A Party For The Prodigal


Many parents, friends and church people have the mistaken notion that

homosexual men and women are "out there", cruising the notorious gay

districts or picketing city hall over gay rights. Certainly,the vocal

minority is present in these places, but the reality is that the majority

who experience homosexuality are "in the closet". Many are hidden in the

conservative Christian church.

These men and women lead quiet lives marked by outstanding service to the

parish or fellowship to which they belong. They are regarded as great

family people. Many are married and their family life appears orderly to

those who know them. They are the proverbial "pillars of the church".

They do not seem to fit a stereotype of any kind. The women are not

necessarily "masculinised", nor the men "feminised". In short, unless they

told you, you would never know that they struggle in any way with

homosexuality. It is highly unlikely that they would share it either.

Hidden Lives,

Secret Fears

Although they believe that homosexual behaviour is sin, and control their

behaviour to a great extent, these brothers and sisters (for they do

confess Christ as their Saviour) feel powerless over their feelings of need

for sexual and/or emotional closeness to someone of the same sex. Even if

homosexual behaviour is not a part of their lives, they lead double lives,

fearful of discovery and possible expulsion from the church and rejection

by friends and family. Yet they are dying to be known and cared for in

spite of their problems.

They would like to be free, but they don't know how. They've been praying

to God for years to be released from their homosexual struggles, and many,

in despair, have finally given up and given in, leaving the church for the

streets or for a church that preaches the heresy of pro-gay Christianity.

Others have opted to stay in the fellowship of their childhoods, hiding the

fact that their theology has changed, and they now accept themselves as

being gay.

Fear of rejection has ruled their lives for so long that to survive they've

learned how to fit in. Like many Christians who actually participate in

sin, yet ignore it, they've learned how not to give themselves away.

Transparency, though much touted by those who teach "radical Christianity"

is not an affordable commodity when personal emotional survival depends on

what others think of you.

This is true of non-sin issues as well. If it's difficult for believers to

admit that they drink in moderation, watch "Dynasty", smoke, go to the

movies or enjoy rock 'n roll music, how likely is it that anyone is going

to confess to sexual sin? We generally don't want to admit to a variety of

things because we don't want our spirituality brought into question or face

possible expulsion from "the club".

How else do we keep secrets? Christians seem to have a hard time

requesting prayer for personal matters of any kind. In weekly prayer

meetings how often are prayers solicited for a brother with cancer, a

friend who is out of a job, but never for personal conflicts at work or at

home, or the fact that rent is due soon and there's no money? Do we as

Christians really believe that we shouldn't have problems? That life

should be trouble-free?

Double Standards

In calling believers to repentance in regard to homosexuality, we touch a

group that doubts whether it will be dealt with in mercy, as God would,

because there is little evidence that the Body is willing to be open in

general about hidden areas of its lives. Why should those with homosexual

backgrounds stand alone and naked, exposed to gossip and criticism?

On a sin scale of 1 to 10, most of us hardly confess to sins that only rank

a 1 or a 2. If, in the eyes of the church, your sin, or even potential to

sin, ranks a 13, would you really stand forth and proclaim it?

Heterosexual sin is rampant in the Body of Christ. I don't mean the

"biggies" like a pastor's adultery so much as attitudes that condone mutual

masturbation between engaged couples, the same behaviour that homosexual

men and women engage in. It's accepted practice because it's not "going

all the way", and "after all, they'll be married soon".

Sexual fantasy is winked at since we know that to be a red-blooded American

male (and female!) means that "these things happen" and it's not worth

getting excited about. Yet, Jesus gives us the example of even thinking of

committing adultery is the same as doing it. (Matthew 5:28).

Politically, there seems to be a much louder outcry about getting

homosexual men and women out of the school system when, statistically,

heterosexual teachers are as involved or more so in molesting students.

There's a double standard that makes homosexual sin worse than heterosexual

sin. There's another standard that teaches us not to rock the boat by

admitting to mistakes, errors, indiscretions of any kind, thereby forcing

us all to confront our flawed selves, our real selves, the impoverished,

selfish, frightened selves we really are.

To combat the wrongs, a common practice is to ever more loudly proclaim the

evil nature of sin, using sensational language; words like "vile",

"disgusting", and "abomination", particularly in regards to homosexual sin.

Gossip is referred to as an abomination in Proverbs 6:16, but how often

does anyone get over-wrought about this sin which can effectively murder

someone as deftly as a stiletto to the ribs?

The problem is not that anyone doubts that sin is sin. The problem is that

we doubt whether forgiveness will really be granted or that afterwards we

will be able to maintain enough of an unblemished walk to prove ourselves

worthy of having been forgiven in the first place.

Teaching grace and mercy makes many conservative leaders worried that it

will be taken to mean license to sin. For fear they will seem "soft" on

sin, they turn the volume up on the lectures and go on to cover up their

own lives more thoroughly to prove that "being good" can be done. "If I

can do it, so can you."

The Prodigal Son -


Wouldn't you think that after all these years and the apparent failure of

this line of thought to effect true transformation that someone might have

been pragmatic enough to try something different. How about, after someone

has repented, throwing a party?

If your pastor got involved sexually with a woman in your congregation, and

both repented, wouldn't it be different to go to a big dinner where

everyone brought a plate, to laugh and make toasts with ginger ale & fruit

punch and talk openly about the model of the prodigal son returning to his

loving father who killed the fatted calf for him?

Can you imagine sending press releases to area churches for inclusion in

their Sunday bulletin regarding the celebration and it's cause? Can't you

just see the district superintendent with his arm around the pastor,

praising God?

If we really believe that Jesus died for our sins, that we even now still

sin and are in need of pleading the Blood, maybe we could be a little more

generous with those who struggle with issues they want help with, but

despair over. Unfortunately, it would appear that most Christian don't

really believe in the Atonement, the action God took in sending Jesus to

bear the sins of the world, past, present, and future.

Most of us still work for the love of God, work for our salvation from sin.

Acting good, or merely refraining from doing the "bad" things, is how we

prove we are worthy of His love and the love of the Body. It's error to

think this. As Doug Houck has pointed out, before the Protestant

Reformation, celibacy was regarded as the greatest self-work of that age.

Then Martin Luther came along to say that justification was by faith and

changed, or should have changed, our viewpoint.

Those who struggle with homosexuality, who want help or think they might,

go begging. They beg from the gay Christian church, the pro-gay political

groups, to those tolerant people of all persuasions who will accept them as

they are. We lose them and damn them to a life without hope of change, and

all because we don't believe that God knows our frame, that we are but

dust, and has made provision for us to accept our fallenness and find

release. (Psalm 103:10-14).

It will be those redeemed homosexual men and women who will lead the way to

wholeness and right belief in our relationship to Jesus and our place in

the Kingdom. Those who have struggled alone, with Jesus as their only

strength, know love, forgiveness and healing in a way those of us who have

always "been good" do not know it.

Robbi Kenney


For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual

brokenness, please contact:


G.P.O. Box 1115


Phone (08) 371 0446

This article is reprinted by permission from

Metanoia Ministries

P O Box 33039

Seattle WA 98133-0039



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