My friend Alan Jacobs, a traditional sort of Anglican Christian, wrote this the day after the Obergefell ruling:
Perhaps I am soft on sin, or otherwise deficient in serious Christian formation — actually, it’s certain that I am — but in any case I could not help being moved by many of the scenes yesterday of gay people getting married, even right here in Texas. I hope that many American gays and lesbians choose marriage over promiscuity, and I hope those who marry stay married, and flourish.
I know what he’s saying. I felt that too.
But I was thinking more today, What is that experience? For those of us like me who hold to a Christian view of marriage that contradicts the SCOTUS definition, what does it mean to be moved by scenes of gay marriage?
Well, for starters—and I’m speaking for myself here, not necessarily for Alan—I think that for many, many (not all) gay people in America today, the options have not been (1) belong to a healthy, vibrant Christian community in which celibacy is held in high esteem and deep spiritual friendships with members of the same sex and opportunities for loving service and hospitality abound or (2) be in a romantic relationship with a partner of the same sex. That has not been the choice facing many gay and lesbian people. Instead, for many (not all) today, the options have been (1) be ostracized (or worse) in church and effectively live without meaningful same-sex closeness of any kind or (2) be in a romantic relationship with a partner of the same sex. Listen, readers, this is the reality for many gay people who have had a brush with the Christian church in recent years:
So many people have been told (explicitly) that they aren’t welcome, treated as problems rather than persons. They’ve been disowned, had their trust betrayed and their confidences exposed, been kicked out of their homes and their churches, threatened with expulsion. They’ve listened as preachers proclaimed that people like them were destroying the church, that their desires were uniquely and Satanically destructive, that homosexuality by its nature cut them off from God; that their only hope for a faithful Christian life was to repent of their homosexuality, become straight, and get married. All by Christians who claimed that their actions were the result of their faith in Jesus.
And often this abuse—I know labels can obscure complexity but in this case I think naming the abuse is important—is inflicted on people who are trying to live out the full Christian sexual ethic. The treatment they receive would be unjustifiable even if (and even when) they reject Christian teaching on homosexuality, but what’s sort of amazing is that simply self-identifying as gay or even “struggling with same-sex attraction” will earn you condemnation and shame in many Christian communities. Your shame is treated as a sign of faith; any hints of self-acceptance are treated as rejection of God. It should come as little surprise that many of the people who receive this mistreatment eventually reject (what I believe to be) the Christian sexual ethic, and often reject Christianity entirely.
So, I think part of the reason I got a lump in my throat on Friday as I was scrolling through news feeds and seeing gay friends’ pictures pop up on Facebook and Twitter is because I know that for so many of these people, the alternative to their current jubilation has been a gulf of loneliness and marginalization. I persist in believing in the traditional Christian picture of marriage—what G. K. Chesterton once called a “triangle of truisms,” i.e., “father, mother and child”—but I know that when many people depart from it, they’re doing so after undergoing a significant amount of ill-treatment.
And that brings me to the other thing I want to say. The so-called Great Tradition of the Christian faith, the ecumenical mainstream, if you like, has always held, since the earliest days of the apostles (see the infamous Romans 1 passage of St. Paul), that sexual coupling between members of the same sex is immoral. But that traditional teaching has focused its condemnation on the sex acts themselves, not on the legitimate human desire for closeness that may or may not accompany those acts. In other words, traditional Christian teaching has said that gay sex misses the mark of the Creator’s design of human bodies and of marriage: it takes something intended for procreation and male-and-female spousal bonding and care and makes it about something else. (This was the point of Melinda Selmys’ recent post on concubinage.) But that same teaching certainly isn’t condemning all the things about “gay culture” that give us those weepy chills when we see them at their best. Historic Christianity certainly isn’t saying that gay people themselves or their partners are somehow irretrievably perverse and that all their longings and loves are any further removed from God’s design than their heterosexual neighbors’ are.
Nor is the Christian tradition intending to denigrate the many virtues exhibited by gay couples. I myself believe that when the history of our particular time—the time when the church is trying to sort itself out post-Sexual-Revolution—is eventually written, we will look back on gay couples as the among the ones who rediscovered and taught us some important things about the virtues of friendship, things we’d forgotten in our fixation on heterosexual romantic love. I think, for instance, of Andrew Sullivan’s beautiful writings about gay friendships during the AIDS plague years; those stories will be remembered.
