Jesus cares about & loves ALL humans, whether mainstream, traditional, liberal, conservative, in gangs, thieves, employees, entrepreneurs, billionaires, hard-working or lazy, or deeply charitable philanthropists or greedy scumbags. If you have truly accepted Him as your Savior, you should consider yourself perfectly free to bask in the incredible luxury of being fully understood and unconditionally loved by the God of the entire universe! All humans live in sin, and even devout Christians remain "SINNERS saved by grace".
UNITY vs. DIVISIVENESS: Along the lines of Jesus' teaching and example, can't we just get along?...can't we allow reconciliation?...can't we "include" when workable and not automatically exclude?...can't we unite in the USA rather than divide? The question relates to our families, friendship groups, colleagues, community, state, and nation. A beautiful puzzle is made up of large numbers of different pieces. We hear incredible orchestra symphonies, though composed of many people with many different instruments. Famous choirs render incredible music though composed of large numbers of different people of different ethnicities, genders, beliefs, and sizes. WHY would USA political media organizations stoop to divisiveness and falshoods in order to divide rather than earnestly seek ways of reconciliation and unity as a nation? Do we have to legally duke it out and bankrupt others when we legitimately disagree about things? Do we have to aggressively attempt hasty change rather than gradually change (acts such as the invasion of patient records in order to make a headline military case against Chaplain Wes Modder are dispicable, hate-filled ploys...HERE). Is it righteous and just to accuse a person of being a homophobe without knowing a LOT more about that person? Or, are hastey accusations actually a form of nasty emotional bullying? When there are other options, is it righteous and just to sue a person into bankruptcy because they have a service business with sincere desires for personal limits...excluding something you wish to purchase...or what they wish to participate in? Is this not economic and emotional bullying far worse than a bone-fracturing beating by a gang of thugs? A free market will raise up OTHER folks to willingly fill gaps in such products or services.
If you come to this page concerned about the issue of sin, remember that there are sins that (1) we committ (sins of commission) and (2) sins over things that we FAIL to do (sins of ommission). If we are honest with ourselves, according to numerous warnings in the Bible, every person continues to sin many times each day! Yet, though all are still sinners, Christians do not attempt to promote or celebrate what the Bible seems to regard as sin. The two HUGE commands of Jesus (right relationships, HERE) had huge focus on sins of ommission. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone! [see that short Bible story of Jesus' warning, HERE] Careful with your radar detector!!! Can't we let God "judge"?
This page is NOT specifically about same-gender marriage, a topic extremely complicated by (though both proponents & opponents flail away unclearly as if there is only a single factor = yes vs. no) (1) religious factors and (2) government-benefits, employee benefits, & business world vendor-client factors. I read an important book on what the Bible says and does not say about same gender interaction1. And I heard the August 2015 NPR2 about gender issues.
We humans have complex personalities composed of a wide variety of parameters expressed with variable degrees of inclinations, interests, and focus. Various people are more or less athletic, more or less political, more or less traditional, more or less manly, more or less womanly, tomboy girls, softer boys, more or less law-abiding, more or less energetic, more or less driven to entertain, more or less inclined toward social interaction as large groups, more or less inclined to "stay put" vs. be on the move ("rambling fever"), more or less inclined to strive continually for higher income, more or less loving, more or less angry or violent, etc. Is this all genetically determined and immutable? Or is there much more complexity and fluidity about what specific, individual people are like? TRUTH: In short, as a result, humans have a nearly overwhelming tendency: "birds of a feather flock together"!
GENETICS: (1) The usual 46 human chromosomes (half from father and half from mother) in each cell nucleus contain a total of 20,000-25,000 genes per nucleus. Each gene is composed of arrangements of DNA molecules which can vary in a way which may or may not be accepted as usual, typical, or normal (DNA polymorphisms). Polymorphisms may be what accounts for the fact of various human "races". Traits and inclinations may come out of similar polymorphisms at different gene locations. But some of our differences may come from whether a difference must be inherited from BOTH mother and father (homozygous inheritance) or just one parent (heterozygous inheritance).
(2) If a gene for a particular trait or inclination IS inherited, it may be dominantly inherited or it may be recessively inherited. Furthermore, the trait or inclination my show up (penetrate and express itself) or not show up (fail to penetrate). Penetrance is not "yes" or "no"; penetrance may be on a spectrum from complete all the way to absent. The degree to which such does or does not show up is called the "penetrance" of that gene. SO, there is a spectrum of penetrance among those with the same gene pattern. I wonder if penetrance might be influenced by epigenetic factors (currently known epigenetic factors are all physico-chemical...not by circumstances).
(3) Complicating the above issues with genes & penetrance is the effect of epigenetic (epi = having an effect of the gene) factors which tends to promote or retard penetrance. Chemical methylation of a DNA spot is highly associated with a particular colon cancer. Tobacco smoking and use rendered some epigentic effect that was associated with some lung and upper airway cancers. I believe that much of what is blamed as causative or determinative by outside factors is "epigenetic" with various degrees of impact on "penetrance". In addition, I wonder if interpersonal behavioral effects (sexual "fetching", below [illegal in many cases], for example) act sort of like epigenetic factors which are capable or both promoting or suppressing penetrance of a genetically associated inclination.
