Home Depot, Homosexuality and Me

You work at Home Depot?!

That's what I got from some of my friends when they learned how I'm spending some of my retirement time. I thought at first that the horrified look was all about that weird opinion that I deserved better after being a pastor for forty three years. For the record, when in the service of the Lord, there are no menial jobs. "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men." Colossians 3:23 Indeed, I've had a blast trying to live up to this biblical principle. Amazing how it changes your attitude toward the most menial of jobs. Judging from my first three performance reviews it would seem my bosses are pleased too.

It turns out that my friends' surprise was over something else altogether. They couldn't believe I worked for a company that "supported" the gay agenda. My first reaction was to feel that if HD is as evil as they said it was, what better place for me to be? Didn't Jesus have a habit of eating with not-so-savory individuals?

It's delicate and personal for me

I don't come at this in a detached judgemental manner. See, a few years ago I lost a son to AIDS after living a gay life for 20 years. I was holding his hand when he took his last breath. I wear a wrist watch he gave me the Christmas after he died in November. Yes, he'd prepared his gifts knowing he probably wouldn't make it to Christmas. So before you pounce from whatever direction, know that you're treading on some tender ground.

Yes, it's wrong

I believe homosexuality is unnatural, self-destructive and wrong. The first two are self-evident to anyone not blinded by political correctness. To say it's wrong implies some standard by which to assess right and wrong. Mine is the Bible. Aside from various direct statements on the theme, the seventh commandment should be enough to show God's mind on the matter. "You shall not commit adultery." Exodus 20:14 That prohibits homosexuality? Read on.

Whenever God says, "Don't do something," it's positive is implied; conversely, whenever God says "Do something," its negative is implied. For instance, when He forbids us to steal, implied is a call to work hard and to be generous with our earnings. That's how the command is interpreted in Ephesians 4:28. "Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with is own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." So what would be the positive implied by the prohibition of adultery? You must promote both the purity and permanence of marriage as God designed it. Homosexuality fails that test.

So you think this way of interpreting God's commandments is a bit fanciful? No, it just applies to God's Word the same rules of interpretation we routinely practice in everyday life. My wife may call out, "Drive safely," as I wheel out of the drive. I instinctively understand that she means, "Don't do anything stupid on the road." A well deserved admonition, since I've had two fender-benders in the last two months.

So what do I do about Home Depot

Homosexuality isn't the only thing that is unnatural, self-destructive and wrong. So is smoking and greed and a thousand other practices our society takes for granted. If I avoided every engagement with companies and institutions that practiced something I deemed wrong, I'd be a hermit. Home Depot's policy is consistent with its commitment to diversity across the board. You'll see that there is a commitment to treat Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians and women fairly as well as homosexuals. I'm sorry HD buys into the politically correct notion that a chosen lifestyle is in the same ballpark with gender and race. But, like it or not, that position is consistent with our country's laws and current society's mores. I know some will quarrel with my calling homosexuality a chosen lifestyle, but that's another hub.

In but not of the world

Just before Jesus was arrested and crucified, He entreated the Father on behalf of his disciples whom He was about to leave. It's the true "Lord's Prayer" found in John 17. (What we usually call the "Lord's Prayer" should be called the "disciples' prayer" for it was a model prayer intended for his followers.) Jesus is concerned that his disciples be united and protected during the time in which He is not physically present. Though he will leave them in the world, He asserts, "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

That's the position Christians find themselves in. We are necessarily in a world that is corrupt and dying but we are not of it. That means that our source of strength, our sense of identity, our guidance and loyalty lie beyond this world, in the court of heaven. God has not called his people to change the world, but to live faithfully in it until He returns to change it himself. It gets hard and it feels lonely. Jesus also said, "Lo, I am with you always." If that's the case, a lifetime in this world ain't so bad!

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Comments - I'm listening 22 comments

liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thanks Pamela for your kind sentiments. Ben died almost exactly four years ago on November 20. Your timing is perfect.


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

I am sorry for your loss. How poignant and a blessing that you were able to be there holding his hand as he departed to go on ahead.

