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Tribbles Aren’t The Trouble. Labels Are. August 23, 2010


[This article has made it's way around the web. It's been included in whole or in part, on many other sites & blogs like "Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented," and "The Gay Christian Network" sub-site "Syncroblog For Sanity." Since first posting it it 2010, it has went through various edits and updates. SO, if you've read it somewhere else, you may wish to re-read it here. - df]

Personality tests. You know the ones. Those like the “Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.” Some people I know fall neatly into one category or the other.
Me, not so much.
In all those kinds of tests I took, I was usually all over the map. They’ve never really been able to classify me.

These tests seem to be designed to “pigeon-hole” people, and try to put them in neat little boxes.
I’ve found that boxes, labels and “catch-phrases” oversimplify the vast complexity of our humanity. They also, to be sure, oversimplify the vast complexity of our sexuality.
Labels may be fine for canned goods, but not always for people.

I’m writing here what is the most open, public, and personal statement about my sexuality; not to just talk about myself, but more to add my voice to a current discussion that all too often is a divisive “issue.”

I pretty much always knew that I was gay. Later in life, due to my religious views at the time, I considered myself ex-gay.
Now, I’m an “Ex” ex-gay.

I’m not really bisexual. I certainly do not consider myself “straight.” Again, labels can be very problematic.
Here’s what I do know: I am a man who has chosen to live in a monogamous, heterosexual relationship with the woman I love, and to whom I am genuinely sexually attracted.
That doesn’t mean I’m not still attracted to men.
I am.
Neither, contrary to accusations I’ve received, do I believe I’m being hypocritical or “denying my true self.” Many straight men are still attracted to women other than their spouse. To be faithful to the one you love, while recognizing that others are attractive, is NOT hypocritical. It is, in my opinion, just part of existing as sexual beings.

Timothy Kincaid, over at Box Turtle Bulletin, introduced me to the term “Spousosexual;” a term I believe was coined by Dr. Warren Throckmorton.

Spousosexual: when a person is primarily attracted to persons of the same sex but has found that affection and love for their opposite-sex spouse engenders sexual attraction to that one person of the opposite sex.

Again, I don’t like labels, but I guess that one would come the closest to describing me.

In “Thou Shalt Not Love: What Evangelicals Really Say to Gays,” Patrick M Chapman suggests that sexuality exists on a continuum. This can help explain why not everyone can so easily be crammed into pre-determined categories. Mr. Chapman’s book, by the way, is the single most complete and thorough treatment of the subject I’ve ever seen. He writes from the viewpoint of a gay Christian anthropologist.
[Update: I've since found another simply wonderful book called "A Time To Embrace." Together, these two books are pretty much a complete library on the subject.]

So, anyway, I went through so-called “reparative therapy.” I used to be part of an “ex-gay” support group. I no longer promote “ex-gay” ministries. I did receive some positive input throughout my therapy, but it wasn’t because of the “ex-gay” aspects. It was the simple, general psychology and self-worth portions which helped. The promises of a changed orientation are simply not true. Actually, they are downright harmful.

I cannot continue to encourage anyone to pursue any kind of “reparative therapy.”
I must say that of all the people I have personally known who say they “came out” of homosexuality, none of them ever quit being attracted to those of the same sex.
I can say that in all my years of involvement with those groups, I’ve never seen it happen. I have seen many who have said it happened, end up proving it didn’t. Many people in the movement now admit that the only change is in behavior, and not in orientation. And as one man from the documentary “Through My Eyes” has said, “Well, that’s just not good enough.”

Another label I used to wear was “right-wing, Republican, evangelical Christian.” The journey “out” of that sociopolitical mindset that masquerades as following God, is a journey many have taken, and more and more people who follow Christ are beginning to take. That journey became “big news” through the statements of author Anne Rice. (God bless you, Anne).

