I ended yesterday with a series of purely emotional appeals drawn from my childhood. I ended yesterday admitting that I’m not perfect just like any other human being on the face of this earth.
Yet, emotions don’t make faith, and just because I feel one way about something doesn’t mean it’s good doctrine.
Also, I will admit that yesterday may have seemed like an unfair description of the environment that I grew up in. Truth is, while I felt isolated at my church/school, it was still a place with sound and upright teachings; it was a place where I also learned about love and forgiveness…If I allow myself to be imperfect, I have to allow for my church environment to be imperfect.
Through its imperfections, my church still taught me:
- God’s grace, love, and mercy are everlasting
- God’s forgiveness is everlasting, and likewise, my forgiveness towards others should be endless
- To love God, and everything else will be taken care of
- To love and forgive others
- To live by the golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you… even if they don’t do unto you…)
I trusted in these teachings even if I didn’t feel them applied to me all the time, just like I probably didn’t show them to others all the time.
To be fair, I have to admit, and apologize for all the things I did and said to people that might have isolated them. I admit I wasn’t always nice…I admit that I also found moments of weakness where I treated others in horrible ways. Emily, Sara, Jonathan, Katie, and others…I apologize.
All this being said, while I have sinned, while I have had moments of not treating others the way I want(ed) to be treated, I do not believe my sexuality is a sin.
However, I do think a lifetime of cover-up would be a sin; any effort on my part to ignore what’s inherently present in me in an attempt to have the “normal” family life would be grievous. It would be a sin to live a lie with a loving wife and family, all the while not being able to fully commit to her for obvious reasons. I’ve seen this sort of thing happen, and it never turns out good in the end. This sort of heartbreaking reveal isn’t the sort of thing I would wish on my worst enemy…
The crossed out paragraph above is an update. I believe it is an insensitive overstatement to prove my point. I crossed it out instead of deleted it because the sentiment without the judgment is what was intended. BUT I WAS WRONG, not living out in the open isn’t necessarily not living honest. There are other people involved in the decision to come out or not, and keeping information about ones self to protect them is a just and honorable decision (one we all do all the time). So I apologize for such a horrible judgment… And I apologize to whoever this might have hurt or confused.
Yet, if it is a sin, if a committed same-sex relationship is wrong, I want us to consider a few things before we toss aside the lives of loving, God-fearing men and women like me.
The first thing I want us to consider is the life of King David:
Christians know and celebrate the life of King David for many good reasons:
- He was faithful to his father and brothers even though they treated him like dirt
- The bible makes mention of his many talents, his good looks, and his love for God, his family, and his nation.
- We know him as the boy that killed Goliath with a slingshot (ending a forever long stand-off, and winning favor and riches from the king)
- He was a great leader that built influence and favor. He became king, united the 12 tribes of Israel, and conquered enemy after enemy.
- He was described as a man after God’s own heart
- He assembled the great book of prayers we call Psalms (and wrote many himself)
- And he gathered the resources and plans for, arguably, the most fantastic temple that has ever been built on the face of this earth. (gilded in Gold, with space for 4000 musicians and 288 singers 24/7)
Yet, David was also extremely flawed:
- He had more wives than the law permitted kings to have (back then, it was customary for Men to have more than one wife as a way to expand their influence; but kings were prohibited from having “too many wives,” Deuteronomy 17:17)
- He was a peeping Tom (One day he was on the roof of his home when he was not supposed to be because it was during the time women were allowed to bath, and he was watching the naked women around him bathing.)
- He lusted after Bathsheba, had her husband killed, and made her one of his wives even though he already had many wives.
- (Side note: Defenders of the traditional sanctity of marriage might find that the true tradition of marriage in the bible is something different than what they are advocating for; often marriage in the bible wasn’t an act of pure loving devotion, but brought upon by other forms of binding agreements with wealth and influence at the heart of the matter…)
- He had hundreds of concubines.
- He was a war-monger and entered many wars and battles he wasn’t directed by God to enter)
- He let his children run wild, and accepted incest, murder, and mal-intent among them.
- He was not able to construct God’s temple because he had blood on his hands.
- And some proponents of gay Christianity insist that his relationship with Jonathan was not just a bro-mance (citing that the Hebrew translation of 1 Samuel 18 as using words and context that are usually devoted to describing romantic, not platonic love)
- 1 Samuel 18: 1-4 reads: “1After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. 3And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
- Some draw connection between verses 1 and 2 with Genesis 2:24 as Jonathan becoming “one flesh” and leaving his family as an act of betrothal to David…
- And it’s hard to ignore or re-conceptualize verses like:
- 2 Samuel 1:26 “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.”
- 1 Samuel 20:41 “After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together–but David wept the most.” (see Hebrew translation)
- note: According to Hebrew tradition, kissing was to be avoided as leading to lewdness; but it was permitted as an act of respect for dignity. One kiss might have been customary, but within this context (waiting to be alone) this act could/would be described as an excessive/lewd act.
- At the very least, David and Jonathan’s relationship is consistently described in the bible as shaded, secretive, and/or socially disruptive… However, I insist that this argument is moot anyway, mattering very little, at least in proving David’s flaws…
- David was not faithful to his wive(s)
- David participated in structured forms of sexual immorality, impurity and lust
- It’s true, David fell out of God’s favor for many of these things… his home life fell into chaos… his children committed murder, slept with each other, etc… the nation of Israel suffered… yet, he ultimately lived and died in God’s favor. God blessed his family line despite all the ways he broke the law/covenant.
- God’s favor can’t be explained as David abiding by the law, because many of his singular transgressions would have called for his own death as punishment. Yet, what spared him, what gave him favor in God’s eyes was that he had a relationship with God that did not rely on actions; he was not validated by God through the law, but through faith. It was not the actions of his body, but the condition of his heart.
- Furthermore, when David died, he did not have to reject his wives or his concubines, or his illegitimate children in order to have God’s favor… Hopefully you understand the points/parrallels I am making…
Other examples of this sort of validation through Faith instead of action can be seen in the lives of Abraham, Solomon, Esther, Paul, and countless other men and women in the bible. Their greatness is never described as blameless in the eyes of the law, but, rather, a greatness in the form of faith.
So if God accepted the sins of these great men and women (not just one sinful act but a pattern/history/life of sin) because there existed a strong relationship built on faith, not acts, then even if my sexuality is a sin, I trust God will be patient with me and others like me.
If I am wrong about my sexuality and the actions of my life and love, I trust in my relationship with God enough to allow for him to reveal this to me, and allow for his mercy (which is renewed day by day) to allow for the changes that need to happen in my life.
Still, tomorrow I want to look at the biblical proof used to condemn the LGBTQ community. I want us to stare these scriptures in the face together. This will give those that disagree with me ample opportunity to argue their point.