Best, best wishes to you and your family.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago

Thank you , then I will or say say I'm here for Ben !


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thanks, ahorseback, for stopping by. I'm moved by your shopping HD in honor of my son. His name was Ben.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thanks, phdast7, for your kind and encouraging note. Yes we still grieve our son's death, but he's in God's hands now. What could be more comforting.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago

One day man will learn to love all of Gods children too. In spite of what others think say or do . Your unconditional love for your son is Godly ! I .am proud of you . .........:-} And I buy from HD, now I will do it in honor of you and your son......:-}


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Thank you for a balanced, reasonable, biblical, and loving understanding and approach to these issues and concerns. You write well and with humility, but a desire to bring clarity.

I am very sorry for the loss of your son; I have three grown sons and I cannot fathom what it would be like to lose one of them. Blessings.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Good to hear from you Cassie. I appreciate your encouragement. This hub has garnered the most hits all. So I guess I'm touching on a nerve.


Cassie Smith profile image

Cassie Smith 4 years ago from U.S.

Hi liftandsoar. This hub was very moving and I'm in complete agreement with your position regarding home depot and homosexuality. A lot of non-religious people assume that because we don't condone homosexual acts that it automatically means there is hate against gays and lesbians and companies that support diversity to include homosexuals. It's really a very facile perception. Thank you for writing a great hub.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thanks, vector7. Your comments are hugely encouraging. I'm glad it's Christ you see, not me.


vector7 profile image

vector7 4 years ago

I stand under Christ in admiration. Young(er) men [I'm quickly aging it feels] need more exemplary men like yourself.

I often find myself humbled and encouraged that I can do better when I see Christ in another.

God bless you and yours immensely. He already has me through you. I needed this.

Will surely read more of your wisdom, obviously given by God, when time permits. It's people like you that give me hope.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thank you, Melindas Mind. Your comments are certainly true. My son taught me a lot about loving folks who are not like me. We miss him.


Melindas Mind profile image

Melindas Mind 4 years ago from Oregon

You said what I've said numerous times. Homosexuality is a sin, but so is lying and gossiping and I haven't met a Christian, yet, who isn't guilty of one or both of these sins. It's angers and saddens me to see how the Christian community treats homosexuals, and brings to mind the parable of the plank in our eye. It's also very frustrating to me when a homosexual is surprised that I'm a Christian because "no Christian has ever been nice to me before". We are supposed to be the light of the earth, an attraction to nonbelievers, and this is how we treat people? Grr. Homosexuals have become the Samaritans and Lepers of the Christian community, and Jesus was pretty clear in his treatment of them.

I'm very sorry to hear of the death of your son, and very glad to hear that you didn't allow his choices to tear your relationship apart, as many Christian families do.


RayBurton VMI73 4 years ago

Frank,

Thanks for pointing me to this posting. I am SO sorry for your loss.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi again :)

Thank you.

I respect your views and can tell that you would love the person, while disapproving of the behaviour ~ especially in someone so close to you.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

So good to hear from you Trish. And, no, I'm not in the least offended. Actually given our past friendly exchanges in which we've recognized how we come at issues from different world and life stands I'm not at all surprised at your disagreement, albeit very thoughtfully and sensitively expressed.

I hold that homosexuality is unnatural in the sense that it is not the relationship for which our bodies were designed. That seems to me a bit obvious. I grant that homosexual relationships may seem natural to the person who deems him/herself homosexual from birth. Further, given our fallen condition much that God calls sin, feels very natural to us. Milton in Paradise Lost has Satan exclaiming "evil be though my good." And so it is with many. I realize, I'm using Christian terms that you have rejected, but you do understand what I mean. Terms like "God", "sin" and "fallen condition."

I believe homosexuality is self-destructive in that it obsesses over the sensual to the degree that unhealthy practices are applauded so long as there is an immediate pleasure. Admitedly the same can be true of heterosexual activity. But they seem specially severe in connection with homosexuality. I don't elevate homosexualitiy to a super-sin. Smoking and greed and promiscuous heterosexual contact is also self-destructive.

