Tag Archive: gay


You go away on a houseboat for a week, come back home, turn on your computer and it’s like a paint factory sneezed all over Facebook.

fbrainbow

Or something like that. Actually the graphic on my buddy Steve Heineman’s page expressed it best:

rainbow

And i think enough has been said from either side of the rainbow for me to need to add anything specifically about that, although i definitely have some deep sadness for some of the christian response which seemed significantly compassion-free in places.

i did, however, respond with this line, which i hope people on both sides of the spectrum will seriously consider:

May whoever ends up being proven right not lose their rightness in the way that they respond and relate to whoever is proven wrong.

As a follower of Jesus i don’t know that we will know the absolute answer about whether or not we were right or wrong in the particular stance we took on this until one day when we are standing in front of God. But i’m pretty convinced that whether or not we responded in love will be quite obvious. And i’m fairly confident that God is less likely to be focusing on “You said it was okay to be gay” or “You said it was not okay to be gay” and more concerned with, “How well did you love those who thought differently to you?”

Cos that’s the greatest command, right? Love. Not good theology. And that is not saying that good theology is not worth pursuing and putting time and energy and effort into getting as right as we can. But it is saying that it is crucial that we major in love.

After all,

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

So, whether you agree or disagree or continue to wrestle with how you feel and what you think or believe, at least be kind. Can we all do that? Is it possible to disagree with someone and love them at the same time? i feel like Jesus was big on that.

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as i stand so close to the flames

that the tiny hairs on my arms start to catch alight

filling my nostrils with that pungent, burning hair smell

i catch the silhouette of my reflected outline

quietly nodding my silent assent

to those who by their righteous actions tonight

have ensured that this clinic’s business

for the immediate future at least

has been violently aborted

 

as i stand to the far edge of the back of this lively and passionate crowd

i am caught up by the exuberance with which our leaders

are delivering today’s heartfelt message of righteous anger and God’s judgment

on those who would exchange normal relations

for these abominations

not quite confident that God does indeed hate fags as has been so eloquently declared

through the intimacy of a well-intended loud speaker

or the letters lovingly painted onto an otherwise pure white poster

i at least choose to hold my focus

on all those who will be set free

as a result of us gaily presenting our well-crafted sermon

as we came out here today

Lovingly Gesturing Biblical Truths

 

back at home i spend some time online

catching up on the news

all the time dodging the vitriolic and caustic comments

of fellow christian brothers and sisters

resolutely aligning themselves with either camp

and how could you possibly hold THAT opinion

if you have given any attention at all to THIS specific verse?

(“You fool!”… understood.)

 

another moment, yet another person caught in a crime

this time i bend down to pick up my stone

but am stopped in my tracks

by the sound of his voice

speaking these words

so lovingly

‘let the person who is without sin throw the first stone.’

 

and i pause for just a minute

 

as i think it over to myself…

a ticking watch nervously counts down this moment of interruption

my heavy breathing bears testimony to the wrestling that’s going on within my head

as i roll his words around in my mind, this way and that way, looking for the answer

but then suddenly it comes to me in a flash

as i remember that he has already paid for my sin

when he died on the cross

he took all my guilt and shame

and the sin penalty that should have been mine to pay

and he paid for it in my place

and so that makes me sin-free, right?

 

that makes me the one able to throw the first stone…

just like he said.

 

my hand finds a suitably jagged edged piece of stone

closes tightly around it

i can feel its rough edges digging into my skin

i stand to my feet in a single motion

powered up by all the holy righteous anger i can muster

and with every muscle in my body giving assent to my actions

i hurl that stone with all my might and watch as it hits its target

watch as you slump quickly to the ground

 

and, as if the dam wall has been burst

i watch as my just action unleashes the rest of the frenzied crowd

some who had already started to let their personalised rocks fall to the ground

 

again and again the rocks smash against their intended victim

your cries have long since passed

blood and bits of skin and bone fly hideously around

and within moments you are no longer a person

but a grotesque mass of broken body and blood

 

broken body

and blood?

 

as if in a pitch black tunnel just noticing a faint hint of a light up ahead

something starts to swirl within my mind

a recollection, a mass of thoughts, something is trying to be heard

and i try to focus in on what is being said, as my stomach fights against gagging from the smell that is rising up from your body

your dead body

broken by me… broken for me?

no, broken by me.

