my gay theology

First, I just want to say how humbled I am by the response this blog has already received — around 2,000 views. And this is only about 24 hours after my introductory post. This tells me that people are hungry to understand the Christian faith in relation to homosexuality. I do believe that this is perhaps the most important issue that faces the Church today. One commenter mentioned that some fear it may be the downfall of the Church. I refuse to believe that. I have hope that if we seriously, critically engage this topic, then our interaction with homosexuality will demonstrate the best rather than the worst of the Church and that we will still remain committed to good theology. I know this is possible because I have seen some of the best of the Church through my Christian friends who have loved me dearly despite being gay.

It is also scary to have so many viewers so quickly. So I ask for the prayers of many because I want this blog to be a faithful witness of the Christian faith. I do not take that lightly.

Here’s what I will commit for the future of this blog:

-I will attempt one new blog post every day until May 24th. After that, I will probably post 2-3 times a week, and then likely once a week.

-I will try to answer you if you email me at gaysubtlety@gmail.com . If you comment on the blog, I may or may not respond depending if I have time and think my comment adds enough value to the discussion.

Now for the next post, I decided to lay out a brief summary of my theology of being gay because I think this will be best to frame my future posts. This post is lacking in how we should treat people, which is what I plan to focus on with this blog, but I feel this is an important post to write.

So here’s some of my theology on being gay:

1. Creation: I believe that when God created humanity through whatever process He used to create us, that He originally created sexual attractions to be only heterosexual. This is why Genesis 2:24*, where we see marriage instituted, says, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Being united and becoming one flesh is through the act of sex, and if intercourse sex results in a child, sex literally does produce one flesh between them — the child. Because Genesis 1-2 speaks to what God has created, this means marriage is rooted in God’s law and is invented by God; it was not invented by humans or any kind of human institution (such as government). And this is precisely why the definition of marriage is not culturally bound or meant for a specific time/place. I understand there is polygamous marriage in the OT, but this is under the Old Covenant and was not ideal. We have to use Jesus as our final authority on marriage, and when Jesus is asked by the Pharisees if a man could divorce his wife, Jesus responds “Haven’t you read…that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:3-6). So technically, in my opinion, when people claim that Jesus never talked about homosexuality in the Bible, this is true if they mean this directly but by referencing the creation account of marriage in Genesis, Jesus is indirectly speaking against gay relationships.

So to summarize my first point: 1. sexual feelings are meant to lead to sex  2. sex is within the bounds of marriage  3. marriage is defined between one man and one woman because of Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:3-6  4. thus, God’s original design for sexual feelings were for them to be heterosexual.

Also, it is important to note that in addition to having the “breath of life,” we are also created as embodied creatures, meaning part of being human is being made up of matter —– “the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7).

2. Fall: I believe that nothing in potentially untouched by the Fall. The Fall is when human beings sinned against God, and as a result, everything has the possibility to not be what God originally intended for it to be. This includes sexual attraction.

Now for sexual attractions to happen we must have biological reactions and processes going on in our brains that generate sexual attractions. And as I mentioned, since part of being human is being composed of the matter of creation, I have no problem stating that many of our conscious experiences are dependent on biological processes.

However…..

The matter of the world is fallen just like everything else. “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:20-22).

The whole creation is corrupted by sin. How this corruption specifically affects people varies person by person. For me, I believe it has resulted in a gay orientation.

So I believe I am gay not because God wanted me to be gay but because of the Fall. I am unambiguously a male (I say that intentionally b/c there are people whose gender is ambiguous….again, there is nothing that the fall has potentially left untouched), so my sexual attractions should have developed as heterosexual but for some reason, they did not.

And to be honest, the reason for why they didn’t develop as heterosexual  is irrelevant to me. It may have been genetic; it may have been my environment; it was probably both. Both of these impact how our brain develops — how our neurons become wired. Even if it is environmental, my brain may stay that way because there are critical periods of development that once something becomes that way, it will largely stay that way. My brain seems to be pretty hard wired for same-sex attraction, and studies show that it will likely stay that way, even if I cautiously attempted reorientation therapy (I am neither endorsing nor eschewing reorientation therapy). There are some studies that show that some people can experience some degree of reorientation, but most people will still be gay (source: Authentic Human Sexuality, Balswick & Balswick, 2008, chapter 6).

