Just one brief comment on the Christian musician Vicky Beeching’s coming out.
I’ve met Vicky once, when she attended my confirmation in the Church of England at St. John’s College, Durham, where I was based at the time. I was touched that she wanted to attend, and I was grateful for her warm friendliness.
Sean Doherty tweeted yesterday morning after the story was published, “Respect to @vickybeeching today – should not be but *is* still hard to come out and praying for you that you are overwhelmed with support.” I think that’s just exactly right, regardless of where your convictions about sexual ethics fall.
It’s easy for me now, as someone who writes and speaks publicly and frequently about these matters, to forget how difficult it was at first to talk with anyone about my sexuality. Despite the fact that I had a loving, close-knit family, an especially committed group of friends in high school, and an unusually sensitive, thoughtful youth pastor, it still took me until college to tell someone about my feelings. And even then, I was deathly afraid of what my peers would think.
I’ve spent the week here in Grand Rapids at a forum to discuss sexuality questions, and one of the other participants, Tim Otto, spoke yesterday about how so much of his life, prior to coming out, was an effort to become a really good liar. I knew exactly what he meant: When you’re in the closet and you want to remain there, as I did, you carefully police every word and gesture in hopes of convincing the world that you’re actually attracted to the opposite sex.
The first person I came out to listened to me for as long as I wanted to talk. I could barely form a coherent sentence. My face was red with embarrassment. It felt like I had sawdust caking the inside of my mouth. He waited for me to finish before he spoke. Perhaps because he was a professor, I felt that I needed to end my story with a question for him. But he quickly waved that away and simply assured me that God loved me and that he wanted to meet again. And there was something healing in that—to know that, whatever questions remained, the God I had met in Jesus Christ would somehow provide the grace I needed to move forward.
I hope Vicky Beeching experiences that same love.
You’re Gay and God Loves You!
I’ll admit 2 things, I do not really understand what you guys are trying to accomplish here at Spiritual Friendship and I have never heard of this Beeching person. Is your message “God loves you”, well, if you know God at all, I think that’s a given. Is your emphasis more on how to be gay or how to love God?
The better or rather more pertinent point is “you’re gay, so what, do you love God”? If you do, then you better hand on because it’s going to be a bumpy ride, to put it mildly.
I read the interview at the link you posted, and a few of her comments stuck out.
“I remember kneeling down and absolutely sobbing into the carpet. I said to God, ‘you have to either take my life or take this attraction away because I cannot do both.'”
“I would find myself at these events that were anti-equal-marriage rallies, but I was only booked to sing so there was no way I could say anything. If I had, I would have got kicked out.”
“Beeching went to visit Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall,…”They said, ‘Be yourself and everything will follow.'”
“Beeching and her parents have agreed to disagree on the theology around homosexuality. It’s a picture of what is possible, even when you don’t agree, that love can supersede everything.” She hopes the Church of England can one day follow suit.
“What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love. I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people…”
That last quote “God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people”.
It really depends on what she is going to communicate and from what she has said in this interview I have a very uneasy feeling that it is not going to be that God loves us despite our brokenness.
I guess that’s what I do not understand, most, about this blog…Do you guys consider homosexuality to be a part of our brokenness? Thomas Hopko has said there are 2 views on same-sex attractions, “it is either a gift to celebrate or a cross to bear”, which is the view here at SF?
If Ms. Beeching would have seen it is this light I think she would not have considered her life a waste, “”Thirty-five is half a life,” she says, sadly. “I can’t lose the other half. I’ve lost so much living as a shadow of a person.”
I think this post by Fr. Michael from http://holynativity.blogspot.com/2014/05/why-does-life-have-to-be-so-hard.html hits the nail on the head.
“The door of Heaven,” St. Isaac says, “is opened by the hand of trials.” Whether we enter or not is up to us. If we enter, or seek to enter, then the trial becomes a means of personal transformation, a context for a new and deeper intimacy with God, an opportunity to love others as God loves us. But if we don’t, if we turn away from God, then the trial becomes meaningless. The suffering is just as painful, but it is now empty. God seems far away and instead of polishing us and transforming us to be more like ourselves, more like our better selves, the selves we long to be; instead of this, the suffering becomes a corrosion eating away at us, producing bitterness, and driving us into an insular mental reality that blames everything and everyone else and makes love stingy, something we mete out in small bits, something that shrinks and does not grow within us.
