<body>
Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On Christians, Compassion, and Being Gay

I have been receiving some interesting comments from an old acquaintance of mine under my post last week addressing Carrie Prejean. I thought the issues he raised in objection to some of the things I wrote against Perez Hilton specifically, and homosexuals in general, were well stated and worth bringing to the front page for consideration.

His primary objection is the use of what I guess could be called "incendiary" language to describe homosexuality.

Fred, your statement that they are only defined by "deviant behavior" shows your complete lack of understanding and ignorance on the subject.

If one were to read the other comments by my friend, he doesn't necessarily ascribe to the Bible the same amount of divine authority to inform men in our day and age as I would. That of course yields a significant difference with how we each identify man's sin problem and God's remedy. However, without going in to great detail with defending the authority of Scripture, suffice it to say, I believe God has given us an authoritative divine revelation that is relevant for addressing the human condition, and that includes sexuality. I also believe this God given revelation is fundamental in shaping one's life by informing a person's view of God, man, and the world in which we live, and how Christians are to understand and respond to homosexuals.

That stated, when I say homosexuality is "deviant behavior" I do so from a biblical position. I am not attempting to be needlessly mean-spirited. I am affirming a position clearly marked out in Scripture: homosexuality is unnatural and a deviation from what God has created regarding human sexuality. I have even written on this in a previous article.

The mistake of those who advocate homosexuality is to wrongly conclude harsh criticism of their lifestyle is intentionally mean-spirited and unloving. This is not the case at all as I, a person who takes God's Word seriously, attempt to address what God has declared as sinful.

He continues,

I wonder if you throw around calling people with a weight problem, "gluttons and temple-desecrators" or those who have been divorced and remarried, "adulterers and fornicators" or those who are a little too concerned with how many things they have "Idolaters". Do you call them out as easily as you do the gay "perverts?" If the church excluded all of the people who habitually did those things -- it would be an awfully small building.

Well, when it comes to individuals who habitually sin, then yes, a person who would habitually lie to me I would call a liar, or one who habitually engaged in adultery I would call an adulterer. This is what Scripture would call such a person engaged in unrepentant behavior. In 1 Cor. 6:9, Paul identifies people according to the characteristics of their sin. There are fornicators, thieves, and liars, and we are told such individuals engaged unrepentantly with these sins will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Now, that is not to say these people are unredeemable. Paul does go on to state in the following verses many of these people had been washed from their sin, justified by Christ, and filled with the Spirit, and now have a new identification. What sins that once habitually marked their life are now replaced with righteousness.

Moving along to another important thought to consider from Dan. He writes,

I spent 15 years in ex-gay ministries of some sort – doing my best to not be gay. Obviously I have my own baggage. My frustration is this asinine, ignorant assertion on the part of most Christians that being gay is simply a behavior that you just stop doing – then you aren’t gay anymore! Pretty simple. NOT. The behavior is only one part. There’s the issue of lust, controlling thoughts and the mind, there’s the shame of even having the thoughts in our society.

And

But there is no choice in being gay. If you are gay, you are – whether you ever have sex or not. Is it genetic? environmental? I don’t know. I suspect it is a combination of both. One thing it is not is simple.

I have always maintained that a person's struggle with homosexuality is real. It isn't some choice he or she intentionally decides to make in order to be trendy. Perhaps there are some cases like that, but for the majority of individuals who call themselves "gay" there are real, genuine struggles they experience, and it isn't a behavior they can decide to stop.

Identifying the source of these homosexual orientations, however, is probably where Dan and I would sharply disagree. Again, this goes back to our fundamental convictions regarding the authoritative nature of Scripture. Where as some would say being gay is genetic, environmental, or a combination of both, I would say ultimately it comes down to how sin permeates the whole being of mankind. If sin, as the Bible declares, separates men from the knowledge of God and orients them earthward, driving them to live in rebellion against God and stirring up inordinate affections, I would expect man's sexuality to be impacted by sin as well. Sexual sin may manifest itself in a variety of ways, both heterosexual as well as homosexual.

The question then is: Can a person change in any meaningful fashion?

I would say yes.

Now the immediate reaction from those who would consider themselves "gay" is to reply, "How can you say such a thing? No one can fundamentally change their internal nature!" The idea being a person who is "gay" has been determined to have this orientation by some outside factors beyond his or her control. There are a number of things to say in response to this charge, because I think it is wrongly assumed that because we are talking about sexual orientation and desire such change is impossible.

-- First off, all people across the world experience strong desires, impulses, and orientations, but we tend to categorize them as bad or good according to what offends or doesn't offend our sensibilities. For example, there are heterosexual people who often claim they have a sex addiction in which they must feed their sexual desires by frequenting many partners. However, we tend to look at these "desires" as being harmful to the individual and label them as "addictions" not orientations.

Now, I would imagine my friend would say this is a non-related illustration. These are straight people engaging in irresponsible, sexual behavior. He, as a gay man, doesn't engage in irresponsible, sexual behavior. But let me take it a step further, I have listened to testimonies of self-professed pedophiles who assert their sexual interest in pubescent girls or boys was an "orientation" much like homosexuality. Yet, even if they don't fulfill their "orientation" we still recoil in disgust from such people. They are treated as a threat to society and are psychoanalyzed to determine how they can change their "orientation." Why are they not allowed to cultivate their "orientation"? I think in our progressive culture it is naive to believe there isn't a sophisticated 10 or 11 year old willing to experiment with this lifestyle. All that is needed to do is lower the age of consent laws so they can be free to make that choice themselves. This of course is an absurd scenario (at least at this time in history), but point being: just because a person has an orientation or desire doesn't necessarily make it a good and healthy thing.

-- Secondly I think the work of sanctification is misunderstood. To say a person cannot change in relation to thoughts, deeds, and desires God has clearly declared as being sinful and against His created order, undervalues the power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify a person and bring that person into conformity to God's standards of righteousness. Christ's salvation is more than being saved from eternal damnation. It also entails deliverance from the power and enslavement of sin. Paul's whole discussion in Romans 6 is to tell the Christian that sin no longer has the power over him as it once did (Rom. 6:6,7). Sin's dominion has been rendered inoperative, so that the Christian CAN live obediently to the righteousness of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit works in his life (Rom. 8).

