Rory Feek: Christian Dad with Atheist and Gay Daughters

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Rory Feek,  from Nashville, Tennessee, is a famous country music singer. He describes himself as a conservative Christian and produced many hit albums in country music. He had seen a lot in his life. His first marriage ended in divorce and two daughters, Heidi and Hopie. His second marriage ended with death of his beloved wife, Joey and a daughter with Down’s syndrome, Indiana Boon. Joey, whom he loved so much died with metastatic cervical cancer.

Rory Feek just published a book entitled Once Upon a Farm, in which he talked about his ‘incredible journey from heartbreak to hope and ultimately, the kind of healing that only comes through faith’ 

He also talked about his daughters in this book.

Heidi is an atheist: Many Christian fathers and mothers have this sad situation of having an atheist son or daughter. There are many reasons why atheism has been spreading in our society. But every one has freedom to choose their beliefs.

Hopie is a lesbian: Rory wrote about a conversation he had with his daughter after the death of his wife.

“You won’t understand,” [Hopie] answered through her tears. “You’ll judge me.”

“Just tell me, Hopie,” I said again. “It’s okay.” And she did.

She told me that her friend Wendy is more than just her friend. And that they had been dating for almost a year. And she was in love. I’m not sure what I was expecting her to say, but I wasn’t expecting that. A tear started to fall from my eye now.

“See, you’re judging me,” she said. And without even knowing I was, I was. She could see it on my face, see it in my eyes. “I wasn’t gonna tell you right now,” she said, “you’ve been through so much.” Immediately turning her pain to compassion for me and for Joey.

Later in the book he writes about how he received the news of Hopie’s wedding:

“Guess what?” she said with so much excitement in her voice she sounded like she was in the car with me. “Wendy asked me to marry her…”

Silence.

No, actually there wasn’t silence. I loved her too much to do that to her.

“Congratulations, honey!” I said. “I’m so happy for you.” And the truth is, I was. And I am still.

… as far as the church goes, I am not the judge there either. My faith says that it’s wrong. That it’s wrong for me. And so I will live my life trying to live what I believe. But Hopie’s faith is her faith.It is between her and God and no one else. You and I can try to judge her and condemn her or anyone else, but, honestly, we don’t have any right to cast the first stone. At least, I don’t. Not with all the stones I’ve thrown in my life.

Let us look into this Christian dad and his gay daughter’s conversation to understand the tension between Christians and homosexuals.

1.Don’t judge me, Dad: Christians are judgmental and nasty. This is the view of many people in our society. Christians should reflect the nature of God. God is holy and God is love. God’s love is limited by his holiness. It’s not the other way around. Why does God punish sinners? Why does he send people to hell? Because he is a holy God. We all judge. When we pick up some strawberries of certain quality, we judge against other varieties of strawberries. When we pick up a car in an auto store, we judge against other varieties of cars. In an election, when we vote to our candidate, we judge against other candidates with other policies. However, our culture does not tolerate moral judgments.

2. Congratulations, honey, I’m so happy for you: Did Rory congratulate Heidi when she revealed her atheism to him? ‘Heidi, sweet heart, I heard about your atheism, congratulations, honey. I’m so happy for you’.

We don’t congratulate atheism because we know there is a God and he revealed to us as Lord Jesus Christ.  When some one says, ‘there is no God’ we should tolerate his or her belief and love him or her. We are judgmental towards our atheist neighbors. We don’t say, ‘You are an atheist? I am happy for you’. Because we are concerned about their souls, their eternal souls. In the same way, we don’t congratulate a gay person because we know that God revealed in His word that marriage and sexuality are permitted only between opposite sexes. There is no reason to treat atheism and homosexuality in different ways.

3. It is between her and God and no one else: This is a clever cop out many Christians and church leaders adopted. In the matters on which God’s Word is very clear, we should not say, ‘Who am I to judge? It is between her and God’. For example, I was talking to one of my friends this morning.  He told me he had sex with his girl friend a few days ago. I told him, ‘That is sin’, ‘that is sinful behavior’. He gave me a very uncomfortable glance. An awkward silence reigned between us. I did not say, ‘It is between God and you, who am I to judge?’. God’s Word is clear that sex between unmarried persons is sinful (2 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 5:3; Galatians 5:19; Genesis 2:24; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Matthew 5:28; Mark 7:22; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; Mark 10:6-9; Proverbs 5:15-19). Recently Bill Hybels, the founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, was accused of sexual harassment. He should realize that it is sinful against God and ask God’s forgiveness immediately. In the same way, God’s Word is clear that homosexuality is a sin (Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-28; Jude 1:5-8; 1 Timothy 1:10; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

4.Honestly, we don’t have any right to cast the first stone: This reflects one of the biggest misconceptions of our time: The confusion between criticism and forgiveness. In John 8, a woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus. People who brought her demanded that she be stoned for her adultery. But Jesus told them, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her’ (John 8:10). Here Jesus did not condone adultery. He only offered forgiveness to this woman. Jesus told her, ‘Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more”. We should follow the same approach towards homosexuals. “God loves you, but should repent of your sin of homosexuality’. We should not be saying, ‘It is between you and God and I don’t have any right to cast the first stone’. We are not throwing any stones. We are just preaching what the Bible teaches. It is speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

5. I choose love: Rory said he will host his daughter’s gay wedding and he stated, ‘I choose love’.If you host your child’s gay wedding, you chose love. If you did not host, you choose hate!! This is how many Christians feed the cultural narrative: Christians oppose gay marriage because they are hateful.  Disapproving of gay ‘weddings and marriages’ is not hate. This is not a matter of love and hate. It’s about right and wrong. God established marriage for companionship and procreation. We can see a demographic winter descending over many parts of Europe and America. This is because Christian marriage has become obsolete for many people in those communities.

You can be truthful without hateful. 

As Christians, we do not approve of a Muslim taking four wives. That is not hatred towards Muslims, it is just what we believe as we uphold the Word of God. Polygamy is prescribed by Quran (Quran 4:3), but it is prohibited by the Bible (Matthew 19:4; 1 Timothy 3:2). In the same way, disapproving of a gay wedding is not hateful. We are just following the Word of God which says marriage should be between one male and one female and sexuality should be expressed within marital confinement.

There are many great and admirable things in Rory Feek’s life. Consistent with God’s love, he took care of his wife dying with metastatic cancer and he is taking care of a daughter with Down’s syndrome. Our atheistic culture recommends abortion as soon as you realize your wife is pregnant with a child with Down’s syndrome. Some atheists like Peter Singer recommends even infanticide for children with Down’s Syndrome.  We should commend Rory for practicing Christian faith in his life and showing God’s compassion to his daughter. But, when it comes to gay wedding, he espoused some false ideas. You can love your atheist daughter without commending her atheism. You can also love your gay daughter without approving and hosting her gay wedding.

Peace!

References 

https://www.roryfeek.com/the-blog/i-choose-love

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2 thoughts on “Rory Feek: Christian Dad with Atheist and Gay Daughters

  1. This is pure Bible belt mentality, and garbage. Plus, you are following King James version. How many books were excluded or removed. If being gay was a sin, ppl wouldn’t be born gay. So proud of Rory. I love God, and Jesus Christ is my savior, but I’m not very fond of God’s fan club.

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