As long as we live in this world, there will be suffering, trials and tribulation. There is no escaping it. The world is broken, sin has distorted everything. What remains for us is not whether or not we will suffer, but whether or not we will, like Christ, find Life in death; whether or not we will, like Christ, willing lay down our lives for one another; whether or not we will, like Christ, be transformed and transfigured and drawn close to our Heavenly Father by drinking willingly the cup that has been given to us, the cup of trial and suffering in this life.
A wild Readily-available-answer-to-your-question appeared!
Readily-available-answer-to-your-question uses “Inform”
Poke around see what you find! There’s quite a bit of content here to chew on, and I think you’ll find your question to be answered and then expanded a great deal.
I have poked around quite a bit, but most of the time I am left scratching my head wondering, what and or why?
I’ll also admit that I have a problem with Christians calling themselves “Gay” and encouraging others to “come out”. There is way to much baggage attached to that word. And you just confuse people by forcing them to think of you not as a man or a woman, brother or sister in Christ but rather as a gay person. As some kind of special entity all in itself.
Ron has said (somewhere on this blog?) “For me, then, the fundamental issue is to find the most straight-forward way to clarify concepts using the language I have available to me. I think that the word “gay” is ambiguous at best and in many, if not most contexts, closely associated with an attitude towards my sexual attractions that I do not, in fact, hold. I will therefore usually, if I’m writing an article or speech, try to figure out how to describe my own experience without using the word “gay” or identifying myself as “gay.” But I am willing to use it if I believe that I can communicate my meaning more straight-forwardly with it than without.”
“Words are used to get at concepts. But in our culture, there is a great deal of confusion about the underlying concepts we use to understand homosexuality. This translates into confusion about the words we use. That’s why I wrote nearly 2000 words clarifying the underlying concepts before I even began to answer your question about whether I would be willing to identify as a “gay Christian”?
Hello! If you have to use 2000 words to clarify something then you may have a problem. Don’t you think?
He says elsewhere, “But experience has taught me that a number of Christians will make a big deal out of my language choices. Hopefully, this explanation will help at least some people understand why I don’t think the distinction between “gay” and “same-sex attraction” is actually as helpful as many orthodox Catholics (and Evangelicals) believe.”
I would have to disagree, ex. Hello I’m Ron and (I struggle with being gay?) I’m Gay verses Hello I’m Ron and I struggle with same-sex attractions. Big difference to the average person (one is obviously not an action)!
If you had sexual desires towards children would you introduce yourself as a celibate pedophile Christian, I seriously doubt it.
If that is the case why add to the confusion by using the label “Celibate Gay Christian”, why not just “Celibate Christian” or single, or unmarried they all mean the same thing? Gay, however is a whole other ball of wax.
The title of this post “You’re Gay and God Loves You”, in our modern culture when you “come out-say you are gay” the message is generally perceived as one of condoning homosexual behavior, regardless of whether that was your intention or not. As Ron stated “there is a great deal of confusion about the underlying concepts we use to understand homosexuality.”, and this blog does nothing to help in sorting out that confusion. So my question is still “Is your emphasis more on how to be gay or how to love God?”
Over at “First Things” Michael W. Hannon has written an article http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/03/against-heterosexuality which I think highlights the problem. He says,
“There is a third reason this categorization should be disposed of, this one theological: It is at odds with the freedom for which Christ set us free. My future prior in religious life, Fr. Hugh Barbour of the Norbertine Fathers, has expanded on this idea in an essay in Chronicles Magazine , entitled “Do Homosexuals Exist? Or, Where Do We Go from Here?” As Fr. Prior argues, “Traditional moral theology evaluated acts, and did not generalize so unsatisfyingly about the tendencies that lead to these acts. That was left to the casuistry of occasions of sin, and to spiritual direction. If the sin is theft, then is the standard of evaluation kleptomania? If drunkenness, alcoholism? If sloth, clinical depression?” Even orthodox Christians, he writes,
have given in to the custom of treating sexual inclinations as identities. Pastorally, we are meant to preach the freedom whereby Christ has made us free. In treating the sin of sodomy as a prima facie proof of an identity, are we not, in the guise of compassion and sensitivity, helping bind the sinner to his sinful inclination, and so laying on him a burden that is too great to bear without perhaps moving a finger to lift it?