Yet, this is a work of God's Spirit in the heart of sinners to re-orient them Godwardly by the regeneration of the Spirit. I believe Dan is correct when he wrote that 15 years of ex-gay ministries didn't do anything to change him. That's because ex-gay ministries can't do anything to change a person. In fact, no amount of Church related activities or ministries can do anything to change a person struggling with any sin in his or her life. That has to be a divine work of God alone in the person's heart. Certainly ex-gay ministries and serving in the local church have their place in the spiritual growth of a person, but they are not the starting point with dealing with sin, habits, trials, or any number of issues all men struggle with in their personal lives.

-- Then third, that brings me back to what I stated above about the authority of God's Word in a person's life. If the Bible is just a 2,000 year old book with nothing important to really say to us in 2009, as Dan implied in another comment, or if it is only a book which is important and influential, but should remain separated from the "worship" of the living God, then there is nothing objective on which we can truly base our relationship with God. All that is left is our individual subjective spiritual experience which determines how we express compassion.

We certainly cannot confront sin in any form, nor can we exhort believers in truth. In fact, how can anyone even really know anything objective about God's person and attributes? Unless there is an authoritative standard of revelation, no one truly can.

Usually the response is to say it is a relationship with the "living God," but how exactly does that "living God" explain Himself to the person? How can anyone know for sure the truthfulness of His will? For the "living God" may direct one person in a specific direction, where as he may direct another person in an entirely different direction. Those directions may be utterly contradictory, but no one can really say anything against such irrationality because the experience of a personal life journey trumps what objectivity may exist.

But, all of that to zero in on Dan's main point I believe if also important: Christians are regrettably known for their harshness and hatefulness toward people who would call themselves "gay." On this we are fundamentally agreed, and it is sad confession. There is a need to express to them Christ's love and compassion with both word and action. Christian's should not run from a person who says he or she is gay. They must be prepared to engage them with Christlikeness.

However, in spite of the Christians failing in this area, any expression of love and compassion they do give is not to be absent a confrontation of what has been revealed as sin in God's Word. To ignore those issues would not be loving, because it does not tell the person the total truth of what God has clearly stated in Scripture about homosexuality.

Labels: , ,

36 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

I can certainly sympathize with lifelong struggles against forces which seem totally out of our control - over a decade of severe depression in my case - but I can also attest to the power of God being able to dramatically change a person's desires.

12:16 PM, May 20, 2009  
Blogger Jay said...

Being someone who also struggles with a homosexual orientation, I can sympathize with Dan's frustrations, but I also realize that no amount of frustration or hardship surrounding these desires is going to change God's word.

I think there are a few things that cause many people who struggle with homosexuality to eventually settle for gay-affirming theology. The first is probably the inability for many Christians to speak about this issue in love and fairness. For example, as you pointed out, it is certainly proper for a person to call an active homosexual a pervert. It's perfectly accepted to call these desires perverted. It's a difficult thing to accept as a man who struggles with them, but it's right.

What often makes it worse, though, is when words like "pervert" and "perverted" are thrown only towards homosexuals or those struggling with homosexuality, with no showing of humility from those not oriented that way. Often times those words are leveled against us, but the people speaking them do not confess their own struggles with sin, their own depraved thoughts, etc. Issues such as fornication and divorce and remarriage are glossed over, while homosexuality is pointed out.

I am also skeptical of ex-gay ministries, even though I believe in a Biblical sexual ethic. I have found that several focus too much on trying to change an individual from homosexual to heterosexual, as if that is the end goal of sanctification. I've even known men who knowingly looked at heterosexual pornography, at the suggestion of their counselors, in order to try and stir heterosexual feelings.

I obviously don't need to point out everything that's wrong with that particular scenario.

The most "successful" men and women I know who struggle against a homosexual orientation are those who accept that it may not change in the way they want it to change. It may not be meant for us to be "straight" in the way that everyone else is straight. Many men and women I know who have gotten married admit that their same-sex attractions are still present. In many cases, their husband or wife is the only person of the opposite sex they are attracted to.

In all actuality, although a few people who deal with these desires marry, I've found that many find more peace and usefulness to the Church by remaining celibate. I know one gentleman nearing 50 who is a fantastic Christian man. He has never developed heterosexual feelings, though over the years his homosexual desires have faded (though he still deals with residual ones). I know a few women who, though younger, seem to be living a similar life.

It's important, then, for the Church to recognize that those who struggle with this likely won't go on to marry. Marriage, if sought, must also be something that is gone into with realistic expectations and a lot of honesty and patience. The idea that people will go from 100% homosexual to 100% heterosexual is quite misleading. Our desires are much more complex than that, as is Christ's plan for sanctification for each of us.

What Christians need to do is make sure that people who deal with this issue know that we have something of value to offer, despite our struggles. Many struggling folks feel that they are unwanted until they are "like everybody else," and that is quite a tragedy. Similarly, the Church needs to stand with those who are trying to lead Godly single lives, because they often struggle with loneliness. Marriage and family are good, but singles--even those with homosexual desires--are part of the Church family as well.

Grace and peace to you all,
Jay

9:40 PM, May 20, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Jay,
Well spoken brother,

You write,

as you pointed out, it is certainly proper for a person to call an active homosexual a pervert. It's perfectly accepted to call these desires perverted. It's a difficult thing to accept as a man who struggles with them, but it's right.

Just so that everyone knows, I would call a person who was involved with and advocated heterosexual fornication a pervert as well. There are way more of them any ways.

Fred

5:51 AM, May 21, 2009  
Blogger Jay said...

Thanks, Fred. I understood that, and I thank you for it. A lot of Christians would gloss over heterosexual fornication, and that's quite frustrating.

7:02 AM, May 21, 2009  
Blogger donsands said...

Excellent post. A homerun.

And good thoughts from Jay as well.

The Church has much to learn. We either give super-duper compassion to homosexuals living in sin, without the truth, like a Brian McLaren. Or we condemn them as worse sinners then others.

I like to remember, "But for the grace of God, there go I."

The other factor for sanctification is the wrestling with Satan and his cohorts. There's a genuine spiritual wickedness that is with us 24-7, and they are relentless to tempt us. That's why Paul says to put the armour on.

The battle belongs to the Lord, but we need our armour as well.

1:16 PM, May 21, 2009  
Blogger Craig and Heather said...

One thing God has been working on in my life is the idea of how we have no problem pointing out that same sex attraction is perverted, but gloss over how opposite sex attraction outside of our own marriages is equally perverted. God designed marriage to be sacred between myself and my wife. Any other "desire" I may have is outside of that design. This is not only adultery, but also coveting. Coveting attacks God Himself, as it is saying I could care for me better than He does and assaults His providence. In being conformed to the image of Christ, I must reach the point where I see any "wandering eye" issues within myself as perverted and disgusting.

