The best Christian response to the gay script

‘I chose to be myself and stopped denying who I was’, is the most heart-breaking statement that I hear from Christians who are actively pursuing romantic sexual expressions with members of the same sex. I am almost tempted to declare to them Paul’s words to Galatians, “oh foolish you, who bewitched you!” But I always quickly hold my tongue.

The blame is probably not entirely theirs. See, what do we expect when the society that one lives in, believes that these people should not be experiencing same sex attractions and if by any chance they happen to, then they should work towards growing and experiencing feelings for the opposite gender, something that this society largely equates to a mark towards sanctification. And so when an individual hearkens to these teachings and devotes themselves towards achieving the homo-hetero ideal, but ends up not seeing any significant change, even after years of working on the same, what happens is, they end up adopting what Mark Yarhouse in his book Costly obedience would call the gay script. The is the other option that is readily available to those individuals processing their same-sex sexuality. It says:-

  • You can either be straight (heterosexual), gay, Lesbian or Bisexual.
  • Your sexual attractions signal who you are as a person.
  • Sexual attractions reside at the core of your identity; your sense of self.
  • As far as you enjoy who you really are, no one should try to evaluate it as either wrong or right.

Failure to identify with any of the labels and/or abstinence from sexual expression in line with the script is termed as being in denial and not being honest to who one really is.

Overtime in my wrestling with all the discussions about sexuality, the following are some of the things that I presume would be the best Christian response towards this script.

  1. Understand the foundation of the script

The script finds its popularity from 3 things; the sexualized western culture, failure to have clear cut explanations on the causes of same sex orientation and lack of significant change on individuals who try to change their same sex feelings. Having its original base in the western audience, it’s sexualized culture that tends to almost worship sex finds it easier to classify individuals based on that aspect. Additionally, failure for the scientist to explain the exact causation of same sex attraction, leaves the enlightened mind to make meaning based on one’s experiences. And when the ex-gay therapy movements popular among the Christians failed terribly (check out stories about Exodus international); any talk against the script was/is seen as doomed to fail.

With this foundation, you don’t expect less of the script outlined above. I however wish we all knew how much complex the issue of sexuality is. Probably more complex than we think. And when we base our identity on what the current culture and the prevailing scientific explanations tell us, without giving these a second thought, then we may find ourselves turning into guinea pigs, used for cultural explorations and discoveries. The worst-case scenario would be, if and when we find ourselves attaching our identities to them. What if we approached the script with a more analytical look, assessing its context of origin and checking our current context? What if we saw it as one that needs not be accepted wholly or rejected all together? And what if you gave yourself time to learn more before you took it all up? Think about it.

2. Understand your foundation- Your Christian script?
To the Christian audience, I hope you understand the salvation story. The one that originates from the fall of man recorded in Genesis 3. How about God’s plan that starts with Abraham and finds its climax in the Messiah, Jesus Christ? The one who worked to reconcile the world to himself not counting their trespasses against them. How About your state as a believer? One who has been declared righteous due to Christ’s pouring of his blood for our cleansing. The birth of an eternal fellowship; God residing in the midst of his people. That which translates to an eternal perspective. As for now, we’ve been saved and declared righteous while at the same time together with the rest of creation groan (due to bondage and corruption in the world) inwardly as we await our doption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
If this brief explanation is your foundation, then, where should your identity first lie? Secondly, what If you allow yourself to process the script not in anger against those in the church who have failed you but rather in line with who God is and what he has declared? You will see that, yes, what you feel may have a push and pull with what the scripture declares, but should that put you off? Isn’t everyone else not caught up in that, at times desiring that the scripture would say less than it does, all in the hope of satisfying the sinful nature? What if you devoted yourself to looking deeper beneath those verses that you feel are meant to ‘enslave’ you? Embracing a posture that if it’s love that inspired this, then, there must be more than the superficial. And if the counsellor, the blessed Holy Spirit resides in you, will he not guide you to all truth!

3. Find ‘your’ niche.
Having analysed the two foundations laid above, then you are at liberty to settle on your own niche. This may mean accepting or rejecting items of the script in ways that are consistent to what you believe. It may also call for you to live out your own script without any fear. The truth is that, for you who experiences same sex attraction, you still have a lot in common with the general LGBT+ community, so for no reason should you hate them. If you can relate with them in meaningful ways, then it will serve to be a blessing both to you and them. But above all, your primary bond belongs to your family of faith. It is therein that you find your nurture and growth. And lastly, for the African audience, we have the greatest opportunity to process our sexuality in ways that are biblically founded but also sensitive to our culture; all for God’s glory!

So, should you adopt a label? Can you be a Christian and still pursue romantic expressions towards members of your same sex? And what determines your truest authentic self? Think. Learn. Live. Blessings

Am I a gay guy who is trying to be a Christian or a Christian who is struggling with being gay?

