assurance of pardon, confession, experience, Gospel, homosexuality, insecurity, loneliness, repentance, sanctification, sexuality
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.
My loneliness, my jealousy, my cravings, my curiosity must not be unchecked by the God who reigns over all. Not one square inch of creation is outside of his rule…and this includes my bed. My brain. My thoughts and the neurons and brain-folds that contain them.
But instead of this realization leading me to a harsh aestheticism, it must lead me to the cross.
Otherwise, I would be better off ‘following my heart.’
Yeah, I’ve done that. It’s empty. It’s dark there.
But in Christ, darkness is not only absent…He doesn’t carry it. It’s not only out of stock, it’s never been on his list of things to order.
This morning as I drove to the seminary, I turned on the Caedmon’s Call recording of “Thy Mercy My God.” I sang it over and over again, mostly because I didn’t believe what I was singing.
“Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart/which wonders to feel its own hardness depart/Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground/and weep for the praise of the mercy I’ve found.”
Not this morning. God’s mercy didn’t feel like more than a match for anything. And I really liked my heart’s hardness when I woke up this morning.
So I played it again. And again. After all, if I’m supposed to be preaching the Gospel to myself every day, isn’t this what it would look like? Reviewing the truth over and over again so that it wouldn’t just inform but go on to shape?
As I sang, I wept for a variety of reasons. I wept for the love of my sin…for the hate of my sin. For the absence of faith…for its enduring presence. And ultimately, for the promise that God has called me His through baptism which points to the sacrificial death of his son. Eerdman Neumeister said it beautifully:
“Satan, hear this proclamation: I am baptised into Christ. Drop your ugly accusation–I am not so soon enticed. Now that to the font I’ve travelled, all your might has come unraveled–and against your tyranny, God my Lord, unites with me.”
Because Satan’s might has been dissolved in my life, Christ says what I do in my bedroom is His business. He cares about my thought, my word, my deed. And He does not condemn me for my sin…but rather gives of Himself so that I might know the Father’s love and that His wrath would be turned away from me and onto Jesus.
For that I am grateful.
Lord, make me more grateful.
Jill H. said:
this is beautiful dave. thanks for sharing. i really appreciate your writing.
Amen! I’m in the same boat you are Dave, and I am really struggling right now. This helps. God bless. I left some comments on the page “Why the Title but all of them were in reply to other comments.
For me the biggest issue is loneliness and desire for a life companion more than sex especially now that I’m in my late forties. Here is something I’ve thought about, and I would like to get other gay Christians take on this. What about the idea of a life partnership with a Christian lesbian woman that is about love and companionship and not sex? Believe me, I have nothing sexual to give to a woman, but companionship is another thing altogether. What do you think of this and how would one pursue this? Up until about three weeks ago I was a closeted and celibate gay evangelical. As such I have spent most of my life avoiding gays and lesbians because they figure me out to easily. So I don’t actually know any Christian lesbian women. Anyway this is an idea that I am toying with. Thanks and God bless.
Marcus, let me start off by stating I am straight and a Christian. With that said I want to say to both you and Dave yes repentance of your sins is what needs to be done, not only you all but all of us. I teach a youth Sunday School and I have asked them why do Christian condemn gays more than others. Well the answer is because that is not our flavor of sin. Sin is sin no matter which way you cut it.
I commend you Marcus for not giving into your desires, many in the world including Christians have given into our sexual desires. With that said I want to comment on the second part of what you posted.
I do not think it would be right for you to move in with a woman nor a man if even it was only for companionship. Now I do think it would be good to openly talk with other Christians about what you are struggling with, let them help you and keep your focus on Christ letting Him guide you.
If you need anybody to talk to in your local area perhaps I can find somebody that can reach out to you and help you through these trying times.
I think talking to other Christians is vital, so I’m glad you recommended that.
But I have to disagree slightly. I have four roommates, three of whom are strong Christians. I can’t live on my own; it would suck every ounce of joy out of my life.
Sorry I need to clarify it is that you do not want to be led into temptation, and the appearance of living with a woman could potentially cause others to stumble.
David, that makes sense. Thanks for the clarification. I’d agree.
I’m not convinced, on a broader scale, that a Platonic marriage really fits with what marriage is supposed to be. But before I go spouting off, I’d like to do more thinking about it.