Craig

12:27 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger donsands said...

".."wandering eye" issues within myself as perverted and disgusting."

Amen to that. And it happens to me a lot. But I hate that I love it sometimes.

I am way better than before Christ saved my heart and soul. The Holy Spirit is God in us to will and to work His purpose.
But I must say I long for righteousness in it's completeness in my mind.
I was thinking about that today as I wandered. i thought Lord when I get to heaven, and am in Your presence, will I have a "wandering eye"? I suppose it will be obliterated, and how I can'r wait for that.

Have a great holiday and Lord's day.

1:26 PM, May 22, 2009  
OpenID gcmwatch said...

"In many cases, their husband or wife is the only person of the opposite sex they are attracted to."

I find that to be a completely strange statement as it seems to state married individuals ought to be sexually attracted to others outside their marriage. You just complained about adultery not being pointed out, but then turn around and give it a positive nod.

If thats what you really think your relational ethic is way off and perhaps colors your other complaints about homosexuality.

BTW Fred, excellent commentary!

2:42 PM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Jay said...

That's not what I meant, GCMWatch. Obviously, in a perfect world, every man would only be attracted to his wife and every woman only attracted to her husband (if they were meant for marriage to start with, of course).

However, we don't live in that world, at least not yet (though Christ is coming).

Clinically, homosexuality and heterosexuality refer not to specific individuals, but to whether or not someone is attracted to the same sex on the whole or the opposite sex on the whole. When people talk about reorientation therapy, they assume that a homosexual man can go completely heterosexual, not just in behavior, but in his clinical attractions. In other words, that he can go from exclusively liking members men to liking women.

In fact, I know many men who have gone the reorientation route who seem to call it a blessing from God when various women turn their heads. I think that immorality is immorality, no matter who you're attracted to, so I pray for them.

Now, like I said, I think lifelong celibacy is the best route for people who deal with same-gender attractions. However, I do know men who, through much patience and honesty with their spouse, have developed attractions to one woman, who would be their wife. Their temptations from people outside of their marriage come from members of the same sex (whereas a heterosexual person has temptations from members of the opposite sex).

All in all, it doesn't matter too much. A married man or woman is a married man or woman, no matter what their other temptations are. What matters is if they are faithful to their spouse. However, when it comes to ministering to people who struggle with homosexuality, I think it's important to be somewhat realistic in saying that temptations from members of the same sex aren't going to be replaced by temptations from the opposite sex. In fact, I think it's wise to say that both are equally immoral.

And like I said, I think the Church needs to do some work to be a place for lifelong singles, because I do think that most men and women who struggle with homosexuality end up being that, and that's nothing to be ashamed of.

Regards,
Jay

9:25 AM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

And like I said, I think the Church needs to do some work to be a place for lifelong singles, because I do think that most men and women who struggle with homosexuality end up being that, and that's nothing to be ashamed of.

Well stated. Your last paragraph is a good reminder for Christians as a whole, and something we need to keep in mind when dealing with homosexuality in our culture and as it intersects with the church.

Fred

10:42 AM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger tdw2008 said...

Fred, (I write more emphatically than I am - don't want to sound too harsh) :)
Been a busy week, so just now reading this. Some responses…
You quoted my objection to your “incendiary” language – but then moved on to my argument about gay people only being defined by their deviant behavior. My problem was the snarky and decidedly sarcastic throwing around of the word “pervert.” To me doing so is quite “un-Christian” – not just the word, but the way you used it.
You write…
“The mistake of those who advocate homosexuality is to wrongly conclude harsh criticism of their lifestyle is intentionally mean-spirited and unloving. This is not the case at all as I, a person who takes God's Word seriously, attempt to address what God has declared as sinful.”

I didn’t say harsh criticism was mean-spirited – I said YOURS was. I didn’t express a problem with the word “deviant” but with the word “pervert.” Again, I said that while the word may be accurate in your assessment and criteria – however it is un-necessarily spiteful and vindictive. I am very close to my family. However, I have, my entire life, made sure that I didn’t spend much time alone with my nieces and nephews – lest anyone accuse me or even suspect me of anything so horrible – since it’s so easy for Christians to equate one “perversion” with another one – which you, of course, get to later in your response. It’s sad that I even have to consider this – but “Christians” are so eager to tie homosexuality with pedophilia that a gay person has to be realistic. Never mind the huge numbers of hetereosexual pedophiles. Your casual use of the word only reinforces that erroneous belief.

Then you say...
“Well, when it comes to individuals who habitually sin, then yes, a person who would habitually lie to me I would call a liar, or one who habitually engaged in adultery I would call an adulterer. This is what Scripture would call such a person engaged in unrepentant behavior. In 1 Cor. 6:9, Paul identifies people according to the characteristics of their sin. There are fornicators, thieves, and liars, and we are told such individuals engaged unrepentantly with these sins will not inherit the Kingdom of God. “

Yeah, technically you might call them that – however, I suspect you don’t go out of your way to do it with the same venom you do with gay people – as you did in your previous column. But I could be wrong on that – I don’t read all your posts.
CONT'D

6:33 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger tdw2008 said...

You also write...
“Identifying the source of these homosexual orientations, however, is probably where Dan and I would sharply disagree. Again, this goes back to our fundamental convictions regarding the authoritative nature of Scripture. Where as some would say being gay is genetic, environmental, or a combination of both, I would say ultimately it comes down to how sin permeates the whole being of mankind. If sin, as the Bible declares, separates men from the knowledge of God and orients them earthward, driving them to live in rebellion against God and stirring up inordinate affections, I would expect man's sexuality to be impacted by sin as well. Sexual sin may manifest itself in a variety of ways, both heterosexual as well as homosexual.”

Ugh. This is such a limited idea that I’m not sure how to deal with it. You can choose to answer all the complexities of human nature and life with “it’s just that old sin that started and went wacky-doody haywire!” But then where is an intellectual examination of sexual orientation or attraction in an individual person rather than the whole “sins of their fathers” argument? Yes, you may think it is simply wrong, but to dismiss where it comes from – if genetic or environmental – does nothing to examine the issue and ultimately, nothing that might bring about the change that you proclaim exists.

Yours...
“The question then is: Can a person change in any meaningful fashion?

I would say yes.”