I hope now people can see why stating “God made me gay, so He would want me to be in gay relationships” is bad theology. Just because you are a certain way beyond your control, does not make it ideal because it could be the result of the Fall. Even if being gay was truly 100% genetic, this would not give moral license for gay sexual behavior. Down syndrome is 100% genetic because of an extra 21st chromosome, but obviously we would not claim that Down syndrome was God’s intent for human beings. (As a side note — God most definitely cherishes and uses people with Down sydrome just as much as anyone else. I have caught so much joy through interactions with these individuals who cleary love Christ and who desire to show that love to others. My point is that I don’t think God intentionally designed anyone to have Down syndrome).

One of my biggest frustrations is Christians trying to debunk genetic arguments for homosexuality. And they do this not because the scientific methodology might be bad but because they fear genetic evidence will give moral license to gay relationships. It doesn’t.

3. Redemption: So will I always be gay? No. Thankfully, Jesus died and resurrected to make everything right again, and since His human embodiedment included possessing an actual human body, he redeemed our bodies as well. Right now, there is hope and redemption going on at microcosm level —- in the hearts of believers and those they are impacting. But the created order has not been made completely right, this will only happen when Christ returns, and this is when our bodies will be perfected.

Romans 8:23 says, “Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.”  And 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 says, “ I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’”

I believe that when this happens, when my body is made anew — then I will no longer be gay. Likely, there won’t be heterosexual attractions either because Jesus says there is no longer marriage in heaven (Mark 12:25). The point is that my attractions will be how they are supposed to be. And in that, I can take hope and assurance.

But in the meantime, what am I supposed to do with these attractions if I cannot act out on them? What do they mean for my daily faith? And how should the Church respond and care for me? And how should the Church respond to those who are gay and not Christian?

That’s what I hope to unpack in future entries.

*All of my biblical references are from the NIV

I want to thank and reference Wesley Hill, who wrote Washed and Waiting.  I borrow many of his ideas, but as a disclaimer, he may not completely agree with me.

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20 thoughts on “my gay theology

  1. I agree and disagree, there is healing in the here and now. just because you feel that because of the fall you feel you are gay, doesnt mean you have to remain that way until either the rapture or until you go to heaven, as a young teen i used to live a homosexual lifestyle. i was a “christian” but i didnt understand, due to a lack of actually reading my bible for myself, and living my own faith, that doing those things was wrong. and as soon as i knew it, i repented, changed direction, and chose to live a new way. and i found healing. i have no homosexual desires anymore.

    • As a gay Christian myself (and as a conservative evangelical) I’m not sure it’s quite so simple. I’m happy for you! I’m happy you are no longer attracted to men. But those desires don’t always go away, even for the most faithful of Christians who are praying for “healing.” For me, at least, I think the question is how do I live a passionate, solid, Christian faith as someone attracted to the same-sex, and who may be like that until I die (which I think will be the case, but I never know)? I have things to repent of, definitely, but I don’t think being attracted to men is something that needs repentance. Certainly, when I lust after a man or give in to porn or despair I need to ask forgiveness. But I, and the man writing this blog, are not pursuing same-sex relationships at all. So is healing for us having a change of orientation? Or is it something different. Can I say my sexuality has been “healed” even if I’m still attracted to men? I think I can, in a very real way.

      • There is a big difference between healing and repentance. I have seen God heal so many diseases including over 100 cancer patients and emotional disorders. I’m not talking about medicine. I mean purely divine healing. Homosexuality is not a sickness to be healed of. It is very clear in the Word that it is wrong in God’s eyes so here are a few things to think about. First though, let me say that I have a desire to see any and all in this lifestyle freed from its grip. 1) God created each of us. As creator, He and He alone decides what is good or sinful behavior. He wrote the manual for humans lives and He decided that it is sin for a man to lie with a man as with a woman. Now that can be twisted and debated a hundred ways; but the original intention is quite black and white. 2) If Jesus created (as some say He did) a person to live a life of hell, rejection, misunderstanding, confusion and source of a life of depression and often suicidal thoughts, then He is not loving and should not be worshiped as such. Also the same argument applies to people being created to live a lifestyle with no choice of their own that violates God’s standards that He laid out in His word. In different words, God says, “I create you and give you guidelines to follow to please me and then I make sure you are created in such a way that you will not be able to follow those guidelines.” The bottom line with the whole issue of any lifestyle other than sex with one man and one woman in the confines of marriage is 1000’s have come out from them into wholeness. If even one does and lives a pure and fulfilled life afterward; it destroys the idea that God has ANY hand in someone being gay. That is not meant to be condemning. It is meant to offer hope that not only is there a way out; but that He wants all out. NO exceptions.