As part of that journey, (including much investigation, Bible study, research, prayer, and just plain living) many of my beliefs have changed. I am now convinced that when the Bible is properly approached, interpreted, and understood – not as a constitution, but as a divinely inspired community library – there is nothing condemning same-sex relationships. Like many, it is because of my commitment to Christ (not in spite of it) that I have become gay-affirming, and take a stand for marriage equality.
I won’t go into all the Biblical and extra-Biblical discussions, interpretation, analysis, and arguments here. Many have already done that, and have done a much better job than I could ever do. (Check out the additional resources at the end of the article.)

One thing I’ve found is that attitudes often change when things are moved from “issues” to “people.” Everything is simple when it’s all “in theory.” I can’t tell you how many Christian friends of mine have taken stands on various issues, only to do a 180 when the situation “hit home.” When it’s no longer about abstracts, and it’s about the people you know and love; when it’s about YOUR life, things look a lot different. No, that doesn’t change “truth,” but it can certainly make us realize we may not have had the grasp on truth that we thought we had.

OK. I know I’m an exception, and not the rule. I’m not one-of-a-kind, but I may quite likely be “one-of-a-few.” Even with marriage: My wife and I were divorced and remarried. That almost never works. Again, we are the exception. BUT, that is a large part of my point. All these labels, boxes, and definitions are sometimes a little too “neat” for real life. I know we can’t avoid them (and they can be very useful), but we need to be aware of their limitations.

I started off by saying I was writing to add my voice to the current discussion. I didn’t say I have any written-in-stone answers. As a person of faith, I believe God does have all the answers. But I don’t believe God is going to just “lay it all out” for us. I believe that discovery, that journey, is much of the purpose of life. I don’t know all, or even very many of, the answers. I am increasingly wary of those who claim they do. I do know a couple things Jesus made very clear: “Love God. Love people.”
I think that’s a pretty good place to start.



More “personal” posts:

Here I Am
The Vega, The Ghost, And The Rambling Old Man
CLICK
More About My Journey
Comments On A Comment
Baby Smashing: 101



SPECIAL NOTE: In connection with the new book “TORN” by Justin Lee,
check out his “SYNCROBLOG FOR SANITY

Click this link: http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com/sanity


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Through My Eyes

Holy Terror

Thou Shalt Not Love

A Time To Embrace:
Same-Gender Relationships in Religion, Law, and Politics

Bible teachings at Gay Christian Network

Box Turtle Bulletin

A New Kind Of Christianity

For The Bible Tells Me So


[Photo from Star Trek, the original series, episode "The Trouble With Tribbles."
Original airdate December 29, 1967 ]

FOOTNOTE:
I will say, even if you do believe the Bible is anti-gay (which I do not), that is no reason to oppose marriage equality.
In the USA, you don’t have to be a Christian to get married.
You don’t have to go to a church to get married.
You don’t have to believe in God to get married.
In this country, marriage is an act of the state. It is a legal contract. In the United States, marriage is not a religious right. It is a social institution. Just from a legal perspective, there is no reason to deny gay couples that legal avenue. Plus, since the divorce rate among evangelicals is as high or higher than the rest of the country, any talk from them about the sanctity of marriage is empty rhetoric, and laughably hypocritical.

THANKS:
Prior to publication, this post was sent to a select few for feedback and input. This included those who self-identify as gay, ex-gay, and straight. I give sincere thanks to all who responded. Agree or disagree, those who chose to respond did so with respect.
Of course the biggest thanks goes out to my wife, who has walked this journey with me for over three decades. What a true woman of God. She also gave input into this article, as well as the MUCH needed proof-reading. And she helped me choose from about 10 possible titles.

ADDENDUM:
I don’t really like the argument from either side about whether or not homosexuals CAN change. To me, that misses the point. The bigger question is WHY change. Is it necessary or beneficial? Is is what God wants?
I think not.
At least no kind of “self-created” change. If, as in my case, one actually falls in love with someone of the opposite sex, and develops sexual attraction to that one person of the opposite sex, then that change (or maybe “expansion” is a better word) is “organic” and far different than some kind of forced or unwanted change. In the end, we love who we love.

