On a March night in 1987, our oldest son — now a Portland business owner — told his mother and me that he was gay.
My first, determined response was to counsel him both as father and pastor, and both academically and biblically, to turn back from this identity. When he tearfully pleaded, “I don’t want to lose you!” I realized that my pontificating was driving him away. I needed to listen and learn.
When I first wrestled with Scripture passages, I was struck by the disconnectedness between the idolatrous and sexually abusive behaviors the Bible condemned in contrast to the high character and integrity of my son. I began to see that my quickness to judge contradicted the Biblical mandate not to judge, and violated the basic command to love our neighbor — my son — as we love ourselves.