  2. If I read this right, you implied that homosexuality may be a biological sickness (when you referenced Down’s Syndrome)–and, if I may add, it is likely that homosexuality is genetic for some and acquired through sinful behavior for others (Rom 1:18-32).

    I tend to agree with this idea that homosexuality, if genetic (in some persons), is a disease–one that is a complete result of the Fall. But I am afraid that this position causes me to appear a bigot.

    My opinion is subject to change upon good reasoning–so if someone disagrees, please have at it.

  3. Thanks for posting this blog. Almost all of your points I agree with and feel are how the church should be handling homosexuality.

    So what about reorientation? I understand that here on earth people are sometimes unable to break their ‘biggest’ sin (not that having gay tendencies is sinful in itself, but rather acting upon them), but how breakable is the train of thought? I’m not convinced by the genetic research, as genetics can be influenced by environment, which in and of itself also promotes character traits. Is it something that is so far ingrained that you can’t get rid of it while on Earth, or is it possible to break the tendencies? You obviously have put a lot of thought into the matter and rightly concluded acting on gay tendencies is wrong. So how do you stop that?

  4. I believe that Jesus is able to change your orientation in the here and now. He is able to cure alcoholics and crush the desire for a drink. And if God wants to change your orientation then he will. I love this blog and it gives a fresh perspective. I think it’s completely reasonable and biblical to keep begging God to set your orientation the way he intended, but even if he doesn’t you will love him anyways and obey him anyways because of what he has done for us on the cross. But why not believe God for the impossible? What a mighty God we serve…If we think that he is not powerful enough to overcome a sexual orientation then I think he takes that as an insult to his power. God may very well decide to set your sexual orientation straight but because his ways are higher than ours and thoughts higher than ours if he chooses not to, then we trust in his perfect plan. He is making all things new. This isn’t easy or cut and dry but it’s a thought

    • You’re right — God can do miraculous things and can heal in the here and now. I do believe in the impossible. But to practically live my life, I can’t have the expectation that He is going to do that while I’m on this earth b/c every time I have this expectation and it doesn’t happen, this is a let down. It also made me stagnant in my growth of processing being gay and what that meant for my faith because I used to think that God would make it go away, so there was no reason to figure out how being gay fits into my life. Once I started to realize it probably wouldn’t go away and found people with whom I could be vulnerable, that’s when I began to heal from all of the lies I believed about being unlovable (read some of Tony’s story) because I began to seriously face it. While I wouldn’t view being gay to quite the same degree as this analogy, I think that believing God will remove my gay attractions is sort of like believing that God will grow someone’s arm back that has been cut off — He probably wouldn’t grow someone’s arm back, but it could be possible. -Tony

  5. I would agree 100% with you if there haven’t been homosexuals who are in perfectly straight heterosexual marriages now. It is my understanding of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “ Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you.” This seems to indicate with biblical evidence that through sanctification God can and does choose to change some desires in the here and now because Paul says, “and such WERE some of you.” All I’m saying is that it’s perfectly ok to ask and ask and ask God to change the desires, but trusting that even if he doesn’t you will obey and follow him anyways. btw I just happened upon this blog and I really like what you are doing. I think it’s good for the church and good for homosexuals to say I’m struggling with this just like any other sin and need help, not to be ostracized. Praying for you guys.

    • Thanks for the encouragement.

      I don’t doubt there are some people who used to be gay and are now in straight relationships, but just because this has happened for some, does not mean it will happen for everyone. Plus, there is a lot of subtlety in what being a “former gay person” means and also in the verse you referenced.

      First, the verse you are using is talking about “practicing homosexuality” — some translations say “men who have sex with men.” So even though Paul says some of you WERE that way, this would be talking about practicing homosexuality/gay sexual behavior and not being gay (having same-sex attractions).

      Secondly, those who are now in heterosexual relationships likely still have some degree of same-sex attraction. Some may still be intensely attracted to the same sex but have developed some attraction to the other sex. I also know of some who don’t actually have heterosexual attractions, but are still in the relationship and their partner knows this about them. They have more of an emotional connection/attraction with the other person and not a sexual attraction. While right now I don’t personally think it’s the best to be in relationship without sexual attraction, I support those who have chosen this route and think it’s respectable.

      We also have to realize that one’s gayness may look differently for each person — there is no formula for how it develops or how set it is in one person’s brain. One individual’s brain may be wired to be very gay —- another person’s may be more malleable. So just because one person experienced change/healing, doesn’t mean another person is going to.

