A blog written by a former Charlotte pastor entitled If I Have Gay Children has gone viral after he outlined the steps he would take if his children turned out to be homosexual.
Pastor John Pavlovitz wrote the blog on Sept. 17 and says it has been read more than 1.5 million people on his website since he posted it.
In the blog, Pavlovitz writes that "sometimes I wonder if I'll have gay children" and says he thinks about it often.
"Maybe it's because I have many gay people in my family and circle of friends. It's in my genes and in my tribe," he wrote. "Maybe it's because, as a pastor of students, I've seen and heard the horror stories of gay Christian kids, from both inside and outside of the closet, trying to be part of the Church."
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He says that as a Christian he has interacted people who "find homosexuality to be the most repulsive thing imaginable, and who make that abundantly clear at every conceivable opportunity."
He says there are simple steps he will take if his children are homosexual: he'll love them, accept them and pray for them.
"I won't pray that God will heal or change or fix them. I will pray for God to protect them; from the ignorance and hatred and violence that the world will throw at them, simply because of who they are," he wrote in his blog.
"I'll pray He shields them from those who will despise them and wish them harm; who will curse them to Hell and put them through Hell, without ever knowing them at all," Pavlovitz continued. "I'll pray that they enjoy life; that they laugh, and dream, and feel, and forgive, and that they love God and humanity."
Pavlovitz says he won't hide from anything, either.
"[If they are gay] My children won't be our family's best kept secret," he wrote. "I won't try to spare the feelings of those who may be older, or easily offended, or uncomfortable," he continued. "Childhood is difficult enough, and most gay kids spend their entire existence being horribly, excruciatingly uncomfortable. I'm not going to put mine through any more unnecessary discomfort, just to make Thanksgiving dinner a little easier for a third cousin with misplaced anger issues. If my children come out, we'll be out as a family."
Pavlovitz, who spent eight years in Charlotte as a pastor at Good Shepherd Church UMC, says he's excited that the message has gone viral and so many people from different walks of life have connected with it.
"You want people to read the words, that's why you write them," he told WBTV.
Since the blog was posted, Pavlovitz says he's spent several hours a day pastoring to people who have reached out to him saying they were touched by his blog.
He says people have reached out from inside the church, in addition to people who have moved away from the church due to their circumstances and the way they were treated.
"I was prepared for some people to applaud it, and for others to condemn it. That's what happens whenever you put an opinion out there," he said. "I was fully prepared for the waves of both support and hostility that accompany any vantage point, especially on a controversial topic like this."
"What I was not prepared for in any way, were the literally hundreds and hundreds of people who have reached out to me personally to thank me for bringing some healing and hope to their families; for giving them a message they rarely get from Christian leaders," he continued.
"People who haven't ever before, or in many years, are telling me the piece has moved them to engage with God and with the Church, which is the most any pastor can hope for."
Pavlovitz says these types of conversations are not only good to have, they are important to have while retaining your dignity and the dignity of others.
He is now working with a community house church in Wake Forest, North Raleigh Community Church, and hopes to one day create an online church to bring in more people from different walks of life.