 

i glance up.

struggling to see clearly with these beams of wood protruding from each one of my eyes

i manage to finally catch a glimpse of him

his face displaying so obviously that this is not the way he was hoping it would end

as if something has gone wrong

gone horribly wrong

but what is it? i did what you said. i did what you have to have wanted. right?

 

and there it is

off to the side, faint and very much in the distance

but there is no mistaking the call of the farm bird sounding the beginning of a new day

or is it the end of one?

nope, there it is again.

and one more time.

 

i realise that the first crow has labelled me a resounding gong, a clanging cymbal

the second told me i am nothing

the third plays out that i have gained nothing

all three signifying that i have failed in this,

in this, my virtuous enacting of your justice

and if that is true, if i have failed in this

that surely means that no part of this was truly Love

 

what is the first commandment? obey the rules

what is the most important? don’t step outside of the lines

what is the gospel? don’t do this long and complicated list of things

GODHATESFAGSGODHATESPEOPLEWHOHAVEABORTIONSGODHATESTERRORISTSGODHATES

wait, what?

 

 

 

 

i stand close to the flames

trying to massage some warmth back into my hands

no-one needs to come up to me and ask if i know Him?

i know my actions have already answered that one

and as i catch my reflection in a nearby piece of glass

i notice the flames, licking at my feet.

 

apartheid

 

 

 

a short while ago two South Africans sparked an international discussion about racism, guilt and responsibility when they printed and distributed forty t-shirts with the slogan ‘I benefited from apartheid’ written on them:

 

 

 

 

 

zapiro

 

 

well-known political satirist Jonathan Shapiro [aka Zapiro] came up with this minimalistic but powerful cartoon which expressed his take on the matter:

 

 

 

are they right? yes, for sure, i definitely had [and still have] benefits from apartheid – they were not as a result of my choosing, or even my parents choosing, but they are real.

so in a nutshell i have to feel guilty for being white.

i also have to feel guilty for being male. women have been oppressed in this country and around the world for who knows how many decades, centuries even. have i benefited from that? surely i have. i may not have chosen my penis but it has served me well, just by being there.

what else is there?

english-speaking? because surely as one of the dominant languages that worldwide communication and media have been presented in, this has forced some kind of pain and trauma on those who have been forced to speak it?

christian? while i prefer the term ‘Christ-follower personally’ i know that being grouped in this group racks up the score column for guilt and shame [no-one expected the Spanish Inquisition…]

how about heterosexual? [because heaven knows we’ve treated the gays badly]

i imagine there are probably more, but it seems as if there is enough data to suggest that i am part of the most privileged demographic imaginable – white male heterosexual english-speaking christian… and therefore the most guilty.

i think i get it. to a large extent. having benefited from apartheid etc etc i need to own that and take responsibility and be involved in reconciliation and reparation where possible as well as doing what i can do to address the various imbalances that now exist as a result of the past.

at the same time, is there a time when it ends? when i can stop feeling the need to feel guilty because i am white, because i am a man, because i…

because, to be very honest, i did not have a lot of say in the whiteness of my white, i wasn’t all that involved in the maleness of my maleity, i was born into english, i am attracted to women [and one very beautiful one in particular]

the only thing on my list that i can see that i had any part in choosing to be a part of is the christian one and even there i have chosen to align myself to a Christ-following which i hope looks a LOT different from the majority of wrongs and perversions that the typical historical christian [those who profess one thing but live another] has gotten horribly wrong.

in terms of the apartheid debris in South Africa, i will continue to do what i can to make amends and take responsibility for the past i largely inherited, but will there be a time when i am allowed to ask questions of the post-apartheid government who continue to be a hive of corruption, mismanagement, greed and nepotism and spend/waste/party this country into the ground?

because, to be honest, it’s been 18 years now. you’re practically legal new democracy. Mandela showed you the way you could choose to live – with grace, forgiveness, honour, invitation, integrity… and it is up to you at some stage to embrace that.

to be honest, i don’t actively carry any guilt for any of who i am, no matter how much the pressure is exerted to do so. i know that i’m far from perfect and i try to live better, day to day, than how i lived the day before. i try to take responsibility when i mess up and make things right with the people i have hurt or wronged. and i believe this is something that needs to be embraced by every one of us, so that we can really turn this country around and make it the incredible place it should be.

so when do we stop blaming apartheid? when do we start taking responsibility together?

unity.

ubuntu.

you and me. let’s do this.

