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LETTER | Gay controversy a difficult terrain

“Damned if I do, damned if I don’t” is an apt adage in terms of responding to W van Niekerk’s letter (“Don’t misinterpret the Bible”, July 6).

Although I am loath to express an opinion on the very sensitive topic of LGBT issues, I am equally concerned that some of my fellow Christian leaders in the city may misconstrue my comments.

Having counselled many gay couples as a pastor, I have come to a better understanding of some of the painful challenges they face in the dominant heterosexual society, notwithstanding the perceived homophobic attitude of the church.

ACDP councillor Lance Grootboom objected to the council’s decision to fly the gay pride flag on the Donkin Reserve (“ACDP councillor flies anti-gay flag”, July 4).

Van Niekerk accused Grootboom of biblical ignorance and listed a litany of Scriptures he believed needed to be “correctly interpreted”.

Hermeneutics is the science of biblical interpretation and scholars who apply this science exegetically agree that the Bible considers same sex unions a sin. The gay debate is a dreadful minefield that can further polarise and divide families and communities.

Christian leaders should be more circumspect and loving when confronted with this conundrum. The gay controversy needs discussion that is rational, prudent and objective without nasty name-calling and ridicule.

All of us, irrespective of our sexual orientation, are depraved and in need of a Saviour.

There are no conclusive scientific tests to prove or disprove “orientation” or preference, except the biblical account of our departure from the divine prototype.

To say that homosexuality is an abomination is not helpful but hurtful. Is it natural?

Is it a norm? Is it the result of nature or nurture?

These questions will not solve the problem. We have to admit that we face a frightening future as a species.

With the advent of humanlike robots, it is too ghastly to contemplate the next 100 years.

I do understand that an attraction to a same-gender or opposite-gender person is not a choice. The moral agency of how we respond to that attraction is a choice.

Addicts may feel justified in indulging in their vice by stating that they never chose to be an addict, but we know that how they process their thoughts will result in their recovery or lapse.

Another observation is that modern man is confused with the emotion of love and equates it with sex. “Phileo” love (platonic) need not be “eros” love (sexual).

The human race is sick and in need of a divine antidote. We become what we think. Manage the thought and you will change behaviour.

I dare not keep silent because the likes of Van Niekerk may feel the Christian community has lost the debate and neither can I articulate my opinion without the likes of Grootboom feeling justified.

This is why I stated, “I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.” Choose this day whom you will serve!

Bruce Woolard founder minister of St Marks Church and pastor of St Davids Church

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