so far as to disallow a gay person to cross the portals of their home. Although as Christians they should show the love of Christ in all that they do or say, there are those who unequivocally express their disgust through their words and actions.
The question that begs an answer is, “How are such actions and behaviors different from those of non-Christians?” If we are profoundly honest with ourselves, we would have to answer that there is no difference, but my dear brothers and sisters, there ought to be. We are to love all humanity, albeit that does not imply that we have to condone their lifestyle or behaviors. Instead of shunning a person because of his or her sexual orientation, we should find ways to build bridges of understanding, hope, and compassion. Yes, we may set our boundaries and limitations as far as what we believe and stand for, but we cannot allow those boundaries and limitations to become proverbial brick walls that separate us from any brother or sister. Nor can we live behind locked, impenetrable doors that shut any of our brothers and sisters out completely. Just as the Savior loves each of us in spite of our faults, we too must love one another, regardless of any and all differences, and that includes sexual orientation.
Now, my dear gay brothers and sisters, give me but a moment to expound upon why I do not believe that the Gay Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Movement are woven from the same fabric, all the while realizing that the ideology of “choice” was also a part of the Civil Rights Movement, albeit in a different perspective.
Let me begin by stating that I am a Black man of 56 years. When I was born on 17 October 1958, I was born Black. I did not choose to be Black, but rather, when my Heavenly Father created me that is what He decided. There was absolutely no choice on my part about the decision that was made. I am in no way ashamed of being the race that I am, nor have I ever argued with God about the fact that I am Black or made apologies to anyone for being Black. The bottom line is that for the past 56 years I have been a Black man and the day I leave this earthly life, I will leave as a Black man.
On the other hand, a person who professes to be gay at this time, does not have to die living the gay lifestyle. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all humanity has an opportunity to be set free of any earthly chains that bind them. However, it is a personal choice for the person. A person has to have the want to be set free from the gay lifestyle. Those who choose to refuse the precious gift of the Atonement are bound to suffer the consequences of their decisions.
Furthermore, during the Civil Rights Movement, Blacks were fighting to get the same rights which their White counterparts already enjoyed. They fought for the right to ride in the front of the bus instead of the back of the bus. They fought to be able to enter through the front door of an establishment instead of through a rear entrance. They fought to be able to sit at a lunch counter and enjoy their meal in peace. They fought to be able to have their children receive the same quality of education and be taught in schools that were comparable to what White children had. They fought for equality in the work place – to be paid the same wages for the same type and amount of work. They fought to be able to drink from the same water fountains and use the same public restrooms as Whites. And yes, they even fought for the right to vote.
Blacks were denied these rights not through any choice of their own, but merely because of the color of their skin. None of these rights, my dear gay brothers and sisters, to my knowledge, are being denied, or ever have been denied to any person because of their sexual orientation.
Do not misunderstand me for Blacks at that time did have choices which they could make, but very often they had to weigh their choices carefully as the consequences for what might have been deemed a wrong choice were dire. And so, many of the choices that they made were for the sole purpose of surviving to see another day.
Those who proclaim to be a part of the Gay Rights Movement are in essence fighting to have laws passed that will support their choices, and not necessarily their civil rights. Their struggles rest in the fact that the laws that they wish to see passed such as same-sex marriage, go against the “norm” of most societies, and more importantly against the very laws and nature of God.
God gave the commandment to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth”. Those who live a gay lifestyle cannot naturally follow that commandment – two men or two women together cannot produce offspring. They can certainly adopt children, but that is another topic of discussion. The very reason that God instituted the sacred ordinance of marriage was because He intended for the marriage union to be between a man and a woman. Therefore, for two people of the same gender to fight for the right to be joined together in marriage goes against the laws and commandments of almighty God. Albeit, the laws of the land are in constant flux, and many states are now allowing same-sex marriages.
Nevertheless, may I remind us all of the words recorded in scriptures in 1 Corinthians 6:6-10:
But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
With all that has been said, the question remains as to whether God hates gays? The answer is a resounding NO. God does not hate any of His children. For Him to do so would be contrary to the fact that He is a loving and just God. It is the sin that He abhors. God is no respecter of persons. If we willingly choose to disobey His laws and ordinances, then we must suffer the consequences of our choices.
Finally, can a person who is now involved in a gay lifestyle be forgiven and brought back into the full graces of God? The answer is a resounding YES! The words of John 3:16-17 come to mind here:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
That is the beauty of the Atonement. When our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died upon that cruel Roman cross on Golgotha, He died for all of our sins — past, present, and future.
Dear friends, the Gay Rights Movement of today and the Civil Rights Movement from 1955-1968 cannot be looked at in the same light. Blacks did not have a choice in having their rights stripped from them. They fought to earn those rights that should have already been theirs to enjoy. They were not fighting to be anything different from what God created them to be. They were born Black and died (or will die) Black. A person who lives a gay lifestyle on the other hand, makes the conscious choice to live that particular lifestyle. Their “Civil Rights” as it were have never been denied. The “civil rights” that they are fighting for are those “rights” which they feel they are entitled to because of their personal choices.
Be it known to all who read this treatise that I hold no malice, contempt or ill will towards any man. The choices that a person makes in life are his or hers alone to bear the consequences thereof. And so, I see all humanity – regardless of race, culture, national origin, or sexual orientation – as my brothers and sisters. And as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, I offer my love to each of them, just as the Savior would love them.