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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.
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.