And you would be wrong. Go hang out with a bunch of ex-gays for 15 years, then you can tell me if significant change occurs. I think I’ve got a little experience on this issue. Can behavior be modified by some kind of reward/punishment lab experiment over years? Yes. Does basic orientation change? Not one whit. And I’ve known the people who get up and speak at churches saying that it does – then confess their private struggles when they step down.
.
You write...
" First off, all people across the world experience strong desires, impulses, and orientations, but we tend to categorize them as bad or good according to what offends or doesn't offend our sensibilities. For example, there are heterosexual people who often claim they have a sex addiction in which they must feed their sexual desires by frequenting many partners. However, we tend to look at these "desires" as being harmful to the individual and label them as "addictions" not orientations."

Yes, but you are then not denying those heterosexual “strugglers” with their entire orientation. They can still pursue a sexual relationship or intimacy that is still open to them. Most who like ‘kinky’ hetero sex or addictions can still enjoy “normal” or “biblical” sexual relations. When you deny a gay person that expression of who they are, you are denying the entirety of their sexual being. There is no other acceptable “outlet.” That would be tough enough it were only about sex. However, orientation is just as much, if not more about emotional attraction which makes it impossible.

6:34 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger tdw2008 said...

You write...
“Now, I would imagine my friend would say this is a non-related illustration. These are straight people engaging in irresponsible, sexual behavior. He, as a gay man, doesn't engage in irresponsible, sexual behavior. But let me take it a step further, I have listened to testimonies of self-professed pedophiles who assert their sexual interest in pubescent girls or boys was an "orientation" much like homosexuality.”

Well, we knew it was going “there” as it always does. Again, you are showing a lack of understanding about “orientation.” Just because they claim it is their orientation has absolutely nothing to do with the argument about same-sex orientation.

You write...
"Yet, even if they don't fulfill their "orientation" we still recoil in disgust from such people. They are treated as a threat to society and are psychoanalyzed to determine how they can change their "orientation." Why are they not allowed to cultivate their "orientation"?

Perhaps because their actions victimize those most vulnerable? Again, you can use the term orientation all day long and that doesn’t make it the correct word.

You write...
"I think in our progressive culture it is naive to believe there isn't a sophisticated 10 or 11 year old willing to experiment with this lifestyle. All that is needed to do is lower the age of consent laws so they can be free to make that choice themselves. This of course is an absurd scenario (at least at this time in history), but point being: just because a person has an orientation or desire doesn't necessarily make it a good and healthy thing. "

Oh my God! You mean a 10 or 11 year old might experiment sexually? Have you ever heard of kids playing Doctor? It happens. You are trying to equate older/younger power and abuse and saying it is exactly the same as people of equal age expressing their basic orientation or even experimenting. I disagree. (and I am making these points on an intellectual level – I know that on your biblical level that they really are the same – which underscores that all this is probably pointless debate when one person bases everything on a strict interpretation of the Bible)

6:35 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger tdw2008 said...

You write...
“-- Secondly I think the work of sanctification is misunderstood. To say a person cannot change in relation to thoughts, deeds, and desires God has clearly declared as being sinful and against His created order, undervalues the power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify a person and bring that person into conformity to God's standards of righteousness. Christ's salvation is more than being saved from eternal damnation. It also entails deliverance from the power and enslavement of sin. Paul's whole discussion in Romans 6 is to tell the Christian that sin no longer has the power over him as it once did (Rom. 6:6,7). Sin's dominion has been rendered inoperative, so that the Christian CAN live obediently to the righteousness of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit works in his life (Rom. 8).

All these principles still work in my life. God is helping me overcome enslavement to my lesser instincts all the time. I don’t think being gay is one of those lesser instincts. You just want a simplistic, concrete definition of “sin.” I believe it is much more complicated. What is “sin” to one person, may not be “sin” to another. Don’t let your head explode! ☺ One person can drink and it not be a sin, another can drink and it is a sin. Perhaps sin is about the spirit and intention behind the behavior rather than the behavior itself? Hmmm. But that wouldn’t be a concrete, black/white spelled out thing – which I think many Christians can’t handle the thought of. Because their “God” – the Bible -- would therefore be something they have to examine and truly contemplate rather than only study and memorize. My students always want memorization tests – they rarely want to have to think.

6:36 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger tdw2008 said...

You write...
"Yet, this is a work of God's Spirit in the heart of sinners to re-orient them Godwardly by the regeneration of the Spirit. I believe Dan is correct when he wrote that 15 years of ex-gay ministries didn't do anything to change him. That's because ex-gay ministries can't do anything to change a person. In fact, no amount of Church related activities or ministries can do anything to change a person struggling with any sin in his or her life. That has to be a divine work of God alone in the person's heart. Certainly ex-gay ministries and serving in the local church have their place in the spiritual growth of a person, but they are not the starting point with dealing with sin, habits, trials, or any number of issues all men struggle with in their personal lives."



No, I don’t think they do have their place. You can admonish and correct yourself for lusting after a woman who is not your wife. You can repent for it, have it come up again, and struggle with it – and still have a relationship with your wife that offers you moments of respite. You try admonishing and correcting yourself for being drawn to the female body period. We’re men. You would do nothing else but admonish yourself so continually that a true life would not be possible. It would be foolish to deny such a basic part of who you are – a person drawn to the female body, spirit and essence. Now, some would say – then I should be monk-like and live that kind of existence of complete isolation – but in the real world, I contend it is impossible for a person to be “ex-gay” and healthy- they are too often in direct conflict with who they are.

You write...
-- Then third, that brings me back to what I stated above about the authority of God's Word in a person's life. If the Bible is just a 2,000 year old book with nothing important to really say to us in 2009, as Dan implied in another comment, or if it is only a book which is important and influential, but should remain separated from the "worship" of the living God, then there is nothing objective on which we can truly base our relationship with God. All that is left is our individual subjective spiritual experience which determines how we express compassion. "


Heaven forbid that we be forced to discern God in our own spirits – as those IN the Bible did. Heaven forbid that God give new revelation to His believers! Of course not! All revelation from God must be limited to having occurred 2000 years ago. Or it must conform to the strict guidelines set about in a culture from 2000 years ago. God CANNOT change in any way. God CANNOT be a dynamic living force but MUST be enshrined in WORDS only.

6:38 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger tdw2008 said...

And lastly...

You write...
"We certainly cannot confront sin in any form, nor can we exhort believers in truth. In fact, how can anyone even really know anything objective about God's person and attributes? Unless there is an authoritative standard of revelation, no one truly can."


