I think often of Washed and Waiting, a book which has helped me a great deal in the last seven years of my walk with Christ. In it, Wesley Hill talks about his loneliness even in the midst of the crowd. If one were to examine Wesley’s Meyers-Briggs against mine, I’m willing to bet we’d test differently. Wes’ and my personalities more than likely create situations where one of us might be drained while the other was being recharged. The experience of loneliness and desperation, however, are not tied to one’s personality. They are very nearly universal in the lives of those who are human. Continue reading
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.
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.
I’m house-sitting for a few days, watching dogs and eating the owners’ food. Well, sort of. I ordered out for Chinese last night.
I got two phone calls yesterday which affected me greatly. The first was from a ministry director whom I’ve never met. I’ve applied to work with the organization he represents and I filled out an application. It had many questions on it, but one of them was something like this:
Have you done anything in the last ten years which could be considered worthy of reproach in your conduct?
I was hanging out with single folks from my seminary the other day for dinner and dessert. We were discussing how difficult it is to get a job in the PCA and EPC if you are single…and I chimed in, “Yeah…but because I’m gay, I’ve got two strikes against me.”
Immediately, my phone beeped. This is the text message I received:
Hey brother, been thinking about you a ton lately. I think God is going to use you to do things you can’t even imagine for the glory of his name. Praying for you and the work He has laid out for you to do, work we don’t even know yet. Love you.
This morning, I woke up after having stayed up way too late with two friends of mine…one Catholic and the other Baptist…talking about theology and liturgy (and of course, Mary). I had a headache, but I pulled my prayer book (the one I just recently purchased from CPO in Springfield, MO…published by Concordia) out and prayed one of the prayers for Sunday morning.
I dragged myself to church this morning. I was feeling really low. I literally sat at my desk at 11:20 (5 min. after church had started, 10 min. away), and thought, “What’s the use?”
Is Christian practice of chastity futile? Chastity is, culturally speaking, fairly peculiar as a life behavior. In the rare instances that one finds the broader, western/American culture endorsing chastity, it is for selfish reasons: “Wait to have sex until you’re ready. Find someone you love or at least find attractive.”
In generations previous to ours, there was a sense of shame from the community. “If I have a child out of wedlock, the neighbors will talk. I don’t want them to think I am a whore (or, if a man, a “cad,” perhaps).” This is no longer a concern for most people, having been replaced with a concern for personal pleasure.
Two days ago, I got to spend some time with some good friends at Buffalo Wild Wings watching the Cards game on FOX. It was quality programming, even if it did have a 3 1/2 hour rain delay. And we won!
At 7:30, I packed up my stuff and went to another friend’s house for the first time and did some reading for Church History. He has some of the same passions I do…we both nerd out on old books and love to talk about theology and liturgy. He and I talked about a wide variety of topics…and yes, we did study. But we had a great several hours to hang out and get to know each other better.
Not a self-punishing ritual, but a ritual of turning away from sin and turning toward Christ.
Whether I sin while sleeping alone or if I sleep with someone else out of wedlock, I need repentance to mark my life.
I need the grace of forgiveness which comes from Christ’s sacrificial death to be applied to me on a daily, hourly basis.
Even my thoughts about others–my bitterness, my lust, my anger, my judgmentalism–need to be subjected to this repentance. God’s kingdom extends even to my bed…and fornication is not the only sin that can happen in one’s bed. Not by a long shot.
Some of the thoughts in this post came from my reading of this article. I highly recommend it. The article’s author and I don’t share the same theological affinity, but I think there are some wonderful things he expresses in his post.
When it comes to dating women, I’m not terribly experienced. I’ve never been in a dating relationship per se… but I have taken two women out on dates. I’ve been turned down flat by two others. I’ve never dated a man.
I’m about to start my third year of seminary and am taking the summer to read and think. I opted not to take any summer classes–I’m convinced that my never taking summer classes prior to seminary is why I actually enjoyed school at all, so I’m testing that theory. So far, so good. 🙂
One of the things I’m thinking about is whether or not God is calling me to be an unmarried minister. I really don’t know, so I sought out some advice from close friends who have told me that one way God’s will is revealed in these situations is to date. That’s more than a little scary for me, honestly.
When I was in Junior High through college, I didn’t have any young cousins. There’s just me and my brother, who is only four years my junior. I’ve never been around a ton of kids, so they mostly scared me. I’ve always been the guy to have friends who are older than him and the idea of relating to people who were younger was scary.
But the more I’ve worked with kids, the more I’m open to having some of my own. I’ve had friends who have elementary age children. I’ve worked as a music teacher in an elementary school…and kids need godly role models who are men. Sorry ladies…not that what you do isn’t important, but it makes me sick that more guys aren’t involved in children’s ministry and elementary education. I think I was in Junior High before I ever had a male teacher, with the exception of my gym teacher. I certainly didn’t have a male Sunday school teacher until the same age. Why is discipleship of children women’s work?