Polycarp, thank you for sharing that very personal bit of information. It helps me understand where you’re coming from better. And let me be the first to say that I see nothing wrong with two males (or two females) having a very close personal relationship with each other, with mutual respect and love. It’s the physical act of fornication or adultery that I believe is sinful (though each person must make their own decisions and hold their own views–what am I, the self-appointed sex police?), not intimate friendships with others of the same sex.
This thread has kind of split into two different ones, one dealing with my personal struggles with coming to terms with my sexuality, and the other dealing with the hypothetical question I raised in the OP. I think it’s been made pretty clear that ethically, I must ultimately leave the decision to engage in a harmful activity to the free agency of my friend, rather than trying to force my views on him. I find that this is often my dilemma, walking the fine line between encouraging destructive behavior by my words (or silence), versus trying to unduly influence my friend to come around to my way of thinking. It’s clear: he must make his own choices, regardless of what I say or do.
As for the personal part of this thread, I’m in the process of coming to terms with who I am, and yes, even coming to terms with my sexuality. It is crystal clear to me that God does not approve of homosexual behavior and that He is offended by it. I cannot prove this to anyone else, though. But as I have noted in many other threads, there’s a difference between homosexual feelings and homosexual behavior. God doesn’t condemn me for having these feelings as long as I don’t act upon them.
I’ve experienced persecution and prejudice that were very hurtful to me regarding my sexual orientation. One of my older relatives expressed horror and disgust that people would ever let “one of THEM” [homosexuals] lead a troop of Boy Scouts. As if all of THEM were child molesters or something. Another relative noted that he could spot a “fag” a mile away (which he was apparently mistaken about, since I was considerably closer than a mile away from him, ). And the incredible bigotry of many well-meaning but prejudiced people who condemn both the feelings and the behavior associated with homosexuality has not left me unscarred. So I’m not saying that all gays are evil, nor am I saying that their sexual orientation is something to be condemned.
The purpose of this thread was merely to get opinions on how much tolerance is too much tolerance. I think I’ve found the answer, and it’s a difficult one, as circumstances will be different from person to person. The answer is to respectfully discuss the issue, not condemn or enable them, and show love and concern rather than judgment. And if they still choose to engage in homosexual behavior, well, that’s none of my business after I’ve spoken with them about my perspectives. Their free agency must be respected, and that kind of respect has always been hard for me to espouse for some reason.
Okay, I think I’ve dealt with most of the issues raised here, so I’ll post this now before my rambling becomes incoherent. Thanks to those of you who contributed to this thread.