When C. S. Lewis wrote about his childhood in his memoir Surprised by Joy, he included a passage about the sort of boys’ boarding school homosexuality he witnessed. Here’s what he said:
People commonly talk as if every other evil were more tolerable than this. But why? … If those of us who have known a school like Wyvern dared to speak the truth, we should have to say that [homosexuality] was, in that time and place, the only foothold or cranny left for certain good things. It was the only counterpoise to the social struggle; the one oasis… in the burning desert of competitive ambition. In his unnatural love-affairs, and perhaps only there, the Blood went a little out of himself, forgot for a few hours that he was One of the Most Important People There Are. It softens the picture.
According to Lewis in this passage, homosexuality is “unnatural”—that is, it represents a misdirected expression of eros. But he also immediately sees in the boys who engaged in it a spark of longing for God and of a desire to genuinely love each other.
When some of us traditionalist Christians were moved by the pictures we saw of gay couples, or moved by the real-life visits with our gay friends, the day of the SCOTUS ruling, I think this is part of what we were feeling. We were wanting our friends not to be lonely and alienated from love, and we were wanting them to keep hoping and searching for Love Himself.
I attempted to force Christian ideals into a same sex marriage. I had practiced a level of chastity that the mainstream would abhor. I was actually IN RCIA, when I met my future husband. I thought being called husband (thank you Wes, for that beautiful post) would be my everything. My point of arrival. As a side benefit I would have state recognized legitmacy. Long story short, I found out I was wrong. Today I strive for interior chastity and live by the precepts of the RCC. I wouldn’t be sitting here today as a faithful Catholic, if I had not strayed away.
I’m 58, Single and Celibate, not gay. Your story needs to be told and forcefully so. I wish you well. You will be in my prayers. May God Bless you.
Edward, I’m thinking we single, heterosexual, celibate folks need to begin speaking up too! Lift up YOUR voice…
You are kind. I don’t think my cross is any heavier than anyone else’s.
Thanks for this…for passing along Alan’s comment and for your reflection.
Many “Christian” opponents of same-sex marriage cast their opposition in a framework that suggests that there’s some viable path of Christian flourishing for celibate gay people in conservative Christian communions. There isn’t. In fact, there’s not even much of a viable path of Christian flourishing for celibate straight singles in conservative Christian communions. In view of Jesus’s singleness and Paul’s commendation of the same, that would seem to be a big problem. But I don’t really see that there’s much of an effort to change it.
In many ways, the mainstreaming of same-sex marriage afforded the church the opportunity to reexamine its view of marriage and reflect on whether something isn’t woefully wrong with the way that we have come to practice marriage, namely the romantic-Freudian view of marriage bequeathed to us by the family-values movement. But it seems that that opportunity was largely squandered. By in large, leaders in conservative Christian communions simply doubled down on the family-values rhetoric.
Many conservative Christians are wondering whether their faith can survive in a post-6/26 world. I wonder the same thing, but for different reasons. When the church has lost the ability to see God’s grace reflected in the genuine joy of of an older gay couple getting a marriage license in Texas, something is wrong. I’m not saying that the church needs to endorse it without qualification. But when we’ve lost the ability to be moved by others’ joy, we have no witness to the world as Christians.
Conservative Christianity may well die in America. But it won’t be because it was beaten down by persecution. Rather, it will die because people can’t perceive the love of Christ in the lives of its adherents. We come off like the unmerciful servant of Matthew 18. As I saw Russell Moore this morning on the CBS morning program, I couldn’t help but think how little sense this man has of his own self-righteousness. He may profess that he is in constant need of God’s grace, but he carries himself as one who believes that he has all the answers and needs nothing. Such unconscious hypocrisy is what will doom conservative Christianity in America, not persecution by the cultural elite.
All churches today rely on some kind of commercial branding. The most popular brand in recent times has been “family values” – which appeals to conservatives who are either nominals with a deep cultural attachment to Christianity (having been raised in a Christian home/environment) or true believers, Most will be a mixture of both. This won’t change any time soon because all of us are now highly mobile, consumer focused individualists. As someone who converted late in life I can tell you it’s impossible to shop around and find “authentic” Christianity. You have to stick with the first church./community you can tolerate and work on it from there – which usually means a middle-class, family values church with zero commitment to any kind of cultural diversity (because we all self-segregate according to type).