Self-describing as a “homosexual” tends to multiply occasions of sin for those who adopt the label—provoking, in Prior’s words, an unnecessary “dramatization of the temptation.” Whereas the infusion of the theological virtues sets the Christian free, identifying as homosexual only further enslaves the sinner. It intensifies lust, a sad distortion of love, by amplifying the apparent significance of concupiscent desires. It fosters a despairing self-pity, harming hope, which is meant to motivate moral virtues. And it encourages a strong sense of entitlement, which often undermines the obedience of faith by demanding the overthrow of doctrines that seem to repress “who I really am.””
He goes on the say, “There are a handful of laudable counterexamples to this discouraging pattern, self-identified “gay Christians” who are both virtuous and faithful to the teachings of the Church.” But they are “the exception rather than the rule”.
It says in the Welcome section of SF that you want “to create a new approach to homosexuality”, that’s great.
I think dispensing with the labels would be the best place to start, don’t you?
“Self-describing as a “homosexual” tends to multiply occasions of sin for those who adopt the label—provoking, in Prior’s words, an unnecessary “dramatization of the temptation.”
““There are a handful of laudable counterexamples to this discouraging pattern, self-identified “gay Christians” who are both virtuous and faithful to the teachings of the Church.” But they are “the exception rather than the rule”
Michael W. Hannon doesn’t actually care about gays. He mainly wants to shut them up and force them to the back of the bus by changing verbiage to not recognize their differences. The problem is, what separates homosexuality from theft, and rape, and so on is that homosexuals can experience love for the same sex and that kind of mucks up the attempt to brand us with the pink triangle and shuffle us into the camps along with the rest of the undesirables. The only hope our foes have now is to silence us, somehow, and create safe spaces where we are not allowed to be. Hannon plays in the same game as Austin Ruse and the other hate mongers at First Things do: shame celibate gays into shutting their mouths about what they feel and who they are in hopes that they can create gay free zones in the churches and raise a generation of kids free of empathy for their homosexual peers.
Sorry, Joe, but I see right through it and will always stand ready to point out the truth of the motives held by yourself and your ilk to those with eyes to read and ears to listen..No amount of clever wordplay or insulting assertion is going to shame any of us back into the closet. You will lose this war, in the end because yours is the side of evil. It is only a matter of time now.
Nathaniel: As I’ve said in another blog, the “say away the gay” crowd came out, as it were, after it became apparent that “pray away the gay” wouldn’t work. They are also trying to deal with their discomfort with celibate gay Christians speaking up unashamedly about their orientation, by shutting them up. I agree with you on that. I wonder, though, if a significant portion of them (ie. the say-awayers) are, as they would put it (though never publically), SSA. In my experience, heterosexual men are not particularly “into” discussing/debating gay sex/attractions one way or the other. There are many exceptions, of course, but it’s gotten to the point that when I watch lectures/videos of male speakers who go on about gays I am not surprised that often my gaydar starts buzzing–and often down the road the facade collapses and he is either found in a compromising position, or, more healthy, tells the truth. I have never seen Hannon speak; as I understand it he is entering a monastery, but I wonder if he has other, more self-defensive reasons for his position, and could be viewed with compassion–as well as with your, understandable, anger.