Disclaimer: I used the word ‘gay’ loosely as it is used in the global world. In this context however, it describes someone who experiences same sex orientation, I.e. their physical, emotional and sexual attraction is largely towards the same sex.
Have you ever noted that the very thing that makes you different from others is the one thing that you are always super-conscious about? You find yourself constantly wondering if others are noticing this “difference” and if they are judging you for it. And because it is the very last thing, you’d wish to admit to anyone leave alone to yourself, you end up pushing it to the subconscious. You would rather get busy doing anything else, than think or talk about it. But this seems futile, since the more you try to ignore it, the more it seeks for your attention. Crossing your mind at every trigger and ravaging your it even when you should be resting; the only subject in your dreams. What do you do when you can’t get it off your mind? Just because it’s persistent, does that mean it’s the most important and authentic fact about you?

‘Am I a gay guy who is trying to be Christian or a Christian who is struggling with being gay?’ is a question I heard in a podcast some while ago. The statement made much sense as the voice on the other side explained how they have lived with the reality of ‘liking’ other guys for the longest time ever while being closeted. This journey entailed praying for a change of his feelings; heeding to God’s call into pastoral ministry and marrying an opposite sex partner. Many years later he commented that, yes there were times when the fires were burning lower than others but the physical, emotional and sexual craving towards the other gender has never ceased. And though he knew the answer to his question, he could not help wondering otherwise.

This begs the question, which is his most authentic self, his reality of being a Christian or his reality liking other guys? If he affirms the former (being a Christian), then what happens with the fact that he cannot live out what he is inclined to since it’s in contrary to his beliefs. On the other hand, if he affirms the latter (liking other guys), then does that mean he has to leave his beliefs all together? If he dares to listen to the other side of the divide, he will be jeered at for being in denial, inflicting unnecessary pain against his true self. Words fail him even as he tries to make them understand that the sweet moment of experiencing the presence of his saviour surpasses any other experience in his life leave alone the tickling that comes when he is crushing on another guy. The only words he can utter are, ‘I would not trade that sweet moment for anything’. Though his hearers can’t seem to get this, he knows in his deepest heart of hearts, to be true. The words of this divide however, coupled with the overwhelming ‘liking’ and the unspoken warning to ‘not speak about it’ from the Christian community that he is part of, only adds to making him more miserable. He wonders about how long he will keep on swimming against the tide.

When some could explain religion to be the opium of masses and as something that gives a society order. Those who have had an encounter with the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ can attest that this explanation falls way below in describing them. The eyes are convinced of what they have seen, the ears have heard things too wonderful to ignore and their hearts knows this to be true. They can attest that this was neither forced on them nor mimicked but it is a first hand on-going- every-moment reality. It is this that they hope that their friends, families and even the rest of the people could be enabled to just ‘experience’. For them, it is a reality that they want to live in whether in death or in life.

And so yes, no matter how the guy I just described above, is tempted to doubt his being Christian as his most authentic self, he should not forget his faith realities. How God has been wonderful in this area of his life; giving grace, showing mercy and enabling holiness. And if these are lacking, should he not be reminded of other ways that God has been true in his life. Remember the other chains that he freed him from, how about the storm in his life that he calmed and not forgetting God’s unwarranted goodness in his life. And if Christ leaveth his father, to hold fast to him and become one flesh; him the body and Christ the head (Eph 5:22-33). Then what other reality can downplay this!
Thus, more than anything, his being different do not have to define him. Instead, submitting under his truest authentic self, which is his Christian faith, his ‘liking’ can be evaluated, prayed for, practised and avoided as guided by the commands of his Lord.
And though at times he may be tempted to feel like he is a gay guy who is trying to be Christian, may it always be engraved in his mind that he is first and foremost a Christian, God’s son! And may that be a cloud in hot days and a fire in dark nights; the only thing that he will carry to the next life. Never forgetting that many others are cheering him on while at the same time, others are being encouraged by his testimony.

The Mismatch!

This week I managed to submit my last paper marking the end of the first semester in school. Starting out in the month of January, I had this grand vision of how life would be like, doing what I have always wanted to do. I envisioned being way-ahead of the lecturer in covering the course content; excelling in all that I did. After all, isn’t this what I had always yearned to do. I was sure life would have a paradigm shift. Well, as I mark day one away from my assignments, I wish to make a confession. While there have been days that school seemed like paradise; enjoying the class content and excelling in the continuous assessments, many are the days when I hated it all, from getting late on assignment submissions, to not being able to raise the needed cash and the worst of it all, there were days that I doubted the very journey that i had started on.. Too bad, the latter experiences seemed to carry the day. In short, the daily experiences could not match the grand vision. The mismatch!