I pretty much agree. Most evangelical churches are shooting for the nominally Christian family-values types. And, yes, any individual church is always going to be somewhat beholden to the predispositions of its central demographic.
Evangelicalism as we know it today was born in the post-WWII years. It has always been a thoroughly middle-class movement whose adherents held to fairly conventional social mores. The neo-Freudian family-values stuff has always been central to its identity. That’s actually one reason I left evangelicalism altogether. I qualify as an evangelical in a theological sense, e.g., according to Bebbington’s definition. But I no longer have any significant connection to the sociological contours of the movement. And, let’s admit it, being a “good evangelical” is probably more of a sociological question than a theological one.
Wow. We must not have read the same article by Russell Moore. How was he self-righteous? If he or others grieve over what they believe to be sin, this is somehow self-righteous?
If you’d read what I wrote, you’d see that I was referring to his demeanor on the CBS Sunday morning news program.
interesting post evan773! The SSA/SSM issue has tripped up and threatened so much of the Evan. church because they have made marriage, family and children so central to their identity. When the SSM lobby co-opts and redefines the same language, concept and institution, many Evans. are convinced that their world is ending. However, the long-view of the Bible supports full confidence that Christ’s Church will flourish through his Spirit – and this is God’s gift of an opportunity to realign their priorities and destroy the current social pyramid in the typical Evan. Church. Then the celibate single option will be valued in the way Jesus, Paul, John, etc. lived their lives…
The issue has also highlighted our modern Amer. society reliance on the authority of experience over the authority of tradition – this also is seen in the Evan. church where the same authority of experience trumps the authority of Scripture. Americans don’t really know what do with tradition when it contradicts their emotional responses or experience…
I pretty much agree. In many ways, the notion of same-sex marriage functions as an absurd inversion of the family-values view of opposite-sex marriage. I find it hilarious that the marriage equality movement has largely adopted the sub-Christian logic of the family values movement and taken it to its logical conclusion.
1) When I was 18 and just barely starting as a freshman in college at Pacific Lutheran University, my parents separated. With no job and no guarantee of now affording college, I needed to quit, go home, and look for a job. My roommate convinced me to see a counselor at the last moment, on a Friday, before the weekend that I had planned to leave on. I met the counselor on Friday at the end of the day and in a vacated counseling office. After getting acquainted, he somehow he ascertained that I was gay and came to my side of his desk and asked me to stroke his leg while conversing. He asked if I “felt anything.” I did not so he asked me to try it again. Again, “no.” There was no help here so I left on the next day for home and never attempted college again. This was in 1961. I wasn’t bothered by the experience and easily shrugged it off except that it seems to fit other observations about homosexuality. Those observations seem to fit a belief that gay relationships offer a quick shortcut to sexual gratification. When a SSA person leaves a meeting venue with another SSA person, there is little conflict as to how much energy or money will be need to be expended before sexual gratification will occur. So, I wonder if SSA mostly reflects the vaunted goal of efficiency of our culture – a sexual “cut to the chase.”
2) SSA is harmful from a medical point of view. You are aware that lifespans of gays can be reduced as much as 20 years? Suicide? STI’s, etc.?
3) SSA is harmful to intimacy. Are you aware where the most meaningful, beautiful, and complex part of the human body is while engaging in gay sex? It’s not in a fully communicative spot.
4) The inconsistency for life. Are you in agreement that in the last 10,000 years that you have probably had gay ancestors? Those ancestors were strongly attracted to their same sex but we know that for some reason they felt they needed to have sex with the opposite sex (proof: that you are here reading this.) Those ancestors may have been cajoled into heterosexual acts by their cultures – a culture that you are now willing, ready, and working to change. Those ancestors are part of your extremely long and extremely thin chain of life. Just one gay ancestor of yours, remaining totally true to his desires, would have precluded his even becoming an ancestor – and – your existence. Now then, your ancestors, by necessity, are far less known to you than your current friends, neighbors, and coworkers are. You are here advocating that they follow their homosexual desires to feel better about themselves. Since you are not a hypocrite, you would also advocate that any of your homosexual ancestors should have also followed their SSA desires. Haven’t you hereby tacitly given up any claim of a right for you to even exist on these grounds?