Hypatia: I have since posting read a follow up that Hannon wrote in regards to the first piece and I think you are completely right. The meat of my statement was for Joe whose own blog makes his view of homosexuals as little more than packages of deviant actions and suspicious motivations instead of legitimate people pretty clear. I think Hannon tipped his hand in his follow up: http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/08/against-obsessive-sexuality
“A young child captivated by the lawn-mowing boy next door could be experiencing a couple of entirely legitimate things. First, he could be recognizing the beauty of the boy and desiring to delight in it.” is a quote from Hannon in response to a rebuttal by a critic of the first article and is very telling.
For the purpose of clarifying what I mean I will say this right here: heterosexual men don’t “admire the beauty” of other men. If you are a man and can “admire the beauty” of other men, you are not heterosexual but bisexual, homosexual, or so on. Period. It is an iron clad rule and it does not change. I say it since I know it works differently for women.
In this light, I feel bad for Hannon. I think you are right. Hopefully he finds peace in his new life in the monastery.
“it is either a gift to celebrate or a cross to bear”, Frankly I don’t accept this statement as given. I believe it is indeed a gift to celebrate BUT ALSO a cross to bear. Not either/or, but both/and. I believe it to be so that all humanity since the fall is broken, and that sexual brokenness is pretty much a universal. The person with same-sex attraction seems to me to have a part of the puzzle that most do not have — something to celebrate — but that this gift does come with the heavy burden that in our brokenness we are drawn toward expressions of that gift which are not within what God can bless. This BTW is a burden carried also by straights. Attractions may be entirely legitimate (I believe this to be so) but attractions need not lead to illicit acts,
I can understand your sense of puzzlement Joe. When I read this post, it left me wondering about its intent. In writing positively about Beeching, is Wesley endorsing her message, which essentially promotes the godliness of homosexual relationships? Maybe or maybe not, as Wesley does not address it, but the silence on it leaves room for doubt. But it also seems to me that the purpose of this post was not to address the correctness of her theological stance but rather the need for someone in her place to receive love from fellow Christians, and as such, the silence is understandable.
But the broader point you make about whether homosexuality is understood as brokenness or a blessing is a critical one, which does see much blurring in these discourses. I’ve been exploring this topic on my blog as I believe it is important to speak clearly and unequivocally about these matters to the extent possible, as lack of clarity breeds confusion and poor theology and practice. I believe it is important to recognize that same sex sexual attraction is unambiguously of our sinful nature but also to recognize that same sex attraction has much non-sexual component which can be godly and should be applied to good use. So the issue is complex, but clarity is possible.
Confessions of a Gay Evangelical Christian
You met Tim Otto! He’s great and I’m super looking forward to reading his book–it’s high on my stack. And this is a lovely post, thanks so much.
Wes–it wa wonderful to be with you and Tim and others this week. Thank you for generous welcoming words for Vikki that invite all of us further into love of God and neighbours who often come to us as strangers.
Yikes–I’m still recovering from an intense week: not wa but was; not Vikki but Vicky. Now for a nap!
Thanks for this post Wes! Its clear from some of the comments here that grasping the unconditional love of God is still difficult wrap our brains around.
I only wish Vicky had felt comfortable opening up sooner. It sounds like there were many years of dealing with this on her own. And I wonder how things might look differently if, as a teenager, she could have been fully open and had the church walking lovingly beside her in that honesty.
you could not be more wrong, if you think that these post show doubt about the unconditional love of God. (In the broader sense, it is hard to wrap our brains around God’s love-it’s unbelievable.)
And for Vicky to doubt this love for so many years is truly unfortunate, for her and the church.
“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:4
It was this unbelievable love of God that changed my life some 30 odd years ago when I was as they say “out and about and living the life”.
I was fortunate, I guess, that my church stressed that we all have our own particular brand of brokenness (sexual and/or otherwise) and that it was no surprise to God.
They (my church) stressed that His mercies were new every morning-“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18
The invitation was to good to pass up, so they invited me to come and seek Him along with them, because He had said ” I know the plans that I have for you, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29:11
And, regardless of how often I blew it (blow it) or how conditional my love was (is) for Him-He was (is) always the same in His love for me, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
So you see Karen, the unconditional love of God is not in doubt. It is in fact quite the opposite–certain- and this certainty (for me anyway) was (is) the catalyst for change.
