Monday, June 25, 2012

A Few Words About Homosexuality From One With Credentials

I spent the third, fourth and fifth decades of my life trying to reconcile my sexuality with my faith and the public face of my life.

For almost 20 years now I have spent much of my time and effort trying to share what I learned in that school of hard knocks over those three decades of intense study, introspection, self hate, prayer, denial and finally reconciliation.

It was an awesome, long and intense journey. It was not often a pleasant journey, but it is a journey for which I now am thankful and a journey which I now see as one of the great blessings of my life.

My mother and father married just before World War II began. It was a time of great world turmoil. It became obvious that try as it may to stay out of the European Wars, the United States would be dragged into the conflict. My parents desperately wanted a child before my Dad was shipped off to war, but it was not to be. In fact even after the war had ended and my Dad returned home unscathed by it all, still no child was conceived.

My mother was a religious woman. Ultimately she had prayed for seven years for a child and her prayers had gone unanswered. Finally, in an attempt to bargain with God, she promised God that if He would giver her a child, she would dedicate that child to His service. It seemed to my mother that her prayer was answered when I was born some nine months later.

As I have mentioned in this blog many times, I was raised in the church. Eventually, my mother told me the story of her promise to God and how and why that promise had come about. She felt that because of her promise and God's seeming answer, I was destined to be a minister of the Gospel.

From a very young age, I had an unnatural interest in religion. Most kids think very little about it, but I was always interested in it. I was always listening and taking it all in. But along about my 9th and 10th years something different began to happen. I no longer was just taking it all in, I was also beginning to recognize that some of what I was taking in did not make sense to me and because it didn't make sense, I began to question. My Baptist Sunday School teacher was not accustomed to questions from ten year olds. In particular he was not accustomed to, nor did he appreciate, questions which implied by their very asking that the Bible was not the literal word of God. He went to my Dad and told him, "you had better get a hold of that boy because he is on his way to Hell."

And in a way he was right. I was on my way to Hell. Not the fire and brimstone Hell he imagined but an almost 30 year long quest for understanding of my faith, my sexuality and how two seemingly incompatible things could come together in one life.

I never told my mother about my knowing I was different sexually; but honestly, I think she knew it. Nevertheless, she encouraged me to do my own thinking, be respectful and tolerant of the views of others and work out my own salvation with God. I was almost 50 years old and my mother had been dead for almost 30 years by the time I worked it all out for myself.

During that time, I never felt the call of God to preach the Gospel as my mother had thought I would. But four months before my 50th birthday the call to share the Gospel of Christ came in a most unusual and unexpected way. I met a man. His name was Mike. He was a fundamental Christian who had struggled his entire life with his sexuality including during his 25 years of marriage, the birth of his four children and the death of one of those children. He saw himself as an abomination. He was convinced God had taken his oldest child from him because of his abominable sexual desires. After years of struggle, he was physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. He knew he was on his way to Hell and he had decided it might as well be sooner than later. He had planned his own suicide and was about to carry it out when he met me.

For some reason that I can see only as the will of God, he spilled out his story to me including his imminent suicide on the night we met. I was shocked. I was scared shitless to put it bluntly. Yet the school of hard knocks that had been my own life had given me the tools I needed for this unforeseen moment and I almost reflexively put all those years of learning into gear. I told him I could help him. I told him there was another way. I begged him for time to talk with him assuring him I could help him to relieve his pain and self hate. Though he resisted and wanted to resist, like a dying man grasping at any straw, he agreed to give me some time.

As I have mentioned before in this blog, it took three years, but the time came when Mike saw that he was not an abomination to God but rather a beloved son. Now, all these years later, Mike is alive and well and happy living openly as a partnered homosexual man.

Since Mike, there have been many many other men who have come into my life in one way or the other. Some I have met face to face, most I have only met over the internet. Many of them have responded to what I've had to tell them of the Grace of God and God's unconditional love for them. Some have not responded. Some I'm afraid, have ended up where Mike was about to end up and have taken their own lives or ruined their lives with alcohol or drugs in a desperate attempt to relieve the pain.

