A Gay Christian - an oxymoron?
Don Dudgeon says No!
In the cover letter for this
article, Don Dudgeon says: "All the negative vibes we get through the community
are because of the morals of the church.
Even people who have never gone to to church are affected by it.
Our whole moral ethics and even legal system
is based on the Bible and its interpretation".
I have been preaching for years to the mainstream church
that the terms gay and Christian are not incompatible. It is only in the last
few months that I have realised that gays need this message as well.
I could fill up many pages complete with Biblical text to
say why I believe that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality but I don't
want you to tune out. I want you to read all I have to say so will try to keep
it brief and just give you my homespun theology.
First of all I know that I did not choose to be gay; God created me
this way. And God does not make mistakes so He created me this way for a
purpose. And God is a just God. He would not create 10% of His people gay and
deny them the right of sexual expression. You know Jesus does not make any
condemnation of homosexuality. And He knows all about it; He is, after all,
omniscient. Surely if He felt that it was an aberration He would have said so. He
even acknowledges us in Matthew 19.12. Some people think that Paul condemns us
but then whilst he was a great pastor he was human and therefore fallible. His
fallibility was due to the fact that he knew nothing about a committed loving
relationship between people of the same gender. In fact he talks about having
sex 'against our nature' He knew it only as it existed in a form of domination
and prostitution. But for the last 600 years the authoritarian church has
promulgated the line of the sin of homosexuality so a gay Christian has to make
a decision when he finally accepts that he is gay. He believes he can not be
both gay and Christian. There are several options he can take.
GET RID OF GOD
These people know that they can not change their
homosexuality so they leave the church. They find it hard to escape the
teachings of the church. They try to blot out God by going overboard with
excesses of sex, drugs and alcohol. But when they are alone and not 'smashed',
God is still there.
GET RID OF HOMOSEXUALITY
believe that they have to try to change their sexuality. Some will decide to
marry to effect change and end up not only making themselves miserable but
dragging some poor unsuspecting woman along the path with them. Others decide
they have to be celibate. (Celibacy is a vocation we offer to the Lord not
something that is demanded of us because of our sexuality). That sort of action
often results in other excesses of drugs, gambling and child molestation.
Homosexuality is still there.
TRY TO RECONCILE
Some continue to go to church every Sunday accepting that
gay is OK but not really believing it. They
have casual sex. They do not form a permanent relationship because it reaffirms
their guilt. They don't really love other people because they have been so
grounded in their own worthlessness that they do not love themselves. And you
know we have to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Another lot finds a liberated church and says that they are
going to celebrate their sexuality. Unfortunately they tend to throw out the
baby with the bath water. They say "We are the same as other people so the
Church has to accept us" but when it comes to fidelity they say "But we are
different". The church, in an effort to redress years of discrimination, often
pats them on the head and says "OK" but it is not OK. We are the same. Whilst I believe that the Bible does not condemn
homosexuality and that it is OK to give it sexual expression it should be in a
loving, committed relationship. We are subject to exactly the same moral
judgments as our straight brothers and sisters.
When I advocate monogamy as the Christian ideal I am often accused of
copying the 'straight' model and maybe I am. But I don't do it just to copy
them. I do it because I believe that it is the right way for a Christian to go.
In a loving, committed relationship we find all the elements of what
Christianity is about: care, love, sacrifice, tolerance, patience, hope and
faith. They are all there.
But in the end we all have to decide what is right for us.
It is not for us to sit on the
sidelines and tell others what is right. As Paul says in Romans 14:13
"Let us stop judging one another.
Instead, you should decide never to do anything that would make your brother
stumble or fall into sin."
Let me conclude with parts of Paul's first letter to the
people at Corinth (Chapter 13)
"I may be able to
speak the languages of men and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech
is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of
inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may
have all the faith needed to move mountains-but if I have no love, I am
nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be
burnt-but if I have no love, this does me no good. Love is patient and kind; it
is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill mannered or selfish or
irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil,
but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and
patience never fail. Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are
temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease;
there is knowledge, but it will pass. Meanwhile, these three remain: faith,
hope and love; and the greatest of these is love."