 

26 Responses to “Tribbles Aren’t The Trouble. Labels Are.”

  1. Brad Says:

    I think it’s great you continue to have conversation about this issue and your experience. It’s obvious that the Christian community hasn’t done a very good job of understanding same-sex attractions and knowing how to offer support, insight, encouragement and direction.

    I’m like you. I don’t like labels. It’s the immature way we are all drawn to in order to make it easier on ourselves and not work very hard at relationship. I think that’s my major point. I think it would be great if you could avoid any label on yourself and let people know you for who you are. I like the longer definition you gave. That makes more sense because it reflects the more mature and complex way we should think and relate.

    I think it’s important to be honest about how you haven’t experienced much change in your sexual desires. My hope is that you don’t rob others of the experience where they really have experienced a total change, like myself. I have my theories for why this is so but I hope we can still include us in the dialogue who have had these changes.

    Much of what I’ve seen in the Christian community in general is a strong, religious spirit that hinders the work of God in people’s lives. We settle for mediocre relationship rather than excelling at the first and second greatest commandment. We, as Christians, would much rather have a program than learn the very difficult work of intimate relationship which I believe very few people actually experience. After 18 years of ministry, this has become absolutely clear to me. I recently spoke at a luncheon at a national conference and I shared about how to minister to those coming out of homosexuality. I couldn’t believe people’s responses. They acted as if I had shared things that no one ever spoke before. They were in tears and very grateful. Honestly . . . I was speaking about relationship 101. I wasn’t talking about anything complicated. I just think this is a reflection of just how immature the Christian community is.

    I bring all of this up because I believe part of the lack of change in many of our lives is strongly related to this shallow way of relating. When Christ called us to love, He modeled it and meant it because He knew the power that God’s love can wield.

    Those are my immediate reactions. I’m more than happy to interact about this. I’ve always appreciated your openness and willingness to think differently. You are an encouragement brother!

    Brad

    • lifewalkblog Says:

      Thanks Brad.
      As I said, I always appreciate your input. Many just want to debate. Debates have winners and losers.
      Conversations have participants.
      I did try, in my article, to “leave room” for others to have legitimate experiences that differ from mine. I sincerely hope that came through. I honestly don’t care if we all NEVER agree. I can’t imagine that ever happening. But, again, as so many have recently stated, we have to learn to disagree without the hate. You and I both know, evangelical Christianity hasn’t done that very well.
      You know my beliefs used to be more in line with yours. The last 5 to 10 years I’ve seen a lot of change in those beliefs. For me, it’s no longer about “proof-texting,” and “proving” I’m right. We can go back and forth with that all day. That’s why I really appreciate a lot of the information in books like “A New Kind Of Christianity.” I’m more and more at home just knowing there’s a lot I don’t know. “Defending the answers” is a horrible way to live. I’d rather live out the kingdom, which I truly believe, Jesus said, is here.
      Anyway, thanks again for stopping by.
      Blessings on your journey,
      dave

  2. will Says:

    Dude… proud of you, buddy.

    I like your line “I believe that discovery, that journey, is much of the purpose of life.” I think sometimes it is too easy to curse the road that brought a person to their present location. The evolution of thought is also part of the journey, and it’s easy for one to get down the road and lam-blast the process that got them to where they are– I still wonder if part of your “ex-gay” years were not a necessary part of your development, although you think the value of counseling could have been retained without that mindset. What you see as a flawed premise might have given you fuel/motivation to pursue, and it might have been used by God at the time to help free you from a groove… even if you now question the validity of that part of the journey. It might have provided the discipline you needed at that time to bring you to the freedom you experience today.

    Love you, Dave. Keep your hand to the plow.