Most of the stories of the men I have dealt with have not been so dramatic as Mike's story, but a couple of them have been very dramatic indeed. Somehow, I never put it all together that I had in fact taken the road my Mother predicted for me until recently when a friend who has gotten to know me well over the past few years commented on my "ministering" to other men concerning their sexuality. When he said that word, it shocked me. For some reason I  had never thought about it in those terms; but when I protested the use of that word to him, he held firm that it was the correct word. I guess maybe it is.

One of the things that has always bothered me when in my dealings with other men who are at a critical juncture in their lives is that I have no formal credentials to do what I do. My wife is a licensed counselor and psychotherapist but that is the same as saying, "I slept in a Holiday Inn last night." It doesn't give me any standing. I know the Bible well, but I do not have a degree in theology.

One of the men whom I could not reach several years ago confronted me with my lack of credentials. He said to me that his preacher tells him that men like him are going to Hell. "Who are you?" he asked, "to say differently." In spite of all the guys who have responded to my attempts to help, those words from that man that i could not reach still ring in my ears after all these years. He was right, I simply don't have recognized credentials. I have experience, I have decades of reading and study behind me, I have the reconciliation of my own faith with my bisexuality, but I don't have credentials.

Today I read a sermon from someone who does have credentials. It is a great sermon. She happens to be a United Methodist Minister, the same denomination to which I belong.

I found the sermon on the blog of a fellow blogger who is listed in my blog roll. I have blogged about Joe Blow, The Closet Professor, before. He often comes up with blog pieces I enjoy and this particular one is a great one.

For those of you who need credentials from someone to help you build new paradigms of faith and self understanding, I hope you'll carefully and thoughtfully read, "A Sermon By The Reverend Doctor Kathlyn James."(click on the link to read Rev. James' Sermon) It could change your life.

My thanks to The Closet Professor for finding it and posting it to his blog.

Jack Scott


  1. The word "minister" comes from the Latin "ministere", which means "to serve". I just can't get over the service you did for that man (and others). This is the sort of thing that God calls us to - to save lives, not just physical lives, but the lives of broken souls like his.

    I firmly believe that blasphemy (misuse of God's name) does not involve following it with "damn", but rather doing harm in the name of one who loves unconditionally. This is what so many people have done with scripture and religion, two of God's gifts to us. They have been misused to do harm. The undoing of that, and showing love to those who have not experienced it truly is to minister.

    1. Wow, Mack. Thanks for the comment. You know, I never thought blasphemy was as simple as using God's name in a curse; but I had never come to the thought you expressed on it.

      What you have to say about it sounds more than reasonable to me, and if it is there are sure going to be a lot of surprised people who think of themselves as Christians. So many fundamental Christians do such great harm in the name of God.

      Thanks for teaching me something new. I'm going to hang on to your interpretation on this matter.

      Jack Scott

  2. Jack,

    Just a quick note. Never, ever doubt that you have a true ministry in delivering God's word to the lost, broken and hurting.

    I am a licensed lay minister in the Episcopal Church, besides being a Worship Leader, I minister to those with HIV-Aids, and I am in awe with the work you do in reaching out to our brothers in their pain and suffering.

    Like you I was raised in another denomination getting a mixed message that I was a child of God in his image and likeness, but was also condemned to eternal separation from God because of my attraction to and sexual activity with other males.

    Keep doing what you do so well. Prayers ascending...


    1. Thanks Gerry, I appreciate the supportive comments. Even with homosexuality becoming more and more accepted there is going to be hurt out there for some time to come.

      It is my feeling that much of this hurt will, unfortunately, come from Fundamental Christians. As homosexuality gains more acceptance from moderate and liberal Christians and the society at large, Fundamental Christians are going to double down in their invective against both homosexuals and those who support them.

      It is not likely to be pretty. So there will continue to be a real need for those of us who can put a face on God's Grace for those who are hurting and being told they are an abomination.

