Unwanted

One of the reasons I decided to blog again was because I was starting to feel old. Seriously. I know; I’m still only three years out of college, and I haven’t even hit the quarter-century mark yet, so I’m sure a few people are rolling their eyes at me right now, but it’s true. Back when I was blogging as a Christian collegian, things were exciting. I forced myself to engage with issues, stand up for my opinions, think about things from multiple angles, and, most importantly, connect with people of various viewpoints in a respectful, civil manner. I also learned how to slay trolls.

I wouldn’t have blogged if I wasn’t gay, and if I hadn’t blogged, I’m not sure I would have gained the personality traits I acquired over those four years. Those traits are some of the many positive things that came directly from my same-sex attractions. I acknowledge those positive things, and I often bristle when someone else notices my celibacy and my traditional stance on sexual morality and concludes that my homosexuality is “unwanted.”

Sin is unwanted. Evil desires must be put to death. Putting on Christ means putting off sin, not coddling it or making excuses for it. C. S. Lewis put it this way in one of my favorite quotes:

“Christ says, ‘Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: My own will shall become yours.’”

But note that I said “sin” here. When I talk about the positive things that have come from my same-sex attractions, I’m not talking about pornography or promiscuity. I’m not talking about lust or narcissism. I’m not talking about the subversion of God’s created order. I’m not talking about the moral relativists and their watered-down gospel that attempts to love without truth. Conservative is a bad word in many contexts these days, but that’s what I am. I’m a Christian. I believe in biblical infallibility.

I’m also a homosexual, and I don’t consider that an unwanted trait.

A gentleman named Jordan, who has quickly become one of my favorite bloggers in this ever-growing community of chaste gay evangelicals, recently wrote about what he would say if he were offered a magical cure to make him heterosexual. It’s a great read, so read it. He found that the decision would be almost impossible to make, and so would I. If some old man in a robe who looked like the late Richard Harris offered to wave a wand and make me straight, my response would be, “Why? What would that do?”

Seriously, what would be the benefit of that? If you bypass all the social and political injustices that gay people go through (and that’s a big “if,” I know), then, morally, heterosexuality has all the same problems as homosexuality. The pornography and promiscuity that I mentioned earlier? The lust and the narcissism? The preachers who say that God’s commands are relative or irrelevant? The progressive theologians who say that the values of chastity and monogamy are relics of a suppressed past? Straights deal with all of that crap too, so what’s the point? The only difference I can see is that I’d be trying to keep my eyes from lingering on different people and different body parts.

Oh, OK. Marriage is a big issue, I suppose. Being heterosexual would make it easier to enter a godly covenant with a Christian woman. Note that I said “easier.” I know that I gained a reputation during my college years as an outspoken advocate for lifelong celibacy, but it’s not like I’m opposed to gay men and women marrying heterosexually. I was merely reacting in opposition to the overwhelming pressure to marry that was very common among the typical ex-gays, and they were a little more relevant back then than they are today. Celibacy is my path right now, and I think it’s a good one, but it’s not for everyone. I get that.

I know gay men (whether they identify themselves by that term or not), who are married heterosexually. Some of the relationships seem wise, healthy, and Christ-centered. Others seem like disasters waiting to happen. Shocker of shockers, I’d say the same thing about the heterosexual couples I know! Marriage isn’t easy for anyone, and it’s less about sex than society makes it out to be, so the magic wand wouldn’t even ensure a healthy, happy marriage for me. It wouldn’t even open the door for one. That door is already open, and I’ve just chosen to go through a different door. (It’s a door that, incidentally, is also open to straight people. It’s easy to forget, but many straight Christians remain celibate too, and many of them by choice.)

So, sexual sin is unwanted. Lust, selfishness, pride, perversion, and greed are unwanted. What’s essential for well-meaning straight counselors to remember is that homosexuality isn’t limited to those things, just like heterosexuality isn’t. My struggles with homosexuality are experiences that helped me understand what it’s like to be “other.” Homosexuality is the issue that made me totally rely on Christ. It’s the issue that opened my eyes to my depravity (in all manners, sexual and otherwise) and my desperate need for a Savior. It’ll be completely gone one day, as will our human concept of heterosexuality, but the good work that Christ has done in me through that frailty is most certainly not unwanted.

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