Mercy and sacrifice
Matthew 9:3 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’
Matthew 12:7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
When you were condemning "the gays" because of the clear teaching of the Bible you forgot this clear teaching quoted above. Matthew's gospel records Jesus referencing this on two separate occasions. Love is the primary obedience. All obedience flows out of love and compassion. This teaching lines up with Jesus' teaching on not judging others, etc.
But then you came across the blog of Wendy VanderWal-Gritter, who later wrote a book called
Generous Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church, who wrote from a conservative perspective yet really trusted the Triune God's ability to move in someone's heart to sort out their sexual identity.
You also learned about the work of Mark Yarhouse and Warren Throckmorton, evangelical college psychology professors who acknowledged through their own research that conversion therapy, gay to straight, not only did not work but actually did further psychological harm. You read Mark's book, Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors, and Friends and you reviewed it on your blog nearly six years ago. Like Wendy, a conservative and honest assessment of the American evangelical church's "solution" to this "problem."
You read Wesley Hill's memoir on being a gay Christian, although committed to celibacy, Washed and Waiting. You also reviewed it here on the blog in 2010. Hill could not pray the gay away. But he also fears his understanding of the Bible enough to refrain from expressing himself romantically, choosing a life of celibacy, though not of loneliness.
Since then, you have discovered many gay saints and their stories of receiving God's mercy and accepting themselves as they are instead of hating themselves.
God kept showing you Johnboy that he loves people just the way they were. In the same way Jesus loves you just the way you are. Although Jesus never condemned homosexuality, he did plainly teach that his followers should not lay up their treasures on earth, yet, not only do you have a 401k, and own a home, you also taught a couple money classes in church for people to also ignore Jesus' plain teachings. Yet Jesus has mercy on you. I am still in process Johnboy and I hope the process will only make me more merciful and more loving and less and less judgmental. (Obviously, from the last story told here, I have so much growth yet to do.)
Jesus is looking for love