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In the Closet with My Foot in the Door

November 30, 2012

I have just read the first chapter of Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin, and a little while ago read this blog post, and I must say, I find myself in an unusual position, as I always have. When it comes to sexual orientation, I have always wondered what it meant to be in the state that I am in. An effective bisexual since early adolescence, I never found God to be an adversary or someone who would condemn me for my strange feelings, as Marin suggests about the gay community (which is true, unfortunately). Perhaps I have been a little more like Magana in saying that I don’t let my “temptations” (whatever that means) define me. But one thing is for certain, when I became a Christian, I saw Jesus as the first person to go to if not for forgiveness, then for reconciliation and redemption. And I would encourage other gay Christians (or Christians who struggle with same-sex attractions) to do the same. No, I did not tell my parents first. I told God first, because he was, and is, my friend. There is nothing that he will not understand. And the basis of my relationship with him was founded on that secret confidence from then on.

And was this good? Well, I was constantly battling with “temptation” of same-sex attraction, and eventually the secret was out when I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. I came out to my parents, at least partially, and told them about my struggle. Naturally, I thought of my same-sex attraction as a sin of sorts, and something to be loathed. I desired nothing more than to be an unfeeling creature, like a spirit or something, instead of having these feelings. At one point, I contemplated suicide. So no, the thought of it as a sin was not good. What is understood to be a basic biological function in humans should never be thought of in this way. And that is why I will come down on Magana’s post. I just don’t think that thinking something that is in your “wiring” should be thought of as inherently bad. I will say, however, that having God as my refuge and strength amidst my confusion (even atheists have problems with this, as Marin said) was truly a good, comforting experience. The thought of praising God for loving me got me through bad situations, and without it, I may not have lived after all.

But are we “wired” in such a way? Well, I have thought of this and have lost much sleep on it. Modern psychologists (and I don’t know if it is only Christian ones) are saying that people’s sexuality is a “mixed bag.” To say you are merely “straight,” “gay,” “virgin,” and so forth is only offering one piece of a greater puzzle. Fair enough. I arrived at a conclusion like that very early on. But it still does not clear up things like the verses in Roman and Corinthians that seem to condemn homosexuality as “immorality.” I came up with some very ludicrous ideas on “why” the act of homosexuality is a sin.

I concluded, in my strange, sleep-deprived mind, that males like to add and multiply, and women like to subtract or divide. If two men engage in sexual activity, I mused, it must be too much; and if women, too little. And that is why I thought the act itself must have been a sin. This, of course, I realize now, is hogwash. If two people love each other in that way, they have a right to be with each other intimately. I still can’t quite imagine myself in certain homosexual situations, but I have come to the conclusion that some people just deserve it. It is better than Magana’s celibacy.

Dare we say, if homosexuality is “a sin,” then is the divine destiny of all homosexuals celibacy? True, our conception of love and marriage is very modern, and has changed very much since older times. It is much better today, since in the old days, homosexuals were not banished from their homes, but burned (“fag” used to mean something to throw into a fire, probably not a coincidence). No doubt they were even lucky to be alive. And marriage, until in fact very recently, used to be ordained by the parents. Hardly ever did it have to do with something as abstract as love or affection or even erotic feeling. So, it is very good to live in today’s world as a homosexual. People will most likely not kill you. Someone asked that question  at the beginning of this paragraph in a class I attended, and will presently be addressed. My answer is “no.” But it must be remembered that homosexuals are in a very unique position today. Though many of us kill ourselves from depression, it is a crime to kill gay people. Probably not too long ago in Earth’s history it was okay to do so. If some homosexuals want to be celibate, then it is okay, and I respect their decision. Moreover, if some churches do not want to ordain gay marriage, it’s fine by me as well. I don’t even know how one goes about such a ceremony, but it must be fairly different and unusual, maybe even uncomfortable for some of the guests. My guess is that thought of marriage will change much more radically than it did in the past thousand years. I don’t think, as some Christians seem to think, that we will be marrying animals, however. And we won’t be marrying pillows, as one individual did in Japan. I think that particular story can be seen as a cautionary tale to “not take it too far.” It never will be. But it must be remembered that marriage used to be much different, why not change it even further? There is no passage in the Bible that seems to indicate otherwise, other than maybe something in Genesis.

And where am I in all this? Well, as you may have seen in my older blog posts, I am at a very different place theologically than I was when I first came to God, mostly because of the doctrine of hell. Not too many people know about my amorous feelings toward other males. I suppose I have made a mental resolution to only tell them if they ask. And ask them why they want to know before hand, because most of the time it is for selfish reasons. And can I truly live a good, Christian life and be a homosexual, and in a relationship of that sort? Well, it depends on one’s definition of a “good, Christian life.” I consider such to be defending the weak in whatever way one can, and everything else is not really important (loving God is important, but we do that by, well, defending the weak). I want to believe that God will carry on with me no matter what, and that his love transcends sexuality and things of that sort.

If you are a Christian who “struggles with homosexual temptations” to paraphrase Magana, and you are reading this, I want to encourage you to never, never, think God is sending you to hell, or hates you in any way because of who you are. God is the least of your concerns when it comes to people who don’t understand (inasmuch as God is a person). I am convinced that he will always understand, and will always allow for comfort and healing. It may be a long uphill battle this side of paradise, but to be alive is always better than being dead. Go and prove those awful people who burned people like us for sport in the old days wrong, and take heart in doing so.

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From → Philosophy

3 Comments
  1. What an encouraging post.
    I think the idea of living a life of celibacy is very difficult to fathom. All of our lives we are encouraged to have a partnership for our lives. It is not good for a man to be alone after all. And people expect someone not to share their live with anyone. Very difficult. Like my one friend was in an abusive marriage, and her pastor told her she should never get divorced but she should leave him. She was in her early twenties and that’s just it for her? No children, no one to share her life with? That can’t be right.
    Anyway, thanks for the encouragement you gave here. It’s so important, necessary and Christ-like.

  2. “I want to believe that God will carry on with me no matter what, and that his love transcends sexuality and things of that sort.” –You go ahead and believe that because it is true! God bless you!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. On Homosexuality, Part 1 | Tomes of Bragi

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