My journey of making meaning to my same sex feelings has been one I would best equate to a roller coaster. At one time all over the sky feeling I have figured it all out and then in no time, boom! I am all in the gutters feeling I have lost it all. At the start of this journey, I had an image of how I would be the icon of what it meant to submit to what the Bible says about homosexuality while at the same time acknowledging my same sex feelings. I envisioned chastity in singlehood; a brotherly love devoid of any romanticism. A weakness that had been transformed into power! A testimony to the church and the world.
Whereas I still hold onto those convictions daily, I will speak of how my experiences of not living them out has been. I will do this not to encourage you to sin-far be from it. If anything, may it keep you from fainting, falling and sinking under the despair of sin when you fall and secondly, if possible may it be a landmark to warn you to take heed lest you fall into the deceiving lure of sin.
I remember of a season I felt I could not hold it any longer, I had made commitments to turn my moments of weakness; of noticing another man’s beauty into an opportunity to direct me towards the splendour of God, since as I have written before, in a previous article, ‘Creation is not accidentally beautiful, but is beautiful precisely because God intends it to point to himself as the source of its beauty-. Though I had succeeded in doing this on multiple times, this season was different, I imagined, fantasized, and made steps, all to fulfil the craving that raged inside of me. I thought that if I just satisfied the desire, then I would be ‘fully’ fulfilled.
So I went ahead and rationalized what I was feeling , I wondered where and when ‘too far would be really too far’, and if I could ‘‘carefully’’ just play with the fire, and still come out unburnt. When I prayed, I wanted God to bless my steps , I seemed to reason with him, telling him how I was still in the line of fulfilling his will. About my accountability partners, I told them what I thought they needed to hear, and when I shared the full story, I seemed to have already had my mind made up.
Overtime, what I would call minor addictions developed, I tried repenting them away. I was however not in a rush to resist or flee from them. After all, they were not the major ones, compared to the stories I had heard or read, I still seemed to have been doing better. So I nursed them and blinded by their ‘smallness’, let them hold me tight. Tight to the point where they wanted me at… choking, helpless and surrounded. And there I stood, ready to walk away from what I knew to be the only truth. My heart doubted, my body pressured, my spirit warned, my soul assured! I had however set myself on a steep slope, and I could not help but roll.
The psalmist says, he would rather be a door keeper in the house of the Lord than dwell in the tent of the wicked ; God’s son cried out in a loud voice when he felt abandoned by his father at the moment when the sin of the world was laid on him. If a man has tasted the beauty of God’s presence, then he will curse a thousand times the result of the alluring sin that earlier mesmerized him. And that is exactly what my moments of giving in to sin did. To the very one who would show me mercy, I hid, and to the ones who would extend mercy, I put a wall. I worked hard to cut off the blessed fellowship not only between me and God but also with other believers. All because of guilt and shame.
The desire I had set out to satisfy left me strangely unfulfilled, at the same time, I felt I was the worst candidate for the life I had set out to model. More than this, had I not displeased the very one who dearly loved me and the one I longed to honour and obey always!

Blessed be God, who does not leave his children in the valleys of the shadow of death, who is for us and never against us, who makes all things new, the very one who has achieved and has set out to achieve for us all that which he has called us into. For in this one and every other moment, he let me hear his voice amidst every other voice that screamed at me. He led me into repentance, and gave me muscle to make the very next step.
…no failure is ever a success story. But it can be a redemption story”Darrin. My ‘mismatch’ journey greatly resonates with this statement and so yes, I still live in the hope of the grand vision, one whose foundation is God. Not living as the ‘Gentiles’ do, for they are hopeless and confused, their minds darkened, wandering away from the life of God, their minds closed and their hearts hardened. Having no sense of shame, living for lustful pleasure and eagerly practising every kind of impurity. But that is not what I learned about Christ, the truth I have heard from him calls me to throw off my old sinful nature, my former way of life which is corrupted by lust and deception. Now and always, to let the spirit renew my thoughts; to put on my new nature, created to be like God- truly righteous and holy.
And even in the mismatch, I dare, not lose the wonder of where God has called me to. For there is a race that I must run and victories to be won.


And so I ask God to give me power, every hour, to be true.

T-EASTER-MONY

As we come to the end of this Easter season, I am reminded of the following: –

  1. I am forgiven- Luke 24:47, Acts 2:38.
  2. Christ has entered into glory Luke 24:26.
  3. He deserves my worship John 20:17.
He is not there! He is risen!

As a young man clothed in the earthly garments, I need this reminder always. The reasons being:
A) I am conscious of sin. Even before I knew the scriptures well, I was introduced to the idea of morality. “Don’t do this, do that instead”, “that’s bad, I will punish you for it”. On knowing the scriptures, I did not only learn about the ‘sin‘ concept, but that of ‘righteousness’ too. But did it make things any better? Well, the idea of “sin’ always took the centre stage. It waited for me almost in every chapter that I read. And that of ‘righteousness’, it seemed miles way, a standard against which I would be condemned; out of reach.