      Thank you for your posts and support; they have created good dialogue.

  6. I have really enjoyed reading this blog. I will admit that I am here on a journey to read thoughts that are different than mine in an honest and refreshing way – I just wanted to add this to let you know that I so appreciate your perspective and well-thought out, intelligent posts (not just an internet troll!). However, and I of course don’t mean to start an argument, as an ‘outsider’ or ‘newbie’ to this I was quite turned off by the analogy to down’s syndrome. I can identify with the fall from grace explanation of homosexuality, but for those who share my beliefs who might be more aggressive or vocal in their refutations I think this may create an unintentional riff. I’m not entirely sure on the theology behind the argument, but I spend a great deal of time caring and supporting our Christian brothers and sisters with down’s syndrome…The human race as a whole views down’s as an ‘abnormality’ (chromosomal-ly speaking), though this doesn’t mean that individuals with the syndrome are somehow “outside” of God’s plan. I see Jesus in such individuals with such strength and clarity that so many others lack While a race of men and women all with down’s syndrome was not God’s “intent,” those who live with it are no less “intended” by him. The mistake was in genetics, not in God’s plan. I only mean to point this out so that perhaps your ideas can be strengthened through more precise rhetoric.

    Thank you for your perspective. Again, I know very few people personally who share in your opinions and it is very helpful for me to learn. I look forward to more posts as they come!

    • I don’t think the author came even close to suggesting that Down’s Syndrome and/or same-sex attraction were “outside of God’s plan”–in fact, he doesn’t even use the phrase, and it’s even silly to suggest that anything that IS is outside of God’s plan (in a sense)…

      Your attempt to differentiate between Down’s Syndrome and same-sex attraction fails, as I see it: the author was merely suggesting that IF same-sex attraction were 100% genetic, then it would be comparable to Down’s Syndrome because 1) Down’s Syndrome is genetic, and 2) neither are God’s intention for humanity eternally. There may be redeeming qualities of both conditions, for those who struggle with them may be more susceptible to bearing certain kinds of fruit–but this is far from saying that this is what God intended for humanity eternally. You better believe that while God allows these fallen conditions here and now–and even uses them for our good!–He will redeem both when we enter into glory.

      Lemme know your thoughts; I’m feeling strong of opinion, but also teachable somehow lol…

    • Thank you for your support and encouragment; I commend you for intentionally seeking out views that are different from yours. It is so important that we are always being challenged and critically thinking through our beliefs.

      I actually agree 100% with you about Down syndrome — God never intended for these individuals to have Down syndrome. The Fall, unfortunately, has potential to mess everything up in our creation, including an extra 21st chormosome. But God, by all means, intended for these individuals to exist (He just never intended them to exist with Down syndrome), and He loves them just as much as everyone else. And yes, He definitely uses them just like everyone else to impact His Kingdom. I, too, have seen such joy and love that reflects Jesus radiate from individauls who are mentally challenged. After interactions with them, their joy has left me so encouraged about life. That’s the beauty of our God — He can take just about anything that has been affected by the Fall and can use it for such beauty.

      I do believe, though, that those individuals with Down syndrome will not have Down’s in their resurrected body. Even though all indvidauls most definitely have value and worth regardless of however their bodies are afflicted, we inherently know that it isn’t right that some people have Down’s and others don’t.

      I will go back and make the language in the post more clear. Thank you for the head’s up to clarify.

      -Tony

  7. Some suggest that if being gay is genetic, it should be likened more to musicality than to a genetic disorder. Musicality is partly genetic and partly environmental, but in the end the people end up musical — and we would never tell musical people to stop being musical; we would encourage them to live out their musical nature for the betterment of the world.

    Obviously, that isn’t an argument that homosexuality must be viewed in a similar way. I’m just throwing out the other side of the coin for the interpretation of genetics.

    As for redemptive qualities of things that are considered consequences of “The Fall”* : People with Down’s have an uncanny ability to express warmth and show Christ’s love despite their “fallen” nature. My Deaf friend uses the most beautiful language that exists and creates new art with it. Assuming for the sake of argument that homosexuality is characteristic of some people because of the fallenness of humanity (something I’ll assume for argument and not because I believe it), perhaps part of God’s design to bring something beautiful out of it involves relationships that model Christ’s love and commitment to each other, the family, and the world. A lot of good fruit can be developed from that.