    • lifewalkblog Says:

      My Man, I completely agree with you about the necessary parts of the journey. Yes, I am saddened by the way my mindset and worldview marginalized others, turned everyone into “salvation projects,” and so on. But you are so right. It’s like rungs on a ladder. I can’t just jump to the 20th rung. The lower rungs may not be much of a challenge. They may be rather simplistic. But they simply have to be there. It the Joni Mitchell thing: “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now.” But, too, that’s what bothers me when friends who are fundamentalists try to explain their view. OF COURSE I understand their view. But having been there, I know that, most of the time, they only think they understand mine. I can’t condemn them, because I used to think the same way.
      All that to say, I agree with you.
      Love ya Bro,
      df

  3. Bethany Says:

    Um… wanted to say something but not sure what to say exactly. It would be great if I had some eloquent reply right about now. *smile* But instead, I’ll just start writing a little and see what happens. Dave, thanks for sharing this with me. I agree with almost everything you wrote here. Whether or not it’s ok to be sexually involved with someone of the same sex, I thought God was pretty clear about that. However, what other people do is not up to me (and it’s not really important anyway) and I’m in no position to judge. I want to be so full of God’s love for others that I am literally blinded to any possible ‘imperfection’ they have. For goodness sakes, there are so many things that are considered ‘sins’ that people are forgetting to take the logs out of their eyes. That’s the whole point! Just love people. Love them so much that you love them right into the Kingdom b/c they want The Source of Love. Being the carriers of His presence and love draws people in. Now, THAT’S evangelism. I’m supposed to be in the business of loving people, not in the business of being all up in their business. That’s between them and God. That’s for them to discover in their relationship with Him, in reading the Word, loving Him and being led by His Spirit. God does the mind renewal. We are not supposed to try and beat it into each others’ heads.

    So… this is what I really wanted to say. You don’t know much about me however, I SO identify with what you have written. The only differences being that I am a woman and I am not married yet. But the rest of the way you described yourself would be me. I was in a lesbian relationship years ago. I’ll just leave it at that for now. I don’t know what else to say at this point on a public forum.

    Thank you again for sharing this with me. Much love and blessings to you in the name of Jesus.

    Bethany

    • lifewalkblog Says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Bethany. Like I said, I don’t have all the answers. But I don’t think the Bible is as clear on some things as we think it is. Slave owners thought the Bible was perfectly clear that slavery was God-ordained. People who said the earth revolved around the sun were burned at the stake, because the Bible was clear that the sun rises and sets around the earth. As far as homosexuality, well, just as an into, watch these short videos.

      and

      Anyway, I just wanted to add my voice to the conversation. I don’t expect everyone to agree. I’m glad you found something you could identify with through it all. Life’s journey is certainly filled with surprises. I’m glad you and I, in some small way, have been able to share that journey.
      Blessings,
      dave

  4. David – thanks for sending me “Tribbles Aren’t the Trouble, Labels Are.”

    You are an effective and gifted communicator – more importantly, your writing conveys the very essence of a Christ-centered life – because of God’s grace I find your creative efforts refreshing.
    I read the entire article – twice. Here’s my thoughts:

    1) You surprised me, in that the article took a turn I didn’t think it would take. You started by talking about what it means to be gay, or ex-gay, in the context of un-Christ like activity of labeling and pigeon-holing people.
    You spoke to the misguided (I very much agree with you) attempts to guarantee a change of sexual orientation — reparative therapy. You explained the difference between a change in behavior and a change in orientation – two entirely different subjects in my mind.

    2) And then you discussed about labels that used to define you, but then you morphed into an endorsement of committed, monogamous, same-sex relationships – ie marriage. You left me there – in more ways than one. I don’t think that the article needed to address that issue, but of course, you are the author, and you felt it wise/appropriate to do so.

    3) I agree with and support most of what you said in the article – but for many reasons I am not a supporter of same-sex marriage. I see no justifiable position, in Christ, for taking such a stand. However, I do not want to add my voice, for whatever its worth, to those who are politically involved in opposing same sex marriage, for I see many Christ-centered difficulties, as you do, with their arguments. On the other hand, it seems to me that some who support same-sex marriage have some motivations/agenda with which I don’t agree either. The issue is deeply troubling – I don’t have dogmatic, clear-cut answers with respect to all the related topics of Christians and homosexuality.
    I freely admit that God may have much to teach me about my views of homosexuality and Christianity – and he may move me into a different perspective at some point on this side of eternity. Or he may leave me alone with what may well prove to be my biases and hang-ups, just as he has hundreds of millions of Christians throughout time, on any number of issues where it seems (from our vantage point – from the luxury of hindsight) they lacked a fully Christ-centered, grace-based perspective (racism, slavery, women’s place in society and the church, etc)
    I do know God has brought me a long way on this issue already – had you known my views as a teenager and young adult you would appreciate that! However, he may not have taken me as far as he wants me to go. I admit that. I therefore admit that you may be more “right” on this issue – more Christ-centered, than I am. But the perspective I now have may prove, in the long run, to be correct – and I do not shy away from saying so.

    I believe I have a responsibility before God to be careful in the positions I take, so that all positions must be clearly Christ-centered, and based in God’s grace as much as possible – or they should remain ambiguous. Until I can adequately defend a view, I cannot articulate something that may cause more problems to others than it may help. I’m not talking about being politically correct, or playing to the gallery – I know full well what it means to take a stand for truth – I know the pain and heartache and losses associated with doing so – and I may yet have more experiences in this regard in the future – I will await what God has in store around the corner, in that regard!

    I admire you greatly, David – in Christ. I applaud your willingness to be transparent about who you were and who you are – in Christ. I applaud your focus on Christ. I appreciate your passion for this topic –give the life you have lived and experienced. Any disagreements I have with you about conclusions are not a matter of me thinking I am right or better than you. You are probably, in many ways, a better person that I am – apart from God. But on the other hand, as brothers in the Lord, I know we both know our relationship with God is not about being better/more correct – but it’s about Him, Who is truly better, and Who makes us, in his transformation of us from what we were to what we are, all we can be in Him.
    Again – my two cents, for what it’s worth
    With respect, your brother in Christ
    Greg

    • lifewalkblog Says:

      Thanks so much for your response. Your approach was, as of course I expected, a graceful one.

      Believe me, I understand you views and reservations. They are, most likely, the same ones I had for years. You see no justifiable position in Christ for standing for marriage equality. I, as I said, after much investigation, Bible study, research, prayer, and life lessons, see no justifiable position in Christ for not taking such a stand. We disagree. I can live with that.

      It often seems strange when my fundamentalist friends and family try to explain their positions to me, like I never considered them. Some things can’t be reasoned in or out. It’s a Spirit thing.
      It’s also a Spirit thing that two people can disagree strongly, and still do so in respect and love. When you, Greg Albrecht, disagree with me, David Foreman, I know there is no animosity. No need to make sure I “see things your way.” I assure, I have no need to make you see things my way. Frankly, I truly don’t care if we never agree on all our views. I can’t imagine that ever happening. As I’ve said before, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of denominations who all “just believe the Bible,” who absolutely hate each other.
      I pretty much expected the response from you that I got. One of disagreeing, lovingly and respectfully. This is part of why I believe so strongly in, and support your ministry. There are other things I disagree with you on. What I agree with is your spirit and your approach.

      It’s strange. When I could have used, as they say, grace as an excuse to sin, I thought my failures would send me to hell. It was after a “prodigal return” that I came to believe in grace the way I do.
      In the same way, when I could have used the beliefs I now hold concerning Christianity and homosexuality as a reason to foster such a relationship, I thought my sexuality would send me to hell. Now, after being happy in a committed heterosexual relationship, my views now support gay Christians.

      I’m 55, and the journey to where I am now is one I never saw coming. I would have laughed in your face had you told me where I would be in my faith and beliefs. But it is what it is, and I am where I am. I don’t ever demand others believe like I do. What I tire of, as I’m pretty sure you do, is others who demand we see things as they do. So many want complete agreement, or you are their enemy.

