Saturday, November 29, 2008

Paul Revisited

I realize these sorts of ruminations are boring to the vast majority of readers. However, for those gay Christians wishing keep their faith and remain in the church, I believe it is necessary to forge ahead with new careful and constructive interpretations of scripture. So, let's look at 1 Corinthians 7.

Many Christians, especially baptists and evangelicals, as far as I can tell, are settling on the position that, indeed it's not likely that homosexuals can change their orientation. However, it is still not accepted, and it should be viewed as sinful behavior, just as alcoholism, gluttony, greed, etc... you know... each person's particular vices. (Though, to suggest that someone's hyper-affiinity for chocolate is akin to sexual orientation is absolutely insulting. Anyhoo...)

So: you can't change it, but you can't accept it; it is your cross to bear and you must resist that temptation in order to remain faithful to Christ.

***You know, maybe I'm inclined to agree!

Paul said something similar to this. He said:

“It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” (7:1)

"I wish that all were as I myself am. [single]" (7:7)

"To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am." (7:7)

It's pretty evident that Paul believes chastity is best. But, Paul does grant a spirit of limited freedom in sexual conduct, because he says:

But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. (7:2)

Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (7:5)

But if they [the unmarried or widows] are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion. (7:9)

So, Paul sets a clear standard: remain single. But, he is not at all legalistic about this and offers options in order that everyone can remain pure.

The argument many moderate and conservative church leaders make is this: homosexuals should remain celibate. Paul's statement was this: heterosexuals should remain celibate.

How interesting that we can be on an equal playing field? This tends to clarify the issue. Would heterosexuals be willing to scrutinize--and even deny--their sexuality in the same way they demand of their homosexual sisters and brothers, in order to remain pure?

Paul says they should--the standard is celibacy. Marriage is to preserve purity for the vast majority who would certainly fall into promiscuity without sex in a marital relationship.

So, if straights have the same tough standard as gays, why should straights get a "get out of celibacy free" card while gays are left to deny who they are in spite of the very real possibilities of immorality?

The issue of what to do with homosexuals in the church is not "apples and oranges," we're dealing with the same thing: human sexual tendencies and relationships. Is it possible that the apostle Paul, living in 2008, would be outraged that gays and lesbians are given no options and are virtually set up for moral failure (as is evidenced by all of the gay people who play straight and marry someone of the opposite gender, only to be tempted with cheating on their spouse later on)?

I am convinced, by a conservative reading of this letter of Paul, that we, as gay persons, being honest about our impulses and abilities to control them, should be given the option of living as the sexual beings we were created to be in a way that is positive, godly, moral, pure, and life-affirming.

Please deconstruct this argument in the comments below.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Leave me the hell alone!

Just when I thought I was past the point of any serious set ups with women, my sister-in-law discovers someone who is probably the absolute perfect match... except for she's a woman, of course. So, when I go home for thanksgiving and every force on earth is trying to get us together, how exactly do I react?

"Sorry, I'm not dating right now."? I've been saying that forever and I'm not getting any younger.

"I'm just not the marrying type."? And dash all of my parents' hopes and dreams for more grandchildren?

"No, thanks, I like boys."? Yeah, way to ruin thanksgiving.

I'm probably going to be expected to go no at least one date with her. I can't believe I'm back in this spot. I swore I would never again go through the hell that is dating women... at least those who are strangers who are actually expecting me to want to fuck them.

I'm not at home very often. The only times I ever kinda want things to be generally like they always were is when I go home. I really wish this would go away, I wish people would leave me alone when it comes to setting me up, and I wish I could just be honest about it so these predicaments wouldn't come up in the first place.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby envy?

Do gay men have the same sort of maternal urges as straight women that cause them to want children? You know--baby envy.

I've always wanted to adopt and raise children--though more from a sense of ethical responsibility, living out the gospel and a love for children than anything else. However, today I've been seeing babies with their parents and have felt almost a jealous incompletion. To look into the eyes of such a beautiful little human makes everything else in the world not matter for a moment.

Once today, I even closed my eyes for a second and just imagined laying there with a sleeping baby on my chest and felt a vivid sense of love and self-giving as I rarely can conjure up in my own imagination... Then a friend came by and knocked me out of the trance.

Gosh, how weird is all of this... I rarely get so.. sappy. The shitty thing is that all of that has to wait! It has to wait me deciding to burst out of the closet and get on with life and to do what is right in a world that says to me, "no!".

Today.. I get it. I get why many gay men will marry women in order to have this dream of a family come true. I get why the struggle for marriage is so serious. And I absolutely do not get why anyone would deny someone the right to love and to raise a child.

The sure provisions of my God attend me all my days.
Oh may Thy house be my abode and all my work be praise
There would I find a settled rest where others go and come.
No more a stranger, nor a guestm but like a child at home.

-Isaac Watts

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Something freakin' happen already!

I hate how trite this sounds, but I just wish there were someone who would listen!

The closet is killing me at the moment. I know there has to be someone around who can understand but I don't know how to find them because their closet is just as shut as mine.

The church has sort of carved out this whole track my life has been on ever since high school. I have come far, and could go even farther... so long as I continue to fake it.

If I could just have ONE certain affirmation that anyone in my day-to-day life is gay (I do believe lots of folks are, it's just a matter of being sure which ones) with whom I could share support, I would imagine things would be so much easier. If that does not happen, my only hope is to get AWAY to a new place and get into a secular career. The thing that keeps pulling me to stay is that I do have a great love for the people with whom I minister, yet the greatest pain is that they can't help me. They can't even know there's a problem. That is such shit.

I feel like I need something to happen, even if it is drastic.