July 2017
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public letter to John Fichtner on homosexuality, Jesus & the Bible, religious bullying, and love

To John Fichtner of Liberty Church in Marietta
on your claim that homosexuality is a sin, your claim that your judgment is the only valid interpretation, and your heretical, blasphemous claim that Christians should put denouncing sin above showing love:

I'm deeply disappointed in you as a person, and incensed with your behavior. You used to be humble and value truth above pride: you used to say in every sermon, "what I preach is just my interpretation: check with your own spirit, God, and the Bible to be sure." You used to listen and consider the possibility that you might have misinterpreted things. Now you are so arrogantly confident in your authority that you laugh disbelievingly when someone questions your judgment. Five years ago you started down this path when you claimed that "witnessing" was more important than love. Now you've started claiming that your judgment is also more important than love, and that your interpretation of the few times the Bible mentions the word homosexuality is unquestionably correct. I have three things to say to you about this.

1) Your interpretation is based on flimsy reasoning, is certainly not the only interpretation, and in my mind and the minds of many (conservative!) Christians, is erroneous (and comes from your own prejudice). Here's a well-researched and exhaustive explanation of the passages that mention homosexuality. Despite your claims, science and sociology certainly do not say homosexuality is bad, and whether or not it is innate is irrelevant, because it's not a sin.

2) Your presenting your interpretation as truth without allowing your followers to decide for themselves is religious bullying and spiritual abuse. Jesus had a LOT to say about religious bullies -- people who oppressed others because they were so sure they had the "right" answers and the "right" way of living. Here's what Jesus said about homosexuals: "          ." (that is, nothing) Here's what Jesus said about religious bullies: Luke 11:37-54, Matthew 18:6, Matthew 23 (the entire chapter), especially verse 15: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are." Even Paul (who wrote Romans which you claim condemns homosexuality) says clearly that we are each to work out our own salvation. Jesus broke the "laws" of the old testament over and over. Such as working on the sabbath, which according to the popular interpretation of the day broke one of the commandments. Did Jesus sin? or were the "pastors" of the day wrong when they decided that observing the letter of the law was more important than the POINT of the law?

3) The only command Jesus gave was Love, and the Bible says that God is Love. That means that the claim that something is more important than love is contradicting Jesus and the Bible. Even if you were right in your interpretation that "homosexuality is a sin" and in your forcing your interpretation on others, you'd still be wrong in your claim that "fixing" homosexuals is more important than showing them love as they are. 1st Cor 13, 1 John 4:7-21, John 13:34-35, Matthew 22:36-40.

4) Love is NOT deciding that someone else's life isn't good enough and telling them they can change in order to be what you think is right. That's called judging, and in case you weren't sure, judging isn't love and it isn't appropriate for a human to do to another. People are bad at judging others because they aren't omniscient.

You upset me very much with your leading people astray. Your church is filled with loving people who want to know the best way to treat others, and you tell them such lies about what love is! You encourage them to use violence and destruction to make their children obey! despite the Bible saying "don't embitter/provoke/exasperate/anger your children!" I desperately hope that someone interferes with your dogmatic reign; not to punish you but to stop you from damaging all of those souls whom you call tender and then trample.

To anyone else who reads this and cares about whether or not Jesus would consider homosexuality a sin, I encourage you to read for yourself and decide, not accept anyone's claim without examining everything (including the historical context and the translation/transliterations) for yourself.

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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.