One Anti-Homosexual United Methodist Pastor

Recently the Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Perdue, a United Methodist pastor in the Virginia Annual Conference, posted a reply on the Gays and Lesbians in Luke page.  At the time I puzzled over how or even whether to respond, and decided not to reply.  I thought to myself, “He’s probably just an old Southern pastor whose title is awfully important to him, who likes to make official pronouncement defending traditional Christianity. Leave the old guy alone.” Words like “posturing” and “insecurity” came to mind, since I am intimately acquainted with them both and can occasionally recognize them in others.

John Huff replied to him, and his response prompted me to re-read the Methodist pastor’s comment. I decided to google him. I figured that anyone whose title was that important to him had probably used it before.  I was right.

Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Perdue Justifies the Anti-Homosexual Rejection Message

There’s nothing new here, but this is how the Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Perdue replied to my “Gays and Lesbians in Luke” page.

I’m afraid I’m not a disciple of yours.  There’s enough evidence to the contrary for me that homosexuality was, is and always will be an “abomination” before God.  As our society continues to change toward gay and lesbian acceptance, one can see how decent men of faith might wish it to be otherwise than traditional and historical theology concludes.  Yet in the end, homosexual acceptance is man made and this interesting theological newly concocted twist (no matter how imaginative) is just another attempt at it.

I wish I could come down on the side of gays and lesbians theologically and morally, but to do so would be to be unfaithful to the biblical text overall and thousands of years of historical Christianity.  I cannot, no matter how I might wish to, tell gays and lesbians that God is ok with their lifestyles when God abhors (hates in the strongest terms) said lifestyles.  It wouldn’t be loving not to be truthful to them in an attempt to give them a false hope of acceptance when damnation and hell awaits.  I for one will not lull them into a false sense of Divine acceptance with this much on the line, even when societal pressure exists to do otherwise. For me it is not the loving thing to do.  I would rather be told the truth and warned than to be placated with what amounts to new, man made imaginative  “fables” just to make me feel better here.

This world is only for a short time while eternity is forever.  Let God be true and every man a liar.


Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Perdue

Except for juxtaposing the words “liar” and “respectfully,” there wasn’t much new there, nothing I haven’t been hearing for years. John Huff’s reply was simple and direct.  “I  suggest you take that Dr off your signature and replace it with Homophobic Airhead.”

When I researched the Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Perdue, I found that my initial decision to leave his comment unanswered, to just leave him be, was a decision I needed to re-think.  As it turns out, Frankie Perdue is just like the rest of us: an ordinary guy coping with adversity and disappointment, struggling to give his life meaning and significance, looking for answers. And, unless I’m misreading his own expressions of personal disappointment, struggle, and searching, he reminds me of me. We are similar in many ways.

After a brief bio, I will share excerpts from some of his formally published comments. Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Perdue is a relatively transparent guy.  He demonstrates a modest degree of pastoral self-disclosure, and some of you know that I value self-disclosure.  His main professional interests (based on the web) include mental illness, grief, and suicide. You will see that two suicides figure very highly in his life and ministry. He expresses some excellent wisdom on the topic of mental illness. I think you will see clearly how his views of mental illness and suicide relate to the problems of gay and lesbian believers–if only his grace and understanding extended that far.

Frankie L. Perdue — A Brief Bio

Now living in Virginia, Frankie Perdue is originally from Three Mile Bay in upstate New York. On Frankie’s second birthday (August 1955), his father committed suicide.  I can only guess how it would be if my birthday also marked the day of my dad’s suicide. When I was a little under 1-1/2 years old my own dad had serious suicidal ideations–i.e., he had a plan. That would have been May or June of 1956. He felt responsible for my mother’s death. My step-mother told me, “He said he remembered that he had you to take care of, and changed his mind.” I share my dad’s bipolar disorder, and I used to experience months of dark, suicidal depression before I was diagnosed.  Meds really help.

Some time after his father’s suicide, Frankie went to live with the Gifford family.  He shares what it was like to grow up living on a farm and hunting for food in a painfully condescencing 2003 letter regarding Vegans that you can read here.  Frankie Perdue’s wife is named Edris Gifford Perdue, so I assume he married into the Gifford clan (2008).

Perdue’s pastor was Rev. David Larkin, a graduate of Elim Bible Institute. Elim was an outgrowth of the pentecostal Latter Rains Movement, and Rev. Larkin was the founder of Faith Fellowship Church, a non-denominational pentecostal holiness church. In the years that followed, the congregation Larkin planted, turned around and planted about eight daughter churches in the New York area, so you see the Holy Spirit in Larkin’s ministry was vigorous and powerful. This was likely Perdue’s formative religious environment. He remembers Pastor Larkin as “a stern but loving father to his kids.” (2008)

The Elim Bible Institute, Frankie Perdue’s first experience with higher education, intentionally remains an unaccredited, 3-year school to this day, awarding certificates and diplomas. One of its most famous recent grads is Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue. (wikipedia)

U.S. Army and Higher Education

After a four-year stint in the U.S. Army (1972-1975) Frankie Perdue used the G.I. Bill as far as it would take him. He graduated from Eastern Mennonite University and Eastern Mennonite Seminary with his BS, MA, and M Div degrees, and earned a D Min from Trinity Theological Seminary.  At his 2002 seminary dialogue presentation, he was careful to clarify that he had more degrees than the program bio had reported.

I only have a BA and an MA.  I framed them myself, and used to have them hanging in the hallway of our home. I’ve attended three seminaries, but never took a degree. I understand the allure of higher education, and what was for me the temptation to find my security and sense of accomplishment in academic degrees instead of God.  I remember thinking in fourth grade, “None of the kids like me, but I’m smarter than anyone else in the class.” Such are the poignant,  and pathetic (as in “filled with pathos”?), roots of me finding shelter, not under the wings of the Almighty, but in the wings and corridors of the university and seminary.

In his letter denouncing Veganism, Perdue writes, “Fact is, life is cruel and survival is about the food chain and where one happens to be in it.” I can’t help but think that this applies as much to graduate degrees and one’s upward career mobility in the UMC hierarchy as anything. It’s understandable–wanting to be at the top of the food chain.

Mental Health Awareness Sunday: “Restored Life”

In October, 2001, Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Perdue preached a message for Mental Health Awareness Sunday titled, “Restored Life.”  I can only express my hope that Frankie Perdue will one day express the same concern and support for gay and lesbian believers who suffer that brutal wall of rejection from their families, church homes, and their communities.

As Christians, we are given the command to “bear one another’s burdens.” When someone can’t carry their own load for a time, we help them to do it. That “load” can be physical, financial, and it can be emotional. Some ways we can help to carry other’s burdens is to simply “be there” for people in mental distress. To genuinely and without a judgmental attitude, listen to them. To gently and lovingly care for and about them.

We don’t have to have all the answers. We can accept one another, even when emotionally distraught or dealing with phobias, or depression, or irrational thinking, or anxieties we can’t explain or fully understand. We can help by being a sounding board and assisting that person to realize they momentarily aren’t thinking clearly or rationally right now. We can help them see that getting help is a good thing to do. We can help by referring them to persons specially trained to help with mental illness issues. . . . We can help by reassuring them that GOD is still with them, even if they can’t sense it or perceive it to be so in their current condition. We can help by affirming to them that they are not alone.

We need to be loving, kind and pro-active when we find someone so struggling. We need to refer that person to those most able to help them find their way out of “the Dark Night of the Soul.”

Sounds great. If only it we could generalize the non-judgmental listening, caring, and kindness for everyone, and not just the mentally ill.

A Theological Response with Tragic Results

A conference was held in 2002: “A Dialogue with Seminaries: Preparing Pastors and Other Caregivers to Respond to the Needs of Persons and Families Struggling with Mental Illness.”  As the first presenter, Perdue shared a moving story about a young man in his first pastorate.

I’ll share a story with you and it may get a little emotional for me, but I think I need to share it. . . .  I had one particular young man that came to our house and he was a
very big, obese young man; . . . he was a cross between Andre the Giant and Baby Huey . . . he was a wonderful young man in many ways and he happened to be the son of the pastor that I was replacing at my first parish.  And he used to come and play with my little kids, and in many ways they were on the same level together because of his simple-mindedness.

But Barry had a lot of problems. . . .  One day we were sitting out under the carport drinking some lemonade; and he said to me, “What do you think happens to people that commit suicide?”

Well, I was full of myself; I had just had all this great theological training and I was so eager to give him a great theological answer, which, I think, I did fairly well. I told him that I believed that persons who committed suicide were probably not whole at that time; that they could not be held accountable in the same way we would not hold a two-year old accountable for certain acts that they would do because they were just not at a place where that would make sense.

And I guess what happened was that in a sense I gave him permission to carry out what he had probably been thinking about for a long time. A week later the news came to me that he had committed suicide–blew his brains out in a rock quarry; and I had to be the one to go tell his father and mother that their son had committed suicide.

I wish I could go back. I wish I had had the training where I could have at least known that maybe the question wasn’t about theology, but it was something more. Maybe I would have had the knowledge to be able to say to that young man, tell me what is prompting this question; what is it that’s going on in your life that is causing you to ask such a question as this? I would give anything if I could go back and change that.

I hope the day doesn’t come when Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Perdue feels such remorse once more, this time after a teenage believer goes home after sitting in church and blows his brains out, after Perdue declared, safely in his robes behind the pulpit, that the kid is an abomination to God, that God abhors (“hates in the strongest terms”) his actions, and proclaimed God’s absolute rejection of people like him–homosexuals.

When your audience is 16, your careful wording doesn’t matter; what matters is how your words are heard, how your words are internalized, how your words are acted on.

“I wish…I wish…I would give anything if I could go back and change that”

Perdue’s regret reminds me of Mary Lou Wallner’s reply to a letter from her daughter.

Undoubtedly, the most difficult part of your letter was the gay thing. I will never accept that in you. I feel it’s a terrible waste, besides being spiritually and morally wrong. For a reason I don’t quite fathom, I have a harder time dealing with that issue than almost anything in the world. I do and will continue to love you, but I will always hate that, and will pray every day that you will change your mind and attitude.

Mary Lou Wallner, on the advice of her favorite Christian radio host James Dobson, rejected her Christian daughter because she was a lesbian. In February 1997 her daughter Anna committed suicide. Mary Lou shared her story in the movie, For the Bible Tells Me So. Read her story here,  here and here.

What do I wish I’d done? What would I do now? Grab my toothbrush, credit card, and car keys, jump in the car, drive to where she lives, and tell her I love her no matter what. I did not do that, and now I never can.

My own son is a committed Christian. In high school he was on the praise team at our church, North Clairemont UMC, and sang knock-out solos. He was the kind of kid who was in church whenever the church doors were open.  But when he told the pastor he was gay, the first words out of our pastor’s mouth were, “What will people think?”

The pastor told him that he couldn’t allow him to be on the platform. Jonathan was still a virgin, mind you, so he hadn’t transgressed, but that apparently didn’t matter. Jonathan was also president of his high school Bible club–he had weekly club attendance between 30 and 35.  The Bible club advisor suggested that Jonathan resign as president “for the good of the club.” After that Jonathan attempted suicide three times.  Evangelical leaders closed ranks against my son. They silenced an innocent teenage boy. God forbid good Christian people should have to work through for themselves the problem posed by one of their own, a young believer they know and love, being gay.  I can only guess at the twisted logic of guilty until proven innocent, of “Kick him out and let God sort it out.”

When teens come out to their parents as gay or lesbian, roughly 25% are forced from their homes.  Here in San Diego there are about 400 homeless youth at any one time, and between 25% and 40% are LGBT. According to the journal Pediatrics LGBT youth are are 6 times more likely to suffer from depression and 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than other young people.

Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Perdue’s Plea

In his remarks at the Seminary Dialogue conference, Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Purdue practically pleaded with representatives from the “ivory tower” seminaries to do something about the real problems faced by pastors.

I don’t care what you’ve got to do, but I wish you would let some of us who have been in ministry a while and dealt with some of these situations come and inform some of the ivory-towered people, you know, what is really going on in our ministries, in our lives, and what we are facing and having to deal with, and how inadequately equipped we really are to deal with many of the things that we are facing.

Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Purdue’s believes that homosexuality was, is and always will be an “abomination” before God, and that It wouldn’t be loving not to be truthful to them in an attempt to give them a false hope of acceptance when damnation and hell awaits.

In his off-handed dismissal of Biblical, carefully reasoned arguments supporting God’s love and acceptance of gay and lesbian believers, I’m afraid Frankie Perdue’s resort to evangelical clichés mirrors the mistake he made with Barry, the gentle giant who killed himself. Well, I was full of myself; I had just had all this great theological training and I was so eager to give him a great theological answer.

Frankie Perdue’s Plea from Other Lips

There are UMC pastors across the country who must try to mitigate the damage done to gay and lesbian believers by anti-homosexual parents and pastors. Let’s hear Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Perdue’s pleas from the lips of Reconciling UMC clergy and congregations in large cities where hundreds of young people have been kicked out of their homes because they are gay, cities where many gay and lesbian couples and singles are searching for new church homes.

I don’t care what you’ve got to do, but I wish you would let some of us who have been in ministry a while and dealt with some of these situations come and inform some of the ivory-towered people, you know, what is really going on in our ministries, in our lives, and what we are facing and having to deal with.

Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Perdue wrote, “I would rather be told the truth and warned than to be placated with something to make me feel better here.”

Okay, fine. When a pastor’s words lead to a the suicide of a young believer, and that pastor has been warned, those words are hateful–full of hate.

  • Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
  • If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For the person who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
  • The one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Maybe the question isn’t about theology, but something more.

Or, maybe it really is about theology after all.


About Ron Goetz

My first wife used to say, "There's nothing so sacred that Ron won't pick it apart." My desire to be a pastor -- that was a temperamental mismatch. She was so patient. If my birth mother had lived somewhere else, maybe I would've become a cold case detective. But I would have had to be J instead of a P, I think. And that mid-life reevaluation, starting adolescence as a GARB fundamentalist and transitioning to a non-theist, that gave me an unusual skill set.
This entry was posted in Dobson Rhetoric, Gay Christians, Homosexuality, Pastoral Ministry, UMC and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to One Anti-Homosexual United Methodist Pastor

  1. As a mental health chaplain, I’m alarmed that Rev. Perdue believes he could control a mentally ill person’s actions. That is hubris. The mentally ill are ill; suicide is a symptom of the illness. Rev. Perdue no more gave the patient permission to commit suicide than the doctor in the neighboring ward gave the cancer patient permission to die of cancer. What he did give the patient, when he spoke of God’s love, was hope and at least a momentary release from the unrelenting darkness of feeling guilty for being ill. Dr. Perdue gave an amazing blessing to someone in deep distress. Since drugs were and are imperfectly understood and response to them is highly individual, there is no guarantee that anything could have stopped the suicide. Believing that he had any control over the eventual outcome gives Rev. Perdue both an unrealistic sense of his power-over, and the pressure of equally unrealistic guilt for having “failed.”

    How does this relate to pastoral care of LGBT folk? In that Dr. Perdue unwittingly points to the “isness” of both, I think it calls us to humility and compassion. Dr. Perdue retreated into “being right” rather than continuing into the pastoral call of “being there,” which is the ONLY responsibility of a mental health chaplain, the only therapeutic way to be with the ill.

    Also, I would not be sanguine about him giving pastoral care to a mentally ill person, or LGBT for that matter, because in his tool kit he carries guilt and fear, and further burdens those who already labor under heavy loads.


  2. Ron Goetz says:

    Regina, Barry’s suicide took place during Frankie Perdue’s first pastorate. He was young and inexperienced, and I think it’s safe to assume that his sense of responsibility and regret still carry roughly the same emotional meaning as then. He could easily acknowledge your point about the limits of chaplain/pastoral responsibility, but still retain the sense of guilt and failure.

    Diane learned the lesson of “being there” with me. Even before I was diagnosed with cyclothymia, she realized that she couldn’t make me happy. And after I was diagnosed, she realized that she couldn’t make me better. And you know how spouses worry about their partners.

    [I know this is simplistic, but it’s nevertheless saying. People who want to help other people (or feel a special competence at helping people less capable than they are), people who want to help people enter the helping professions, go into educational debt to five and six figures, only to learn that one of the best things they can do is simply sit and be there. There’s some irony there, and not a little exploitation.]

    About guilt and fear. I know that fear of hell kept me on the straight and narrow as an adolescent. I think that fundamentalist culture 1) is best at keeping people frozen in the bottom half of Kohlberg’s Moral Development, or 2) only has long-term appeal for people incapable of moving beyond fear of punishment and follow-the-rules religion. In other words, there are cultures and individuals where fear and guilt are the only things that work.


  3. Tim Attwell says:

    Rev Dr Frankie L Perdue’s plea is based not so much on his inadequate understanding of LGBT people as on his inadequate concept of God, which seems to be shaped around a projection of his experience of the fathering and pastoring he received in his formative years. His rejection of LGBT people makes God sound a lot like the Rev Larkin.


  4. Frankie P. says:

    Thank you all for your many insights and comments. I will consider all that has been said here. Blessings and have a great Thanksgiving. Frankie


  5. Wayne Lunkwitz says:

    As for me I met Mr. Perdue through a chatline…a common bond (diabetes). It was only after a long time that I opened my heart to Frankie. I am gay. I was born this way. God has tested me. I lost a dear close friend (also gay). His story still haunts me to this day…Car in the shop for repairs barrowed a ride with a co worker (security guard). At the end of that day this man “forgot” he had a passenger, aimed his gun out the window of the car…pulled the trigger…my friend was only 26. Furthermore I learned of this accident on my Father’s Birthday (January 28th, 1986). History remembers that date for another reason.

    I applaud Mr. Perdue for his compassion toward me as I related my past to him…he is an excellent listener and a very compassionate man. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a hypocrite with a vendetta. I have known many such people. One such person was my minister in a Baptist church. In his fervor he preached the evils of sin and the thought that blacks were a lesser race never to be allowed into his church or his family. (My friend, who lost his life on that day due to carelessness, was black.) I believe in my heart that is not what God intended.

    I see that same thought running through the return comment to Mr. Perdue. “If it is not like us it does not belong.”

    You Sir are not fit to be in the ministry in any way shape or form.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Wayne, thanks for this testimony to Frankie Perdue’s compassion and concern for suffering people. I’m glad (and I see you are glad, too) that his concerned listening was such a blessing for you.

      I’m sure there are many others who can testify to Frankie Perdue’s good character and qualities as a pastor.


  6. My name is Jennifer and I have been a friend to Frankie for the last 4 years. I am a MTF Transsexual and I have known nothing but genuine compassion and friendship from this man. He and I may disagree on some issues from time to time and we disagree on this issue, but never at any time, was there any spiteful animosity toward me for my beliefs. We agree to disagree on the issue and it doesn’t tarnish our friendship at all. We have found that we have more to talk about than just that issue. He has counseled me on several occasions when I have had things come up in my life that have been hard. He has listened and offered wise counsel and not once, has he judged me. He has let me know that he is human with faults just like all of us have and that makes him all the more able to relate to people as a pastor. I am truly blessed to call him my friend!


