No one has a perfect sexuality
Richard Alexander affirms the Bible’s teaching while at the same time having homosexual feelings. He is the author of this text.
– No one has a perfect sexuality, and we shouldn’t do everything we feel like doing sexually
There are few topics which create as much controversy as the debate around homosexuality. The church receives criticism for not acknowledging that homosexuality exists and for affirming a faith that excludes homosexuality, both from within its ranks and also from external sources.
Conservative Christians are labelled nasty, hateful and homophobic. A lot of people are reluctant to say what they think.
A Personal Topic
In my case this debate is quite personal.
When I was young, I was interested in girls just like all the other boys. However, quite out of the blue, when I was about 15 or 16, I noticed that I was also attracted to men.
This seemed strange to me and often quite challenging, and I had to find out how to relate to this as a Christian.
It was important for me to be open about what I felt and what I struggled with. So, when I started a new school in senior high, I opened up to my friends and then to other people too.
I felt safe knowing that my friends knew what I was going through.
As a Christian, I keep separate what I feel, and who I am.
At the same time, I saw that my story could give an opportunity to show that it is possible to stick to the Bible’s teaching while at the same time feeling so-called homosexual feelings. After all, we don’t need to celebrate every aspect of our humanity.
Feelings and identity
As a Christian, I keep separate what I feel – my attraction and deep-seated habits – and who I am.
By this I mean that I don’t let my feelings dictate what values I want to live according to.
A man who wants to remain faithful to his wife will try to remain faithful, even though he can feel attracted to other women.
He understands that humanity is flawed. No one has a perfect sexuality, and we should not do everything we feel like doing sexually.
That is how I relate to my sexuality.
Biblical ethics of sexuality
The Bible tells us that marriage is between a man and a woman. Sexuality is given to us within the framework of marriage (see Genesis 2:24 and Romans 1:27).
This is good, and God approves of it, regardless of my feelings.
The idea that a life lived giving in to every feeling one has, seems to me more like a life of slavery than a full life. In that case, people assume that every aspect of humanity is good, but the Bible does not teach this (see Romans 5:12).
A new identity
The Christian alternative to this is that we let God define what a good life is, and how to live it. That’s how we gain a new identity through faith.
When Jesus died for us, it was not only to forgive us, but also to give us a new direction (see Ephesians 2:8–10). We get the opportunity to find meaning and joy by living a life that pleases God.
We don’t deny our feelings because self-denial in itself is good, but because what we gain through self-denial is so much better than what we lose.
When God takes first place in our lives, we get the opportunity to say ‘no’ to sex and romance in those cases it is not ethical, while at the same time living meaningful lives.
A message to the church
It is important to acknowledge that people who are attracted to the same gender do exist. Preaching should reflect this.
Love is not empty words.
At the same time, I want to tell a different story, a better story than the ones we hear in society around us. It’s a story of how God has the place He should have and where people live the life they are called to live.
I would also like the church to develop into offering more to singles and to those who struggle with their sexuality.
We have to offer people our time and focus, and we should bring support and advice, and be a family for those who don’t have a family. For example, those who don’t have anyone to go away for a weekend with, to celebrate Christmas with or have Sunday dinner with. Love is more than empty words.
This text is taken from Itro.no. The author is an editor at TeologiTavla.no.