      I know it’s not like that with us. If we can’t trust each other to the Holy Spirit, we are in serious danger.
      Thing is, I love you. I respect you. I appreciate you. I appreciate you ministry.
      I thank you for your response, and look forward to continuing to minister together.

      In His love,
      dave

  5. KristinC Says:

    Dave,
    First of all, I want to say that I got the package you sent. Thanks so much! I’m excited to read/watch it all.
    Second, I want you to know that I really appreciate the courage it must have taken to tackle such a divisive, “hot-button” issue on your blog, especially within such a deeply personal context. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. I have a lot of thoughts in response to this post, but I’ll have to save them for later. It has been a CRAZY day and I’m exhausted; the evident time and thought you’ve put into this warrants a much better reply than anything I could type up at the moment. So. I’ll get back to you, but in the meantime, you should definitely keep writing. :-)
    Thanks again for the books/DVD!!

    • lifewalkblog Says:

      Thanks for your encouraging and kind words. I look forward, agree or disagree, with hearing your insights. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy your books. I have plenty more for you where they came from! ;-)
      Strange, how we’ve begun communicating at this point in our lives. Probably something to due with God’s timing. Life is odd that way.
      Blessings,
      dave

  6. Comments Says:

    I just wanted to share these kind words I received on Facebook, since not all of my blog readers use that social network.
    ———————-

    Esther L Bryant- It was a very informative post. That was and is pretty much how I thought you were and how you felt. I’m glad you chose Kathy and she accepted and chose you. I know you two love each other. God bless you both.

    Lynda Innis- I absolutely LOVE this story. It opened my eyes to a whole new level of understanding and forgiveness. Definitely a must read. This is an incredibly poignant article David. I’m not even sure that I can find the words to describe how this article makes me feel. What I can say is this. Some people go through their entire lives searching for this wisdom and here you are carrying it around with you. God gave you the gift to articulate and heal people with your thoughts and I for one am grateful.

    Kathy Verbiest Baldock- Thank you David for transparency… Nice job my friend.

    William Hammons III- I think only 2 labels matter. Sinner, which we all are, and follower of Christ, which I hope all will become.

    Cathy Rudis McCammack- I applaud you for having the courage to share that part of yourself. Just want you to know that I’m really glad we are friends. I like you even more now. :)

  7. Jenny McCormick Says:

    I agree on the labels! I think that labeling individuals not only can be detrimental, but we miss so much when we choose to view people by labels. If I view someone as a thug, party girl, etc., I miss out on seeing that there may be amazing resilience, intelligence, insight etc. We do this so often that people are surprised by small things. I remember being an intern observing a sex offenders therapy group. I said hello to an individual and used his name. He was shocked and got tears in his eyes when he said, “You remembered my name.” What a small thing, but how many people have chosen to see him as a predator, offender, or horrific person first and by his name second?

    Regarding your personal story, thank you! We make things too easy sometimes. In our society, a person can be considered a “good Christian” (again the label) if they are against abortion and gay marriage. Taking a stand against something is much easier than actually doing something like serving and loving others. If I take time to invest my talents, energies, and resources into someone’s life, I may be deceived or hurt. Yes that is a risk, and it is more difficult than boycotting or holding a sign. Maybe this is one reason for the two hot button issues. I don’t know.

    • lifewalkblog Says:

      Thanks for your comments and insights. I have a whole lot of online friends and supporters (and I’m very thankful for them), but here in the “City of Churches,” in the middle of the Bible belt, well, I just don’t know that many locally that I can have these kinds of important conversations (not debates) with. I do appreciate you.
      Your calling and vocation put you in positions to show the love of Jesus to people in a real way. Many, if not most, of the evangelicals I know would be all about preaching AT the ones you reach out TO.
      Keep up the good work!

  8. KristinC Says:

    “Strange, how we’ve begun communicating at this point in our lives. Probably something to due with God’s timing. Life is odd that way.”