Of course, I believe it's wrong because declared so in the Scriptures. Your Leviticus quote is not an expression of an ancient God-endorsed prejudice. It was a command that pertained only to the priestly tribe of Aaron. It was designed to teach both priests and people at large that an absolutely holy God cannot tolerate imperfection of any kind. It was a temporary command. God in the flesh, Jesus, later touched lepers.

I think we would agree that one can love another without approving of particular behavior that other person may have. The homosexual community insists that they not only be loved, but approved. However I believe my son knew I didn't approve of his behavior. He also knew I loved him. We Christians have a long way to go in showing love to those whose behavior we must reject.

Thanks Trish for stopping by. I always profit from your comments. Thanks also for your condolences regarding our son. You've become a dear friend.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hello LiftandSoar :)

First, may I say how very sorry I was to hear of the sad loss of your son. My heart goes out to you and your family. You must all have suffered ~ and be suffering ~ greatly.

Having read about your personal experience, which must have been difficult for you to share, I sincerely don't wish to offend in any way, but I am a little surprised that you still find homosexuality 'unnatural, self-destructive and wrong'. A number of Christians, whom I have encountered, have changed their minds, after finding that a loved-one is gay ~ or, indeed, after acknowledging that they, themselves, are gay.

I would agree with HD, actually, that homosexuality ~ like gender and 'race', is not chosen, but is something inborn. I do wonder, though, if, perhaps, a tendency can be triggered into full-blown homosexuality in some, while, in others, it might lie dormant. I just don't know, but I do think that we are all on a sort of sliding scale.

Homosexuality may be unusual ~ ie a phenomenon of the minority ~ but I wouldn't say that it was unnatural, because it has existed for as long as anyone can know and it also exists within the animal kingdom. I think, therefore, that it is a natural, rather than an unnatural, phenomenon. Maybe gay people, like barren people and older people, are on earth to help care for all the children. Maybe the existence of homosexuality is a natural brake on excessive population growth. Who knows?

I don't think that homosexuality has to be any more self-destructive than heterosexuality. It depends on the individuals and on circumstances. Sadly, though the horror that is AIDS often appears to be a scourge on the gay community, it is not solely a problem of homosexuals. Heterosexuals can get it, too, and they can contract other diseases. And emotional problems can result in both types of relationship.

You think that it is 'wrong', but I must ask, with all due respect, can it be 'wrong' to be as nature / God / your parents produced you? I don't see how it can be. I know that Leviticus 18 and 20 condemn homosexuality, but this may reflect the prejudices of that society, rather than the wishes of God.

After all, prejudices are reflected in Leviticus 21:17-21, which would now be considered very unpleasant:

"Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God."

According to the Bible, Jesus said 'Love one another', and I think that you are right to love HD, homosexuals and everyone else. I think that this is right, regardless of one's religious beliefs. It is only by caring for the rest of the human race that we can make this a happier and safer world.

Thank you for this hub. Again, my sincere condolences to you and your family.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Glad he found them helpful, sis. Hope you and yours are off to a great new year!


Ruth Lightcap 4 years ago

Frank, Ray read this and several of the others hubs and was very moved and challenged by them. He asked me to tell you this.


daleamy profile image

daleamy 4 years ago from Spring Hill, TN

Thanks for writing a difficult hub, for loving your son unconditionally, and for still standing on Biblical pinciples with a loving and respectful attitude.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thanks, Seek-n-Find. I wrote it through tears this a.m. early and then let my wife read it before publishing. Appreciated her support. She also found a few typos :-)


Seek-n-Find profile image

Seek-n-Find 4 years ago from Illinois

You've written on a topic in which there is much controversy. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your son--thank you for including this part of your story in the Hub. It shows the real lives and the real emotions of the writers behind these Hubs. There are opinions and there are beliefs and you've written well of your beliefs. May this new year be filled with good things to come for you and your family. Blessings.

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