Bryan of Things on Bryan’s Mind fame tagged me. The question is this: if my place of residence were on fire, and I could save one book other than the Bible, what would it be? Then, I’m supposed to provide a meaningful quote from that book.
I’d probably save my Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, but I can’t think of any quotes from it that grab me. And so I’ll share a quote from a book that I wouldn’t save from the fire. Or perhaps I would because it’s a library book and I don’t want fines, but I don’t particularly enjoy it. It is Mel White’s Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America.
The quote I will present spoke to me at this time in my life. There are a few other things I like about the book, such as Mel’s descriptions of how God was with him when he was about to commit suicide. But the book is mostly expressions of his desires for male intimacy when he was struggling with his homosexuality, and his statement of belief that he has a right to express his sexual orientation. Does having an inclination mean that one should act on it, if he so desires? I remember hearing one pro-homosexual Adventist professor respond to the “homosexuals should be chaste” spiel with the question, “But should we deprive anyone of a sexual relationship? How dare we do that!” The implication seems to be that people are entitled to a sexual relationship. But I remember listening to Susie Shellenberger, on “Life on the Edge,” a Focus on the Family program for teens, and she had an interesting response to the “How dare you deprive homosexuals of the right to have sex” line. She said that she’s single and in her 40’s, so she doesn’t even know if she’ll ever have sex. That’s in God’s hands!
Of course, I can anticipate how homosexuals would respond. “Well, you’re heterosexual, and there’s a chance you’ll one day meet someone. Why should I have to be celibate the rest of my natural life?” Good question. And I’m not sure I have an answer, other than the usual passages from Leviticus, Romans, and Corinthians.
But, my rant aside, here’s Mel White on witnessing:
“So, rather than telling my parents about Lyla (Mel’s girlfriend, who became his wife), I set out to ‘lead her to the Lord.’ This all sounds so Machiavellian as I read it back. In fact, I really did (and do) love Jesus. Telling people about Him then was as easy as telling people about Him now. Only then, I had an agenda for every person I told. Now, I don’t. Now I know that other people’s spiritual choices are their business and the business of God’s loving Spirit. My job is to tell my story honestly. Happily, the rest is in God’s hands. But in those awful teenage years, I was convinced that the ‘salvation’ of practically everyone I met was more or less my responsibility. What a terrible load to put on the back of anyone, let alone a gay kid who was already buried under guilt” (pp. 54-55).
Amen, Mel! You advocate an authentic form of witnessing rather than making a sales pitch to get people to sign on the dotted line (with the sinner’s prayer). Also, it’s good to know that I’m not responsible for everyone on the face of the earth. I should be a good example, of course, but people’s salvation is in their own hands–or at least the choice for salvation is.
Let me see, whom should I tag? I want to tag someone who actually reads my blog. Okay, I’ll tag Felix. El Shaddai Edwards hasn’t commented here for a while, but he usually likes my Asperger’s posts, and this kind of falls under that category. So, if you’re reading this, El Shaddai, I tag you. Weird Thinkers once tagged me for another post, so I tag him.
Have a nice day!