      Jack Scott

  3. Jack, thanks for your kind words about my blog, and most importantly, thank you for your service to God. Too many members of the LGBT community give up on God because of the often misused and misinterpreted views of people who call themselves Christians. You have an awe-inspiring story of your ministry and I only hope that I can do the same. It took a lot of prayer and meditation for me to come to terms with my sexuality but I believe that God has led me on the right path.

    May God continue to bless you, and I sincerely thank you and admire you for your faith.


    1. I believe He has led you to the right path too Joe. One of the things I like very much about your blog, is it is based on your experiences as an "ordinary guy."

      You use a lot of space in your blog to talk about things of interest to you and things which may be of interest to others. You are well educated and well rounded in your interests and you share much of that. And oh, by the way, you happen not to be heterosexual.

      To me that is the ultimate goal that our sexuality should just be a footnote to what we are a persons and to what we contribute to our families, our country and to God.

      Jack Scott

  4. Jack: As one who does not come from a Protestant tradition I must note that we in the Orthodox Christian faith never ever "damn" anyone to hell, in fact we believe that upon death you are in God's hands -- it is his decision. Conversely, we never tell someone they are going to heaven after saying a simple "prayer of faith." We do however, emphasize two very powerful yet simple truths. The Resurrection of Christ which abolishes death for the believer and God's mercy. These two concepts and the church itself have actually helped me come to terms and peace with my bisexuality. I could go on, and I respect your tradition, but I must shake my head at the damage that some of hte more Fundamentalist Christians have done to those struggling with their sexuality.

    1. Ward, I have to confess I know nothing about the Orthodox Christian faith other than what you have told me in your comment. However what you have told me tells me a great deal about your faith.

      A belief that one can find atonement for his sins and a belief in God's mercy (grace) just about tells anyone all they need to know about any faith.

      I think where many Fundamentalists go wrong is they blindly and thoughtlessly accept the claim of evangelicals that the Bible is the literal word of God. Therefore, if they read it at all (and most don't) they read it without apply common sense to what they are reading.

      The Bible is full of metaphors and teaching myths that represent ideals but which do not in any way tell us about the mind of God.

      The Bible tells us that God transcends us in every way. We cannot be better than God is in any way whatsoever. As a human father, I would never condemn my sun to an eternal fire in the depths of Hell. There is nothing he could do that was bad enough for that.

      When he was a child I did punish him often but I always tried to match the punishment to the severity of his offense. I cannot love my son more than God loves me as his son. Therefore there is no way God could condemn me or anyone else to an eternal Hell. Punish us; yes, of course; but God simply cannot meat out eternal punishment. He loves us too much.

      You're not the only one shaking his head about the damage Fundamental Christians have done and are doing to those struggling with their sexuality and even to those just trying to understand their relationship with God. Fundamentalists teach that our relationship with God can only be on of fear of God's wrath. In fact God wants us to love him. He wants an individual relationship with each of us based on mutual love.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Jack Scott

  5. JAck: Thanks you are closer to being Orthodox than you may know!

    1. Ward, you may be the only person I've ever encountered in my whole life to refer to me as orthodox!


      Jack Scott


  6. "My mother was a religious woman. Ultimately she had prayed for seven years for a child and her prayers had gone unanswered. Finally, in an attempt to bargain with God, she promised God that if He would giver her a child, she would dedicate that child to His service. It seemed to my mother that her prayer was answered when I was born some nine months later."

    When mothers pray for not yet conceived children and dedicate them to the Lord: the child receives spiritual gifts that are unusual. See Samuel, John the Baptist.

    Your mother's act of dedicating your life before you were even conceived, was answered with you receiving extra talents in the areas of intellect, emotions, social skills, physicality, sexuality, and spirituality.

    Those gifts of extra sensitivity makes those children to be much more likely to be attracted to the same sex, as that male child is meant to work in service for the Lord, especially in helping other men find God. In many ways, your life story exemplifies these giftings.

    Your homosexual desires have a divine reason that they were placed inside of you, and that truth remains partially hidden within your spirit.


I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott