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Soulsearcher

The Cross in The Closet

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So I've been debating posting a thread about this for the last month or so. My mom got me this book for christmas( lol ok she gave it to me at christmas, but she actually bought it for herself to read) Some people might have heard of the book, some might not have.

The premise is that an evangelical Christian, who has some very strong beliefs about homosexuality and homosexuals reaches what he feels is a cross road and decides to try and take a different look at life. After a disheartening incident with a friend in which he feels he actually might have done more harm that good, he decides to try living his life as a gay man for 1 year. He goes in to the "straight" closet and begins to lie to everyone, friends, family, strangers, just to get a feel for two things, how the world treats homosexual people and what it's like to live in their shoes, but also, and the often missed portion by some, what it's like to live with the lie and be in the closet.

Being the book was being written by an evangelical Christian i wasn't sure what part religion would take in the book. would it be used like the club i'm more used to or would it take the clubbing. Oddly enough, though i know many might disagree, religion got a fair treatment for most of the book. the book covered the authors changing views and levels of disenchantment but many times the balancing factor was the gay people the author had in his life, teaching where to find the balance and to over come the new found dislike for much of what he had been brought up with.

Part of me wishes that everyone would read this. The author has taken flack from both sides of the issue, but in the end i think he covers a lot of topics that both sides need to look at. The author shows some of the down sides and seedier parts of gay life, but also puts it in context and explains, and at the same time works on showing the awareness of the people being the issue with faith and religion, more so than the faith it's self being the issue. Some might see this as homosexual propaganda, or a good man who just got seduced and mislead, but really he ends up for the most part still embracing Christianity, though i guess some would see him as too compromised. I'm still reading the book and each chapter gives me something to think about in both how i'm living my life, but also the standard i judge others against.

a christian review

The Cross in the Closet: A Review | Stand Up for the Truth

Edited by Soulsearcher

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Two things struck me right off the bat:

The first thing the reviewer you linked does is accuse Christians who oppose the homosexual agenda of bigotry.

Nothing constructive comes out of the default assumption that anyone who disagrees with you is automagically a bigot or ignorant.

This isn't dialogue: it's condemnation of those who aren't as "enlightened" as the reviewer (and presumably, the author).

Thank you, no.

The second thing that struck me was the usual canard that "compassion" for the plight of homosexuals requires that eternal law yeilds to the temptations of the flesh.

As portrayed by the author and reviewer, homosexuals are a special class- a breed of flower too delicate to be expected to live up to the same laws of chastity and enduring to the end as any other sinner. Christ's laws are too hard for these wilting violets to be expected to endure- and so eternal truths must yield to a lesser, more "tolerable" standard.

Let's look at your own words for a moment:

"Some might see this as homosexual propaganda, or a good man who just got seduced and mislead, but really he ends up for the most part still embracing Christianity"

The key phrases in that sentence are "a good man who got seduced and misled" and embracing Christianity "for the most part".

In other words, after immersing himself in this culture and lifetyle in the name of "compassion", the author's testimony and witness of the truth have become corroded and damaged- and he now espouses a "lesser" version of the law than the Church teaches.

And you want us to follow him into that mire in the name of "understanding".

Thank you, no.

You are bang-on correct: this is propaganda, nothing more- and it's not worth my time, nor that of any Christian who is interested in clinging to eternal truths.

Edited by selek

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The author shows some of the down sides and seedier parts of gay life, but also puts it in context

No thank you.

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No thank you.

To which part exactly?

The down sides and seedier parts i was referring to were the self loathing and loneliness many feel and what they are willing to do to deal with them. Not really a gay issue being we see it in all walks of life on a daily basis. The situations the author presents do happen outside the gay community, but the author more focused on how his initial perceptions painted things one way because that was the bias he held when entering into this project. Once he was able to get past the bias and see that these were the same issues and coping devices so many people use, it opened up to seeing the people he was associating as just human, not some odd or special class. Which not only seems to fit with LDS teachings, but seems to highlight them and what many on this board say. so i'm not sure why this would be a "no thank you." Or were you expecting gross graphical description? I mean as i said this was a book mom bought and read and then passed on, pretty sure if it was over;y graphic and gross she not only never would have finished it but never would have passed it on to me.

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To Selek

I'm wondering if you made it through the whole review? I only ask because it seems you and the writer of the review are for the most part on the same page by the conclusion of the review. The reviewer also seems to think the author has missed the point of the gospel and think he's gone a bit off track in his beliefs.

Now as for the use of the word bigot, well there are bigots. Against gays, LDS and Christians in general there will be bigots against almost if not any group. The reviewer was commenting on the premise of the book and directing it those who could be called bigots, not implying all who disagree are bigots. There are those who are not as enlightened to stop and think not all homosexuals are active, they hear the term and instantly their minds go to nothing but sex and perversion, with out knowing the person or their "actions" they assume and condemn off the bat and the only way to "repent" is to not just be chaste but to be "cured". These are the types of people who will talk down and preach for the sake of it with out actually caring that they are talking to another human being, they don't care about anything but being right and proclaiming how much better they are. This certainly does not apply to all or even the majority of Christians, but they do exist, just as they exist in any group of people. The author labeled himself as a bigot and that's pretty much where the use of the word came into play.

Now as for compassion, i think it depends on what one sees as compassion. The incident that really made the author stop and look at himself was when a friend told him she'd come out. He family kicked her out and just caused her so much pain and sorrow that she needed someone to be compassionate and not tell her that her life was ok, but that they were there and loved her. The authors first reaction was to try and fix her and preach to her and he really didn't even care about the pain she was in. He started asking if that was really the christian way, do Christians have to go to the extreme of not caring about the smaller personal issues of the person in order to save and redeem them( works slightly different in LDS ideology vs evangelical on the whole saving part i do believe) He realized that when this friends needed love and just a shoulder to cry on he couldn't be bothered to give it because of what she was, not who she was and that bothered him. He already saw them as a special class of sinner and forgot to see them as people. Now for some this isn't an issue, and for others it's a huge issue, they hear the word gay and their minds go racing in a lot of directions they don't need to. The book was geared more to dealing with those people not into working on seeing them as a special class. Also it was his actions towards this woman and other gay people he'd confronted before that made him start to affect the authors testimony and pull him into the mire. I personally think if he'd be raised with the more current views the LDS teaches he'd never had to have tried this project because he'd already have seen things in the proper light and wouldn't have been pulled between such extremes.

I do truly think that your concern about being dragged into the mire with him is only relevant if you are like the person he was. I think if you are closer to the man he wanted to be, finding the balance to love the sinner and hate the sin, i think you'll have more " well of course that's how we should treat people, who would do it any other way" moments. I do admit there could be some that go past that, but i think there would be just as many who feel that treating gay's as people just like any one else who have to atone just like anyone else is outlandish.

Also just a side note about being sure the book is propaganda, there is a portion of the gay community that took great offense at the premise of this project. Their rational being that a man pretending and knowing he had a sure end date really couldn't understand the issues. So he's getting it from both sides.

Edited by Soulsearcher

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