And this, in my opinion is the crux of the issue. Most Christians are too afraid to truly step out in faith. Unless we spell everything out, then there will be chaos! We don’t trust God enough to believe that – should believers be empowered to commune directly with God instead of through the “priests” and “gate-keepers” – then God would not survive. I understand how scary this thought is. It’s messy. It’s “out of our control”. But I am coming to believe that biblical interpretation is much more about our need to stay in control than it is about worshiping God.

Finally, you write...
"But, all of that to zero in on Dan's main point I believe if also important: Christians are regrettably known for their harshness and hatefulness toward people who would call themselves "gay." On this we are fundamentally agreed, and it is sad confession. There is a need to express to them Christ's love and compassion with both word and action. Christian's should not run from a person who says he or she is gay. They must be prepared to engage them with Christlikeness.
However, in spite of the Christians failing in this area, any expression of love and compassion they do give is not to be absent a confrontation of what has been revealed as sin in God's Word. To ignore those issues would not be loving, because it does not tell the person the total truth of what God has clearly stated in Scripture about homosexuality."


And thus we are back where we started. You start with love in the first paragraph, but end with “truth” in “love” or condemnation on the last paragraph. But “truth” in love is not loving at all when “truth” condemns not what a person DOES, but who they ARE.

You’re a sport to debate. I don’t know that it helps, but maybe on some level there is different or more detailed understanding. God Bless! : )

6:38 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger Jay said...

TDW2008: I can't really comment on everything you've written, mainly because you've written so much.

But I do want to say a few things. Obviously, it seems that you were very hurt by ex-gay ministries. I can understand. I am wary of many myself because they focus too much on therapies that are based more in pseudoscience than actual science, and many make heterosexual desires and a family an idol--on par with salvation in importance. This, obviously, is wrong, and it leads to many unhealthy attitudes and feelings.

But there are guys and gals--myself included--who struggle with this issue and who are happy and honest. I don't claim to be heterosexual. I don't really like the term "gay" but my sexual attractions are primarliy towards people of the same sex, so it's not completely wrong. They are something I struggle against, just like other men struggle against their wandering eyes towards women, but it's not like I stress about it 100% of the time.

And I am fully aware that they may never go away. I may never be attracted to a woman and I may live out the rest of my life as a celibate guy. But do you think it's impossible to be happy and content that way? I've met men and women--many of them straight--who have never married and lead very full, godly lives. It's certainly something I worry about, but we all worry about our futures to some extent, don't we?

Like I said in my comment to GCMWatch, I'm not a big fan of reorientation therapy. I think the main divide between Christians who struggle with homosexuality is between those who advocate celibacy and those who advocate reorientation. I'm in the former camp, but I know many Christians in the latter who are good, honest, happy people.

And like you said, we do need to study causation a bit more and not be afraid of science, just to know how to witness to gay men and women better. Maybe for some people environmental factors, such as abuse, play a larger role, and maybe for others biology is more involved. This could let us know who is more capable to undergo a change in orientation and who should stick to godly celibacy.

Either way, causes don't change God's word, and we have to trust that following Him is the best thing to do, right? Taking things into our own hands and just because we don't think He'll provide shows a bit of a lack of faith. I'm sure you probably think I'm young and deluded and, like you, will fall off the "ex-gay" bandwagon one day, but at the moment I really do feel hopeful that, even if my attractions never go away, and even if I never get married and have kids, God will still provide me with everything I need to be happy and healthy.

And most importantly, He'll provide me with His saving grace, because I need that more than anything. We all do.

Regards,
Jay

7:14 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger tdw2008 said...

Jay,
I hadn't read your comments when I first responded. I'll do you the courtesy of being honest. Yes, I do think you are probably young (although I don't know your age) and yeah, I do think that chances are you will fall off the ex-gay wagon.
That said, I don't begrudge you the path you choose to take in response to your orientation. I hope you find happiness and a true sense of joy in life. Do I think that's impossible in ex-gay ministries? No, I just think that it is setting a person up for failure - and that by conveying that a person's very being is unacceptable to God - and I do believe orientation is how God creates a person and thus a very large part of their being - just as heterosexuality - that by setting up that equation, it is nearly impossible for someone who is "ex-gay" to find enduring peace in this world. Don't get me wrong, many people who accept their orientation don't find enduring peace either - for many factors - I just think the ex-gay path is much more difficult - and life is a difficult path for all people regardless.
I think you have reasoned and an intelligent grasp of the issue. And I shouldn't say that ex-gay ministries are bad for every single person. I just believe they are so unnecessary and something that is forced upon us by narrow and shallow interpretations of the Bible. I had plenty of moments of joy in my years in ministry. And I've had plenty of non-joyful moments since I came "out." People seem to think that people "give in" to being gay because it makes life easier. It doesn't really. Life has tough moments either way.

9:56 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger tdw2008 said...

However, I came up against a choice. I had a personal spiritual revelation that was in complete contradiction to a strict interpretation of the Bible. I didn't particular want that revelation. I wasn't looking for a reason to "excuse" myself or my behavior. I am not arguing about the "okayness" of being gay to excuse or justify how I live my life. I do not need that justification from people and for the most part, could care less what anyone thinks of my relationship with God. I know what I know what I know. I speak out about this not to justify myself, but because I am sick and tired of people being abused in the name of Jesus. It pisses me off. You can all think I'm going "straight to the pit of hell" if you want - doesn't matter to me. But I am not going to sit back while Fred, or any of these other people tell someone that being gay is unacceptable to God. It's not that I don't think they are good people - and I don't even question their motives - but they are wrong! And as you all know when the shackles come off and you find freedom in Christ there is nothing that any man can say to make you put those shackles back on. Asking me to take a literal or strict interpretation of the Bible is akin to me asking you not to - unless a new revelation comes from God - it ain't going to happen. But this whole idea of the Bible as God and one particular interpretation as the ultimate and only truth -- that you just stumbled on the one exact one -- I find a little baffling. No, that's not true, I understand it. If we are being honest - I find it lazy. Lazy and arrogant and complacent. I don't say all that to try to be so confrontational. As much as you guys think you are "evangelizing" to me and the world -- I am also "evangelizing" to you. I have seen some truth that is so beautiful and enduring that it makes me sad to see people shackled by old, archaic ideas that don't reflect the full glory of God. I know that you all can relate to how I feel on the other side of this particular coin.

