Homosexuality is a hot topic within the Christian faith. It’s one of those issues that doesn’t like to be discussed, and when it is, is quickly shut down. It’s wrong and The Bible says so. That’s about as deep as one will get on the topic, and if you try to fight it you are trying to fight God and His word and that’s wrong. But Jacob once fought God. And Jacob won.
My church’s college ministry just closed out a series called #selfie. The series dove into peoples testimonies on how they came to the church, and tonights speaker talked about his fight against homosexuality. I knew he was going to give his testimony this night so I made it a point to come; I haven’t been to college group in over a year. I was well received by old friends with many shocked faces, but there I was. I had to be there. I had to hear this “bullshit.”
I admit that it’s not fair for me to knock this guys story on how he came to God and call it bullshit. If this is his truth I have no right to deny that, but from my perspective he seems fairly misguided. Yet this is approved by the church. It’s approved by the congregation. They seem to like his struggle.
Mick’s testimony was honestly a bit hard for me to digest. I recorded it on my phone so I could listen back to it later and take some pieces from it to add to my senior show. This is the number 1 reason why I wanted to go. I wanted someone else’s truth to tie into my own.
He started the sermon by calling his homosexuality a struggle. This is the first thing that already ticked me off. Why is it a struggle? Why must we fight who we are to blend into what the church wants us to be? He brought up the verse 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and of course he chose a translation that fit perfectly with his point. He almost makes his fight sound like that of an alcoholic or drug addict, that it can be cured.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived:neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practise homosexuality,[b]10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Did you catch that? According to the translation he uses, it’s ok to be a homosexual, but you can’t be a “practicing” homosexual. Loving another man as you would a woman would be wrong. It would be a sin to practice this. So instead, you must fight it. Fight the urge to love someone because of their gender.
He went on in his testimony to talk about the fact that he was reaching out to men via craigslist, phone apps, and online chat rooms. He was hooking up with these men and he was being reckless, even stating that he eventually became numb to the whole thing. He then turned it around and said he was acting this way because he struggles with homosexuality. Hold up. So, if you’re gay then you go out and hook up with a lot of men and just live a life without feeling? To me it sounded like he had a sex addiction, and that was his sin. It wasn’t his sexual preference, it’s the actions he took to live out his life sexually. He was being careless, and as a result, that led him to fall into sexual sins such as lust and prostitution. He just happened to prefer the company of men. The fact that he is gay plays no role in his actions. If a straight man lived a life of sexual immorality he wouldn’t look back and blame his sexual orientation. That just makes no sense.
The problem with the way he see’s things is that he believes him being gay led him to act in that manner. That may be true, and if it is, it’s not his fault. We live in a world where being gay is not ok. We like to believe it’s becoming more accepted, but the truth is it’s still really a big no no in society. It’s this fear and being forced into hiding that leads to dangers that can lie in the gay culture and gay world. We force gays into exile, and because this is so stigmatized, individuals are forced into sketchy situations in order to explore themselves. Mick went onto these app’s and chat rooms because he had no one to talk to. No one to turn to to ask questions and seek answers from, but he is not alone. There are many people in his boat. I was one of them.
Because he couldn’t go public about all this, he had to do it privately. This is a problem. If homosexuality was discussed in schools and within our society we could expose it to the world and people wouldn’t have to live in fear. Individuals wouldn’t have to go into hiding. But because we condemn it in our church and our teachings, people are forced to go to the extreme to self discover and explore their sexuality. If people could be gay and explorative openly it would be safer. It wouldn’t feel like a shameful act, but something normal like dating someone of the opposite sex. You wouldn’t have to look in dark places to meet someone, you could meet them openly and publicly. You could meet them safely. But this is a luxury gays do not have in the world. We are forced to search for light in darkness.