    Life IS odd that way. I’m usually pretty hesitant to attribute very many events specifically to the direct hand of God, but I think I’m inclined to agree with you in this case. It seem to me that my life–along with pretty much everything else within nature and time–moves in a cycle: I have these long, dry-ish times where I’m just sort of plodding onward, punctuated occasionally by seasons during which it seems that God is jumping out at me from behind every bush and tree. Now seems to be one of those seasons for me. Maybe God’s always jumping out at me from behind things, though, and it’s only sometimes that I have the eyes to see.

    Anyway, about your blog entry. I want to say that this is a topic I’ve really wrestled with in recent years, because I’ve known people who deal with it. They are good, sincere people who were genuinely horrified to discover that they are attracted to their own gender, and they tried everything they could to be “straight” because they loved God and wanted to please Him. Of course, no matter how many times they prayed for deliverance, they were still gay. While I can’t specifically relate to that particular struggle, I daresay I CAN understand, to some degree, as someone who has struggled with a different sort of secret, deeply shameful life-controlling issue. I know what it’s like to beg God everyday, sometimes every hour, to make me normal. I know what it’s like to feel that if anyone really knew me and what was going on inside my head, they would reject me. I know what it’s like to be convinced that God has forsaken me. And I know the freedom that can come with finally being open and honest and finding oneself still accepted. I just have a hard time believing that God would reject anyone who is sincerely seeking Him, regardless of where they’re at, or how the world or the church has labeled them.

    This isn’t to say that it’s okay to sin, and that God doesn’t care what we do or whatever. Growing up essentially being taught that what we believe is what determines our ultimate fate, I often still feel a lot of pressure to know exactly what I believe on any and every topic. But I’m beginning to find peace in the discovery that I don’t HAVE to know what I believe about every little thing. Which is good, because if I’m honest with myself, I have about a handful of really solid convictions, and I tend to waffle on the less essential topics. I believe in Jesus, in his life, teachings, death, and resurrection. I believe that He is God, and that somehow, because of His sacrifice, we can be re-united with the Father. And I believe that we are called to love Him, love others, and to allow Him to mold us as characters in this beautiful story about redemption that He is telling with all humanity. On everything else, my opinions are subject to change on any given day, depending on my mood. :-) Which could be a sign of immaturity, I realize, but the funny thing is, I feel a lot more mature now than I did when I was younger and more dogmatic. So anyway, I’m just trying to say, I don’t know where I’m at with the gay thing, but that’s okay, because it really isn’t my job to fix anybody anyway. It’s my job to love, and to validate people as PEOPLE. I totally trust God’s ability to speak to the hearts of those who are really seeking Him. (I guess you can tell I’ve been reading that book you sent–it has impacted they way I think about this topic a LOT)

    I feel like the Church is in desperate need of authenticity. More people, like you, willing to be totally real about who they are and where they are in their journey. There are so many desperate people who want so badly to be KNOWN, but feel they have to hide their brokenness, or their doubts, or the fact that they smoke or vote Democrat or whatever, out of fear of being misunderstood or rejected by the body of Christ. And that’s a terrible shame, because we’re ALL broken, and we ALL are in need of healing, and if more people would be willing to be honest about that, maybe more healing could actually take place. We’re all called to be holy, and to reflect Christ, but we can only start with what we have, and if we don’t get REAL about what we have, how can we even begin that transformation?

    So I just want to say, thank you. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s a beautiful and immensely valuable one. Having read it (or at least this small piece of it), I feel challenged to live out my life more authentically, to worry less about what I think and more about what God thinks, and to view other people as treasures deeply love by God, rather than problems that need to be fixed.

    By the way, I’d love to hear more about your journey from where you were back when I knew you to where you are now, and how your faith and understanding of God/life/everything has evolved during that time. If you don’t mind sharing, that is. :-) I don’t mean to be nosy….I’m just curious, and I truly love hearing people’s stories.

