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Where George Rekers and I Part Ways

11 May

Here is a pretty good summary of the George Rekers story (with commentary) from Rachel Maddow:

For obvious reasons, I am personally very interested in these stories. There are a lot of reasons to be critical of Rekers. But before that, I want to say that I am very sad for him. He is living out a human tragedy very publicly — and I know how painful that is. I pray for him, pray he is finding good counsel and good friends.

There are so many ways that Rekers and I part ways… politically, theologically, etc. 

But I just want to focus on one thing that really strikes me about him (and sadly, many others).

In one sense, hypocrisy is not quite the issue here — if you understand what Rekers (and folks at NARTH) believe.

He believes that UNWANTED HOMOSEXUALITY is a powerful and destructive force that, with the correct therapy, SOMETIMES can be changed/healed — after years of hard therapeutic work.

I have no doubt that Rekers has UNWANTED HOMOSEXUAL DESIRES (that he fulfilled with a male escort). I am sure they are unwanted and that he believes he can change. Maybe he can, maybe he can’t. That is a post for another day.

But the problem with Rekers is that he has done significant damage to LGBT people — and especially teenagers. His public homophobic attacks against gays and lesbians are hurtful, harmful and, from a Christian perspective, un-Christlike.

He hurts people.

I can honestly say that, in the midst of my hiddeness and personal struggles, I never attacked gays — publicly or privately. I was very conscious of this in my preaching, teaching, and personal friendships with gays and lesbians (some Christians, some not). I actually spoke on several panels about the issue — and was a guest speaker in a university sociology class — about the topic. And I always tried to speak with grace, compassion, and understanding.

Of course, given my situation, this only made sense. And so I have a hard time making sense of the other approach (i.e. Rekers and others).

After some thought and reflection, I do think that there is a fundamental difference: for me God’s GRACE AND LOVE are — and always have been — the foundation of my relationship with Jesus. In other words, I REALLY BELIEVE that not only am I saved by grace, but I am sustained by it and live by it. GRACE is real for me.

I think that for a shocking number of Christians, grace is merely a theological idea or a “do over” card — but they live their faith essentially as legalistic Pharisees. And the one thing legalistic pharisees are really good at is attacking others and judging others.

There are a lot of things I have messed up big time regarding the issue of my own sexuality, ministry, etc. But one I am proud to say I haven’t messed up has been allowing my own struggles and even self-loathing to influence how I preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ or how I discipled and taught his followers.

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1 Comment

Posted by on May 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

One response to “Where George Rekers and I Part Ways

  1. Ben D.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    <p>I definitely agree John… and consider it a gift from God — it has taken some time to get there, but God has brought me to that understanding and place of thanksgiving.</p><p>BD</p>

    Like

     

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