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Jennifer, thanks so much for sharing your understanding and appreciation for Frankie’s ministry and friendship. You and Wayne both know him personally, and you both agree about his effectiveness and genuineness as a caring pastor. I look forward to hearing from more people who, like yourself, have found his acceptance and friendship to be very positive.

      There are many people in the LGBT community and among their supporters who find it difficult to reconcile these two seemingly contradictory aspects in the same person. I don’t find it difficult, mainly because I am not a two-dimensional cardboard figure either. All of us embody contradictions, real or just apparent, and we do just fine.

      One difficulty here is that a wise and caring pastor like Rev. Perdue is repeating the very same position that many other less wise and caring pastors promulgate. His response could have been written by any of hundreds of intolerant, spiritually damaged pastors with less wisdom than your friend Frankie.

      Jennifer, if the rhetoric used by a crusading anti-gay pastor is identical to the rhetoric used by a caring and loving pastor, how is anyone to tell the difference? That question becomes especially important when the crusading anti-gay pastors would, if they could, re-criminalize sodomy, constitutionally outlaw same-sex marriage, and by law forbid gays and lesbians from adopting children? These are all on the radical anti-homosexual agenda. And they are all (with the possible exception of the first one) specifically directed at homosexuals. These agenda items are specifically against homosexuals.

      This question may be unreasonable, but, as his personal friend, do you have any insight into what his motivations might have been for posting the following reply? “I cannot, no matter how I might wish to, tell gays and lesbians that God is ok with their lifestyles when God abhors (hates in the strongest terms) said lifestyles. It wouldn’t be loving not to be truthful to them in an attempt to give them a false hope of acceptance when damnation and hell awaits.”


      • He adheres to what he sees as a very strict admonition given in the scripture. Where I disagree with him is in the fact that the Bible has been translated no less than 26 times down through History. Early church leaders used the Bible to manipulate and control the masses. I don’t believe that God condoned the murders of so many, because they refused to convert to Catholicism in the Middle Ages. They used scripture to justify so many things that God clearly said were very wrong. Selling forgiveness for money when God was the only one who could forgive their sins for FREE! I believe that they added things and took things away as a means to keep certain segments of the population under control. The Council of Nicea met and removed books from the Bible they didn’t agree with. It is very difficult to tell exactly what was in there originally and what was added by man. My feeling is that we should let God worry about who isn’t conforming to his word because we are clearly told in scripture that we don’t have the right to judge. That is up to God and God alone. The world would be a lot better place if people stayed out of other people’s business as long as they aren’t harming someone. God knows what is in someone’s heart and he has his reasons for creating people to be who they are. He loves deeper and more unconditionally, than we can even comprehend!


      • Ron Goetz says:

        I believe that even if we had an document that we could prove made up of the original documents that now make up the Bible, that we would still have a wide variety of interpretations, sects, and doctrinal systems. I value the work that textual critics have done to insure that current scholars have Greek and Hebrew texts that are as close to the originals as is humanly possible. When it comes to the Greek and Hebrew, we’re not left with that group game where twenty-five people whisper a message to one another.

        But Jesus was not tied to the Law. He abrogated the Law on numerous occasions, was hated by the religious establishment for it, and was eventually terminated with extreme prejudice. According to Jesus, his followers cannot expect to be treated better than their Teacher.

        I am no one’s final judge, although I do make evaluations. If someone is doing concrete damage to a community by their contentious behavior, then a community has the normal right to force people out. But they are nevertheless responsible for their actions. The mere fact that they have a Bible verse to support their action does not absolve them of responsibility.

        I must return to the case of my son. Jonathan came out to the pastor when he was sixteen, a virgin, as gay. He was removed from music ministry simply for having same-sex attractions, not for sin. By that strict measure, no one subject to any sexual temptations at all would be allowed to minister. Period.