    • *I don’t actually believe in a historical Fall. I do believe in original sin permeating everything and everyone in the cosmos, but the idea of the whole cosmos going from not fallen to fallen because some dude ate a fruit is 1) hermeneutically unsound, since it doesn’t consider the genre of Genesis 1-3, and 2) creates huge intellectual and theological obstacles (cf. Nietzsche on the idea that a cycle between perfect cosmos, fallen cosmos, perfect cosmos results in a lack of meaning).

  8. “So technically, in my opinion, when people claim that Jesus never talked about homosexuality in the Bible, this is true if they mean this directly but by referencing the creation account of marriage in Genesis, Jesus is indirectly speaking against gay relationships.” Really, seriously, So in Jesus entire life he had all of one INDIRECT reference to gay relationships and that is enough for you to conclude he is speaking against gay relationships. That is laughable. You have bought hook, line and sinker into the typical anti gay garbage. Listen, you want to be a martyr, you want to be masochistic and deny yourself a loving gay commmitted relationship, just say so. But using those kind of quotes to justify your behavior doesn’t make you seem noble, they make you seem incredibly weak. You are taking the easy way out, instead of trying to have a relationship, or changing the reasons you are undateable (if that is the real reason) you are just looking for a convenient excuse not to do the heavy lifting required to have a loving, committed, monogamous gay relationship.

    • See my reply to your comment under “broadening sexuality.”

      Jesus’ indirect reference to homosexuality is enough for me to believe what I believe because I think the implications for what He is saying are unequivocal, especially when it is framed in the larger context of the Bible and with the Genesis 1 + 2 passages.

      Just to clarify, I’m not trying to be a martyr or masochistic or anything. I’m trying to follow what I think God thinks is best for my life, and I’m doing this blog because I think a lot of Christians and non-Chrisitans need to hear my perspective on this because it doesn’t receive much of a voice in the dialogue.

      And I can also assure you, that I would have no problem being in a gay relationship if I wanted to. I am not afraid, I am not insecure about it, I simply don’t think it’s what God has called me to, and that’s the only reason I’ve decided not to pursue one.

      I think your comments to me are unfair, especially the accusations about my personality and reasons for not being in a relationship. You don’t really have any evidence to believe this besides that I don’t think gay relationships are morally right, which by no means is enough evidence to come to the accusations you are making about me. I will delete any future comments that personally attack me without any evidence to back it up because they aren’t really conducive to any civil discussion we are trying to foster on this blog.

      -Tony

  9. Thanks so much for posting this and keeping this blog up. One of my friends referred me to this and it is a really challenging, good perspective for me to hear. I’m noticing where I’ve somehow isolated homosexuality into a ‘worse’ category than other sins.

    The issue is that as Christians we spend our lives trying to modify our behaviors. Jesus didn’t die to make sinners stop sinning. He died to turn sinners into saints. We didn’t become sinners when we sinned the first time, we were born sinners (so naturally we sinned). The same thing is true now. After the cross, I’m not righteous because I do righteous things, I’m righteous because I’ve been re-born into His righteousness. Identity isn’t determined by behavior (or experience), it is determined by birth.

    So what I hear you saying is that you are corrupted because of the fall, and while I agree with you that nothing is left untouched by the fall, I also believe you have been made new at the cross. So even if your behavior or feelings still say that you are homosexual, I would say that He has restored you to your original design. The reason I’m not sleeping around with every girl I can isn’t because it’s ‘wrong’, but because it is not longer my desire. I’ve been restored to my original design and my original design is to only have sex inside of marriage. Jesus’ heart in that for me isn’t that I would ‘miss out on the fun’ or ‘stay out of the world’, but that I would experience His abundant life. He knows sex inside of a covenant relationship is more fulfilling and satisfying that sleeping with twenty people outside of covenant. Because of the revelation of His restoration, when I experience feelings that are contrary to that, I can recognize that it doesn’t come from me. There is somewhere in me that I still don’t fully believe who I’ve become and therefore and not operating out of that.

    My prayer for you is not that you would stop ‘behaving’ like a homosexual man, but that Jesus would reveal to you the restoration of the cross. I pray that you would have outrageous revelation of the Father’s heart for you as He begins to show you how He designed you. I speak life to the places that have been wounded and ask Jesus to pour His love into those places. The places where you’ve been called a ‘screw-up’ or a ‘failure’ by His church or your family, I just speak the opposite. You have been made righteous in the blood of our Savior and He has given you a new heart of flesh, instead of a heart of stone. You are loved by the King and that defines you, not your actions.

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