The book Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community by Andrew Marin exhibits the meaning of the Gospel’s real teaching. The book quotes Billy Graham, “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love,” to highlight its controlling idea that being loving and accepting are among the primal duties of human beings. Andrew Marin talks about the complex multiplicity of human sexuality, especially nearly universally repressed transsexuality and homosexuality. The book’s preface hints at building a bridge between Christians and the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual) community to encourage coexistence. The author elucidates that the LGBT community seeks the same association with God that evangelicals relish and want to be able to settle spiritually as well as sexually without being judged. In essence, the book Love Is an Orientation is about showing love towards gays and lesbians, just like Jesus Christ, with an objective of helping them sustain their relationship with God. In the book’s foreword, Brian McLaren writes that Andrew Marin is the hero that follows Jesus Christ, who knew how to reconcile humanity.
Andrew Marin is a straight and devout Christian man who has recorded his endeavor of acclimatizing himself to his three friends’ sexualities as they approach him, bearing in mind the lessons of the Bible. The author narrates a story based on his communications with them surrounded by religious study and how he embarks upon a journey to shape his outlook. The initial chapter introduces a fifteen-year-old boy named John who has just discovered he is gay:
What happens in the long run to an individual who begs to be changed every night and wakes up every morning not having that request answered? If John lives to the age of 75, he could look ahead to 21,915 mornings of speculating whether there really is a Supernatural being, or compelling himself that he belongs in the hell because of his sexuality that he can’t understand.
This excerpt from the book points out the desperation and anxiety associated with being different from others. The narration provides insight into the feelings one experiences while learning about one’s sexuality.
The author had studied the Christian approach towards LGBT community in detail and he comments on it by writing, “Christians have given the gay community the impression that only their sexual behavior is worth discussing.” Another passage from the book, “In a traditional explanation of Scripture, gay sexual behavior is identified as a sin, and because of that many Christians have taken that sin and, in their mind, fairly excluded an entire group of people. Think about what that means to a gay or a lesbian person who is trying to discover church,” further draws attention to the discouraging behavior of the Christians towards the LGBT community.
The succeeding chapters criticize the Christian beliefs that provide only three acceptable and severe choices: “being a heterosexual, being a celibate or being a sinner.” The author writes, “Once Christians have presented these three alternatives to a gay person, most consider their job successfully complete as it is now up to the gay person to either embrace or reject this truth.” The LGBT community, as a result, hurls a similar message about the incongruity of homosexuality and Christianity by questioning the keenness of gay Christians to take part in an institution that rejects them. It is clear from the author’s words that he wants us to understand that our objective is not to judge people by our accepted standards, but to devotedly assist people in connecting with the Divine being.
Andrew Marin stresses that the definitive duty of a true devotee of Jesus Christ is accepting others as they are and preaching love. If sexuality did not have to undergo the biased judgments, the LGBT community would not feel rejected, as being modern-day pariahs. He talks about the unconditional love of God and his affirmation regarding those who are different; in the end, what matters the most is love being our topmost orientation in life.
Homosexuality is an important question in contemporary political discussions, yet we still do not comprehend how the public feels about sexual orientation and why it frequently sets off negative attitudes and behaviors. The book Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community is about an unambiguous task to preach the real meaning of being a Christian at heart. Throughout the world, personal religious convictions and associations are naturally seen as influential forecasters of approaches regarding homosexuality. Most religions have a tendency to sort out attitudes related with different sexual orientations as “aberrant,” “irreligious,” and “impious.” This is a must-read for all Christians, preachers, extremists, homophobes, and whoever is concerned about the crumbling humanity as it can help us narrow the gap between Christians and the LGBT community.
. Andrew Marin, Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community (Grand Rapids, MI: InterVarsity Press, 2009), 10.
. Ibid., 25.
. Ibid., 27.
. Ibid., 43.
. Ibid., 29.
. Ibid., 36.
. Melissa M. Wilcox, Coming Out in Christianity: Religion, Identity, and Community (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003).
. Gabrielle Filip-Crawford and Steven L. Neuberg, “Homosexuality and Pro-gay Ideology as Pathogens? Implications of a Disease-Spread Lay Model for Understanding Anti-gay Behaviors,” Personality and Social Psychology Review 20, no 4 (2016): 332–364. doi:10.1177/1088868315601613.
. Andrew K. T. Yip,“Queering Religious Texts: An Exploration of British Non-heterosexual Christians’ and Muslims’ Strategy of Constructing Sexuality-Affirming Hermeneutics,” Sociology 39, no. 1 (2005), 47–65.
Filip-Crawford, Gabrielle, and Steven L. Neuberg. “Homosexuality and Pro-gay Ideology as Pathogens? Implications of a Disease-Spread Lay Model for Understanding Anti-gay Behaviors.” Personality and Social Psychology Review 20, no 4 (2016): 332–364. doi:10.1177/1088868315601613.
Marin, Andrew. Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community. Grand Rapids, MI: InterVarsity Press, 2009.
Wilcox, Melissa M. Coming Out in Christianity: Religion, Identity, and Community. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.
Yip, Andrew K. T. “Queering Religious Texts: An Exploration of British Non-heterosexual Christians’ and Muslims’ Strategy of Constructing Sexuality-Affirming Hermeneutics.” Sociology 39, no. 1 (2005), 47–65.