5) You’ll notice that no Bible interpretation or reinterpretation was used here. You’ll also notice that you were given the infinite gift of life and that you chose to dead-end it for a large group of people. That’s not “abundant life.”
Wow so much ignorance in one post. Let’s clarify.
1) Because you had one bad experience with a counselor you extrapolate that about all gay people. By your logic a vast majority of Christians are child molesters because of Josh Duggar.
2) Those statistics that you are touting are false ones that have been disproven. What does contribute to shorter life spans is when a GLBT child is raised in a hostile environment. Kind of life the stuff you are promoting here.
3) My husband and I have been together 27 years. There is nothing wrong with are intimacy and we are more intimate than most straight couples I know.
4) Ahh the old red herring that society will die off. Don’t worry you all aren’t going to all of a sudden turn gay and society will die off. Straight people already are having too many kids and our planet is getting depleted. This has got to be the stupidest argument in the anti-gay playbook.
5) Again I don’t care what the Bible says but there are some who do so I refer you to Matthew Vines and Dave Gushee among others.
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Reblogged this on Gay and Evangelical and commented:
This is a wonderful reflection on what SCOTUS means for people. Please read it…and read it thoroughly.
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Once again you miss the mark. Gay couples do not get married because they want a close relationship with the same sex. We get married the same reason straight people do. Because we have fallen in love and want to spend the rest of our lives with each other. Stop devaluing our relationships in making your argument for celibacy.
Why can’t you do that and not get married? What difference does marriage make? What is it for?
Marriage is a covenant of mutual self-sacrifice and fidelity in the service of community. Why would it be better for people to *refrain* from pledging themselves wholly to one another? Why is cruciform love bad?
Would you ask the same of straight people? Again we get married to make a commitment to each other and that marriage guarantees us a whole bunch of rights also.
Tim, yes I would. The only reason gays are joining the marriage bandwagon is because marriage as it was originally understood is over. It’s dead. The only thing left is the big “special day” celebration of a wedding. Gays didn’t kill it. Straights baulked at “til death us do part”. Straights decided autonomy was king and that a family could be anything a person wanted it to be. Gays were just a sideshow in this moral revolution.
Again you believe that somehow your religion dictates marriage it doesn’t. Other cultures have had marriage. Religion is not needed for marriage. Atheists get married. Procreation is not required. Infertile couple get married as well as older couple like my father and stepmother got married. You don’t own marriage so stop dictating to society who can and cannot get married.
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God is love. He came – not to condemn – but to save me FROM my self. But did God’s atonement in the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, the Messiah provide me “fire insurance,” and nothing more?” No! He who knew no sin became my sin – every heinous act and every evil deed that I ever committed – and saved me TO a life of right living. Jesus met me at my place of need – in my sin -, but He doesn’t intend for me to stay there. Grace demands growth.
What this discussion thread brings to the forefront is such an old, old issue – sexual purity. God’s standard is clear – not easy – but crystal clear. He cannot lie. His Word is truth. I have to go there for my Source of Truth on all matters of life and faith. God has spoken about marriage and sex – both good gifts from him, but, as with everything else I touch, I have corrupted those good gifts. The SCOTUS has had their “say,” on same-sex marriage, but nothing changes The Living Word of God, which is above theirs, and that is my Source of Truth. As far as today’s evangelical churches is concerned, look for a body of believers of any size where “us against them” is not preached, but rather “whosoever will, may come,” where God’s Word is held up and preached without compromise. Pastors can alienate people with one little comment, and send them out the door never to return to their church or, for that matter, any other. Bear in mind, though, the only thing I really need to have in common with any body of believers is my need for a Savior. By the way, church is not a “self-help” group. I can find plenty of that at Barnes and Noble. Jesus offers me a promise, and that is going to have to be enough. Jesus died for all. His death is enough to cover every heterosexual or homosexual sin I have ever committed, and to cleanse me and heal me from “all unrighteousness.” This is possible only through the renewing of my mind, by the work of The Holy Spirit, as a result of my study of God’s infallible Word of Truth, that enables me to overcome any temptation which is “common to [wo]man.” The Holy Spirit doesn’t make up information, but He does work through God’s unchanging Word, if I avail myself to it. Thus, I return to my original point. God is able, IF I am willing, to be healed of every sexual perversion or deviation from God’s perfect picture of marriage. We are all in need of His healing, Shalom!
