Tue Jun 26, 2012, 09:04 AM
sinkingfeeling (29,107 posts)
AIDS in the pews: Son's secret divides Southern Baptist minister and his church
Every Sunday for nearly three decades, Matt put on a crisp shirt and tie, trained Sunday school teachers and glad-handed newcomers. But it was more than that, more than just tradition.
From the Southern Baptist church he drew his purpose, his worth. The calling had come when he was in his early 20s, fresh out of the Army.
But that all ended 17 years ago.
In 1991, after 25 years of defining himself by his position in the church, Matt Nevels' faith abruptly and irrevocably collided with the death of his middle son.
To acknowledge that Stephen had kept a secret like that would shatter the image of his family. All sins were equal to God, but not to many in the church. There was something about homosexuality that made people want to turn away.
How was a man supposed to read Scripture? What else did the church get wrong? Can you toss out certain parts of the Bible and not others? Why were divorce and premarital sex and greed -- all condemned in the Bible -- overlooked but not homosexuality?
He had watched Stephen die, holding on to God with one hand and the hand of his partner with the other -- unapologetic to the end.
A very good read about a minister finally seeing the light
BIBLICAL ORTHODOXY WITHOUT COMPASSION IS SURELY THE UGLIEST THING IN THE WORLD. - FRANCIS SCHAEFFER
2 replies, 994 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)
Tue Jun 26, 2012, 09:30 AM
Ilsa (33,157 posts)
1. That was a wonderful article.
It's hard for people to change a lifetime of religious belief, but experiencing those conflicts gave Matt and his family a chance to see the other side.
It's a shame that families can't accept their own kin for what they are.