“Just repent.”

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“Just repent.”

The assumption seems to be that attraction is the same as lust. Feeling attraction for someone of the same gender must be lust, right? In fact, some of these comments from others seem to indicate that they themselves feel that if they (as a straight man, for example) were to feel attraction to a woman that it would undoubtedly be classified as “lust.”

Really? Is that really the sort of men and women which populate the Church? Have we created men and women who have no idea how to understand love apart from sex, affection apart from marriage, and attraction apart from dating? Continue reading

Coming Out Again

Dave:

Wesley has a wonderful point about being known in ever-deepening ways.

Originally posted on Spiritual Friendship:

Earlier this week I was talking briefly online with a friend who’s still in the middle of the process of coming out to family and friends. It’s been a few years since I was in his shoes, and hearing him describe both the newfound freedom and the emotional exhaustion of coming out took me back to those moments of my own life.

I think, for instance, of sitting with a friend at her kitchen table late one night. I’d come upstairs from my basement apartment to where she and her husband lived on the third floor of the house, having decided this would be the night I confided in her, dear friend that she was. And even though I counted on it going well, and even though I’d had the same conversation with other friends a half dozen times in the previous weeks, I still felt jittery. Imagine knowing you…

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A Consideration of Struggle

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A couple of days ago, one of my classmates sent me a PM through Twitter, asking me my thoughts about Andrew Wilson’s recent piece for ThinkTheology. We PMed back and forth on the subject, but as I was at work (sorry, boss), I couldn’t think it through as it deserved. Now seemed like a good time.

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Gay Is Not The Scandal, Celibacy Is

Dave:

Why use the term “gay”?

Originally posted on Spiritual Friendship:

I’m sure the last thing that most of us want to read is yet another pontification on the term “gay”. Hear me out.

In his book, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, the great Reformed theologian John Murray makes a helpful observation that sheds some light on our modern discussion of LGBT terminology. Discussing the Calvinist teaching of Limited Atonement, he asks whether or not the title of the doctrine is a fair representation of the content. He concludes, “But it is not the term used that is important; it is that which it denotes.”

I bring this up, not to discuss controversial doctrines, but because John Murray has unintentionally put his finger on one of the main issues in the gay debate. It seems that one of the questions of perennial interest in this conversation about sexuality is, “What does the term ‘gay’ denote?” Does it denote a particular behavior…

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Gay In Christ: Day 1 Reflections

Today will be Day 2 of 2 for the Roman Catholic conference Gay In Christ: Dimensions in Fidelity. I’m in attendance with several of my friends from the Spiritual Friendship blog: Ron Belgau, Wesley Hill, Kyle Keating, and Gregg Webb. I got to meet Matt Jones for the first time which has been a real treat. I also spent a lovely evening catching up with Chris Damian (whom I’d met before), talking with Melinda Selmys, and meeting Eve Tushnet for the first time.

Touchdown Jesus approves of this conference.

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Speaking Publicly

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything here and I hope to begin changing that. Grad school is in its final year and I’m going to be job-searching before much longer, but right now I’m trying to get through Hebrew translations and papers.

Lately, instead of blogging, I’ve been speaking publicly. I’ve spoken to high school students and to a group of PCUSA congregants most recently. Each experience had its own ups and downs, but it’s been an instructive few months even so.

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A Counter-Cultural Kind of Love

Dave:

“Because homosexuality is often reduced to the desire for gay sex (which is a very small part of being gay), Christians often don’t understand what we’re talking about. But there are gifts that come with each disposition and vocation, and we’re exploring how those gifts can be embraced and celebrated through friendship and community.”

Yes and amen.

Originally posted on Julie Rodgers:

I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to share a little about my faith and sexuality in generous pieces at Religion News Service and Slate. What I appreciated about both journalists was their desire to truly understand our experience as celibate gay Christians: both our choices and the heart behind those choices. It was also encouraging to see one explaining this path to the Christian community and one explaining it to a broader readership, with both demonstrating such charitable spirits.

Given the short space that I’m able to unpack the complexities of all this in brief quotes—you know, gay, ex-gay, celibacy, friendship, Jesus, and the fact that there’s way more to me and all people everywhere than our sexuality—this seems like a good time to share a little more about my season in ex-gay ministry, and to highlight why it was so nourishing when I landed in the Spiritual Friendship community.

I’ve shared previously…

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On the Pubcast!

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Tanner & Les.

Tanner & Les.

Two really cool guys had me on their podcast (The Reformed Pubcast) recently. They’re Calvinists who talk about Arminians, theology, and beer. But at minute 23 of this week’s podcast, they talked with me about being Gay and Evangelical.

The reaction on the blog has been mixed, but I think is largely good. I have a sense that hearing from a real-life Calvinist who wrestles with his sexuality and identifies as gay (but with the qualification that he is celibate unless he marries a woman at some point) is utterly foreign territory to some. That’s ok…and if you’re visiting from the Pub, welcome!

One question I was asked on the Facebook group has to do with whether or not the word “love” can be used for me to talk about those to whom I’m attracted. I’m well aware of popular Calvinistic teachers who do not like for the word “love” be associated with anything same-sex related. However, since I was asked why I used the word love, this is what I replied. I share it here because I imagine that there are many people who would secretly ask the same question.

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The Labor of Love

Dave:

A wonderful thought (or two) about how romantic love shouldn’t inform our friendships.

Originally posted on Spiritual Friendship:

Imagine a man who quits his job and moves across the country for the woman he loves. This act is either incredibly beautiful or incredibly stupid. One critical fact makes the difference: how she responds.

“Love at first sight” only works for those who have not learned the labors of love. For how can one love another when he does not yet know how to love the other? The greatest love is less like a disembodied hook-up and more like one striking image from John Green’s The Fault in our Stars (the tragically funny book, which I saw as a movie and laughed when I wasn’t supposed to—sorry, fellow movie-goers!). The protagonist reflects, “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”

A love which is truly for the other is a slow love, because it is a patient love. It does not demand…

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