A fellow pilgrim on this magnificent journey called life,
“You could not be more wrong” is usually not a good way to start a comment, unless you are deliberately trying to alienate the person you are addressing.
Let’s try a different route.
The Scriptures are absolutely clear in their prohibition of porneia (sexual immorality). It is called evil, improper, sinful, fleshly, earthly and against the will of God. Those who continually and unrepentantly practice it are declared guilty and unrighteous, and will be subject to judgment by God.
The scriptures tell us “do not be fooled” in regard to sexual immorality.
This is not an accusation, it’s simply a statement.
Matt. 19:4-5 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?
Bottom line-Same verse heavily paraphrased and inferred. The only reason you have marriage and therefore sex is because God created them male and female, period.
I think by using the gay label people get confused. People are fairly certain that homosexuality is immoral, but when the word gay comes into play they are taken aback, they do not know how to respond. They do not know how to place gay into the framework of sexual immorality. Which is not surprising, most self identified gay people are not sure how to do this either.
If we are created male and female where does gay come in to play? Talk about hard to wrap your brain around.
This whole topic ties in with another post here at SF “Youth and Same-Sex Attraction” by Aaron Taylor
he said,” I would be the first to admit that inserting a discussion of “gayness” into our current framework for educating young Christians about sexuality would be confusing. But does this indicate that there is something wrong with talking about being gay? Or might it indicate that there is something wrong with the framework itself?
I would respond with “something is wrong with the framework itself”, and yes we differ on what we think is wrong.
The issue in his post is how you would respond to your son if he says that he might be gay…
He gives two options:
1) “Seek to draw yourself more fully into the Church and to discern how this might be a gift in your life and in others’ lives.”
2) “You are not your sexual inclinations. You are not ‘gay.’ What you are is a man and a Son of God.”
Let’s rephrase both of those answers and see if it affects the framework, which we both agree is the problem.
1) We are all broken in one way or another, the fall affected every part of our humanness and that includes our sexuality.
2) We are so much more than our innate desires, don’t get stuck there, instead shift the focus to what it means to follow Christ in any and all circumstances.
For what ever reason God has allowed this in your life…He will use it for His good.
It seems to me that Aaron, in his final conclusion, would rather keep the focus more on thinking about “being gay” as a gift- as opposed to being a Christian who is sexual broken.
“In answer to the question about what to tell a same-sex attracted 14-year-old, we can counter-pose another question: “When taught within a framework that emphasizes the importance of marriage and celibacy as the only legitimate Christian ways of expressing sexuality, what harm can come from telling 14-year-olds something about the experiences of gay Christians who are trying to submit their lives to the way of the gospel?” If Ruse’s hypothetical 14-year-old turns out to be gay, he will have a Christian narrative with which to make sense of the relationship between his sexuality and his faith, a narrative which stands in opposition to the standard worldly narrative of “I realized I was gay so I abandoned my religion.” If he does not turn out to be gay, he will, in any case, have learned something important about marriage, celibacy, and human sexuality, and about the real lives of many of his gay brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Unfortunately, “I realized I was gay so I abandoned my religion” is not the mantra of the day.
Vicky Beeching, Christian rock star said ‘I’m gay. God loves me just the way I am” is now the new mantra of the day, and it is not a worldly narrative, it’s the new Christian narrative, which is not only ambivalent and confusing but incredibly deceptive.
It seems to me that this is the result of the original first option mentioned above. Think of this (your homosexuality) as a gift, as something good (in and of itself).
Now to me there is something wrong with this picture, but hey, I could be wrong.
Aaron states. “Homosexuality is now the most discussed, debated, and talked about issue of the day, and young people are subjected to a constant tug-of-war by and a barrage of propaganda telling them what to think about it. This situation is partly due to the militancy of the secular homosexual rights movement, but it is also due to the fact that right-wing Christians have chosen to fight homosexual rights as if it were the defining political battle of the late-twentieth and early-twenty first centuries, as opposed to, say, divorce, or birth control, or pornography, or the plague of absentee fathers, or poverty.
