This Page - Gay Christian, Gay Christians, Lesbian Christians coming out. (Discussion on the misinformation on the causes of sexual orientation, parent and child relationship, confused sexuality, genetics, morality, sexual abuse, confused gender roles, etc., and the resulting effects and consequences of such false beliefs).
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ears ago, professionals thought being gay or lesbian was wrong, a sickness, or emotional dysfunction. They had many theories on the causes of homosexuality.
Parent and Child Relationship
A common theory used for many years, and still used by some religious ministries, to try to change homosexuals into heterosexuals (often called "reparative therapy"), is to blame a supposed dysfunctional relationship between the parents and the child, often called the "dominate mother and absent father" theory. But, proper professional studies prove this theory does not take into account other siblings in the same, and yet grew up heterosexual. Nor do they take into account identical twins separated at birth, and yet both are homosexual in adulthood. In reality, studies show if a family has a "dominate mother and absent father," it may actually be the "result" of the child being gay or lesbian, and not the cause of it. In such a home, the father may unconsciously perceive difference in the gay child, and distance himself, not knowing how to identify or interact with the child. As a result, the mother may feel the need to nurture and protect the hurt child, and compensate for the withdrawn father.
When you look at the many cases of people who claim to be "cured" of their supposed homosexuality, their life histories instead show childhood and/or adolescence gender confusion, and/or sexual identity dysfunction; they never really were gay or lesbian, just finally healed from gender and/or sexual identity, or orientation confusion. Some of them were abused sexually as a child, or for some reason grew up with a sexual, gender, or identity dysfunction that caused them to engage in confusing sexual behaviors. Thus, there are some people who are gay not because it is their true sexual orientation, but because of some dysfunction within their life development. This surprises a lot of people, but it should not; a person can change or warp their sexual orientation into that which is not according to their true nature.
For example, some women involved in homosexuals activities are not really lesbians, but are actually heterosexuals who have never been able to develop good or positive relationships with men, either because of a lack of a good male role model, or being the victim of male sexual, verbal, or physical abuse. Rather than seek counseling to heal the trauma, in their need for love they get involved in a dysfunctional sexual and emotional relationship.
Is sexual orientation determined by genetics, or by social, or cultural processes? The core to this question is not the cause of homosexuality, but rather the question of the morality of homosexuality. If homosexuality is due to genetic factors two things most likely will happen. Those who believe homosexuality is wrong will use this evidence to prove it a genetic disease, and use it as justification to seek a cure, or to isolate, and/or deny gay people general civil rights. Those who believe homosexuality is healthy and normal will use this evidence to prove it is a part of normal human development, and use it as justification to promote gay civil rights. So, whether it is genetically caused, or a result of life circumstances, it makes no difference; either way, people will use the results to justify their beliefs, and political agendas.
Yet, there remains the issue of whether or not being gay is right or wrong. The answer is determined by whether you view life as strictly black or white, in absolutes, or whether you view it as black, white, and other colors, too. Logically, much of life is neither right nor wrong, but neutral. However, there are many people who approach life within a strict black or white, good or bad, right or wrong perspective. Can attending church lead to the edification of self? Yes, of course. Can attending church lead to the abuse of self? Even good things can be used for bad purposes. Apply the same to sexual orientation; is it black or white, good or bad, right or wrong, or neutral until acted upon? Some people believe a person can walk in their heterosexual or homosexual sexual orientation either for the edification of self, other people, society and culture, or for use and abuse of the same. For those who believe in absolutism, then homosexuality is always wrong in all cases; for those who believe sexual orientation to be neutral, and how you value and manifest it will determine its rightness, then homosexuality is acceptable.
Children who were sexually abused, whether by someone of the same or opposite sex, do not grow up to be gay or lesbian, but such trauma can warp and prevent the natural and healthy development of sexual orientation, and healthy sexual relationships. The majority of sexually abused persons were abused by heterosexual members of their immediate family, and not a homosexual predator stranger. Sexual abuse is a crime of violence, not a crime of sex; it is a crime of power of one person over another, warped around sexuality. Children who are sexually abused think they did something to deserve it that caused it. This is never the case; the child is the victim of a crime, always innocent. But, false shame and guilt can cause the child to believe there is something wrong, may cause a child to grow up with sexual dysfunction, gender or sexual orientation confusion, or unhealthy sexual relationships.
Confused Gender Roles
Neither do children who do not fit traditional gender roles grow up to be gay or lesbian. If you are male, and like to cook, clean, sew, paint, arrange flowers, dance in ballet, or skate to music on ice, then studies show the majority of you are straight. If you are female, and like to rope cattle, work on an oilrig, then studies again show the majority of you are straight. Interests in things which are believed to be feminine, yet done by a man does not mean the person is or will become gay; the same holds true for things believed to be masculine, yet done by a woman. Within cultures, the real issue is what is perceived or believed to be masculine or feminine, rather than being homosexual.
