Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at roger@preachitteachit.org.

Hello Roger:

I use to attend your church in Tucson and you gave me some great advice about my daughter who "came out of the closet" a few years ago. You told me to NEVER close communications. While she is still in the lifestyle, I have followed your advice and I have learned so much about God through this experience. Thank you so much.

"M"

Dear Reader,

Several years ago M wrote me just after her daughter came out of the closet. Daughter brought her girlfriend home to "meet the family." Things didn't go well. M was so shocked, hurt and angry about daughter's sinful choice of lifestyle that she "tossed" them out of the family and wanted never to see her daughter again. Dad took the opposite perspective. He was deeply hurt as well; but, he wanted to keep the relationship door open. I advised mom to acquiesce to dad's perspective. At the time I agreed with dad and still do. I wanted them to have an open door to help their daughter when she may need support, counsel and love.

I want to use "M's" experience to help us as Christians better to understand homosexuality, gay genes, lifestyle choices and our response to those who live the gay lifestyle.

Recently, I received the following letter with a question that many ask, regardless of whether a loved one is gay or not.

Hi Roger...what would you say to someone who states that they can't help their homosexuality? Someone who believes that they were born that way and that they can't help the way they feel. I'm always at a loss for words when this comes up and I don't know exactly where to point them in scripture.

Thanks,

“L”

Dear “L”

Next to divorce, your question about homosexuality is by far the most frequently-asked “Ask Roger” question.

I remember listening as one dedicated Christian woman declared that homosexuality is without a doubt one of the most heinous sins on earth. She exhibited no tolerance for the behavior and no tolerance for those involved in the lifestyle. From her perspective, homosexuality was unquestionably a personal choice, one which must be “unchosen” if those involved want to get right with God.

As she spoke I chanced a glance at her husband. He was sitting quietly with his head down. He was stunned by his wife's outburst. It dawned on me that he and his wife had never discussed the subject. When she finished I said to husband, “I watched you struggling uncomfortably with what she was saying.”

He paused and paused and finally said, “My college roommate was gay.”

All was quiet. I thought of the Good Samaritan. As long as the injured man by the side of the road is just a “certain man,” it is easy to pass on by. But when we pull back the covers and see a human being, cut and bleeding to death, it's hard to pass on by.

As long as his wife could put all homosexuals in a category it was easy for her to pass by. But when she got down off her donkey and saw her husband’s roommate injured by the side of the road, it was hard to pass by. She was stunned; she had no idea her husband's roommate was gay.