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Talking About Homosexuality

Regarding the Editorial and IMHO of the March 2009 issue (“What’s to Discuss?” and “Where Is My Son Welcome?”), insert any other sin in place of homosexuality—would we still be having this discussion?

Let’s not worry about conforming to “the expectations of most straight Christians” (IMHO), but to the expectations of God.

—John P. VanStaalduinenTerra Ceia, N.C.

While I appreciate the thoughts and tone of your March editorial, I wonder how successful attempts at greater understanding and acceptance of gay people can be when the starting point of the discussion is “we know God’s will on this topic.” This attitude is implicit in the Christian Reformed Church’s position on homosexuality.

If there is a genuine desire to achieve greater understanding, I suggest that it begin by listening to the experiences of gay men and women—those in the CRC and the many who have left. Stephanie Sandberg’s Seven Passages would be a good starting place. After seeing this play, I was left with this question: when people experience so much pain, why do they remain? Indeed, many have not, myself included.

—F. William VoetbergGrand Rapids, Mich.

The Holy Scripture is the only rule of faith and living. We as Christians are to strive to live as the Holy Scriptures teach us to. When we use other means to live our lives, we can run into trouble. These other means could be our feelings, our opinions, or our desires. The Christian lifestyle is to reflect what the Holy Bible teaches, not the other way around. The Bible gives us example after example of those who did it the other way around and the trouble it caused for them and their society. 

—Don VanderKuylHudsonville, Mich.

Who in their right minds would “choose” being gay and being held up to constant ridicule and abuse of all kinds? Continually being reminded by the church that we are never “good enough,” and definitely “not worthy”?

I was born gay. I had no choice in the matter—heaven knows I spent years of my life trying to “conform to the expectations of most straight Christians,” to the point of wanting to take my own life.

My will to survive made me seek help. Through this help (which did not come from any religious community) I realized I am a unique human being—as each one of us is—created in the image of our Creator, and I learned to accept myself simply as I am, being responsible to love, care for, and accept all human beings.

—Neil MuddeToronto, Ontario

One would be insensitive indeed not to feel the pain in Mike Veenema’s article or sense the compassion in Bob DeMoor’s editorial.

However, in both the article and editorial there seems to be an unspoken assumption reflecting the cultural opinion that living in a sexual relationship is both inevitable and may even be a natural human right. Yet there are countless singles who, for various reasons, have either never married or have been widowed or divorced for much of their lives. Many of them live with extreme loneliness and sexual frustration. This too is a result of our fallenness, but not something for which they are necessarily directly responsible. We can understand and sympathize when they give in to temptation, but because of the teaching of Scripture, we are not yet prepared to accept the legitimacy of non-marital sexual relations (even if we also turn a blind eye to them on occasion). Why should it be any different for homosexuals?

The pursuit of happiness in this life is enshrined in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, but not in Scripture. Sometimes we have to live with deep sorrow, loss, and pain, secure in the assurance that this is infinitely preferable to gaining the world and losing our souls.

—J. Cameron FraserLethbridge, Alberta

Evolution Conundrum

Regarding “Speaking of Evolution” (February 2009), is it any wonder that 50 percent of our youths leave the church? When we apologetically compromise the Genesis creation account, why should we accept any of the other biblical miracles as true fact?

There are many scientific resources available that substantiate a six-day creation—the Answers in Genesis Organization; the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio;  Australia’s Creation Ministries International, to name just a few. Why not promote and celebrate these resources?

Ray DykstraListowel, Ontario

I enjoyed your coverage of evolution in the February issue, but I thought you missed a point or two. The scope of science is limited to theoretical speculation that leads to empirically testable hypotheses. This means that questions such as God’s role in creation fall outside the scope of science. Darwin was not an atheist—he apparently believed in God and respected Christian beliefs. Thereis no conflict between believing that God is the Creator of the universe and exploring evolution scientifically.

I suggest that Christians turn their attention away from pseudo-conflicts such as evolution versus creation and devote their energy to questions such as what God wants us to do about poverty, war, starvation, and the gross inequities in distribution of wealth created by our almost worshipful attitude toward capitalism.

—Frank BarefieldHolland, Mich.

In reply to your excellent article, I recommend a book called The Language of God written by Francis Collins, a well-known Human Genome Project geneticist and former atheist. He makes a case where he personally discovered some of the scientific evidence for common descent of all living creatures.

—George LieuwenLangley, British Columbia

The Banner apologizes to Nicaragua for mistakenly placing it in the Southern Hemisphere (“Sea to Sea in Nicaragua,” March 2009). It was an editing error and not the fault of our faithful news correspondent Jenny de Groot, who happened to appear on the cover.