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And Wesley let’s be clear. Those of us who are married aren’t hoping for love we have found love. And that love is so strong that we have decided to devote ourselves to each other for the rest of our lives. This isn’t friendship but true romantic undying love. My husband and I have been together over 27 years. You obviously don’t understand or care to understand how 2 in a relationship truly feel.
Tim I don’t think anyone doubts the love and commitment between you and your partner, or anyone for that matter. Personally, I’m not trying g to block you or any dame sex couple from marriage. What I am saying is based on the unitive and procreative nature of marriage, it is impossible to recognize what you have as marriage. And just because the state or federal government recognizes it does not mean that i, as a faithful catholic must.
Frankly I don’t care if you don’t believe my marriage is a marriage. But when your religious beliefs cross into the civil arena and you try to use them to deny me civil marriage then that is where I have an issue.
Some of us will never recognize your marriage as such. The government can give you many rights, and so be it, but not the right to my conscience.
And Rosamim there are racists who refuse to recognize interracial marriages as such. Doesn’t change the fact they are married. You are free to believe what you want regardless of reality.
I think one of the barriers to understanding is this: the conservative church doesn’t merely suggest as you just have that they only object to calling gay covenantal partnerships “marriage”; they deem our profound relationships immoral and inferior. It’s not like they want to carve out space in society for relationships that they deem different from marriage, they want to stigmatize and marginalize anyone who enters into a covenantal partnership. Official church doctrine does indeed “doubt the love and commitment between [Tim] and [his] partner”. The teaching calls that commitment “disordered”, “a grave depravity”, not genuinely “affective”, and “counterfeit”. Now imagine how those of us who have pledged our lives to our spouses feels when we are described with such contempt.
This is the
I have never encountered the things you speak of within the RCC. I converted a few years ago. You should also know that I was in a same sex marriage. I found it a shadow of what Christ truly wanted for me. I have never been discriminated against by the church, ever. I didn’t at first agree with what the church taught, but honestly. ..I wasn’t trying to understand too hard. I think what shifted my thinking the most was prayer. Over time, I developed a sincere love for it. It helped open my eyes and heart to my own sin, and lead me to a deeper union with Christ. Yes, I am gay. I don’t know why and honestly it doesn’t really matter. I am catholic. I love Christ and the church with every ounce of who I am. If I say I Love Christ and the church but don’t follow the teachings I am a liar. Even if I was born queer, I love Christ more. I want to know him, love him, and obey him more than I want some sort of acceptance or recognition from the world
[typing from my phone and posted prematurely…continued from previous comment]
This is the plausibility problem for the conservative church: you treat with contempt the cruciform love of gay covenantal partnerships which are objectively virtuous. Most people look at that contempt through a virtue or consequentialist ethic and reject the church teaching – seeing it as illogical and mean-spirited.
Roy, You are speaking the Truth in saying that if you don’t follow the teachings and you say you love Christ and His Church you would be a liar. No one can be a disciple if it doesn’t take up his/her cross and follow the Lord.
I’ve struggled with these and other teachings. The difference between me and _______ is that I believe that Christ is the founder of the church I belong too and that she (the church ) is on my side and wants what is best for me. Sometimes truth is difficult. It does set us free though.
The language I cited comes straight from the catechism.
Peace and blessings.
Ford, the tone you used to understand it, doesn’t
Directly from the CCC:
Chastity and homosexuality
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
The Church is on your side Roy. She is your Mother and does want the best for you. I have my own cross and my own struggles but I believe as you and thus I submit myself in obedience, initially without much understanding, but I’m a witness to the glorious unfolding that ocurrs little by little and then the only thing left to do is to praise and give glory.
Majority or minority does not establish the Thurth, although the majority is usually on the wrong side of the equation, after all Thurth makes everybody uncomfortable.
So how do we make sense of this phrase, “objective disorder”?
First, we need to be very clear that this phrase does not refer to the person himself. The Church proclaims a deep respect for every person as being made in the “image of God” and this absolutely includes persons who experience same-sex attraction. Such men and women reflect God’s image, share in the same dignity, and are precious in God’s sight. They should never be subject to unjust discrimination, ridicule, or hatred. Such actions are deplorable.