B) I sin. Now, you all know that this should not be said loudly. But there are moments I have sinned deliberately and those when am convicted after the action. I know quite well that sin is rebellion against God. And so, when I bow to it, it works hard to push me further from him (well there are moments when it pushes me closer but that’s not usually it’s default effect ). There are some sins that seem small; these I find it easier to go over. On the other hand, some are hard to bear, simple reason, they are not only biblically wrong but socially unacceptable. And so, whenever I cave in to them, I am not only drowned in guilt but shame too.

C) I want to serve God. God is holy, perfect and able. By human definition, I am nothing close to that. How then, can I serve him? Can I ever please him? Having served my earthly fathers, I am conscious about the fact that I just can never do what they would want me to. Even at my best, they are bound to find mistakes. How much more God!

The Easter Miracle
And so, the story of Jesus, God’s holy son born and who lived in perfection, received God’s wrath for my sin and resurrected to glory, speaks a better truth than anything that other human philosophies does.
That sin is not an enemy to conquer (since Christ has already conquered it) and righteousness a goal to achieve (since Christ has achieved it for me). I am then left with only one big task, Faith.
Faith that informs me of the broken body of Jesus. A body that gives sin no room for residence but frees it for God to dwell in; to rule and to perfect it. The true definition of righteousness.
A faith that directs my service to him. Service to my father, my saviour and my Lord. The very one who is pleased with me.
And lastly, a faith that lives with my eyes focused on the ‘the place’ set for me. Where there will be no evil, no darkness- the Holy City, the new Jerusalem.

That’s my Easter Testimony. What’s yours?

The Quest for Intimacy- Part 1.

Authored by Kamau (Pseudonym)

“You can’t have your cake and eat it” is a good quote my heart struggles to accept because that’s exactly what it wants– to have peace without war, to have love without the pain, and to have straight friends who can desire me without being attracted to me. Basically, to do what Napoleon could and could not do.

Ever since I started experiencing same sex attractions (which has been as long as I can remember having any attractions to human bodies at all), I have realized that I have not been primarily looking for a male sex partner, but rather for a male intimate friend who can understand my journey plus how I feel and still desire my friendship and company as much as I desire his. This was further stamped when I became Christian and fully understood God’s stance against homosexuality. In a nutshell, I would say that I’ve basically just wanted someone to love me without necessarily being sexually attracted to me. And in as much as this has proven almost impossible, it is, in the simplest words, what my heart desires.

Maybe it is from this very need that sexuality expresses itself and then sexual activity becomes a climax, as a way of consummating the actualization of that need. But at the core of it, I believe every human is seeking intimacy, before sex, and that’s all I’ve also wanted.

Because I know seeking for such a friend among people like me, might lead me to temptation, I am on a path to seeking for a friend who is straight, for this will not make room, at least in the space of our conflicting attractions, for me to express my sexual interests towards them. This has brought me to a place where I find it difficult opening up to male acquaintances who could become great friends. How do I lay such confusing expectations at their feet and expect them to say, hey let’s row?! Whereas this might not be impossible, the prospect only widen the horizon of fear and the tendency to keep to myself, become a hermit, at least in the expression of my true feelings.

When I think of the friendship that existed between David and Jonathan, the kind that could be described as a soul mates kind of friendship, I wonder if people like me could ever have such a privilege of being loved by a friend. What if I begin to expect more from them than they could actually give? What is the guarantee that I will not be attracted to them especially if and when they give me the care and intimacy I desire? What a wretched man I am!

And so, I come to this conclusion that I learnt from a book by Donald Miller (Scary Close). According to Miller, the deepest longing of our hearts can only be satisfied by God, and not another human being, though we have accepted Christ and been brought into a relationship with God, the Holy Spirit being a foretaste of that ultimate satisfaction and intimacy the heart craves for. Don believes that not even spouses can satisfy that need in a marriage. However, they can share — help each other cope with — that longing until they are glorified in Christ. But is it possible to find another person who can understand me and share this longing with me, like how Don and his wife Betsy found each other for that journey? For many same sex attracted individuals, this is the most dreaded reality to face. First, because we fear there might be no straight person who would appreciate us as much, and secondly, because as Christians facing this reality, we cannot enter a consensual romantic relationship with someone of the same sex.

Ben-Hur and Messala (pre-21st. Century bonds)

In all this, however, I also acknowledge the capacity of the human heart to love beyond sex or attraction. So I wonder to myself, how much can I love a person beyond my sexual attractions towards them, or can I be loved by my best friends intimately in spite of my attractions? Can my friends love and show affection towards me, without being attracted to me? Can I love a same sex attracted friend and keep my thoughts free of pursuing a sexual agenda in our friendship? I believe these are possible, but only If we made known our dilemma to our friends, made them understand our journey and the support we could use from them (which they are totally able to give but reserve because the society teaches us to express love only in some contexts),but if we pursue this level of vulnerability, who knows, they might actually get to a point of accommodating our need for their love. I don’t think this is going to be easy but it might pay off. Communication is the backbone of every relationship.