That is a cheap shot- there is no Militancy movement advocating the rights of divorce, or birth control, or pornography, or absentee fathers.
Joe, you say, “do not be fooled” when it comes to sexual immorality, but then you write: “there is no Militancy movement advocating the rights of divorce, or birth control, or pornography, or absentee fathers.”
I checked the date on your comment. It wasn’t submitted in the 1950’s. I’m not sure how you think we got widespread divorce, birth control, pornography, and absentee fathers. But if you imagine it didn’t involve any militancy, then I think you’ve been fooled on a rather extraordinary scale.
I can understand the need to hear a clear and definitive statement as to the sinfulness of homosexuality because so often the church seems to go the other way, soft-selling its stand in order to seem accepting. As for me, I have a need to know that my church holds to a Biblical stand even as I want to be accepted as a Christian who struggles with his homosexuality.
Too often, people have a hard time both loving someone and being clear about sin. As for the Christian singer mentioned (I have not heard of her before) I hope this woman is met with Christian love, but I wonder how the integrity of scripture will be upheld in her situation. She doesn’t seem to hold to that view, and has indicated her intent to use her influence in the direction of her beliefs, so while the church strives to be accepting, there will be someone in the midst who publicly undercuts Biblical truth.
You seriously think that the church has not pronounced harshly enough on this sin? that gay people are somehow unaware of its disapproval? Can you name another so-called sin that has attracted the ire and energy of the churches even half as much?
She was indeed so convinced of her evangelical church’ s traditional stance on the matter that went for a public exorcism. Have you even read the article?
For every 1 person who lives out their entire life as a celibate homosexual there are probably 10 people who commit suicide trying and 200 people who eithor lose there faith or give up compleyely and enter a same sex relationship. And I believe that 1 person was probably already somewhat of an introvert who could manage lifelong celibacy “better” than most. Like I’m sorry but celibacy isn’t the answer. Statistics on suicide and depression rates show this. If this is the “solution” for SSA or homosexuality or wat ever you call it, then the problem is going to get worse and worse and worse.
I’ll second that.
I was blessed with the grace to come out in high school and deal with the struggle openly then and after. But every move in life opens like another chance to walk back into the closet and scout from there until it’s safe or camp there. Now I’m talking about local situations and new contexts those who knew will always know. Recently I’ve been camping and its hard. There’s goodness in a season of solitude though.
I think it should be stated that coming out is a lot more then self labeling. It’s a practice of confession. I’m a sinner, this is part of my humanity, I’m dealing with/ struggling with this. The label may or may not be present.
That is why I keep harping on the “Gay” labeling issue…Why would someone define themselves as a desire to break a sexual command of God?
Are our disordered passions a problem (to be solved) or a fact of life?
We are not supposed to reject them, but rather to seek the Kingdom of God through them….. our brokenness is the path! The transformation that comes from our temptations and struggles is actually the point.
Changing how we think about the problem or even what we think the problem is… can be quite freeing…..the transformation within our struggles, learning to live with our brokenness, allowing it to transform us into people who are growing in Christ-pleasing to God should be our goal.
Let me say that again, Our brokenness is simply a tool used by God on our path to Righteousness.
We grow closer to God by learning how to deal with our passions, our brokenness.
Our brokenness determines the (unique path) that each of us will navigate on our way to becoming like Christ.
We have to stay open-and see Who we become in the transforming power of the holy spirit…that in and of itself is the magnificent journey called life.
It seems to me that most of the folks who hold to a “don’t say gay” position are straight people who want to believe that those of us who are LGB(T?) are “straight people with a homosexual problem” or just “straight people,” period. I realize that some gay people don’t like to identify as gay, and I have no beef with them, but they have no business telling me I can’t consider myself a Christian who happens to be gay (and celibate, but that’s beside the point).
