My Letter to the Editor

Last week the Herald Whig posted a letter to the editor from a community pastor who shared his extremely homophobic opinions. You can read that if you want.

Kids see community greeting immoral lifestyles
To The Herald-Whig:

As a local pastor, our congregation has been very troubled by the welcome mat being spread out for the “Queer Eye” staff and program to Quincy, especially with the public school system and our kids.

There are churches on almost every corner of our city, with a biblical history and heritage that stand for the very purpose of honoring God and redeeming our lives from personal and corporate corruption and death. Yes, I know that all of the churches have different positions and beliefs, and I can’t speak for them all. But I do speak for those who believe that we’re born in sin and have need of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

According to the Bible, the homosexual lifestyle is just like any other sexually immoral lifestyle (sexual relations outside of marriage), which is condemned by God (Romans 1:24-32, Leviticus 18: 20-25, Ephesians 4:17-24, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), with a call for repentance. Yes, He loves all of us, but He doesn’t accept all of our lifestyles and behaviors. Just like a parent and their children. Parents may love their children, but it doesn’t mean that they love what they’re doing.

I believe we’re doing our children, our families and our community a huge disservice by welcoming and entertaining a lifestyle that is contrary to the revelation of God in the Bible, which actually built our community and nation.

God has not changed, and His word has not changed, and the further we allow ourselves to drift from His truth, the greater darkness we will be walking in. What are we teaching our children?

Pastor Gary Wallace

River of Life Church

Quincy

As I got to the bottom of his letter, properly pissed off that anyone in Quincy would feel confident sharing a letter like that, I realized it was my old pastor. Everything clicked in my head, right then, and I understood with newfound clarity why I had always felt that I hated myself. Because I had been told to from the pulpit. I wrote a letter to him in response (you can read the original version) and after a little bit of revision from the editor at the Whig came up with what was printed.

My Letter to Pastor Gary Wallace
To Pastor Gary Wallace:

Thank you for taking a public stance on homosexuality. Being bisexual, and having grown up in your congregation, it was sometimes hard to express the certainty with which I believed God didn’t love me because of the way he made me. It was difficult to put into words the bigotry and hatred I felt from the church even while inside the church. It was easy for me to say that I felt it, but I didn’t have a way to prove it or really even be sure that it has been as gross as I remembered. So thank you.

You have given me more concrete proof of your bigotry than God has ever given you proof to back the hatred you have publicly shared as a representative of the church. You, among plenty of others like you, are the reason I hated myself for 23 years. The love you showed and taught was temporary, conditional, and always out of reach. That is the example of Christ you’ve shown to me and a lot of people like me. If you’re someone in the church, whether or not you agree with Gary, I hope you agree with me that the way he went about what he said was disgusting. Show the love of Christ to people, bring them to him, and if God decides to change their attitude about something you personally disagree with, trust God to do that. Spewing hatred from the pulpit isn’t saving souls.

The church has never been an example of love. I’m glad I have finally found a community that is. I’m finally proud of who I am, sexuality and all. I’m finally vocal about being proud of who I am, and I’m going to keep being loud as hell about pride until people stop coming to me because they’re scared what the church and their families will do if they come out. If you’re lucky enough not to be straight, know that people love you and accept you. You might not find that in the church but we’re here.

-Steven J Stock

Here is the letter that was printed if you care to read it. I wanted to put it up on my own site to make sure I’d still have it if it got taken down. Also I didn’t come up with the header. Enjoy:

Christ’s followers often don’t show God’s love

Posted: Oct. 17, 2018 4:35 pm

To The Herald-Whig:

Being bisexual, and having grown up in Pastor Gary Wallace’s congregation, it was sometimes hard to express the certainty with which I believed God didn’t love me because of the way he made me.

It was difficult to put into words the bigotry and hatred I felt from the church even while inside the church. It was easy for me to say that I felt it, but I didn’t have a way to prove it or really even be sure that it was as gross as I remembered.

Last week’s letter to the editor has given me more concrete proof of that bigotry than God has ever given any proof to back the hatred publicly shared by a representative of the church. This hatred was the reason I hated myself for 23 years. The love shown and taught to me by the church was temporary, conditional and always out of reach. That was the example of Christ shown to me and a lot of people like me.

If you’re someone in the church, whether or not you agree with Pastor Wallace, I hope you agree with me that the way he went about what he said was disgusting. Show the love of Christ to people, bring them to Him, and if God decides to change their attitude about something you personally disagree with, trust God to do that. Spewing hatred from the pulpit isn’t saving souls.

The church has never been an example of love. I’m glad I have finally found a community that is.

I’m finally proud of who I am, sexuality and all. I’m finally vocal about being proud of who I am, and I’m going to keep being loud about pride until people stop coming to me because they’re scared what the church and their families will do if they come out.

If you’re lucky enough not to be straight, know that people love you and accept you. You might not find that in the church, but we’re here.

Steven J. Stock

Quincy

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