Did Jesus Really Perform Miracles?

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 30 August 2006 0 Comments
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Thank you for this thorough treatment of such an

important topic in your column, "Born Gay." I was in

conversation with my United Methodist pastor recently about this

very issue and the comments of a preacher who had been invited to

speak to our church, comments upholding his outdated and

prejudiced views. My pastor said that his own position was that

although some say homosexuality was somehow biological/genetic,

it was the same as saying that alcoholism was genetically caused.

In other words, one may have the genetic predisposition for the

condition but one chooses how they respond to it. I realized

that we are on different planets. My predicament is whether to

stay with this church I have been a member of for 30 years, and

among people I love and continue to do the work I do with a Grief

Support Group, stay with my son and grandchildren or leave. More

and more I am part of the church alumni and even though I have

stayed I have lost a lot of joy in my experience there.


I hope you will stay because I believe Christianity can only be

reformed by those who are inside the church not by those who have

left. There does appear to be some kind of genetic

predisposition toward alcoholism. But homosexuality is in a very

different category.

We don't choose to be white or black, male or female, left-handed

or right-handed, gay or straight. We awaken in each instance to

the reality of what we are. Nothing external to our humanity

activates our self-understanding. It simply is. Alcohol distorts

life for the alcoholic. Homosexuality does not distort the life

of the gay person. Your pastor's understanding is simply one

more version of the idea that homosexuality is a sickness or

addiction that needs to be cured if possible and if not possible,

it needs to be suppressed. Wholeness never came to anyone who

tried to suppress his or her deepest identity.

Your pastor is trying to be a liberal but he is about 100 years

out of date.

John Shelby Spong




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