Second, the phrase indicates what is explicitly stated elsewhere, that sexual acts between persons of the same sex are an “intrinsic moral evil” and “intrinsically disordered.” The Church describes such an act as a sin “gravely contrary to chastity” and an offense to natural law and Revelation, especially Scripture.
Third, we can address the inclination itself which is described as “objectively disordered.” This phrase and the whole of Church teaching indicate in the first place that a person experiencing same sex attraction is not necessarily sinning. One need not feel guilty on account of the inclination alone. Instead of being harsh, this is freeing, a relief.
At the same time, the attraction cannot be described as good or neutral because it is ordered toward an act that is, by definition, immoral.
Taken from: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/objectively-disordered
I love that the majority of the members of your own church don’t buy this crap. Here in MD a majority Catholic state 58% of Catholics voted for marriage equality including most of my family who were then there to celebrate my wedding.
he Church is on your side Roy. She is your Mother and does want the best for you. I have my own cross and my own struggles but I believe as you and thus I submit myself in obedience, initially without much understanding, but I’m a witness to the glorious unfolding that ocurrs little by little and then the only thing left to do is to praise and give glory.
Majority or minority does not establish the Thurth, although the majority is usually on the wrong side of the equation, after all Thurth makes everybody uncomfortable.
The guidelines are: if it makes you uncomfortable it us probably true, if it is though to accept it is probably true, if it is hard to follow and requires sacrifice is most likely true.
That is some funny humor. Whatever you believe truth is so be it. Those within the church who are more enlightened disagree with your version of truth.
I agree that majority do not necessarily establish the truth. Why, though, do you think that what causes discomfort, difficulty, and sacrifice is more likely to be true than what yields comfort, ease, and plenitude.
When it comes to moral Thurth, deciding what is morally good or bad, and the upright moral path to take, yes, I believe that what causes difficulties of all sorts is the likely candidate. I know this because of the Cross Christ bared himself, because of His prayer in Mount Olive that this Cross be taken away from Him, because of His bloody sweat will praying and finally because He asks that we too take our cross and follow him down this path. Otherwise we are not His disciples. That said, contrary to what one might think, this path is the path to plenitude.
Again, the state can give you all the rights it wants but the right to my conscience. For that one I will fight.
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Wesley: Admittedly, I was skeptical at first when you said, along with Alan Jacobs, that you were “moved by the pictures we saw of gay couples, or moved by the real-life visits with our gay friends, the day of the SCOTUS ruling.” After digesting your remarks, I understand and appreciate where you are coming from. But I wonder if this “being moved” only involves positive feelings. Were there any negative feelings? Or, more accurately, were there conflictual feelings? As much as you hope your friends are “not to be lonely and alienated from love,” are you also sad by their misdirection? On that day I experienced a deep sadness for the disordered loves in our society, which are not restricted to gays and lesbians, of course, to all those disordered loves that miss the mark.
I wonder if the push-back against condemnation is related more to how gays are made to feel by Christians than to the reality of our condition before God. The fact that gays can exhibit the same godly characteristics and have normal desires for close relationships as straights elicits a desire to be seen as being as good and godly and as unworthy of condemnation as straights. The effort to make gays seem less like evil people can cause us to forget that in God’s eyes we are all still deeply sinful people. Our comparison should be with the character and will of God, not with each other.
So I think one should be cautious about saying such things as, “But that traditional teaching has focused its condemnation on the sex acts themselves, not on the legitimate human desire for closeness that may or may not accompany those acts.” The traditional teaching is that sin goes to our core; it isn’t just in the act. Our impulses and desires can be sinful, too.
The basis for softening our attitude toward gays in the church should not be because they love Jesus too but because we can all find ourselves in the end of Romans 1 if not in the middle.
I reposted your analysis, Wesley: https://www.facebook.com/notes/gordon-wayne-watts/julie-roys-weighs-in-on-julie-rodgers-gay-comments-but-im-confused-on-what-rodge/10152900443015248
It seems that you are probably right (in what I infer or read as your assessment that Romans 1 prohibits the act, not the association), but I admit that I don’t know for sure. I found your post because Julie Rodgers mentioned it in a recent Twitter ‘tweet.’ And, in my comment above, where i ask Julie for clarification on what, exactly, she thinks is forbidden, when updating my own blog entry, I gave you credit for the quote, and cited you to wit.
Just figured I’d weigh in and give you the heads up.
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