Monday, August 12, 2013

A New Perspective on an Old Problem

The following story is fictional, and intended to prove a point.


I'll never forget the day he told me.  There were tears in his eyes as he bared his soul.  My heart beat heavily in my chest as I saw him draw up the courage to get it out.  They were words no mother wants to hear, words that meant my comfy spiritual life was over.  I didn't want to believe it, I tried to pretend it was just a phase.  He would grow up in a few years and get over this nonsense.

I tried to handle it well.  I said, "Thank you for telling me this.  I'm glad you were honest.  I want you to know you can tell me anything."

He wanted to talk to his father, and I had to convince him to wait until he got home from work.  I shot off a text warning my hubby that our son was having a very bad day.  I hoped it would alert him enough that he wouldn't come home cross.  .  

I asked him so many questions.  "When did you start to feel this way?  How do you know it's real?  You know what the Bible says about this lifestyle, right?"

He answered confidently.  He knew what he was talking about.  He knew it was wrong, but he was powerless against it.

I told him I needed some time to think.  I walked to my room and quietly shut the door.  This couldn't be the fate of my child, my beautiful boy.

We had home schooled him, taught him Biblical values, kept him separate from the world.  He hadn't had any of the brainwashing "You're born this way" crap from the government schools.  He had asked Jesus into his heart when he was young.  He read his Bible and prayed.  Every indicator pointed at a growing relationship with Christ.  He wasn't perfect, but he was normal.  Or, so I thought.

I didn't realize how long I sat there, staring at an invisible point on the wall.  When I heard the front door open I looked at the clock on my bedside table.  How had the time flown?  I walked out to greet my husband.  Suddenly I felt the pain in my throat that comes when you're trying not to cry.  I tried to call him out of his room, but my voice came out all funny.
He must have heard the door too, because he came out a moment later.  He asked us both to sit down.  I held my husband's hand as I listened to him repeat the story he told me earlier.  Then it was silent, painfully so.

My husband looked into my eyes and the tears were too painful to hold back any longer.  They streamed silently down my cheeks as I tried to swallow.  I hoped he had better answers than I did.  He didn't know what to say.  He sat there with me breathing heavily for several minutes.

In that silence I knew that there was nothing we could do.  Our son was going to be outcast.  He was abandoning our faith and siding with the enemy of our soul.  This deception would surely lead him down a path that would end in premature death.  He would never know the kind of loving relationship we did.

He was... Gluttonous.

In the weeks to follow he decided he needed to let people at church know.  It wasn't fair to the other kids in the youth group to pretend he was normal.  The youth pastor preached a lesson on the evils of gluttony.  He asked everyone to pray to break the power of gluttony over their lives.  He read from passages like Philippians 3:19 and Proverbs 25:16.

The pastor had a meeting with the three of us to discuss this issue.  He said our son's influence in the youth group could be disastrous.  He wanted our son to get up and publicly denounce his sin and tell everyone that he was no longer going to choose to be gluttonous.  Our son was adamant that he couldn't lie to everyone.
Eventually the pastor asked us to leave the church.  He went over the passage about church discipline and explained that he had to do it to "save our eternal souls."  We found out through a friend that he later denounced our family as wolves in sheep's clothing.

We lost so many people we thought were friends.  They just couldn't get over the fact that our son was openly gluttonous.  It broke my heart.  I could see the bitterness developing in my son.  He had been taught about the love of God.  About the forgiveness of sin.  He mocked our pastor for his catchphrases like "Love the sinner hate the sin," and I couldn't blame him.

I certainly didn't feel like I could help him.  I had never been in his position.  I mean, I had my faults, but gluttony?  I just didn't understand how he could be that way.  He was such a good looking boy too.  How would this affect him physically.  I knew it was only a matter of time before his health was affected.

I tried to find ways to help him, but every Christian I talked to just sort of clammed up and acted like they were sorry for my loss.

That was so long ago.  We've been coping with this so long now that I'm used to it.  I've made peace with the fact that my son is a glutton.  He even found a partner.  Someone who understands his side of things.  They've been together for many years.  What did I learn?  The church has no idea how to handle this kind of thing.  They put it in a little box and file it away under the "excommunication" label.  There are no help groups.  At least none that I can find.  I've heard the same verses quoted over and over that my son is in sin and since he chooses to be in sin there's nothing we can do but shun him until he repents or dies.
The sad thing is, if he had fallen into some besetting sin like pornography or alcoholism we would have received more support.  It's too late now.  He has diabetes and has already lost some toes due to poor circulation.


The moral: Just as we wouldn't realistically shun someone for being gluttonous, and would try to help them overcome this sin, we shouldn't shun someone who's gay, but rather rejoice that they are bold enough to be honest about their position and help them understand how to live a victorious Christian life.  

1 comment:

  1. I've written and re-written comments here... none of them do the posting justice.

    Thank you, Beth, for writing this.