    Sincerely,
    Kristin

  9. KristinC Says:

    Oh my gosh. LONGEST.REPLY.EVER.
    I can get a little long-winded sometimes. I’m sorry for the unsolicited novel!! *blushes*

    • iggy Says:

      David,

      All I can say is, Love you dearly my friend… = ) You are one of the bravest people I know.

      • lifewalkblog Says:

        Wow, Iggy. I’ve been called a lot of things, but brave was never one of them. Thanks so much for all of your support throughout these past years. I think it’s been 8 or 9. My, time flies.
        Love and Blessings, my brother.
        df

    • lifewalkblog Says:

      Kristen, there’s nothing wrong with being long-winded, as long as you have something encouraging to say. You did.

  10. Marsha Says:

    I finally got around to reading this, but haven’t read the comments. I know, I’m slow, but I was expecting it to be something controversial and I avoid that. All I really have to say is that I choose my friends (and you are one) mainly by personality, not by sexuality. I wish people that would condemn you for this article would lighten up!

    • lifewalkblog Says:

      Thanks, Marsha, for your friendship and support. Those who I’ve posted that disagree with me have, so far, been civil. That’s what’s important to me. I know we’ll never all agree on everything, and I’m perfectly OK with that, as long as it doesn’t get abusive or hostile. When that starts happening, I bow-out of the discussion. I just don’t have time for that nonsense.
      Anyway, thanks again for your comment.
      Be blessed!
      df

  11. [...] Buy the book HERE. [And in a completely unrelated manner, check out this: Tribbles vs. Labels [...]

  12. Michele Says:

    I like what you said. i suppose I could be considered ‘spousosexual’. I think of myself as bisexual, with an understanding that my sexuality is on a rather fluid continuum. I’m attracted (as many bisexual people are) to individuals whose personality traits mesh with mine. Looks-wise alone, I prefer feminine women most of the time. Inwardly, I feel like what I imagine a butch gay man or semi-butch lesbian feels like, even though outwardly I look and have been told I act very feminine. MY straight male partner thinks it’s odd that I sometimes view us as a gay couple, and at other times can’t figure out why he doesn’t have the vulva I want, but he just accepts that this is how it works for me. No matter what valence I am, I’m never straight.
    I’ve long since given up on caring whether Christianity will accept that I’m not a unicorn or a demon. I simply am what I am. I miss the Catholic church and at times want to punch the Pope in the head- but I don’t seek validation from man-made, dyadic institutions. My relationship with the Godhead is both vibrant and private, and transcends labels. The most freeing thing that ever happened to me was realizing at the tender age of 5 that I was queer. Everything else in my life has been shaped by realizing that I didn’t fit into A or B, and that G-d didn’t want me to.
    Growing up Catholic, a religion in which the Virgin is a mom, and can be represented as black or white; in which G-d is made up of three parts, not two; in which there’s a patron saint of television, and martyrs look perfectly happy (sometimes even positively thrilled) carrying around representation of body parts that there torn of through torture, gave me space to feel that the world was a miraculous place in which the surreal was real and anything was possible. All things were fluid, and were often two or more things at once. I think that for some of us, Roman Catholicism gives some of us an opportunity to engage in a very different and perhaps healthier way of dealing with our sexualities, despite the edicts of the church. It’s interesting to me that not only do Catholics in the US have a much lower divorce rate than do Protestants, but that people in some of the most religious and oppressive Catholic nations during the 20th century created the most visionary art and literature, and often found loopholes around concepts such as homosexuality, extra-marital sex, and sex outside of marriage that still allowed them to live inside acceptable social constructs. Where this leads, I don’t know- but I think it might be interesting to explore how and if different experiences of what it means to be Christian gives some people more of a chance at inner peace and acceptance than do others. Christianity is not a one size fits all proposition when it comes to hetero-non-normative behavior and self-perception.

  13. Jamie Brown Says:

    Excellent article, bro! I can relate to a lot of what you said. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. God bless you.


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