10:12 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger tdw2008 said...

Seriously, I have too much time on my hands these days! And writing way too much I know. But it is kicking my motivation into gear. I'm doing the second draft of a novel this summer. So all this writing is doing some good with that. :)

10:16 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Dan,

You happened to have caught me at the end of the week as I am wrapping stuff up here at work so I can leave to Arkansas for a week or so.

Just that you do know, Dan, I appreciate the challenge. I will attempt to respond in more full next week when I have more free time myself.

One thing I think you may have a point is with the use of language as we discuss this issue. Perhaps "pervert" is too harsh of a term, though I had Perez Hilton in mind more than homosexuals in general. I think I can say rather confidently that he is a sick little pervert. None the less, there is something to say about the use of terms to describe a person and reflecting genuine Christ-likeness as I attempt to minister to them. So I accept your criticism and make a point to be more mindful of my comments in the future.

More next week...

5:51 AM, May 28, 2009  
OpenID gcmwatch said...

Jay what do you mean many cases? You are making statements which (1) according to you are opposite of what you mean and (2) have no substantiation.

Frankly, its offensive and has no basis in scripture sans your "real world" scenario. Maybe that's how it is in YOUR life, but be clear to speak for yourself when saying such things.

1:20 PM, May 28, 2009  
OpenID gcmwatch said...

Fred, re Jay's "single" remark, its again a rather matrix world remark. God said that its not good that man should be alone. We need to get back to standing with God. Instead of accepting singleness as a commandment of God, why not accept marriage as a benefit from God? These who eschew marriage because of homosexual past are condemning themselves to a host of problems that do not come from some command from God.

Those who are commanded to be single, it isnt because of a sinful past common to many people, its because God has singled them out for a special work which requires them to be sanctified for the Master's use. Is this what Jay is referring to? Probably not. We shouldnt confuse compassion with allowing people to leave beneath their God-given benefits and priveleges.

Singleness is not interchangeable with lonelieness.

1:26 PM, May 28, 2009  
Blogger Jay said...

GCMWatch: Whatever contradictions you are seeing in my writing, I have to say I don't see. I think I've been pretty clear and I don't think I've said anything that is "opposite of what I mean." Exactly what are you referencing?

And how do my statements have no substantiation? I've made it perfectly clear that I'm talking about individuals that I personally know, not any kind of formalized research. I know many people who struggle with this issue. In fact, since I started blogging I'd say I've met over 70. Again, that's not research, but I do think it's enough that I've been able to observe a brief glimpse of what seems to work and what doesn't in people's lives. We could debate about research, but I'm not sure this is the forum for that.

And what has no basis in Scripture? That people who struggle with homosexuality likely do so for their entire life? Fred said as much in this post. I'm not saying it happens with everyone like that but in my experience, it seems to be the norm, and conversion from a completely homosexual orientation to a heterosexual one is rare, whether or not the person marries and functions heterosexually with their spouse.

And lastly, I am totally open to the possibility of marrying, but at this stage in my life, it's simply not an option for me. In fact, one could say I have a disability that keeps me from marrying (this is how C.S. Lewis once put it when he said that it would be best for homosexual persons to remain celibate).

Some people have limitations that prevent them from marrying. Some are temporary (as homosexuality may be for me if I meet a woman whom I can function with heterosexually), and some aren't (like other disabilities that would keep people from having consummated marriages).

I don't think a command for singleness has to be a direct revelation from God. I think a rational look at one's limitations (and one's opportunities to serve the church as a focused single person) can be an indicator that--at least for now--singleness is the best route. Nor do I think singleness is a condemnation to "a host of problems." There are benefits to both singleness and marriage, and you're right, neither are supposed to be lonely.

Regards,
Jay

3:37 PM, May 28, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Those who are commanded to be single, it isnt because of a sinful past common to many people, its because God has singled them out for a special work which requires them to be sanctified for the Master's use. Is this what Jay is referring to?

Not to be contentious, but I would ask, "how does one exactly know he or she has been commanded by God to be single?"

3:58 PM, May 28, 2009  
Blogger tdw2008 said...

Fred,
Thanks for the thought about the use of that word. I agree with you that Perez Hilton is a perverted excuse for a human being - but I think that has nothing to do with his sexual orientation, but rather that he is a despicable, bottom-feeding, parasitic, publicity-whore. I have, since the first day he appeared on the LA scene, thought so. So I am with you on that.
My main contention in that whole debacle is from a point of Civil Rights. I honestly believe that people are being denied their civil rights in a secular society. I know many couples who have been together for 20 plus years and think they deserve the legal protections that "marriage" affords. Personally, I would have been perfectly satisfied with separate but equal 'civil unions' - but that was before the whole Prop 8 thing. Now I am more in the "marriage" camp.
Anyway, I appreciate the reflection on the casual use of that particular word for all gay people because of the history in which it has been used.
Dan :)

7:40 PM, May 28, 2009  
OpenID gcmwatch said...

Fred I wouldnt know, Im married. But you used the phase "lifelong singles". Maybe you could explain what you meant by that and its origin and we could backtrack.

Jay used the phrase "lifelong celibacy" and said it "is the best route for people who deal with same-gender attractions."

How does he come to that conclusion when God said its not good that man should be alone?

Its interesting that this idea is being pitched that men who have homosexual pasts shouldnt consider marriage.

Correct me if Im wrong.

2:21 PM, May 29, 2009  
Blogger Jay said...

GCMWatch: For clarification, I'm not saying anything about men with homosexual pasts, exactly. For example, I know a man who had quite a homosexual past but then developed, almost without warning, many heterosexual attractions. Surely for him, since he has the ability to heterosexually function within a marriage and be attracted to his wife, he should seek marriage.

But for someone who has exclusive attractions to the same sex, which seem to not go away despite prayer or various therapies, I think celibacy is the best option. Unless you're saying that a man should get married to a woman he isn't attracted to. It may not be good for a man to be alone, but at the same time, I think getting married to a woman when you can't fulfill your duties to her as a husband would be even worse.

And in terms of God saying it's not good that man should be alone, I think you'll find that the church is full of many singles who don't have a direct command from God. Just thinking of godly single Christians off the top of my head: Vice president of Exodus International, Randy Thomas, is in his mid-40s and has never married. The same goes for conservative blogger La Shawn Barber (whom Fred links to, though I'm sure you're familiar with her as well). There are a host of others that I know in my own life, and I'm sure you know some too.

