Presbyterian minister Dr. Janet Edwards writes in the Huffington Post’s religion section that pretty much all of the opposition to including GLBT folks in the fullest life of the church comes down to five basic questions, each of which betrays its own bias in the asking:
- How can you ignore the clear meaning of Scripture and all of Christian tradition that says same-sex love is a sin?
- How can you be sure that you aren’t just making stuff up to justify something that is culturally trendy?
- Don’t all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people violate the Biblical requirement of monogamous marriage between a man and a woman?
- How can any Christian, in good conscience, engage in or condone sexual practices that are both unnatural and dangerous?
- How can you dismiss the way Jesus can heal people who suffer from an affliction like alcoholism or same sex attraction?
To this last, she offers, in part:
Sadly, I know many LGBT people who began their understanding of themselves where tradition and religion taught them: They believe for years that they are defective, sinful and need to be healed. They beg Jesus for that healing for years. And His answer to them is that they are whole and good as they are. Period. Their souls have been tried in the refiner’s fire and I trust their discernment of God’s will. The goodness of their lives since accepting God’s love shows they are right.
Yet, some in our society try to “heal” these children of God through reparative therapy (efforts to change LGBT people to being “straight”). They hold up a very small select few as examples of “success” and don’t like to discuss the damage done to so many others. The hurt that is inflicted by those programs is an egregious assault on the souls of the LGBT people who go through them. They need to be stopped.
Yes, Jesus can heal people of their afflictions — but if there is no affliction then there is no need of healing.