In the past, I would have struggled with wanting to believe those arguments. Now, they just make me angry. I guess a lot of that anger comes from my own emotional wounding. It's difficult to separate that though and not unleash that on someone else.
I also get frustrated because I really want to show compassion, but I also believe in Absolutes and absolute truth. It is not compassion to withhold important Truths and/or to endorse someone's destruction based on political correctness. To me, when a friend says that they are "happy" about their newest "gay relationship" it is the same as a heroin addict telling me that they are "happy" that they got their latest "fix." What am I supposed to say? "That's great! I'm happy for you?" I am saddened and worried for them.
I started asking him more pointed questions and guide the conversation toward his core emotions and wounds. He resisted at first, but more and more he started opening up and expressing his anger, then sadness, and grief. He was in a gay relationship that just ended last week (the day he decided to contact me). He was still holding out hope that the illusion of "gay love" was real and he seemed really angry at me for insisting that it does NOT exist and that homosexuality destroys love.
I didn't let go of my position or assent to his, but I resisted the urge to argue as well. I just kept asking questions about HIM and HIS feelings and encouraged him to focus on that for now ("and we can talk about religion and politics later").
Without arguing, I found a few opportunities to gently point out that what I was hearing him say was that he wanted real love. He grew up in a Christian home and even briefly visited a local ex-gay ministry.
I pointed out to him that REAL love from our mutual religious background is described in 1 Corinthians 13 as:
"patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, it is not proud. does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs,does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
I couldn't restrain myself from blurting out though that these adjectives are the POLAR opposite of every gay relationship I ever saw in 12 years. Not because the individuals were bad, but the relationship themselves were based on each person's emotional disorder.
I prayed and fasted for him (and myself) for two days. I listened to his anger and ranting; while praying and restraining my own reactions. I wanted to show him REAL LOVE and avoid judgement. I have no room to judge anyone. I was in the same trap for 12 years. I just want him to see the truth and avoid making the same mistakes I made.
He texted me saying:
"I really just need to cry."
He seemed to get a lot better the next day. He said he has decided that he really wants his relationship to God to be more important, but said he wasn't sure if he was ready to let go of his "need" for a romantic relationship with a guy. He seemed to be really aware that his boyfriend's "love" was the polar opposite of 1 Corinthians 13.
On Sunday night two JiM brothers invited me to meet them at a restaurant near here. After describing this situation to them, I texted him and invited him to join us. I had explained to him about Journey into Manhood and the groups I lead on Sunday afternoons called M.A.N.S. meetings (Masculinity, Authenticity, Need Fulfillment, and Surrender), but I think he forgot that I had said these were JiM bros.