Christian BoyLove Forum #64141

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Don't give up on what you know

Posted by Eldad on 2011-01-24 01:24:12, Monday
In reply to Where do i stand... posted by Youth?? on 2011-01-20 09:05:19, Thursday

There are three separate issues in what you've written, and it's perhaps best to try and address each of them on their own.

1) You are gay.
2) You are unrepentant about having had sex outside a covenanted relationship
3) You've had a dire time with 'the church' and now reject it.

1 is the running sore in the body of Christ these days, and it serves little purpose in my rehearsing the arguments on the issue. For myself I make a radical distinction between being attracted and acting on our attraction, and I believe this does represent a coherent position. But let's not fight that one again.

2 is more straight forward; a cursory reading of the New Testament Epistles, addressing, unlike the gospels, a society that was, like ours, relaxed about promiscuous behaviour, shows that Paul wasn't; instead he teaches (1 Cor 7):

"15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh." 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

So the issue here is that we should reserve sex for 'marriage', to form the basis of a permanent relationship. Paul indicates that we form a 'one flesh' bond even with a prostitute, when there is no emotional relationship whatsoever, let alone where the sex is the outcome of a deep relationship.

Finally we come to how to cope with the rejection you've experienced from the institutional church. Yes, that hurts. Yes it shouldn't happen. But for you to cling to that hurt without aiming to forgive is to block God's grace in your life - 'Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us' is the principal and Jesus lays it on the line with the parable of the unforgiving servant (Mt 18):

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?"

22 Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23 "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 "At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go.

28 "But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 "Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart."

Is this easy? Of course not. But it's what God calls us to. The first step is to recognise that it's the path you need to take, and ask for God to give you the grace to start down it. And it's a matter of choice - not a matter of feeling; the first step is to say, through no doubt gritted teeth, 'Lord Jesus I forgive them, help my unforgiveness'. And over time the bitterness will fade.

Please don't hear me as saying you need to go back to the churches that kicked you out; the wonder of the church is that it is present 'when two or three are gathered in my name'. And that's the form of the church we all need the most - a gathering where we are known and valued and cared about where Jesus is at the centre; a good church IMHO is one where such groups occur naturally, and I've been blessed with several such relationships in my life that have had almost nothing to do with the institutional church I was a member of at the time. And we NEED such groups, because otherwise we will end up deceiving ourselves about where we are at.

So you are faced with a choice - to follow the God of the bible, or construct your own idol that will let you do what you want for now, but will prove to be a delusion in the long term. May the God who bought Jesus back from the dead show you what is true, and pray for me as well that I may not be deceived.

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