You’ve done it this time, pastor John!
The word ‘provocative’ barely does justice to the contents of John Pavlovitz’s ‘Stuff That Needs to be Said’ blog.
And he most certainly ruffled feathers last week when he addressed the question “what if my kids turn out gay?” His post attracted over 2,000 comments! Among the first to tear into Pavlovitz, a pastor in California, was “Greg”:
I find this extremely sad. How can a supposed pastor glorify sinful behavior? If my kids thought they were gay I would be doing everything in my power including never ending prayer that my child would stop the sinful behavior.
Here’s a taste of what Pavlovitz, a father of two, said to raise the the blood pressure of “Greg” and many more of his ilk:
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll have gay children. I’m not sure if other parents think about this, but I do; quite often.
Maybe it’s because I have many gay people in my family and circle of friends. It’s in my genes and in my tribe? Maybe it’s because, as a pastor of students, I’ve seen and heard the horror stories of gay Christian kids, from both inside and outside of the closet, trying to be part of the Church?
Maybe it’s because, as a Christian, I interact with so many people who find homosexuality to be the most repulsive thing imaginable, and who make that abundantly clear at every conceivable opportunity.
He asserted that if any of his children grew up gay, he’ll make no secret of the fact:
I won’t talk around them in conversations with others. I won’t speak in code or vague language. I won’t try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, and I won’t try to spare the feelings of those who may be older, or easily offended, or uncomfortable. Childhood is difficult enough, and most gay kids spend their entire existence being horribly, excruciatingly uncomfortable. I’m not going to put mine through any more unnecessary discomfort, just to make Thanksgiving dinner a little easier for a third cousin with misplaced anger issues.
But he will pray for them:
I won’t pray for them to be made ‘normal’. I’ve lived long enough to know that if my children are gay, that is their normal.
I won’t pray that God will heal or change or fix them. I will pray for God to protect them; from the ignorance and hatred and violence that the world will throw at them, simply because of who they are.
I’ll pray the He shields them from those who will despise them and wish them harm; who will curse them to Hell and put them through Hell, without ever knowing them at all. I’ll pray that they enjoy life; that they laugh, and dream, and feel, and forgive, and that they love God and humanity …
Towards the end of a beautifully written piece, Pavlovitz said:
As you’ve been reading, you may have been rolling your eyes, or clicking the roof of your mouth, or drafting familiar Scriptures to send me, or praying for me to repent, or preparing to Unfriend me, or writing me off as a sinful, evil, Hell-bound heretic … but with as much gentleness and understanding as I can muster; I really couldn’t care less.
In an earlier post, he accused “the Church” of choosing “lousy battles”.
We know you like to fight, Church. That’s obvious.
When you want to, you can go to war with the best of them. The problem is, your battles are too darn small. Fast food protests, hobby store outrage, and duck-calling Reality TV show campaigns may manufacture some urgency and Twitter activity on the inside for the already-convinced, but they’re paper tigers to people out here with bloody boots on the ground.
Every day we see a world suffocated by poverty, and racism, and violence, and bigotry and hunger; and in the face of that stuff, you get awfully, frighteningly quiet. We wish you were as courageous in those fights, because then we’d feel like coming alongside you; then we’d feel like going to war with you.
Church, we need you to stop being warmongers with the trivial, and pacifists in the face of the terrible.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn