My Lesbian Daughter, the Bible and Sex
Regarding Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Fox News.com opinion piece, “What the Bible Really Says About Sex,” dated January 3, 2012, I agree with him on many points. There was a time when I agreed with him on all points.
I am an evangelical Christian who, I am sorry to say, used to be one of the "don’t-confuse-me-with-facts-because-my-mind-is-made-up" type of Christian.
My world was rocked to its core the night my 37-year old daughter called to tell me she is gay. Did I run out to find a gay parade to march in? No. It was a painful process for both of us.
In my beating on Heaven’s door, telling God He had to change her, He instead changed me. It seems that He was far more disturbed about my lack of love than He was about her homosexuality. I have had to rethink many things since starting this journey, including some things I knew (or thought I knew) about the Bible.
Pastor Driscoll shares “seven sex essentials from the Bible,” and I would like to address “3. Marriage is for one man and one woman by God’s design,” and “5. Sex outside of marriage is a sin.”
When I hear terms like “God’s design” and “Biblical marriage” I have to wonder who decides these things.
Our cultural adaptation of marriage has certainly evolved through the ages—had God not intervened, Joseph could have had Mary stoned to death for being pregnant with a child that was not his. (An engagement at that time was considered the same as a marriage.)
That is just one example—so many books could be written on the history of marriage. Yet we keep a death grip on the scriptures that suit us—and the translation of those scriptures becomes more a matter of tradition, opinion and convenience than the Word of God.
The hypocrisy of a Christian parent who shrugs her shoulders over one child’s “living in sin” and says, “What’s a mother to do,” but goes to pieces when she hears of her daughter’s homosexuality, is appalling. I was that mother.
If one can find anything amusing in all this, it is that those who are upset about sex outside of marriage are the same ones who are opposed to marriage equality.
The principles for heterosexual marriage are the same for same-sex marriage—love, commitment, faithfulness, loyalty, honor and respect. How can we deny that to anyone?
My daughter and her partner were married in 2004 and I couldn’t ask for a better spouse for my daughter, or daughter-in-law for me. However, my attitude traveling to the wedding was far different from my attitude on the trip home. God attends gay weddings. Who knew?
People have debated scriptures over the issues of gay marriage and homosexuality until they are red in the face—red because both sides are so angry.
When I asked a wise friend how she reconciled the scriptures with her daughter’s homosexuality, she said, “I can’t. So I just let God sort it out.” I took her advice and I learned things about God I would never have known if I were still telling Him what His scriptures mean.
If we spent as much time obeying God’s two greatest commandments, which are that we love Him and love our neighbors as ourselves, and less time policing everyone who is different from us, imagine what a world it would be.
Two years ago, after 39 years as a Christian who thought she knew the meaning of the scriptures and the mind of God, I asked myself a serious, life-changing question. What if I’m wrong?
Shari Johnson is author of the forthcoming book, "Above All Things" which will be published by Changing Lives Press in June 2012.
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