Since a number of people are giving Wesley Hill grief for not harping on the sinfulness of gay relationships in every sentence of this article, I’m going to push the other way and rant for a second that you, Joe, have talked about “transformation” without making it clear that you’re not talking about “becoming straight.” I don’t want to be uncharitable and immediately blast you for holding an untenable ex-gay viewpoint so instead, I’ll simply ask, what the heck are you talking about? The talk of transformation doesn’t really follow from telling us that we can’t say gay. If you’re not espousing an ex-gay path, and you really think that God will not bless me with spiritual growth if I refer to myself with the word “gay,” but will heap it on if I switch to the expression “same-sex attracted” (or, as is trendy in a small segment of the blogosphere, “same-sex sexually attracted” – gosh, anymore I can’t keep it straight!), I’m not convinced.
I really don’t see the big deal with calling oneself “gay”. If I have diabetes and I call myself a diabetic then I really don’t understand the problem. People are getting way too into it.
Diabetes, along with eye color, left-handedness, and any other false analogies you care to throw out there are ridiculous and you know it. These are not moral issues.
If you want to blast me or have a discussions, you might want to at lest read all my post on this thread. I’m sure that would clear up most of the misunderstandings.
But I’ll say a couple of things anyway.
First, you are more than welcome to call yourself anything you want.
Second, Ron and Wes said they started this blog to try and create a new approach to homosexuality…
I said great, and, that I thought dispensing with the gay label would be a good place to start, too much confusion goes along with that label.
Third, my point, we need to learn to live with our brokenness, not reject it, but rather let God use it to transform us into people who are growing in Christ and pleasing to Him.
Learning that experiencing temptation is OK. That the “Transformation” that comes from these temptations and struggles is actually our vocation, our path to righteousness.
It is in fact learning to pursue and follow Christ in any and all context, the good, the bad, the ugly.
Now, if l may, a few question for you.
Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the (sinful desires) of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
Mark 7:21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that (evil thoughts) come–sexual immorality, theft, murder,
Col. 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, (evil desires) and greed, which is idolatry.
James 1:14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own (evil desire) and enticed.
Just a few quotes from the NT on (evil desires), it appears to be somewhat of an issue.
So, If I say that I am gay, that means what? That I am sexually attracted to my own sex? That I have same sex desires? That I have homosexual desires?
What would these homosexual desires be for, something good or evil?
If your answer is evil…then why in the world would you want to make those desires part of your identity, by calling yourself “gay”?
I just disagree. I mean I’m not going to try to convince you. In my mind being gay just means you are attracted to the same sex. If people want to take it a step further and say it means sleeping around, sexual, etc then I can’t help that. I can say I’m “heterosexual” and people may say that means I sleep around with girls and have sex and all that. But in my eyes and most peoples eyes it just means I am attracted to girls.
I may have accidently deleted my last post. If someone says they are heterosexual what does that mean? They are attracted to the opposite sex. If someone says they are gay or homosexual what does that mean? It means they are attracted to the same sex. Neither by itself is sinful. So why is saying your straight ok but saying I’m gay (attracted to the same sex) bad? Only when you add the sexual side to it does it become evil.
Hi Joe I have read your posts and seen your questions – I’m struck by the negativity. When you read your own posts are they building or breaking? Are they judging or helping?
As Jesus said (Luke 6:37) Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
I don’t know what you have to deal with in your own life – for myself I’m not gay but deal with my sin everyday – and probably do a worse job than many people gay or otherwise.
What I love about the Gospel message is it’s simplicity – love God love others. What we need to do is simple, love people regardless, support them, help them deal with their struggles and walk alongside them.
After all that is exactly what Jesus did for each believer regardless of starting point.
…and that’s why we call them the “clobber passages.” Thanks for illustrating it so plainly.
You still contradict yourself by telling me that I can call myself whatever I want, and then strongly implying that I shouldn’t. We’re simply not going to agree, and because I have no desire to further justify my position to a hostile audience, I will not be responding further.
I am sitting here in tears because I’m so glad you (all) exist. And I’ve found you. I am a heterosexual married female- both in attraction and action 😉 My heart is broken over how hurtful and divisive this issue has become, particularly in the church. Please know that I seek to listen, understand, empathize, and walk alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ, whatever the struggle may be. Keep writing. Keep sharing. Keep following hard after our Savior. Your voice is so incredibly important and many are listening. “Press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:14
I share all your feelings Leslie.