Unless you are saying that remaining single is a sin, I'm not sure what your problem with all this is. I'm not saying that a man who deals with SSA shouldn't get married, ever. I'm just saying that that a marriage like that will bring with it a host of challenges that most couples don't have to face, and many men and women who get into such marriages aren't ready for those challenges when they do. If the choice is between a dead marriage or godly celibacy, I think the latter is the better option. And it might be best, at least when a man first starts dealing with homosexuality, to encourage celibacy more.

5:11 PM, May 29, 2009  
OpenID gcmwatch said...

"And in terms of God saying it's not good that man should be alone, I think you'll find that the church is full of many singles who don't have a direct command from God."Randy Thomas' singleness doesnt change or negate what God said. He said it wasnt good, and its not. We may find coping mechanisms but what he said still stands unless there is a divine imperative --for the kingdom's sake-- to remain single (Jesus, Paul). My original point was to bring attention to you seemingly destining men to a life of singleness without the consideration that with GOD all things are possible. Dont take away people's hope for what God has said is a good thing. If anything we should proclaim that paradoxes aside, there is a full and complete life in Christ with a opposite sex mate is possible.

True, such marriages bring on a "host of challenges" but marriage in and of itself is a challenge so the point is moot. There is no mandate that a marriage has to be dead and the either/or choice you are advocating is incorrect.

The problem is that people like you maybe for your own personal reasons want to project this cloud onto others and take away their hope and desire to be married.

11:08 AM, June 01, 2009  
Blogger Jay said...

GCMWatch: I am very sorry that you think I am trying to take away people's "hope and desire" to be married. That is certainly not my intention. Nor am I trying to present an either/or choice between singleness and broken marriages. I have no idea where you are getting this perception of me, but I apologize if anything I've said has portrayed that message. It's certainly not my intention.

As I've said earlier, if a man feels confident that he can function sexually with a woman and fulfill his duties to her as a husband, I have no problem with him getting married. All I've been saying is that one should not feel pressure to marry if one is not ready for it, nor should one feel that they are less of a Christian if they aren't married. You keep up bringing singleness as if it's some kind of awful fate.

All I've been saying is that marriages between people need to be entered with a great degree of caution, and singleness doesn't need to be this horrible option that is held as second best. And since you keep up bringing divine imperatives, then you really need to answer Fred's question as to what a divine imperative looks like, because like I said, I know many godly single people (such as Randy Thomas and La Shawn Barber) who have never mentioned such imperatives in their lives.

That's all I really have to say on the matter. If Fred has anything to add about my comments, or questions to ask me, whenever he gets back from visiting his relatives, I will certainly answer. But I don't really have anything else to say about singleness. I think my comments have been as balanced as they can be.

3:26 PM, June 01, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Hey Dan (and others),

I apologize for the delay in responding. We have been traveling about the last week so, I haven't been spending any significant time at the computer.

Your comments are a bit lengthy for me to respond to fully. However, let me respond to a few items you raise. I have cut-and-pasted some of your comments together so as to address the salient issues.

Quoting you:

My problem was the snarky and decidedly sarcastic throwing around of the word “pervert.” .
...
I didn’t say harsh criticism was mean-spirited – I said YOURS was. I didn’t express a problem with the word “deviant” but with the word “pervert.”.

(Fred) I respect your criticism. I wrote that in a comment from last week sometime. It may be that we use truthful language, but the way it is presented can come across in a manner that is as you write, mean-spirited. As Christians desiring to proclaim the truth, one's tone has to reflect genuine godliness, or our witness may be in vain. I am thinking of 1 Peter 3:15ff. But, with that in mind I am curious, why, if a pervert is identical to the concept of deviant would you not be bothered if I had written deviant? From my perspective your objection is a bit inconsistent. If I had attempted to remove as much as possible all the snark that I could from the word "pervert" or even "deviant" would you still object to my use of that terminology? This is the description scripture provides for us within its pages of homosexuality. My desire is to be as biblical as possible with my interaction with homosexual advocacy, especially those who claim the Bible affirms their lifestyle.

Moving along, you write:

Well, we knew it was going “there” as it always does. Again, you are showing a lack of understanding about “orientation.” Just because they claim it is their orientation has absolutely nothing to do with the argument about same-sex orientation ...
Perhaps because their actions victimize those most vulnerable? Again, you can use the term orientation all day long and that doesn’t make it the correct word.
...
Oh my God! You mean a 10 or 11 year old might experiment sexually? Have you ever heard of kids playing Doctor? It happens. You are trying to equate older/younger power and abuse and saying it is exactly the same as people of equal age expressing their basic orientation or even experimenting. I disagree.

(Fred) There are few things I want to address with these comments. I believe my illustration about pedophilia is quite appropriate, particularly when it comes to the concept of orientation. Those who claim to be attracted to children claim it is their personal desire. My point in raising them as an example is not to casually throw around the comparison or suggest all homosexuals are pedophiles, but to point out that they are claiming an orientation for their desires and interests just as you are. Saying you don't like to describe their interest in children as an "orientation" doesn't really help you, because you have no standard by which to say their orientation is wrong or that I am misunderstanding one's orientation. You may say we are having a lack of understanding about "orientation" but it's your word against theirs.

Further more, it doesn't matter if their "orientation" would victimize the vulnerable. We currently have laws protecting children who are at least vulnerable, but like I stated, who is to say a 34 year old man with a willing 11 year old is inappropriate? She or he is certainly not being exploited. Which leads me to a your comment about 10 or 11 year olds experimenting with sex. Are you of the opinion that such behavior is okay? Playing "doctor" or a game of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" is a far cry from a 11 year old have intercourse with another 11 year old, and goodness, what about a 29 year old adult? Is it your opinion that our societies are over reacting with restrictive age of consent laws? I am sort of stunned you would even imply such a thing.

7:28 AM, June 05, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Continuing:

You can choose to answer all the complexities of human nature with “it’s just that old sin that started and went wacky-doody haywire!” But then where is an intellectual examination of sexual orientation in a person rather than the whole “sins of their fathers” argument? ...
Go hang out with a bunch of ex-gays for 15 years, then you can tell me if significant change occurs. And I’ve known the people who get up and speak at churches saying that it does – then confess their private struggles when they step down.

(Fred) This is where we will disagree. I side with the Bible that says men are in sin. The point of Christ's salvation of sinners was because man's sin has separated him from God. I would think you would affirm some aspect of Christian orthodoxy in this area.

