The Washington-based Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual activist organization, has enlisted the help of a Brandon, Miss., mother, Mary Jane Kennedy, the mother of two gay sons, to “take on” and “soften” Mississippi’s (Arkansas, Alabama) longstanding Christian teachings regarding homosexuality in a series of television commercials, direct-mail messages, phone-bank operations, billboards, online ads, and telephone town halls. Commercials will feature people like Mrs. Kennedy, whose credit as a Christian speaker is having led Bible studies for decades.
Dear Mrs. Kennedy,
It is very understandable why a mother would ask society in general, and the Christian community in particular, to accept their children as they are, regardless of their traits, behaviors, and faults. For who can fault a mother, any mother, for loving her sons as they are, regardless of choices made and turns taken in life. It is only right. And, quite honestly, this affection and love should extend from all parents, especially Christian parents, who subscribe to the same Gospel of our Lord, and personal Savior, Jesus Christ, whose mother likewise was no stranger to sorrow.
Your feelings are heartfelt and the love you have for your sons are clearly obvious. It’s my prayer that whatever angst or sorrow remains after learning of your sons’ lifestyle choice, as you so aptly express as spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign television ad, that it be assuaged and you and your husband continue to be at peace with this trying issue.
Mary, the mother of our Lord, as grief stricken as a mother can be, is our prime example in Scripture of the love a mother feels for her son. Her example and quiet resignation to the sorrow she knew to be God’s will perhaps can serve as a model for all mothers in their trying times.
With respect to all mothers (and fathers), we as Christians should love their sons and daughters, many of whom like your sons have sexual proclivities, inclinations, and behaviors of a different type, that invite us to embrace Jesus’ teachings of love, repentance, and conversion.
Your emotional plea to fellow Christians to ‘envelop’ your gay sons into the Christian community is indeed heart-rending and consequentially, causes all Christians to reflect on what qualifies us as followers of Christ, as well as to reflect on what it is to be Christ-like.
Christ commanded we love one another as we do ourselves. It’s my understanding that this command from our Lord is also without condition or qualifiers and should include, not only your gay sons, but the many others who hold or suffer from any number of moral or behavioral transgressions.
As you so aptly remind us, God indeed, through his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, calls us to love each other. But because love is relational, Christ did not call us to love each other, sinners as we be, without the expectation of repentance and conversion. His invitation to follow him, as well as his welcome were not synonymous with “being allowed to do what one wants.” For as Jesus dined with the tax collector Zacchaeus, he immediately renounced his sinful ways. As Jesus saved the adulterous woman from stoning, he warned her to sin no more. And as Jesus tried to change the ways of the heart-hardened Pharisees he hammered them with insults for their dogged stubbornness. And as his own disciples, and many would-be disciples, rejected and walked away from his teaching that His flesh and blood must be eaten to have eternal life, he did not rescind or modify his teaching.
We know you are not asking Christians to abandon Christ’s teaching of love and conversion. Nor do we believe you’re asking them to exclude particular transgressions from the canon of Sacred Scripture teachings. But for many sincere heart-felt, Scripture-believing Christians the prevailing perception is that, with all due respect, you are asking us to do this very thing.
To the point of one’s conversion, there’ve been thousands of men and women who’ve thrown off the yoke of same-sex attraction, or have abandoned their inclination towards it. Is it fair to assume they’ve done so with the help of our Lord and Savior? For as Paul teaches, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. However, it is understandable that not all are able or willing to emulate these courageous souls, in spite of the spiritual or moral challenges that come before them, or any of us. But we can still pray for the grace that it may come to pass.
To ignore the teachings of St. Paul and the early Church Fathers regarding the relationship of homosexuals to the Christian community, and accept homosexual acts as a Christian norm invites the practicing Christian to embrace apostasy. As the loving mother you are, you can understand the conflict this presents to the conscientious Scripture-convicted Christian, in the context of our comprehensive understanding of Jesus’ teachings on love. To accept homosexual acts as compliant with, and consistent with our Lord’s teachings, the Old Testament moral law teachings, and St. Paul’s teachings, presents for the sincere believing Christian a conundrum.
As you know, Jesus came to invite sinners into a personal relationship through which he slowly transforms us, if not into saints, at least to become more Christ-like, children of God we are. And it is by His divine grace through the Church, the community of believers, that all sinners are welcomed. But the genuine welcome into any Christian faith-community, a welcome that is sincere, grounded, and adheres to Truth, can never ignore sin, lest the sinner forget why he has come to the Church in the first place.
It is my prayer that you, and your husband and sons, will respond to God’s grace and continue walking with Christ, respectful that while, like Christ, we welcome and invite all sinners into the fold, that we also obey Christ’s call to conversion.
May God bless you and your family.
Yours in Christ.