SO, let's now take a look at a modern controversial topic which many claim is completely due to a gene difference:
LGBT: Jesus loves all of the people of God's creation! In the USA, gender preference (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) and whether it is beyond an individual's control has been a hot issue since at least 2005. Rather than a symbol of LGBT, the Bible is very clear in Genesis 9:8-13 that the rainbow was created by God to reflect His promise that the world would never again experience a flood of Noah's Ark proportions!
On August 1, 2015, I posted a Face Book question hoping for helpful responses about whether any newly discovered science had yet determined gender preference to be fully triggered on a genetic basis = No responses, public or private. I feel that no one who depends on new personal financial income in the USA dares touch this genetic topic in writing or conversation without some fear for their personal safety! That is how dangerous true discussion is nowadays.
Then on 24 August 2015, my son texted me that NPR's Tom Ashcroft..."On Point"...had an excellent program2, the audio podcast being HERE: expert guests were Neil Swidley, Lisa Diamond, and Quazi Rhaman.
Terminology: As a member of "ordinary folk", I find the terminolgy in discussions to be rapidly ever-changing. Biological gender (the organs) is determined by the X & Y chromosome pair (XX = female; XY = male). Physical gender is physically visible (penis & testicles = male; vagina and ovaries = female). Emotional gender tends to be stress and anxiety free when gender normative ("normal"; cis-gender)...when visible and emotional genders both match...but not always (some are comfortable with mismatches). When one is experiencing a stress and anxiety problem over one's gender, that is "gender dysphoria" (gender identity disorder).
In summary, there is no "gay gene" and whether "straight" or LGBT depends on a complex set of biological influences, social influences and personal decisions...not just a simple genetically determined thing OR just a simple lifestyle choice. Nontraditional, alternative choices are not inborn, immutable, and imperative. Gender identity orientation is way more complex. AGAIN, lest a reader forget, Jesus loves ALL people and wants them ALL to accept Him and that THEY not exclude Him! Some of the NPR interview Nuggets:
So, there still appears to be nurture (social) and nature (nature = genetic factors and neuroendocrine factors) influences in a person's attraction to gender. In the current environment, I suspect that many who engage in (chose ?) one or more of LGBT styles do so prematurely in response to the normally mixed feelings about sex...previously kept secret...that are somewhat common in adolescents and young adults before adult-level brain & emotional maturation.
Statutory RAPE danger: A completely politically incorrect, forbidden-for-discussion "epigentic" angle on this topic is...personally disturbing to me...homosexual "recruitment". At the date of posting this page, I am personally aware of three (3) instances in which legally underage kids (at the time) appear to me to have been consciously or unconsciously taken (two of them under what sounded to me like forced circumstances) into homosexual relationships. So, at a time of youthful sexual ambiguity, curiosity, and fantasy, the third one (33%...1 of the 3) seems to me to have been "fetched" (or use whatever word you prefer) into sexual alternativeness. The other 2 ended up under various legal review with no adverse legal consequence to the "aggressors". My knowledge of these 3 instances has me pondering.
FETCHING or GROOMING-
I see "fetching" of a subject person as being of at least three (3) types:
At least statuatory rape (due to young age) would be the potential legal-accusation term had it been a heterosexual situation. Sexual predator is another term. In 2015, to even mention this publicly would be nearly suicidal...never mind that the "fetching" [technical assaults] is actually happening...and I suspect, commonly, in the USA.
I recommend listening to the above NPR program podcast to get up to speed & to get some insight, if you are interested in reflecting on this issue.
Finally, since we have all sinned and fallen short of what God wishes for us, can we trust the character of God...the One who loves us so much that He came and gave himself for us? No matter what choices we make in this life, His nature is always good, his mercy is always wide, and His desire for people to be saved is greater than that of any and all humans! Discuss your life freely and often with Him!
Many "straight" families struggle with this issue when a child or grandchild seems to "come out". Jesus loves all! Huge numbers of Christians are willing to be inclusive and relate with mutual respect and leave consequences of EVERYONE'S life to the future and to the judgement of our loving and merciful God. If you think that you'd like to read some testimonies related to LGBT, check these: [Adelaide] [Barry's son] [Dr. Clark] [Nancy's daughter] [McKrae] [Alan] [Rosaria] [Dianne video] [Pastor Ted Haggard, 3 videos][Melissa Fryrear video]. About long term realtionship pairs, HERE. Another hot topic, abortion (and "personhood": are they yet ensouled?...when does a person get a "soul"?), HERE.
And, FINALLY, after careful examination of what "sin" actually means, no one should be offended if "accused" of sin. It is part of being a human. Sin is a short-cut word that calls for second thoughts. Sin is to be weighed and reflected upon and prayed about. So we don't "stone or condone" (do not "cast a stone" at someone you think sins; yet, don't condone sins)...
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All Sorts of Testimonies, alphabetical and by category.
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[posted 25 August 2015; latest update, 11 September 2017]