Did Jesus Really Perform Miracles?
30 August 2006: Start the discussion! »
For many people the title of this column represents a silly question. The pages of the gospels are filled with stories of supernatural happenings associated with Jesus. Most people, however, have very little sense of the actual content or meaning of these miracle accounts or how differently they are portrayed in each gospel. Some of …
Question & Answer
Thank you for this thorough treatment of such an
important topic in your column, "Born Gay." I was in
conversation with my United Methodist pastor recently about this
very issue and the comments of a preacher who had been invited to
speak to our church, comments upholding his outdated and
prejudiced views. My pastor said that his own position was that
although some say homosexuality was somehow biological/genetic,
it was the same as saying that alcoholism was genetically caused.
In other words, one may have the genetic predisposition for the
condition but one chooses how they respond to it. I realized
that we are on different planets. My predicament is whether to
stay with this church I have been a member of for 30 years, and
among people I love and continue to do the work I do with a Grief
Support Group, stay with my son and grandchildren or leave. More
and more I am part of the church alumni and even though I have
stayed I have lost a lot of joy in my experience there.
I hope you will stay because I believe Christianity can only be
reformed by those who are inside the church not by those who have
left. There does appear to be some kind of genetic
predisposition toward alcoholism. But homosexuality is in a very
We don't choose to be white or black, male or female, left-handed
or right-handed, gay or straight. We awaken in each instance to
the reality of what we are. Nothing external to our humanity
activates our self-understanding. It simply is. Alcohol distorts
life for the alcoholic. Homosexuality does not distort the life
of the gay person. Your pastor's understanding is simply one
more version of the idea that homosexuality is a sickness or
addiction that needs to be cured if possible and if not possible,
it needs to be suppressed. Wholeness never came to anyone who
tried to suppress his or her deepest identity.
Your pastor is trying to be a liberal but he is about 100 years
out of date.
John Shelby Spong
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