While I wait for Jesus Christ’s return, my best chance is to seek community and accountability within the Church, and hope that I will find people to share my longings with, with as little expectations as possible, of their contribution to my satisfaction. But as much as friendship can offer, I’m willing to take.

Noticing with pleasure

“He is cute. Very cute, I wish I could just bask in his presence. I wish our eyes would just lock….Stop it! What are you up to again?”
For multiple times, I have had such monologues; be it in the streets, at social gatherings and even in my closet. There are times I cannot help but notice the beauty in another man.

Attractions
Attraction can be defined as the pre-cognitive physical reaction that makes us take particular notice of certain people. We would say, ‘noticing with pleasure’.Be it the beauty of the sunset, the scent from the flower garden or the baby-faced image of the guy right in front of you.

Going back to my experiences, it will mean a desire to want to take a second glance at him, to close the distance between us and engage in a meaningful conversation; I mean, anything that will allow me to be united with his beauty, pass into It, bathe in it and become part of it.On a few moments, these wants have been satisfied while in other times, I have had to nurse them in my closet.

In my desire to be faithful to God in my thoughts and behaviour, viewing someone of similar sex with some sort of pleasure, can seem as someone said , ‘to be like a loaded pistol aimed at destroying me.’This is because in the past, I have ended up making the individual an object of sinful fantasy. This has culminated to guilt, shame and more sinning. And so 2nd Timothy 2:22 has become a daily reminder, flee youthful passions…More than avoiding situations where I would experience this ‘noticing with pleasure’, I have had to ask myself, is there a way I can flee the temptation by training my heart and mind to respond to it better?

Let’s see
I can choose to see the individual not as an object but as a creation bearing the image of his creator. Instead of feeling guilty for noticing their beauty, I can praise God for His image that is seen in them. Other than being driven away by the moment, it can point me to Him the very source of all beauty. The very lasting one that am created to be part of and enjoy.. In his Nature of True Virtue, Edwards writes, “For as God is infinitely the greatest being, so he is allowed to be infinitely the most beautiful and excellent: and all the beauty to be found throughout the whole creation, is but the reflection of the diffused beams of that Being who hath an infinite fullness of brightness and glory.” Creation is not accidentally beautiful, but is beautiful precisely because God intends it to point to himself as the source of its beauty.

Additionally, I can choose to affirm the features that produce ‘butterflies’ in me from the other party. Be it their physical looks, their grooming, special gifting and many others. This calls for wisdom on when to say It, how to say it and who to say it to. In our homophobic environment this is a scary thing to do but it’s quite freeing.Example, T is a male friend who I came to know a month ago, since the very day I saw him, I liked his smile, his eyes too made blush especially when he caught me staring. After a month of knowing each other, it’s only the other day that from nowhere in our conversation, that I mentioned to him that he has very good looking eyes (completely avoiding the secular word ‘Se**y which would best fit there). He laughed and seemed to feel uncomfortable with the remark. Quickly, we moved on to some other discussions. To be known by my friend gives no room for his objectification; on the contrary, I am discovering more great/helpful traits in him which is an ingredient to the nourishment of our friendship.

At other times, when am in a company of safe people, I am quick to speak out the stir created when am caught up in the moment of an alluring male beauty. I will burst out with phrases like, ‘that guy has such a good voice’, ‘that’s a great chest, right?’ ‘No girl would say no to him, he is so good looking’. These outbursts help in processing the emotion with the others hence saving me from the trap of being caught up in my own fantasies.

Note: How we process our initial ‘noticing with pleasure’ tells a lot about what we will do after and so, If our minds are trained to focus on God as the all time source and fulfilment of pleasure, and when we are able to relate in healthy ways that are aimed at honouring each other, then our sinful tendencies have no grip on us.

Conclusion

There are very high chances that, I will find myself attracted in a great degree to the guy I bump into, in class tomorrow or next time when am walking in the streets of Nairobi, but then, I do recognize that by the power of the Holy Spirit, I am able to steward this towards what is holy, pleasing and perfect to God hence enabling that moment to be a God-honouring one, leading me close to him and close to his creation too.

Isn’t this true flourishing? I believe it is.

What if we flourish?

Talking about being same sex attracted/gay and Christian, especially in my Christian context seems to be planted on the idea that it should only be talked about the area of struggle. No wonder I received a text message from a friend (who knows about my same sex orientation experience) some few weeks ago asking, “How is the struggle taking you?” I clearly understood the ‘struggle’ he was talking about. But on reading the text message, I felt offended. “Which struggle bro?” I ignorantly enquired. And that was a sincere question, because as at then, my experience in the area of sexuality could not be described best by the use of the term ‘struggle’.
This gets me to the question, are same sex attracted/gay celibate Christians damned to talk of their sexuality only as a struggle? Can the word ‘flourishing’ find its way into the experience of their orientation?
Let’s see.Flourishing
The dictionary defines it as (of a living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment. This seems to suggest of something above surviving but thriving, not just existing but fully alive to explore and expand. And we all agree that when we are fully alive, we are not only connected to our God given purpose but also to the depths, heights and breadth of God’s glory(the who he is). The Psalmist says, “But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!” (Psalms 92:12-15)
We know that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came that we may have life and have it abundance (John 10:10). And there lies the concept of ‘flourishing’.