I would also argue that Christ's redemption does more than give sinners a ticket to heaven. Redemption impacts the whole of who men are, including their sexual orientation. God directs the standard of man's sexuality back to when He first created man and woman. Jesus affirmed this in Matthew 19. Paul affirmed this same in 1 Corinthians and Ephesians.

The Bible tell us redemption results in a heart change, what Jesus calls being born again. I believe that heart change will result in the ability for men who struggle with any sexual orientation, particularly homosexuality, to put those things off and put on Christ's righteousness, which would entail thinking right about human sexuality. Now, does that mean they won't have struggles with temptation? Of course not. I don't fault those folks who come from an ex-gay life who testify of God's grace in a pulpit but admit privately to struggles of the flesh. Struggles with homosexual temptation does not mean their orientation is "who they are and that they are denying the obvious." God's Word tells us homosexuality is a perversion, because it goes against how God intended men and women to express their sexuality with each other, and God's Word on a matter trumps what we as humans may personally feel about that matter.

Yes, but you are then not denying those heterosexual “strugglers” with their entire orientation. They can still pursue a sexual relationship that is still open to them. Most who like ‘kinky’ hetero sex or addictions can still enjoy “biblical” sexual relations.

When you deny a gay person that expression of who they are, you are denying the entirety of their sexual being. There is no other acceptable “outlet.” That would be tough enough it were only about sex. However, orientation is just as much, if not more about emotional attraction which makes it impossible.

(Fred) First off, I would not agree with you that "kinky" hetero sex or addictions is normal, biblical sexual relations. Generally, such expressions of sexuality are done outside the bounds of marriage. Rarely, if ever, are married people involved in bondage, S&M, "swinging," the use of devices, etc, in order to express their sexuality. Just because it is men and women engaged in these sexual activities doesn't mean they are "biblical."

I would also argue there is no acceptable "outlet" for gay sex either. Simply because men do not have the functionality to express their sexuality with one another. Certainly they could stimulate each other to orgasm, but without being too graphic, anal sex is not the way God intended sexuality to be displayed between human beings, regardless of whether or not people find it "pleasurable." One needs only to work in the hospital to witness firsthand how constant homosexual sex can physically destroy a man's rectum. Let alone all the disease they experience, and that is even between "lovingly, committed partners," too.

Lastly, I have had emotional attractions to men, but I never concluded I was gay. Why does emotional attraction to men equates homosexuality?

7:59 AM, June 05, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

gcmwatch,

I didn't take Jay's comments to be "destining" people who struggle with homosexual desires to a life of singleness. I saw his comments being more of a caution that marriage for a person with these sexual issues could very will be a trial. Now, does that mean they can't work through those trials? No, I think they can with God's grace. SO there I would agree that folks should not despair in never being married if they struggle with homosexuality.

I would also ask, to your point about singleness, how do you deal with Christ's words in Matthew 19:12 where He plainly states there are some people who cannot deal with being married. He uses the term "eunuchs" which I have argued is not a reference to homosexual orientation. However, they do exist and Christ implies they are valuable members of the church and have a place to serve.

8:06 AM, June 05, 2009  
Blogger Jay said...

Thanks, Fred. That's exactly what I was trying to say. I also wanted to say that someone who struggles homosexually shouldn't be pressured to get married. They should know that, single or married, they will be able to have a happy and fulfilled life within the Church.

9:47 AM, June 05, 2009  
Blogger Shazza89101 said...

Hey Fred I read and really appreciate this blog too. It really is an important topic that needs to be discussed so much more. The part that really speaks loudest to me was the point you make here:

"Now, I would imagine my friend would say this is a non-related illustration. These are straight people engaging in irresponsible, sexual behavior. He, as a gay man, doesn't engage in irresponsible, sexual behavior. But let me take it a step further, I have listened to testimonies of self-professed pedophiles who assert their sexual interest in pubescent girls or boys was an "orientation" much like homosexuality. Yet, even if they don't fulfill their "orientation" we still recoil in disgust from such people. They are treated as a threat to society and are psychoanalyzed to determine how they can change their "orientation." Why are they not allowed to cultivate their "orientation"? I think in our progressive culture it is naive to believe there isn't a sophisticated 10 or 11 year old willing to experiment with this lifestyle. All that is needed to do is lower the age of consent laws so they can be free to make that choice themselves. This of course is an absurd scenario (at least at this time in history), but point being: just because a person has an orientation or desire doesn't necessarily make it a good and healthy thing."

This is such a keen example of the slippery slop that happens when you start making laws that defy the word of God. I understand exactly what your speaking about here. It will just be a matter of time before people of other sexual orientations ask for laws to fit their bent on sexuality. Its just too destructive to begin to make laws for everyone's different sexual preference when we already have a blue print from scripture about how things should be in this area. Amen brother for this great example...Love it!!!!! I also read what Jay said about Christians needing to come along side people coming out of the gay lifestyle. We do need to embrace them and celebrate just being single and celibate, there is nothing wrong with this. Society has us so bent on having to be in a relationship to feel whole when not everybody has to have one. We would do well as Christians to celebrate singleness and celibacy and cultivate true relationships not involving sex. What a wonderful more genuine world this would be not to be encumbered by the idea that we have to be sexual with someone in order to be intimate.

9:58 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Shazza89101 said...

Hi Fred, what you say here speaks loudly and refutes this idea about the gay lifestyle: "Now, I would imagine my friend would say this is a non-related illustration. These are straight people engaging in irresponsible, sexual behavior. He, as a gay man, doesn't engage in irresponsible, sexual behavior. But let me take it a step further, I have listened to testimonies of self-professed pedophiles who assert their sexual interest in pubescent girls or boys was an "orientation" much like homosexuality. Yet, even if they don't fulfill their "orientation" we still recoil in disgust from such people. They are treated as a threat to society and are psychoanalyzed to determine how they can change their "orientation." Why are they not allowed to cultivate their "orientation"? I think in our progressive culture it is naive to believe there isn't a sophisticated 10 or 11 year old willing to experiment with this lifestyle. All that is needed to do is lower the age of consent laws so they can be free to make that choice themselves. This of course is an absurd scenario (at least at this time in history), but point being: just because a person has an orientation or desire doesn't necessarily make it a good and healthy thing."
I appreciate this, and this is where the slippery slop starts. We must not encumber ourselves with all these different sexual orientations and go back to scripture which gives us a clear blue print of how things should be.

10:04 AM, August 06, 2010  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home