Web video answers: Does God love gays?
RALEIGH, N.C. (BP)--"Maybe you are attracted to men like I am, and you wonder if God loves you."
That's how Jonathan Ervin, a former practicing homosexual, begins a video titled, "Does God Love Gay People?"
The video is posted at TrueLife.org, a website which offers numerous videos of theological experts relaying biblical answers to many moral and cultural issues.
Whether God loves homosexuals may not matter to some "because you don't believe in God or maybe you just don't care what God thinks," Ervin, a 1980 graduate of Liberty University, says in the video. "These conclusions have probably been made because of poor examples of cruel people who profess to love God. They've held up signs that insult and demonize gays and lesbians.
"Well, I know now more than ever that those people are misguided and bigoted," Ervin states. "If anyone truly loves God, they would know that you're supposed to treat your neighbor as yourself.
"The true answer to our question, 'Does God love you if you're gay,' is, 'Yes,'" Ervin says in a narrative between clips of Liberty professors who provide a theological foundation to support his answer.
"God made us, and He knows what is best for us," Ervin states. "The Bible says not to lie, not to steal, not to lust, and these commands were not put in place to keep you from having fun; they are to protect you." People can benefit from "every teaching in the Bible," he notes.
"Think of all the trouble you have gotten into when you have followed temptation and not done the right thing," Ervin states. "Does the temptation make it right? No, it doesn't. Just because you are tempted to do something doesn't mean that it is what is best for you."
Darren Wu, professor of contemporary issues at Liberty, notes in his clip, "God established boundaries for us because He loves us, including very clear boundaries on the expression of our sexuality."
Wu cites a list of sins found in Leviticus 18.6-16 -- incest, group sex, adultery, homosexuality and bestiality and points out that similar lists are found in the New Testament. "I think it's important for us to note that while this list mentions homosexual behavior, it is not listed first," Wu states, "and it is not singled out as something worse than the others. It is merely one of many distortions of sex" not intended by God for His human creations.
Ervin recounts that while engaging in homosexual behaviors "I knew deep down that I was not doing what Jesus would want me to. And I had a deep suspicion that I was going to pay for it." Diagnosed with full-blown AIDS, Ervin states that he might die at any time.
No longer seeking love and acceptance through homosexuality, Ervin said, "I have a relationship with Christ that I only previously read about in a book." Ervin's journey away from homosexuality and into a relationship with Jesus Christ is chronicled in a book he's written titled, "My Secret Place: Living with AIDS & Addiction -- A Man Who Gave Up Homosexuality for God."
Ervin says he believes God continues to give him health so he can share the hope offered by Jesus and also warn practicing homosexuals of the dangers they face.
The video includes statistical data of such dangers as:
-- a 4,000 percent increase in anal cancer for those engaging in homosexual intercourse; double that for those who are HIV-positive.
-- AIDS is the fifth-leading cause of death among those aged 26 to 44, the vast majority of new cases are contracted by men who have sex with men.
-- life expectancy lowered by anywhere from 10-30 years.
Will Honeycutt, also a professor of contemporary issues at Liberty, cites columnist and gay advocate Andrew Sullivan, who "acknowledges that, even as homosexuality gains greater and greater social acceptance, 'death is still a major concern to the homosexual.' In fact, Sullivan says, death is intrinsic to the gay lifestyle, that 'for gay men in America ... death is less an event than an environment.'"
The TrueLife.org video points viewers to Jesus Christ as the answer to souls sickened with sin.
"I think if you are honest with yourself, you will admit that sex has neither fulfilled your innermost needs nor healed your deepest hurts," Honeycutt states. "I may be wrong, but I believe that as long as you pursue sex, money, status or anything else, instead of the God who made you, you will continue to experience emptiness in life."
And it clearly sets forth how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
"Become a Christian," Ervin says. "The transition to a new way of life won't be easy, but it will be worth it. You will be amazed at how the Holy Spirit will help you overcome temptation, and you will never regret following God. You were made for Him."
Norm Miller is a writer based in Richmond, Va. For more info about Jonathan Ervin, go to www.jonathanervin.com.