Christ said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) John said, “Greater is He who is you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) We all have struggles of one kind or another, but as believers in and followers of Christ, we do not define ourselves by our struggles, but by the victory Christ has won for us at Calvary. How does this translate into practical, day-to-day living? Christ says, “Do not worry about tomorrow; let the troubles of today be sufficient.” (Matthew 6:34) He also said, “Your Father knows what you need and has provided it. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added.” (Matthew 6:31-34) For years I struggled with lust and sexual addiction…from childhood when I was introduced to sex. I had committed myself to Christ from the age of eight, but this specter of lust and sex would dominate my life…that I didn’t want to live anymore. I was eventually delivered…when I was able to shift focus off my problem and place it solely on God. The following are some of the Scriptures that helped steer me right:
Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong unto God…”
1 Corinthians 2:9-16 “Eye has not seen nor ear heard…”
Jeremiah 29:13 “You shall seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:11-12 “My thoughts towards you are of good not of evil…”
Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love…”
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you…”
Proverbs 3:5-8 “Trust in The Lord with all your heart…”
1 Samuel 16:7 “Man looks at the outward appearance. God looks at the heart.” Philippians 2:12-13 “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
James 1:2-8 “Count it all joy…”
James 1:16-17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift…”
John 15:1-5 “I am the True Vine, you are My branches…apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Romans 8:28-39 “All things work together for good to them that love God…we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us…if God is for us, who can be against us?”
John 10:9-10 “The enemy comes to steal, to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.”
Zechariah 4:6 “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says The Lord God.
These, and other Scriptures these will lead you to, will entrench you in God’s love, and the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells you…will do great things in your lives…bring about change that people thought impossible! Combined with prayers, I have faith that you will overcome whereby your lives will become testimonies to the awesome grace of God. I leave you with this thought: we live in a fallen world, one which man chose, not the world God wanted for us…but by His grace we get through this life, destined for the perfect world of His immutable promise through Christ. Dear Brothers and Sisters, you will come to glory in your tribulations when you see how God will use you to help others in this fallen world. Our struggles don’t define us; our faith in Christ does. God bless you all. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Could you describe in detail what you mean by “change”?
I’m glad you asked that question, LJ, because I’ve often wondered myself what the “changes” that the Holy Spirit will bring about, so often discussed on this, and other, blogs consist of: absence of homosexual desire? presence of heterosexual desire? continued homosexual desire cleansed of “lust”? no sexual desire at all?
I suspect that, in reality, any “change” will involve aging. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s sexual desires were strong enough to distract/preoccupy me; it sometimes took an effort of will to focus on studies, etc. Then in my 50’s and, now, 60’s, work, reading, friends, and sleep all easily distract me from sex. Maybe it is different for guys, but lots of them tell me their trajectory is similar. So I guess I could say that God has “changed” me sexually since He “kept me alive and enabled me to see this day”–the alternative to aging, of course, being death.
BTW, those were my thoughts re: the film “Desire of the Everlasting Hills” that Wesley Hill and others at this site praised. The three people who told their stories in that film formed a contrast in interesting ways with those in “The Third Way”, the other film sponsored by Catholics that deals with gays. In the latter the characters are youngish–30’s or 40’s I’d estimate–and, most of them in considerable anguish from parental rejection/abuse, addictions, religious conflicts etc that they relate to being same sex attracted. In “Desire” the woman who had a 25 year lesbian relationship is in her 50’s, the man with numerous gay liaisons in his 60’s, and the bisexual man who had a relationship with a man and with a woman looks late 30’s to 40’s. They have returned to the Catholic Church and appear/describe themselves as happy and serene. I realize the films may be aimed at different audiences, but, from a public relations view vis-a-vis the Catholic Church, the later film is better–or as the contributors to this site might put it, more “winsome” and “captivating”. Nevertheless I can’t help notice that the folks in “Desire” had sexual lives–arguably some healthy, some not–just like heterosexuals. It’s easier, and often “age-and-situation-appropriate”, to be celibate after middle age.