As the years passed, and through various studies, and the living healthy examples of gays and lesbians, professionals realized their original diagnosis was wrong. In fact, they realized it was very wrong. They saw, first hand, the damage done when they tried to make people change their sexual orientation, or make the person deny or hate themselves for being gay or lesbian. Today, the only dysfunction that remains in the psychological diagnostic manual relating to being gay or lesbian is for a person who's inability to accept his or her sexual orientation results in personal and/or social trauma, harmful and dysfunctional thoughts or behaviors.
This change in understanding and accepting homosexuality is an example of the times when a dominant culture or society is willing to question, examine, and challenge a long held belief.
Down through the centuries, society and families have said it was acceptable to own slaves, and not; for women to be nothing more than property, and not; that class and breeding determined the right to rule over others, and not; that one race, color, or class of persons is better and more equal than another, and not.
Over the centuries, it has been acceptable to be gay and lesbian, to be married by the church, to have same-sex recognized couples with children, and not. In ancient Greece and Rome, same-sex couples were common. In early Christianity, the Church performed same-sex marriage ceremonies, and several of the saints in the Catholic Church were openly gay, and in openly gay relationships. At other times, being gay was frowned upon, yet kings and commoners would live in open relationships with their live-in friends. In some cultures, a person who was gay or lesbian was considered sacred, touched by God with special insight and gifts. During the early twentieth century you could be openly gay, but by the 1950s in many countries it was considered a crime.
For a society or culture to grow, and mature, it should be willing to question, to explore, analyze, and review itself, and be willing to make change. Sadly, this does not happen very often. It is too common for things to remain as they are, to question the questioner, and to suppress change.
The same can be said of individuals. Too often, we take at face value what society, the dominant culture, what our parents, family, friends, and even what we say about us. It never dawns on us to consider maybe society is sick and not us, maybe other people are the ones who are wrong, and not us. Instead, we blame ourselves for our supposed flaws and mistakes, and try to change into what other people say we should be. In the need and desire for acceptance, we are often too willing to compromise individual liberties, talents, gifts, and callings, and try to be someone we are not. Doing this will only bring temporary peace, or well-being. However, with time, the true inner nature will try to come through, to express itself, to be the complete and total you that you really are, want, and need to be.
"But, the Bible says..."
Yes, the Bible says a lot. But, a lot of what it supposedly says is what people "say it says," or what they "add" by "reading between the lines." The use of the Bible is a perfect example of how society and culture uses things to "further its own agenda," or to "preserve its status quo." Generally, when people use the Bible to prove their point, they start first with their point, and then search through the Bible for verses to support them.
Thankfully, there is truth, and it is both a person and an idea. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Jesus IS the truth. The Bible itself says that Jesus was "the Word of God made flesh," He is the Bible in human form. Any interpretation of the Bible must agree with this Jesus. If they match, then it is right; otherwise, it is wrong, flat wrong.
Sadly, there are religious people who feel it is their right and duty to tell other people their lifestyle, culture, and belief system is superior, the only way, and if you do not comply, or submit to them and their interpretations of life, then you are the one that is wrong, sick, or lost. When you hold up both what they say and what they do in comparison to Jesus, then the truth about them, or rather the lack thereof, comes through; their beliefs and actions speak more about them, than it does about you.
Still sadder, not much has changed in the way we typically respond to them. The normal pattern is to agree with them. "I am sick," "I am wrong," and "I am an abomination." "I need to change, I need to become like them. I am scared and lonely, and I want to be loved and accepted. I want to be accepted by others, and by society. I want the love of my parents, family, and friends. I want to love myself. I want to know that God loves and accepts me. Therefore, I will do whatever I need to do to change, and be what I think I need to be, in order to be happy, loved, and accepted."
No one likes pain, and no one likes discomfort. When you touch a hot stove, your instinct is to pull away. You react the same way emotionally; to pull away from anything unpleasant, to go back to the status quo, to conform, pretend to blend in, and obey. The Bible says the enemy of our soul is like a "tooth-less roaring lion." In a family of lions, when a lion gets too old to hunt (tooth-less), it still has a job. His responsibility is to quietly move to the other side of the prey, opposite from the rest of the family, placing the prey between him and the family. The old lion roars, causing the prey to run away from him, and right into the jaws of the family of lions. The point? Often, to achieve freedom, healing, balance, and peace you have to run to your fears, through them, and to the other side. In so doing, you end up learning those fears never really had any teeth; the only power any of those feelings and beliefs had were what you gave them.
The desire to be your true self, and yet not fully liking or accepting yourself, creates internal contradictions, and conflict. With time, this can wear down your self-esteem, hinder your self-love and self-acceptance, and cripple your ability to flow as your true self. Such internal contradictions can lead to arrested sexual and emotional maturity, suffer from poor self-image, negativity, depression, fear, and anxiety. These internal difficulties may manifest themselves externally in dysfunctional behaviors, negative and unhealthy choices.