Revelationsby Reverend G. William Ames
Hi everyone and welcome to "Revelations"; a column designed to address your questions, comments and concerns about being gay and being Christian. While I don't claim to be a biblical scholar, I believe that a simple, common sense, and unburdened approach to religion, spirituality, Christianity and the Bible is the best avenue for addressing such important, life-shaping and life-changing questions. I strongly suggest that all of my readers find a version of the Bible that they are comfortable with and read it, especially the New Testament, a little bit every day. I particularly like the New Jerusalem Bible, Reader's Edition (1990) published by Doubleday, New York, due to its simple and straightforward translation and structure. Also, any biblical references made in this column will be made from the aforementioned Bible.
You've heard the saying, "You can't please all the people all the time...," well, I know that I'm going to piss a few people off out there on both sides of the fence but bear in mind that what I write, I write with sincerity and from the heart. If at times I seem a little rough around the edges its because I'm just a regular guy who happens to be a minister. I'm not to be placed on a pedestal like so many others in my calling would prefer. I'm a simple servant and I see Christ in all of God's creation. Besides that, as I probably stated before, Christianity is not an exclusive club -- its a way and philosophy of life that exists for all to participate in if they so desire. Its bigger than "religion."
Matthew, age 16, posed the following question and "point to ponder" this month:
"If God is all for love, loving your neighbor, and so on, why should He condemn the sexual love of any two people? Certainly He doesn't."
I agree with you on this matter, Matt. God has done everything for us in love. Yes, the Old Testament was full of terror and destruction, but God had a purpose for all of that and that purpose was to prepare the way for the coming of His Son, God in human flesh, Jesus Christ. From my best recollection, the Bible does not condone or support any sex outside of marriage; straight, gay or whatever floats your boat. Sexual perversity, such as pedophilia or rape, prostitution or any sexual act outside of a loving, monogamous relationship is wrong in God's eyes. Oh boy, I'm certain there's a few of you hopping out of your chairs right now!
The reality is this: We, as human beings and creatures with a biological need to hook up with one another, do have sex just for the sake of having sex. I don't know anyone, except for perhaps the Pope (no disrespect intended), who has total control of their biological drive to have sex. It is one of the strongest urges we have to deal with while we're here on this earth. God knew in His infinite wisdom how difficult it would be for us (that's why Christ died on the cross for us). God also created us so that we grow and develop in stages (...there is a time for every season under Heaven...) and as we get along in years we mature physically, emotionally and sexually. We gain control over our drive for sex and the frequency of our sexual encounters. The outcome, hopefully, is that we are able to find that partner whom we would like to settle down with for the rest of our life. In that context, I believe that God certainly doesn't condemn the sexual expression of love between two people.
God created us in His image. I truly believe that our sexual orientation is part of that package. In my heart, I know that God didn't make junk. No, we're not perfect and I haven't met anyone out there that is perfect. All the mysteries of God's plan in this world are not for us to know at this time. In His time, when He sees fit, God will reveal all to us but for now He doesn't want to overload us with things that we don't have the capacity to understand or conceptualize. We need to make an effort to remember that when we take care of our bodies and play it safe, we are honoring God. Will we still make mistakes? Will we still have a need to sleep around? Yes. But those errors in judgment and choice, not our sexual orientation (which was created in us), is why Christ died for us. As long as we remember to go to our Father for forgiveness and guidance with a sincere heart (not just going through the motions) then we are free from guilt through His mercy, grace and the gift of Jesus on the cross. Keep in mind that His forgiveness is not a license to be irresponsible in our sexual relations - we still need to be thoughtful, careful and responsible to God, our partners and ourselves.
I hope that helped out Matt. We as Christians are a FREE people. We as gay Christians are as FREE as straight Christians. When we can finally take the labels off of our sexuality, we will truly be united as one people under God. When the cloak of denominationalism can be cast off, then we will truly be the Body of Christ and what a wild and extravagant and peaceful love will be waiting for us all!!
Some reading suggestions: Romans 13:8-14; Romans 14 (read this one slowly and carefully-there's a lot of symbolic language here); 1 Corinthians 13.
If you'd like me to address your questions, comments or concerns please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll do my best to answer each and every e-mail. But be patient and in the meantime, ask God for guidance and discernment. God bless each and everyone of you and may His angels keep you safe and secure!! I love you! Amen!!
If you are despairing or suicidal over issues in your life; sexual, religious or whatever, please seek out professional help from a licensed or certified doctor, counselor, psychologist or mental health professional immediately. Most telephone books will list emergency resources in the first few pages. If that's no help call the telephone operator or information operator for assistance. Don't be afraid to call "911" or your local emergency access number for immediate help. You're too important to lose!!!!