Doomed to fail
Google search identifies the term ‘struggle’ to mean; to engage in a conflict or to have difficulty handling or coping with. Now, if our discussion on sexual orientation is boiled down to a desire for sex, then the word struggle is inevitable. But I have highlighted in my previous posts that my discussion goes far beyond that. Informed by the American psychologist association, I define sexual orientation as ‘an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attractions to men, women or both sexes.” It’s the admiration of someone’s beauty, the longing for an emotional closeness, the desire for intimate and sacrificial friendships and in our sexualized world, the desire for sexual intimacy. For some of us who find ourselves in the bracket of those who are inclined towards the same or both sexes; our coming into terms with this reality is often energy-sucking, faith-shaking and life-taking. We not only learn to hate what we are feeling but hate ourselves too. It is then that we embark on a journey of seeing/making ourselves straight, and when that seems to delay, we marshal all our energies to hide this fact about us.
Whether self-taught or learned, there is always a human tendency to zero our life in only that which is not working, the very thing which is not ‘normal’. And so, as one living with this reality of an enduring pattern of same sex attraction, I’m tempted to live in shame, pain and hopelessness. And when I’m called to never see a positive in me or in what am feeling, am forever cast in the jail of struggle. And if that is not enough, am forced to take the vow of silence. And my only bail from it being, ‘fake it, till you make it’.
Without even examining it, every spark is to be put out, “you never know where this will lead to”, they say. So every same sex friend is held at arms-length, any special position in the ministry is held in fear of ‘what if they find out’. And when you just can’t keep an opposite sex friend, you freak out and you can’t help think ‘I am doomed’. Lonely and hopeless, you go deeper into the jail.
In an attempt to be kind to yourself, you start exploring the virtual world and before you know it, your chains have increased. And there you stand, not only experiencing the attraction but trapped in the jail of lust, pornography, masturbation, one-night stand or even multiple partners.
And there you stand suited to be described best by the following words: – failure, hopeless, struggler!

It doesn’t have to be that way!

I can be a Christian, one who experiences same sex feelings and whom the Lord has not found it pleasing to take away. That I can still hold on to the truth that all sexual expressions outside the marriage bed as revealed in God’s word is a sin. And still speak of my journey in the place of “flourishing”.

When asked whether there is a way that we can describe our orientation as ‘flourishing’ and not/less of a ‘struggle’, this is what some of my friend’s had to say:-
Person A -“In my understanding, all Christians are called to struggle and fight against their sinful nature, with the power of God’s grace, the help of the Holy Spirit and God’s word. BUT when do you ever hear this in a ‘normal’ church? Maybe in celebrate recovery… Maybe, those who are struggling are the ones who are really flourishing! We just have such a cockeyed vision of what flourishing is…” Person B -“A dear brother taught me that the word struggle is Satan’s word. It keeps us captive and under his control. When we say struggle it feels like we are in a bondage. And his tool for keeping us in bondage is shame. So when we feel shame in a struggle we are captives and it’s hard to move forward. Impossible to flourish. On the other hand the Saviour has a tool and a word. His word is experience. We are having an experience and the experience changes as we look to him. His tool is remorse. Remorse is different from shame. It is fluid and helps us move forward. When we allow shame to go away and when we change the word from struggle to experience and look to Christ, we flourish. We are here to flourish and we should find joy in the experience.” Person C -“I m gonna be flourishing in between and during struggles and in Jesus name I’ll flourish more and more until people ask me ” Do you ever struggle too ? 😊”

Conclusion

But then someone asked this, “How do you guys keep living with joy and happiness when your sexuality is something that you cannot express or experience? How do you go on when such a huge part of who you are is something you can never experience or enjoy without sinning all because of feelings that you didn’t necessarily choose?

Well, we hope to shed more  light on the same in the subsequent articles dubbed ‘flourish’.

Be on the look-out for our next article. Blessings.

Dear our devoted readers:

The disciples were not told why (in terms of efficient cause) the man was born blind (John 9:1–3): only the final cause, that the works of God should be made manifest in him. This suggests that in homosexuality, as in every other tribulation, those works can be made manifest: i.e., that every ‘disability’ conceals a vocation, if only we can find it, which will “turn the necessity to glorious gain.”(CS Lewis).

Motivated by such words, we made our very first post explaining what we hoped to be tackling in the site. Many months later, we have had 10 posts and still counting.

