“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart.”
(Jeremiah 1:5)

Meandering our way right into retirement age often means staying at home more, definitely making
acquaintances with an assortment of doctors who treat symptoms we didn’t know we had for medical issues
we’ve never heard of, and we see the beginnings of trying to back out of commitments which no longer hold
our interest.  Most of us gain weight more easily yet eat less, our strides are slower, and we begin to treasure
friends from way back, connecting with any of those with whom we are able.  

Recently I reconnected with an old roommate from my freshman year at Bible college, which was a whopping
45 years ago.  Guess what.  He doesn’t even remember me.  Story of my life.  Anyway, of course I directed
him to this web site and waited, and waited, and waited.  At long last I received the predicted lengthy email, a
journal actually, parroting the same old, same old which he’s memorized from pulpits all his life.  I love you but
hate your sin.  This, from someone who doesn't remember me and obviously knows nothing about me.  And
here I thought we had put Anita Bryant’s bigotry to rest once and for all.  Silly me. What do you bet that he's
not baptized in the Spirit and probably has never surrendered his arms in praise?      

I thought about responding, defending my position and so on, but at my age I’m sick and tired of it.  Been
there, done that.  The Bible tells us that those who are redeemed of the Lord know it.  Oh boy, do I know it.   
My life has been an unbroken chain of miracles from the gitgo.  The mantra they repeat over and over is that
being gay
is a choice, but that just doesn’t cut it.  They must think God’s an idiot.  Or that God doesn’t have a
total grip on who He created; maybe just threw it all up in the air and it landed any which way.  Surely God
can't be serious about the verse above from Jeremiah.  

Now I ask you, why would anyone in their right mind “
choose” to be gay?  I’ll start with this answer and then
go to other side of the coin - answer:
no way!   Who would set themselves up for the unrelenting
bombardment of bigotry from the right wing (judgment camouflaged as love), or the Satan-condoned hate
crimes (on the increase, by the way - we can thank the right wingers for that), or having their friends
murdered, or being targeted as a source of God’s judgment resulting in AIDS?  

On the other hand, maybe some of us would say
yes way!  We’ve learned a few things.  We’ve learned under
persecution that we are indeed children of the most high God, that God is no
respecter of persons.  It's true, God knew us even before we were in our mother’s womb, and we are able to
stand tall in our redemption through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It was finished at
Calvary; a done deal.  Now here’s a revelation: there are Gays and lesbians who are Christians.  Imagine
that.  Like this is the first time we're telling them.  

This Sunday as I lead the congregation in our “
Songs of Gathering,” the very first chorus is
“They will know we are Christians by our love.”  Yes they will.  Instead of dogmatically pounding the Bible over
a handful of passages wrongly translated and poorly interpreted, in contrast we choose
to look to passages which say that all “whosoever’s” who come unto Jesus will be saved.  
Unless John 3:16 is there to give us false hope.  Think so?  Neither do I.              

There's more.  I present to you the Pharisees of 2011.  What ever happened to uplifting our president in
prayer?  Oh, that’s right, according to a directive from God, that applies only if he’s a Republican.  Otherwise
we should do whatever it takes to undermine and discredit any Democratic president.  
That includes being relentless in questioning his faith.  After all, how could anyone be a Christian who varies
one iota from our established right wing dogma?  We worked so hard on that.  And when it comes to the gay
issue (which shouldn’t be an issue in the first place), we won’t bother to pray for them either because we
disagree with God’s wonderful diversity.  God hates diversity - that’s why every flower, tree, bird, and animal
looks and acts exactly alike.  That’s why the weather is the same every day.  That’s why we all fall in love with
the same person, all like the same color best, drive the exact same car, and root for the same sports team.  

Here's a touch of reality.  Seems to me that there are a lot of people who should be concerned about
their own salvation and not worry about ours.  When we say we're born-again, there's no need to question it,
just accept it.  God had each one of us in mind even before we were formed in our mother's womb.  
Remember?  The humble shall become the greatest in God's kingdom.  The first shall be last and the last
shall be first.  Me?  I'm looking forward to the view from the front of the line.