Mel White is an ordained minister of a Metropolitan Community Church in the United States. You may not have heard of the Metropolitan Community Church, but if you were to walk into one of their services you’d find it very much like an Evangelical one. The people around you would be singing songs of praise that you know, you might hear testimonies of people who had recently become Christians, the bible would be preached, prayers made, conservative Christian beliefs affirmed. In fact it’s an environment in which most Evangelicals would feel at home…until you discover that most of the people around you are gay. Not only are they gay but they are living in homosexual unions blessed and promoted by the Metropolitan Community Church.
Mel White is one of their ministers. He first realised he was homosexual when he was a 12 year old Boy Scout and fell head over heals for another boy, Daryl. It terrified him. He knew homosexuality was evil and would send him to hell. He spent the next 30 years in a constant battle with his homosexual feelings. Knowing they were not within God’s will Mel did what was expected of him – he got married to a lovely woman, had children and a rich family life. Yet almost from the start he and his wife knew something was wrong. They tried desperately to find a “cure” for his homosexual feelings. He tried aversion therapy, where electric shocks were applied to his body every time he felt stimulated by photos of men. He tried counselling, He fasted, he prayed, he was anointed with oil for healing. He tried chemical treatments. He tried exorcism. He wanted desperately not to be gay. But nothing worked.
In the meantime Mel had been to seminary, gained a doctorate in theology and was working as a co-author in writing books for many of the US Christian world’s biggest and most conservative names: Francis Schaeffer, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham.
After decades of failing to overcome his homosexuality Mel slit his wrists in an attempt at suicide. While recovering in hospital he again tried to kill himself. At that point his wife said “Why don’t you choose life?” They agreed to an amicable separation and from that point on Mel has entered into a long term homosexual relationship, reconciled his faith and his sexuality, maintained his strong and loving relationship with his children, and now works to help people discover their homosexuality as a gift from God, not a sickness nor a sin.
Of course this has met with a strong reaction from others in the very conservative Christian Right of which he was a part. As new of his homosexuality became public book writing contracts were cancelled, phone calls went unreturned, letters were written declaring him an abomination who would burn in hell, and some of his former colleagues refused even to shake his hand.
Source: information from Metropolitan Tabernacle web-site & Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace
Tony Campolo tells the sad story from his high school days of how he failed to truly be a Christian. There was a boy in his class named Roger. Roger was gay. Everyone knew and tormented him for it. They heaped verbal and even physical abuse upon him. One day the abuse reached a crescendo. Five of boys dragged Roger into the shower room, shoved him into the corner and urinated all over him.
Around two o’clock the next morning Roger went down to the basement of his house and hung himself.
When they told Tony, he says he realized he wasn’t a Christian. He knew all the right answers and sincerely believed all the right things and had lots of good moral practises. But Tony didn’t live faith out when it came to Roger. If he had he says he would have stood up for Roger when the others were mocking him, he would have been a friend, and just maybe, Roger would still be alive today.
Source; Reported in Tony Campolo, Let Me Tell You A Story
The movie Priest tells the story of a young Catholic priest sent to a church in working class Liverpool, England. When he arrives he struggles with the liberal religious views of the senior parish priest. But we soon discover that his struggle is part of a greater internal struggle – you see our newly arrived priest is gay. He tries to resist, but fails, and starts leading a double life, on the one hand spending time with his gay friend away from the church while on the other genuinely seeking to serve his parish community. And in the middle of all this is his anguished struggle.
Towards the end of the movie he and his gay friend are caught in public and arrested – homosexuality is against the laws of the land. Once news gets out that a priest has been arrested the media gets interested and its flashed across the local newspapers in no time. The young priest is broken, driven almost to the point of nervous breakdown.
The movie ends with an enormously powerful scene. The faithful gather for mass. Everybody is aware of the young priest’s situation. When it comes time to serve communion both the young priest and the older priest stand out the front ready to serve. Everybody lines up to receive communion from the older priest. Not one person is willing to be served by the younger, gay priest. The camera pans to his face. His lips quiver, his eyes burning with hurt and rejection.
Then a young girl walks forward to receive communion from the young priest. She has been the victim of terrible abuse at the hands of her father. She knows what it is to be crushed. They embrace and together, these two wounded and rejected ones, share in the communion.
Dr Laura is an America radio personality who hosts a talkback style program. It is said that she once condemned homosexuality as an abomination to God, quoting Leviticus 18.22, and claimed that this verse settled the matter. The letter found below was written in response and has been circulating on the internet. Regardless of one’s stance on homosexuality it highlights the problem of selectively quoting the bible without attention to broader issues of how we should interpret and apply those same Scriptures.
Dear Dr. Laura,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.
When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?
I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.
Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?
I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
Lev. 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.