Having a mission to those experiencing same sex orientation, we sought out to try answer some few questions often asked and hopefully try give the possible answers in line with God’s truth. We tried as much as possible to share real life stories which though imperfect we believed would eventually point us to a perfect God. The result of this we hoped would be a people thriving in their spirituality while holding to the traditional Bible ethic.

In our second post ‘My Story’, which our friends helped in its publicity, a few individuals reached out, some responses read something like this, “I stumbled upon your blog somewhere and I thank God there’s someone on this side of heaven who can fully and absolutely understand what I go through. I thought I was alone. I’m encouraged to press on”. We can’t explain the joy we felt in this.

Bonding with these people, sharing literature materials, creating systems of accountability and genuinely expressing our love for each other is something I count to be of great success. Praise be to God!

We wish to thank all that read our posts, shared them on their platform and encouraged us to keep writing. With your support we can do more.
As we move on to a new year, on top of our list include:-

1. Enhancing authenticity and Biblical truth in our posts.
2. Welcoming guests writers that share in our vision and values.
3. Increasing the frequency of our posts; at least one in a month.
4. Upgrading our website to ensure it’s easy to access and make it easy for the reader to navigate through it.

We believe we will achieve this and many more in this blog. Meanwhile we covet your prayers for the same. For such a time like this we have come into being!
Above the blogging, The Question Of Sexuality initiative is set to launch some other avenues of ministry which we will be announcing in the course of time. Stay tuned.
Happy Holidays and may God bless You!

Come out of her

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues…(Revelation 18:4)

“Come out, be yourself. How long will you deny you? Come on, this is who you are!! Be real for once!”

If you experience same sex orientation, then there are high chances that the above statements have been hurled at you many times. There are some levels of truth in all these. That is for sure but then, I am convinced that what most of these people tend to encourage is, one for people to come out (which is great) and two, to pursue a life that is contrary in many ways to the wisdom of God in his word( which is not okay). That kind of brings us to crossroads i know but not to worry because the word always provides a way out. God constantly says:-

Come out of the world
As Jesus prepared to physically depart from his disciples he prays,They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Jn 17:16. The Bible depicts the world as a unit run by a particular system. And God forbids us against falling in love with the patterns of this world.
In the period that I have wrestled with same sex orientation, following are some key areas that I would like to strongly highlight:-

A)Making sexuality our identity. While it’s true that orientation colours many things in our lives like the kind of conversations we are likely to have, who we are drawn to spend our time with, the Bible verses that we often think about etc, the truth is that, it is never our truest authentic self. The sexualized world where we live in, popularizes that you are first your sexuality then all other things follow and that no law should prohibit you from responding to what you naturally feel or hinder you from pursuing that which will give you maximum joy. It also promotes the notion that the road to a happy life is cast only on one site- sexual satisfaction. This is not true for those who have set their eyes on the Calvary spot. They have relinquished the temporary satisfaction brought about by embracing self and its longings and said yes to something greater. As CS Lewis states, ‘forsaken a mud pie at the slum and taken up residence on a holiday at the beach. They are first Christians before anything else, and that is their truest self. And that sexuality is not what should dictate their being and doing.

B) Indulgence being the only lifestyle. The world denotes that same sex desires are too strong and thus every bank must break when they set in. And so many cannot help but get trapped in gay porn sites, gay bars and promiscuous sex. Being a minority and having to operate more in the shadows, such a lifestyle seems inevitable. And it seems like the only script set on stone for all. But is that the only script? Well, an author by the name CS Lewis said that, “it’s not that the porn addict desires are too strong but that his other desires are too weak.” This means that, we are not left to the fate of our sexual craving, not doomed to the joy of our orgasm. But rather, that we can cultivate other sweeter things. The beauty of intimacy and communion, the very one that David talked about, …Your (Jonathan) love to me was extra- ordinary, surpassing the love of women. We can enjoy the sweetness that comes once a sin moment has been delayed. And oh the glory of being free, never giving the flesh power to rule you by succumbing to every appetite it has. Yes the desires are likely to storm in with great pressure, but, since when did we become slaves to our desires? And is God not able to rule our emotions so that we can please him in all ways? CS Lewis goes ahead to say, “If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

c) Painting God as cruel and hateful. Some go ahead even to disregard his existence. Growing up as the black sheep in Christian families, living in shame and having had to endure painful practises in the aim of changing your sexuality has a way of shaping who a gay person thinks God is, which leads to some even denying his existence. It’s true that God has been misrepresented many times by those who profess to be his followers. Having said this, I have no doubt that it’s God who created us all. That the fall of man in Genesis 3 hurt him deeply since he loved us and knew the consequences of this fall. It is true that he has been in the process of reconciling all people to himself. That he would no longer be an enemy to his children. Jacob wrestled with him the whole night (Genesis 32:22-32) without knowing who He really was and at day break, God made himself known to him. I would wish to invite those who experience same sex/gay orientation to not just be satisfied with the negative image painted of God by those who have gone ahead of them. Just as Jacob wrestled, we can engage God in what we feel and what that means, we can let him know what the prohibitions in his word mean to us and how we feel pissed off when we cannot fulfil them and are considered by the rest as the worst of sinners. Going ahead we can express our unwavering Faith unto his omniscient attribute. And by that, we can choose to let him be a companion in the journey, even with our doubts and failings (which I believe he is not scared of), for he is willing and able to guide in all truth for Life. Thus being an atheist or anti-Christian is never the only option for those who experience same sex/gay orientation.

