Hearing From a Gay Father (via Andrew Marin's blog)

Amy Dolan over at Lemon Lime Kids tweeted this a while back:

So, I checked out the link to Andrew Marin’s blog.

The post is a letter from a gay father who desperately wants to worship in a more traditional setting but is having a hard time finding a place. I encourage you to hop on over to Andrew’s blog and read the entire post, but here are some excerpts from the letter:

“The truth is that Mark and I have no desire to divorce ourselves from each other. To do so would be disruptive to our boys, who’ve already dealt with separation issues related to their time in foster care. We’re both content with our lives. We both have good jobs, fun kids, distracting pets, and a nice home. We’re well-matched husbands for each other. All things considered, we’ve been blessed by God and I thank Him every day for what we have together.”

“My point is, most churches only seem willing to accept our family if we dissolve our household. One of the most stabilizing elements in my life – my husband and our family – are treated like the most harmful thing that I could maintain in my life. I recognize and reject this crazy paradox of thinking and so do other gay families like us. And that’s why most of us won’t worship in Christian churches.”

How does the church reach out to families like these in loving ways without affirming their lifestyles?

I know there are varying thoughts on how to deal with a situation like this one that range from telling this man that he needs to turn or burn or, instead, accepting him for who he is and not prying into his personal life. Are those the only two options? Is there another approach to this situation?

Personally, I think it is a bit of a cop-out to simply quote scripture about how homosexuality is a sin, and the only way for this man to be a “true Christian” is to stop living in sin. I don’t know if I have an answer, though. I would start off by loving this family with no strings attached. Then I would spend lots of time in prayer and seeking counsel from a variety of people on how to go from there.

For me, it comes down to following the Jesus Creed: Love God and love others. It’s the job of the Spirit to change what He wants to change in lives as people respond to Him. It’s our job to love people and keep pointing them to the God who loves them and cares more about them than I ever could.

I have many other questions that go through my mind, but I thought I’d like to hear from you. What are your thoughts?


4 thoughts on “Hearing From a Gay Father (via Andrew Marin's blog)

  1. amy dolan says:

    henry –
    thank you for posting this! i continue to believe this will be one of the most important issues we will face in children's ministry.

    i'm starting to wonder if it's actually less about what we believe (if homosexuality is a sin or not) and all about how we behave. because even the straight parents that we serve make choices we sometimes disagree with, right? but despite their choices, we always do our best to love, serve, and include them in the spiritual formation of children. so why wouldn't the same be true for a family with gay or lesbian parents? despite what we think about the choices they are making, we can always learn better ways to help them grow the faith of their children. this is what i hope we are able to figure out..


    • henryjz says:

      Thanks for chiming in Amy. I completely agree. Unfortunately, homosexuality is such an emotionally-charge political and religious hot button, it is so hard for many of us to "love, serve, and include [gay parents] in the spiritual formation of children." That is the reason why I appreciate people like Andrew Marin, who are boldly entering into the aren of how evangelicals should relate with the GLBT community. BTW, I can't wait to read/hear about your time with Andrew!

  2. Henry Zonio says:

    A friend of mine sent me some of her thoughts via FB messenger. She gave me permission to repost some of her thoughts here:

    "I read the FB post you put up on the gay father. I plan to read the guy's entire blog as well. I am United Methodist and at my church we have a couple of homosexuals. One couple has been together for eons and come every Sunday. When I was in elementary thru high school, or choir and organ guy was gay. One of my youth group counselors was gay and he went on to work for the conference office here and is now at a church on staff.

    Of course, as you know, I am a democrat, so my answer is probably going to be more liberal than others you will get. I'm not really into the gay marriage being legal deal though.

    From a church stand point, everyone is a child of God and everyone needs to ministered to. I don't think that most homosexuals who are involved in churches have any intentions of changing to heterosexual lifestyles. But I do think that is really good that they want to have a relationship with God. Also, we all sin and we are not to judge others sins. But, as we all are in our little church's cliques to outsiders/different people, we like to judge to make ourselves feel better. I am just thankful that the people who come to our church come to church, are not preached to about their lifestyle. I guess one never knows when someone might change."

    "I guess, through all my rambling, yes, it's always going to be a controversial issue. I am not big on gay ordained clergy. I think though that we need to include them in our congregations. Every person in every congregation is a sinner. Every person in every congregation needs to ministered to and can be a minister to someone else. And, in this man's case, he has children who he wants to go to church. There's a chance that shouldn't be missed. As far as how to include them once they get involved, if they do, that I don't know what to tell you. I guess that is a church by church issue based on demoninational beliefs. I think they should be included though. I guess who ever hasn't sinned can cast the first stone at them. unfortunately, in cases as these, emotions always take over and we lose sight of that fact that everyone is a child of God and that Jesus' ministry was to the sick and sinners. They will probably never become heterosexual, but at least they want to worship God and raise their children up in the church. So there's my two cents worth."

  3. […] a month ago, I reposted some of a letter from a gay father wanting to be involved in church that was on Andrew Ma…. Recently, Andrew had a two-part posting from someone who grew up with a gay mom. I encourage you […]

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