  7. wayne says:

    Well, maybe its because the bible clearly states God is not ok with said lifestyle. If you have a problem with the bible, please take it up with the author:)


  8. Tim Attwell says:

    @Wayne. I don’t have a problem with the Bible and I consult the author regularly. The Bible doesn’t say anything people who are same sex oriented . That’s just how they are, as normal as people who are opposite sex oriented. That’s why the Bible doesn’t mention sexual orientation, same or hetero, anywhere. The Bible does speak against the sexual assault of people by people of the same gender in order to humiliate them – as has been alleged happened to Muammar Gadhaffi when he was captured. Homosexual rape is as old as Genesis and Leviticus and as new as today’s news.

    The Bible also has something to say about people whose loveless sexual promiscuity becomes insatiable to the extent that they engage in increasing sexual experimentation and exploitation, preying on vulnerable people of both genders and all ages, in a fruitless quest for some kind of satisfaction which, of course, they never find. This was common among Roman nobility in St Paul’s day (e.g. inter alia Cicero) – hence his reference to it in chapter 1 of his letter to the Romans.

    What the Bible’s author – more correctly, the Bible’s Inspiration – does say is that it is not good for a man (or woman, for that matter) to be alone. Interpersonal love and intimacy is highly prized in the Bible, whether between a man and a woman or between two people of the same gender – think David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, Mary and Elizabeth, Jesus and John. Whether or not these Biblical notables were gay is beside the point and not in debate. The point is that love and friendship are consistently extolled as expressions of the nature and purpose of God and therefore sacred. When two people of whatever gender find wholeness, love and intimacy together their isolation and loneliness ends and deep healing happens, God has clearly been at work. “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.”
    @ Wayne Lunkwitz and Jennifer Campbell. Rev Dr Frankie Purdue’s integrity and compassion are not at issue. It is possible to be a deeply sincere and loving person and also to be profoundly wrong and hurtful without knowing it. John Wesley spoke of “sins of ignorance”. This is a case in point.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Just one response here, Tim. Thanks for distinguishing between same-sex relationships and promiscuity. I believe that many outspoken anti-homosexual folks equate promiscuity with homosexuality, which is quite faulty. There are many gay and lesbian couples who have been together for twenty and thirty years. They would be married if not for legal prohibitions against it. Evangelicals say it doesn’t matter, that all forms of “fornication” and sexual sin are equivalent, but I believe that for many it is the perceived and imagined “unbridled promiscuity” that bothers them, on many levels, including the level of a misplaced and unacknowledged jealousy.


  9. Tim Attwell says:

    Thanks Ron. It’s interesting that the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Doctrine, Ethics and Worship Committee (DEWCOM) discovered many years ago that the partnerships that had the best track record, on average, for fidelity and longevity (out of heterosexual and same-sex male and female long term intimate relationships, whether formal marriages or long term unmarried partnerships) were female same sex relationships. Female same sex committed relationships “out averaged” even formally contracted, religious heterosexual marriages on fidelity and durability!


  10. leeanna crookshanks says:

    Did you say you were bi-polar?!!! Your comments are peppered with extremes! I see no hate in his words.Sorrow, maybe.Hate is at one end of the spectrum, surely but so is love.Acceptance is not necessarily love.A Christian CAN accept a homosexual into their open arms without welcoming the sin.I suppose as a bi-polar you cannot see/acknowledge the grey areas?? I am able to love any and all including the murderer YET not condone an act of murder.I found the Reverand Perdue truthful about views that are not popular, brave even.Suicide is NOT a germ that is passed by infected people, it is still a CHOICE.Attempting to blame people who dont agree with your choices is ridiculous! None of us are psychic and all of us are entitled to speak honestly and have opinions that differ.I see your diatribe pretty clearly-we are to give a nod to all people for all their choices.And if they make poor choices on dealing with their insecurities we are to be blamed.What a bunch of hogwash.Discretion is not the dirty word you paint it.And unless you have personally experienced the pain of suicide, you really arent knowledgable here-you are just an outside speculator and your view already lacks solidity and validity.


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