i read these two powerful blog posts while i was eating breakfast before work today and really felt the need to pass them on [the third blog post where the author shares two of the negative responses from so-called christians i just don’t even want to post a link to – you can find it – because i just get so crazily annoyed that people can think of themselves as Christ-following Bible-reading people and still think that way] – i too have a series of blogs that have been shelved or deleted or sit unfinished in my drafts box simply because i know of the sensitivity of the topic and how close to home it is for me… and so for now, these will have to do and while i don’t necessarily agree with everything Dan Pearce has to say, i agree with enough of it to believe that these are two powerful messages for us to be reading and dialoguing about…

the first is the original blog post which was titled “i’m Christian unless you’re gay”

and the follow up was ‘A Few More Powerful Responses to ‘I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay’’

may some words i write have such a powerful impact on somebody or many somebodies some day – way good reason and encouragement to keep on blogging and to search for truth while always pursuing Love through it all…

hope you enjoy. would love to hear your thoughts.

God is really good and just loves us too much to let these things pass under the radar! I was also exposed to pornography at a young age (Probably around 11/12) and the seed was planted. It was not so much the pornography I got addicted to, but masturbation. My mind was so contaminated with thoughts of masturbation, and my imagination was enough to keep me going! The odd e-tv movie or two every month kept me going, but I could not go one day without masturbating.

I just felt so condemned, but looked for every possible excuse to not actually deal with it and continue in my ways. I even found some very good excuses! I heard that my youth leader at my church at that time masturbated together with some of my friends! If it was fine with him it could have probably not have been that bad! But I was badly deceived!

This continued even after I gave my heart to the Lord and started playing in the church worship team etc.. And it got to the stage where I thought that this all must mean that I am gay, because I was so obsessed with it. I got into homosexual pornography and things got even more intense and the guilt and condemnation just became more and more.

Growing up in a Christian household and some good foundations, I decided from a young age that I will stay pure till marriage. I thank God that I can say I am a virgin still today and that my struggle never involved other people. But the inner battle was just so intense and I felt everything but pure! I never shared it with anyone and never had the guts to just confess and ask for some help.

I encountered God radically in my Gr.12 year and realized I had to make a lifestyle change! I went to do a gap year after school where God did so much in my life and brought healing in so many different areas in my life. I had confessed everything and was determined to let that stuff stay in the past. I never looked at any pornography again that year and was doing well with abstaining from masturbation. But about two months or so after everything was confessed I fell back in the habit! I was once again too afraid and too embarrassed to walk this out with anyone!

I tried dealing with it on my own and did well for periods at a time but just fell back into it. I knew God had a great plan for my life and decided to go back for a second year, but in the holidays after that first year, I started snooping around on the Internet again and got stuck into homosexual pornography again!!! This rocked me! But when I went back the next year I knew this had to stop and I was able to stop with the pornography, but the habit of masturbation I could not stop. I deleted everything I had on my computer at that time.

There were so many times I just wanted to come clean with everything and confess to someone, but I could not deal with the shame and I lived under that condemnation for another six months. But this is where God stepped in and I am so thankful for what happened, because it started my journey of healing!

I had some kind of virus on my laptop and had to send it in to get it sorted out. The guy that worked on my computer checked out my browsing history and saw what was going on. He knew my pastor and contacted him to let him know what is going on! GOD JUST WOULD NOT LET THIS THING GO!

I was exposed. I had nothing left to hide, and I started walking a road of accountability with my pastor. I could be open with what I was dealing with and it was so liberating putting things in the light. It is really in it’s secrecy that these sins have their power. God started healing my heart and it was only through walking an open road with a spiritual father that God could do the work in my heart. It is only when we confess our sins to one another that the healing can come.

And we sometimes think that when we confess these things to a pastor or youth leader, or whoever it might be, that they would think less of you. But through allowing someone to walk this road with you, they can trust you even more!!!! Because we all have our faults and challenges, no one is perfect, but we need to be open with our lives, willing to submit and change, in order to become more Christlike!!!!

I Trust my testimony will encourage others to not let masturbation or pornography dictate your life. Bring it out into the light so that the healing journey can begin!

Thanks for the opportunity to share!

