Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, when we take time to reflect upon, and hopefully learn from, an evil so immense, words almost fail to describe or explain it. I chose the picture to the left because it was the only one I could find that was in color. Black and white dulls the reality, takes the slightest edge off the horror. This is a day to deny ourselves such a comfort. Today we should stare at the fullÂ outrage and ask ourselves all the appropriate questions: How could anyÂ people do this to another people? How could enough people be made to go along with this? How do we stop this from ever happening again?
As I wrote in my book, When Answers Aren’t Enough,
“Holocaust is formed by the mixing of two words, holos, meaning ‘completely,’ and kaustos, meaning ‘burnt.’ Completely burnt. And the Jews surely would have been, had the world not gone to war.”
On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, let’s take time to reflect on the near-total destruction of the Jews, an almost completely burnt race and culture, saved by a world’s stepping in, albeit six million Jews too late. And let’s remember those who still suffer the after effects of so great an evil.
Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust surviver, writes in his book Night,
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself.
May we never forget either.
After my last post, I intended to write no more on the matter of gay relationships as they pertain to Christian faith. I felt it was a good conclusion, and I didn’t want the Gay Posts to become so numerous that no one could come along later and read all of them. I continue to receive messages, however, some of which ask questions I’d like to address, so once more at the risk of my sanity, I will take up the issue. I have created a new category, “More Gay Stuff,” so that the “The Gay Posts” can stand on their own. People who wish to read further, can do so in the new category. Incidentally, I had considered calling the new category, “The Post ‘Gay Posts’ Posts,” but I was afraid someone would mistake the bloggings therein for ex-gay articles. You will notice I have reinstated the comments feature. Be good, or Daddy will take away your privileges. Please post your comments here, not on my Facebook page.
One of the most frequent suggestions I get in messages people send me is the notion that because I have doubts about my own position on the issue at hand, somehow that indicates a flaw in my thinking. In other words, if I were right, my mind wouldn’t trouble me with uncertainty. Some have gone as far as to say that my doubts are really the work of the Holy Spirit, dogging me until I repent of my heretical position.
Folks, you need to know I doubt everything. It’s the result of an unrelentingly analytical nature. I question everything. Twice. Three times. And more. I’m highly suspicious of human nature and think we often settle for convenient “truths” that aren’t really true at all because it suits us to do so. With a mindset like that, I’m bound to doubt. If I held the other position on the gay issue, I’d have just as many doubts. More, probably. And as for the idea that my doubts are the nagging of the Holy Spirit: during the four years I wrote about in Losing God, was the Holy Spirit the source of my doubts then, as well? When I doubted God’s love, his goodness, his mercy, his worthiness to sit as judge–were these also the promptings of the Holy Spirit? To hear some of my friends talk, one would think that whenever I doubt what they believe, the devil is afoot, and whenever I doubt what they disbelieve, the Holy Spirit is at work. That’s very convenient, but I doubt (intended) that it’s true.
I doubt because the stakes are high.
I doubt because I have imperfect knowledge.
I doubt because I cannot ask Paul some important questions.
I doubt because I THINK.
I doubt, and yet I must decide. In the absence of certainty, I still have to make a choice. Silence is not an option. Non-heterosexual people in our churches want to know, what does Jesus think of me? What does he want me to do with my life, with my sexuality? You have to tell them something. What are you going to tell them? I have to tell them something, even in the presence of uncertainty–normal, understandable, not-the-result-of-God-or-Satan uncertainty.
Given how much we don’t know, can’t know for sure–what arensenokoitai means, what and whom Paul specifically was addressing in Romans 1, how one distinguishes with precision cultural commands from those that are eternal–if you don’t have at least a touch of uncertainty yourself, something is wrong. If you can tell me you are absolutely, 100-percent confident in your position on this matter, then someone has gotten inside your head, hijacked your brain, and forbid you use of it, and you need to figure out who that person is so you can get your integrity back. You’ve heard the slogan, “What’s in your wallet?” Well, I would ask, “Who’s in your head?” We all have voices, influences, biases bouncing around in our heads, and some of us have ceded our ability to think to those voices, be they of pastors, or politicians, or family members, or whoever. Please don’t say you only listen to the Bible. Nobody but you and maybe your mom buys that. The very questions we’re asking are inspired by the Bible. Many of us are listening to the Bible and yet coming to different conclusions. We need to take a harder look at why that is. The process of doing so is inherently one of uncertainty. The very beginning of that process is, “What if?” What if I’m wrong? If you can’t ask yourself that, then, again, your brain is in someone else’s hands.