A Letter to my Dad and Uncle

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The following is a conversation with both my dad and uncle after they had learned my stance on Prop 8 and homosexuality: (Their names are omitted for their privacy).

Uncle:
Jay, I am very disappointed in you on this issue. It is not a rights issue and you should be yes on prop 8. You and your friends are confused on this and have believed the propaganda. We need to talk. Please email me when you are available.

Dad:
Dear jay.

read your letter you sent to your uncle.

I am all for taking passionate stands. but in this case i must lovingly say you are completely deceived.
This “new christianity” is completely false.

your stand is not against the church, but against God himself.
God speaks about this whole homosexual issue very simply and plainly in the scriptures, old t and new t.

From my experience seek God very earnestly regarding the truth on this whole subject. He will show you if you honestly ask him for the truth.
But i must warn you, if you persist in this belief, you are headed for a great fall. you are stepping on a very huge landmine.

If this is the position of your church, you should consider leaving your church.

You are very passionate in your beliefs and faith but are very youthful in your faith as well.

The key is this; Surrender all you are, all that you believe and think, your beliefs, your faith – everything to Christ… trusting him to fill you with his life and give your his truth and understanding.

Speaking for the church. the church is not “against” homosexuals, but like any other sin, homosexual behavior must not be tolerated or accepted or promoted by the church. It is God himself that gives us this instruction. (leviticus & corinthians, genesis). They need salvation like anyone else. But their lifestyle and belief system is an abomination to God.

I am disappointed you have gotten to this position. But i am hopeful and trust that God will himself show you his way and give you his understanding.

love, dad

My Response:
Thanks for both of your concerns.

Although I love you both and respect your opinions, this is an issue that we vehemently disagree on. Instead of entering into a verbal mash-up of theological exegesis and policy analysis, I hope that you can see my heart… see that there is no deceit or personal reason for me to take my stand, and hopefully, begin to understand where I am coming from.

In a nutshell, I truly believe that God is love (love for the other and for the outcast). No matter your theological views, the homosexual community is one that has been made the “other” based on the very words that you use such as “abomination” and “against God himself.” I have “honestly asked God for the truth” and I believe that truth means love. I am not “youthful” in my understanding, nor am I “false” in my beliefs. We ultimately love the same Jesus… I just see Jesus differently than you do, I see Jesus as love and see myself as an extension of that love.

Through my daily experiences, I can see how we as Christians (and specifically this judgmental, righteous version) have caused pain, exclusion and judgment to God’s beloved. Simply put, I will no longer allow myself to be a part of that… regardless of the personal consequence. We simply disagree on this issue.

Let me finish with this: At the end of the day, when I stand before God and recount my steps in this life, I don’t want a “well-done” for my theology. I don’t think that anyone, from Luther to Calvin to Mclaren to Dobson have got God’s theology correct. Theological issues have divided churches for centuries (need evidence, look at the splintering of denominations) and often these differences have caused us to stop being extensions of God’s loving grace. This issue is no different, it just happens to be at the forefront now. No, when I stand before God, I want God to tell me that I might have gotten my theology wrong, but I genuinely and fully loved those that God loves, and that I took them at their word… void of judgment, moral righteousness or exclusion.

I love you both, but I will answer to God not to you.

Please do not email me back using words of judgement like you used in your first email. I will not respond to these emails, nor will I acknowledge their worth in my life. I am open to having an open-minded dialogue about this issue, but am not going to get into scripture-slinging. I am still your son, and your nephew, and no matter how much “more” you think you know than me, your “knowledge” and “insight” will not change my view on this issue. If that has consequences for our relationship, I am willing to accept those.

With love and grace,

Jay

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3 Responses to “A Letter to my Dad and Uncle”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    I just wanted to take a minute to say THANK YOU. Thank you so much.

    My wife and I had our hearts broken November 4th with the passage of Proposition 8. As our marriage sits in legal limbo, we are feeling lost and depressed.

    We marched with 20,000 others this past Saturday in San Diego. We saw several of your signs, and have seen them on cars in a few locations.

    We are not Christians ourselves. I think it’s very easy to have a knee-jerk response to the idea of (and the believers in) Christianity. Your stance has tempered that response, and reminds us that not all Christians or people of faith are against us. That means more than I can possibly tell you.

    Thank you again. I believe your “type” (forgive me if this is not the right word) of Christianity is pretty darn close to God’s ideal.

  2. Douglas Flaker Says:

    Jay, I really appreciate the stand you’ve taken while lovingly entering into dialogue with your family members. I can speak from my own experience how painful it can be when people you love and respect take such a narrow view and discount your spiritual discernment when you arrive at a conclusion different than their own. I was wondering if you’ve heard back from either your Father or Uncle? Doug

  3. Shela Says:

    Hi Jay,

    You are a beautiful person. God certainly is love, and you embody the grace of that love. You are the sort of person I wish to meet everyday.

    So really, I’m just so happy, I’m literally overwhelmed by tears of joy to know that you are out there in the world. You must touch so many people that are in your life.

    Take care, and God bless you,

    Shela

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