Jaco

one of my facebook friends [Catherine Rogers] posted a status about the overabundance of brett FISH anderson articles/blogs/videos on her newsfeed and the struggle to pick which to give her time to [not complaining that there was so much but that there was too much choice] and so somehow five minutes later i found myself looking back through some early pre-Simple Way blog posts i made two or more years ago and finding a bunch i thort would be good to share… but then i was hit by the dilemma of not wanting to make Catherine’s newsfeed explode and so i had the cunning plan of sticking them all in one blog post, which altho it won’t help with the choice factor, will certainly be a lot better than posting each one separately… i think there is some good stuff here and i hope you find something useful…

SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO: shortest blog post in the history of brett fish blogposting but hectically profound: https://brettfish.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/should-i-stay-or-should-i-go

BLESSED ARE THE RETARDS: this must have been posted before anyone was reading my blog cos i didn’t get a single hate mail for the title – or else maybe people got it – maybe this should be a taboo topic of dealing with or just being around people who are hectically different than you in some way cos they don’t have lessons on how to do that at school – https://brettfish.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/blessed-are-the-retards

REASONS TO HATE CHRISTIANITY: in the meantime this one DID get me into trouble, with one of the leaders of my denomination [never mind local congregation, i aim high!] because he lambasted me for writing this having read the title but never read what i was saying which was kinda not the title [but possibly giving a reason to be somewhat annoyed with christians] – https://brettfish.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/reasons-to-hate-christianity-part-i

THE WAGES OF GOD, ARE YOU: another short to the point one focused on the economy of heaven, and if it’s the economy God is interested in, the surely we should be as well – https://brettfish.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/the-wages-of-god-are-you

ALL MEN SHALL KNOW YOU FOR YOUR HATRED OF THE GAY – another worrying one if you stop at the title but this one is SO much completely close to my heart that it is definitely worth a repost – https://brettfish.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/all-men-shall-know-you-for-your-hatred-of-the-gay/

HITLER’S MOM – wow, again this must have been the days before people figured out i had a blog – just a short but important glimpse into the way we see people and the influence we may have in their lives and the need for intentionality and always holding on to hope – https://brettfish.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/hitlers-mom/

i love God.
some of my best friends are gay and i love them.

this is quite clearly a dangerous piece to write because in this politically correct world we find ourselves in you are allowed to be anything but just not allowed to question anything – each to his own, right?
but i read this article and really thort the author, John Dickson, nailed the topic on the head…

i remember an occasion a number of years ago when i ended up chatting to one of my gay friends late into the night about a whole variety of topics. it was a guy i worked with and so we were probably more acquaintances than friends at the time [we’re friends now] and so we didn’t really know each other well, but the conversation went from hypnotism to ghosts to other spiritual things and eventually after about an hour ended up on christianity [there had been a bunch of us chatting for about the first hour but then the rest lost interest and it was just me and let’s call him ‘J’]

i remember being quite nervous about asking the question but for some reason i just really wanted to know and i knew that if it went badly it could make things difficult for us in the working/acquaintance environment we were in. I looked at J and asked him, ‘So J, what do you think my opinion of gay people is?’ He looked at me and said, “Isn’t it supposed to be love the sinner, hate the sin?” I was quite surprised that he was the one quoting that line, so I asked another nervous question, “What about me, J, have you ever felt judged by me because you are gay?” [he knew i was a Christ-follower and working in a church as a youth pastor at the time] He turned to me and said, “If you judged me, you would never have worked alongside me or come to my house or drunk out of the same cup” and one or two other things.

And for me it has always been that. I now have a lot of friends who are homosexual and they are my friends and I love them. But, according to my beliefs and my understanding of the Bible, I don’t see that as being God’s plan for the world. I really like how Dickson sums it up at the end of his article:

“But there is a third way, based on a different logic. We ought to be able to love even those with whom we profoundly disagree. It must be possible for Christians to question the moral status of sexual intimacy outside heterosexual monogamy while demonstrating respect and care for neighbours who are neither heterosexual nor monogamous. True open-mindedness is not merely accepting as true and valid someone else’s viewpoint; it is the more difficult and noble commitment to honouring people whose viewpoints you reject.”

i think as a christian, it is very easy to have an opinion on the gay/homosexual issue, until the moment you actually know some gay people and are friends with them. then it becomes completely difficult and complicated. the church has far too often made ‘being gay’ a worse sin than any other and worthy of extreme focus and condemnation and we have often lost the basic command of Jesus which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind” but also to “love your neighbour as yourself”

hopefully, day by day, i’ll be able to do that better…

and hopefully get better at being open-minded like John says, “True open-mindedness is not merely accepting as true and valid someone else’s viewpoint; it is the more difficult and noble commitment to honouring people whose viewpoints you reject.”

take a look at the rest of the article at http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/44682.html

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