I believe people turning away from homosexuals is what leads many of those who are gay to fall into sin. If we accepted homosexuality I guarantee most of this won’t be an issue. More gays would find God and sexual immorality will decrease. Yet we call them sinners, so why shouldn’t they become what we portray them as? The American Indians fell into this trap. We always portrayed American Indians in our culture as savages that hurt and abused women, yet that was not who they were as a people. In many American Indian tribes, the abuse of women was unthinkable. It is now, however, stated by the Navajo Times that rape is the number one crime on Navajo Reservations. It is believed that 80% of the Native woman who were seen at the regional psychiatric service center within a 5 state area had experienced some form of sexual assault. American Indians slowly started to become the very thing we portrayed them as. They started to act like their invaders. As Hitler noted over 50 years ago, If you tell a lie big enough and often enough, it will be believed. We’ve been telling the biggest lie about gays for years.
I could break down the verses for you and explain them all, but this is not the purpose of this post. I am simply writing because I want to raise the concern that we need to change the way we think of homosexuality. Mick concluded his testimony proclaiming that he will struggle for the rest of his life, but he knows that being gay is not something he wants. Like I stated, he doesn’t want sexual immorality, but it’s sad he linked that to sexual preference.
He currently is in a relationship with a girl he’s been with since 7th grade. She’s been his support system through it all and I think it’s beautiful she stands by his side, but I can’t help but question why? Why does she stay with a man who she knows struggles to stay with her and will always secretly desire someone else? It leads me to believe she has low self esteem and doesn’t think she can get anyone else. Yet, if Mick were turning away from homosexuality because he truly loves this woman and thinks she’s the only person in the world for him, then I think his fight against it is poetic and beautiful. However, if he is simply fighting it because a verse in the bible tells him he is wrong for being gay then he is making a huge mistake. He’s fighting himself for a battle that doesn’t need to be fought. To be someone else for someone else’s sake is the greatest mistake.
My favorite verse in the bible comes from the book of Ecclesiastes. In Ecclesiastes 7:13 it states that we should accept the way God does things because who can straighten what He has made crooked? To me this is the gay verse. The verse that says we are bent and we are different, but who is to straighten us out when we are meant to be this way.
I feel sorry for Mick. I feel sorry that as he spoke tonight the congregation praised him when he talked about turning away from what he claimed to be the “gay lifestyle.” I am happy he turned away from his sexual immorality, but I’m disappointed by his claims that that’s a result of sexual preference. It just seems he reinforced the idea that all gays are man whores who sleep around and remain unhappy. I don’t believe any of that and I hope everyone there doesn’t believe it either. Because that’s definitely not who I am, and that was not the road I took on my personal journey.
Mick never gave himself time to explore his sexuality safely, and if he did, he didn’t share it. He was always looking for sex, but some of us are looking for love. He never gave himself time to try and find happiness with a man because he always had it imbedded that it was a sin and he was wrong. To him being gay equated sex, and that idea is so far from the truth. He also has always had his girlfriend by his side. He has never stepped away from her long enough to know anything else. It’s almost as if he is trapped.
His story is one of the reasons why I want to date someone from my church and share that relationship with the congregation. I want to show my church that there can be healthy relationships between two men. That there can be happiness, wholeness, and even innocence. I want to show them that love is possible, and what they believe about homosexuality is wrong. I want to show them that their views and preconceived notions are false. However, I have no one to explore that journey with. So I think I’ll take that stand on my own. My church is just a small step towards a larger goal I feel I’m called for. I don’t know what it is, but God wants me to take up the topic of homosexuality and Christianity. I can just feel it. I always wanted to start a revolution, and I think this is it.
Mick made the claim that he isn’t gay and that that wasn’t his identity. His identity is that he is Mick and that’s what he wants to be known as. When he made this statement the congregation cheered. They supported his individuality. But I think he got it wrong. At least for me, being gayis who I am. Yes it’s just a part of who I am, but it’s a part that I wouldn’t mind being identified as. The reason why? Because it’s a linkage to this identity that makes me have a fight. Being gay makes me a part of something that is bigger than myself. I am not just Kev. I am a crucial member of a movement for the equality of love.