outta sync thoughts on spirituality, church, & life

The Imitation Game

I watched The Imitation Game recently, a World War II film based on a true story.

Some of you will be surprised that a pastor would give a thumbs up to a movie whose storyline revolves around a homosexual and his struggles. And I’m not saying I didn’t struggle with the content at times, but it was still a good story.

I found myself really drawn to the main character, Alan Tures, and feeling the pain he must have felt as he navigated the waters of same-gender attraction at a time when it was not the latest trend (it was actually a serious crime in England). (spoiler alert) No one should have to walk through that alone, but alone he goes until eventually succumbing to suicide in his early forties. Tragic.

But that’s not the point of this blog.

What bothers me about movies like this, is not so much the fact that the gay community is so front and centre these days and that being gay has gone vogue (even in church world). And it’s not that I dislike people who call themselves gay.

What disturbs me about movies like this AND the gay movement in general is:

1) Labelling, Profilling

I can’t believe that in a day like ours where profiling and labelling people is so frowned upon (think racial issues), that the gay movement is somehow immune to criticism on this front. Essentially, if you show effeminate characteristics as a male, you are labeled a homosexual, or at best queer. If a little boy would rather play with dolls than cars - bingo - we label him (and obviously vice versa for females). And no one bats an eye. What?!

Where this is particularly disturbing is when it happens to young children. I loved hanging with mom in the kitchen, was much more likely to watch a cooking show with her over sports event with dad (to this day I’m pretty much out of touch with professional sports). If I’d have been born a couple decades later, I might have been labeled “gay” by my peers, and maybe even my superiors (ie. teachers, parents). What a head-job like that would have done to my psyche as a 6 year old is frightening to contemplate. Yet this kind of labelling is commonplace in our society today.

2) Lack of options, Narrow-mindedness

In dealing with same-gender attraction in our day, there is simply only one good option where mainstream society is concerned: go with it, fully embracing the gay lifestyle. Taking another path (i.e. counselling for Father-issues, or celibacy for the sake of health) is out of the question and actually severely looked down upon. Suggest a young person with same gender issues get counselling for childhood trauma and people think you’re nuts.

There ARE other options.

There always have been. For the person who finds themselves wired a certain way, they can make choices that are different. Even genetics are not a closed door as far as lifestyle-alteration is concerned. But no one talks about this. It’s so narrow and close-minded, more than religion ever was! Reminds me of the same approach to teaching origins of the universe in school. Evolution, a theory, is the only option taught. It’s like a few people decide that only one option is worthy of discussion and the rest of us just go with it. It’s insanity!!

When I watch a movie like The Imitation Game, I’m thinking of my kid’s kids. No one in my immediate or even extended family is dealing with same-gender attraction (that I know of), but at some point in the future, it’s very likely that this will change (especially if our culture continues to glamorize the word “gay"). It could be one of my grandkids that feel that they are bent towards being gay. Could be one of my close friends. Who knows. But we should brace ourselves for that (almost) inevitable conversation one day.

And at THAT moment, I would want them to know these things:

  • that it’s okay for men to feel attracted to other men and NOT be gay (and vice versa for women)
  • that it’s okay to be wired for cooking and keeping house over hunting and playing hockey, and NOT be gay
  • that even if they ARE gay and science one day actually discovers a gay gene (which is fiction at this point) and they have it, that genetics and pre-birth disposition are NOT the main deciding factors on the life you choose to live.

Thank God they aren’t, or from a Biblical point of view we’d all be doomed because we are all born sinners. Genetics and pre-dispositions, like anything else in life, can be overcome. They can and they are overcome daily.

Future generations in the Warriner-clan will likely have to make the choice about whether to embrace the gay lifestyle and I will never take away the freedom for them to choose. But at the same time, I hope they never buy into the lie (as the aforementioned movie portrays) that you’re stuck with the cards you’re dealt with.

And I’ll take them straight to the cross of Christ to show them that the opposite is actually true.

About the author

Tony Warriner

Tony Warriner

Tony is the lead pastor of Evangel Chapel in Fort St. John, and is known for his unique approach to local church & spirituality which many find refreshing and/or irritating :). · Fort St. John, BC ·