Conclusion

No human is beyond God’s saving power and no sinner scares God. In reverence to him, we can all come out of that which defiles body and Spirit. Whether facing an opposite or same sex orientation, God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light. To be his chosen people, his royal priesthood and his holy nation (1st Peter 2:9-10).
And note, it is the devil’s lie that the only escape from tension is through yielding.

Come out- Be free

Thorn or flower?

….v7 a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being conceited. v8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this that it should leave me. V9 But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made is made in weakness.’(2nd Corinthians 12:1-10)

Ask around or listen to stories of many believers on how they came to a personal relationship with Christ and how they became fervent in their prayer life. If they are great lovers of his word and possess unequalled compassion, dig deeper to hear more. It will be no surprise that their life experiences, especially those that seemed impossible became an avenue of encounter with God.

When I allowed Christ to be Lord and saviour of my life in form 3, I wanted him help me excel in my studies and to give me more platforms that I could continue to joyfully serve him on. Two years later I was zealously serving him and excelling in my studies but there was another elephant in the room. Some feelings that seemed foreign, though not really foreign had started taking a toll on me. I had managed to repress them with little effort before but now they demanded attention, they demanded to be acknowledged and they sought to be satisfied. When this was happening, my young soul, one that had tasted the beauty of being in God’s presence and the joy of being used by him could not comprehend why on earth I was finding my fellow guys more attractive than ladies and why my already saved body was getting sexually aroused by them.

And just like that, my peaceful, God- loving and serving journey was disrupted, by something that I could not explain except by a painful phrase, ‘thorn in my flesh’. And then, I was happy that Paul didn’t specifically specify what his thorn was so at least in some way, devoid of any other like testimony, I could hold unto his.
And for many years it has seemed like a messenger of Satan sent to torment me. As I have explained in my articles before; it became the area in my life where guilt and shame lay. Despite my increased zeal for service and the expanded areas of responsibility, it still seemed to be the very thing that threatened my qualification . And no matter how close I felt to God, this was the very area of my life where it felt that I disappointed him the most. Surely, whether God and Satan were battling for me, at least I knew he was on my side. And even though I could not see this then, and sometimes fail to even now, the truth is that, at the tip or can we say at the margin of the thorny branch, there lies some blossoming flowers, some already out of the petals and others still struggling to bud.

The question now would be… how did flowers find their way in a thorn? Let me try to explain.

I. My same sex orientation has been a doorway of learning, receiving and offering grace. This has intensified my love for God and the love for the lost. Ten years ago I knew I was growing and standing strong as a Christian due to my own merits; that others were not doing good enough and that was why there were in error. That God was privileged to have me in his team (such an intelligent, handsome and righteous young man) and that all he needed was to repay me for the credits that I brought to him. But now, Ephesians 2:1-10, v8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…….v10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. And so having received his grace in many areas of my life and the outstanding one being in my area of sexuality, he is able to help me go deep into the good works I believe of living like he did and letting everyone behold and receive his amazing grace.

II. Being different has enabled me to love and appreciate the God of diversity. Additionally, it has increased my sensitivity towards those that find themselves lying at the margins. Examples include the extremely poor and the stinking rich, the academic dwarfs and geniuses, the Kanye west and the John MacArthur kind of people, etc.

III. I have deep male friendships that are a great blessing. Wesley Hill in his book Spiritual friendship writes, “I don’t imagine I would have invested half as much effort in loving my male friends, and making sacrifices of time, energy, and even money on their behalf, if I weren’t gay.” And that has been true for me as well. (NB: Wesley Hill identifies himself as a Celibate gay Christian where he submits under the Biblical sexual ethic)

IV. Being real with my same sex feelings has moved me to let my faith in God be the realest since am confined to exploring it only as he has dictated in his word. And so I can no longer see the Bible as another book, I can’t just go for Sunday services for just the sake of it, and I can’t pretend before God and his faithful servants since it’s only in him that I am able to channel my same sex feelings in ways that are honourable and life giving.

And so, is it a thorn or a flower?It’s a flowery thorn, one that I long to see transformed and healed. And on the same hand, it’s in my same sex orientation experiences that God’s grace has been perfected and his power made perfect in me.

And so, I will weep but still rejoice, will flee from sexual temptations but still be committed in deep spiritual friendships. And I will live life here on earth as a sojourner and the same time enjoy the abundance of the Life that is found in Christ.

What can you see? It’s the little God has done and he is still at work. Halleluyah