In this time of conflict about ‘Pray away the Gay’ – where sometimes well-meaning pastors feel it their bounden duty to ‘pray for’ the conversion of a gay person to become a more potentially ‘Christian’ heterosexual – this timely article, by Jeremy Marks, takes time out to reflect on the actual nature of prayer. True prayer has as much to do with listening to God as it is telling God what WE want, or, sometimes, what God ought to do – about a situation that we judge to be wrong with another person’s life.
The very idea of ‘Praying away the Gay’ has now, thankfully, been understood to involve taking a mistaken initiative to ‘convert’ a person’s innate, God-given sexual orientation that we consider to be sinful, in order to render them part of the more prevalent heterosexual ‘norm’ – which we consider necessary in order to fit in with the more common binary sexual identity as either male or female.
The FACT that at least 10% of the world’s human beings are NOT created with a binary sexual identity is now a well-known and inescapable scientific and sociological reality. The question might be asked: “Did God create LGBT+ people as some sort of cosmic joke? Or are they simply a part of the great diversity of God’s creation that God intended?” Christians – as well as others – have to live with those questions, and to think of the consequences of trying to interfere with the inner reality of a person’s gender/sexuality, thus taking the awesome responsibility of ignoring God’s own edict that everything God has created is good?
Father, Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand
Jeremy Marks, Founder of Post-Courage and Winner of the Colin Blakely Lifetime Achievement Award