Christian BoyLove Forum #66082
As of course are we, but we need to hear that first statement again:
They are ALL sinners
We ALL stand at the foot of the cross in the need of forgiveness.
As it happens, I have no issue with alcohol, 'retail therapy' or gambling. As a result I can drift into a very judgemental attitude to those who does succumb to those temptations because I don't understand the attraction that those issues have.
It's no longer acceptable to remind people that they are sinners. It's rejected as being 'judgemental'. The result is that there are a lot of people who want to believe that they are fine, know in fact that they aren't, and so are wandering round with lots of psychic energy that can easily turn onto the people who ARE seen as sinners. In the medieval period this was witches; nowadays it's us.
To put it another way. There is a brand of popular psychology called Transactional Analysis. This starts from the statement 'I'm OK, you're OK', and proceeds to encourage us all to be nicer to each other because actually we're all OK. Whilst it has some helpful insights, its starting point is flawed. The Christian gospel can be summarised by saying: 'I'm not OK, you're not OK, but now Jesus' death has made it possible that that OK'.
There's a statistic going round that 60% of Christian leaders are using online porn. In God's eyes, the fact that they're focusing on the bodies of adults, and we're tempted by the bodies of boys makes ZERO difference. It's all messed up... It's ALL sin.
THEREFORE we shouldn't be any more negative about ourselves than anyone else. We're tempted. They're tempted. Ideally we should realise that we really aren't any worse (or better) than the rest of the sinners around us.
To move on:
God put us in the world to be in relationships. One of the more powerful arguments of the gay community is the claim that 'It is not good for man to be alone' THEREFORE for a gay person a sexual relationship with a person with the same sex must be legitimate. Of course the application of this logic to us BLs runs this logic into the wall - arguing that both boylove and homosexuality are 'orientations' can get you into BIG trouble in certain circles.
But the questions remain:
1) What do I do with my sexual urges?
2) How do I get my legitimate needs for emotional engagement met?
if I'm going to live without a 'one flesh' relationship.
The first step is to work at all the friendships that you DO have. This is not easy in our modern society; once you hit 25, most of your friends get married and single people are often not included in groups of marrieds. This is accentuated by the propensity to go off to college and then another city afterwards for a job, destroying our relationships at home, and requiring us to start again in a new place. If we are lucky we may find real friends in our new city, but even so they're not the people we've grown up with. Ideally our churches should provide the place to get to know people. Sadly they don't for the most part - and ultimately if it are failing to do so, that may well mean you need to move church.
The second is to 'find God concrete'. This is a phrase from Keith Clark's wonderful book 'An Experience of Celibacy'. He's a Capuchin Friar, a type of monk active in the community, and his book addresses these issues head on. The Roman Catholic Church's requirement for celibacy in its priests means that it has much experience in the area of living that commitment well (as well as of it going horribly wrong). His use of the phase 'finding God concrete' is about spending time with Him in personal engagement, crying out in those hard times. He speaks movingly of the way that when he's found the going most tough is the time when others have found him most effective for Jesus.
Thirdly: try to 'stabilise' your relationship with your YF. One of the consequences of the modern sexualisation of society is that the barriers that used to be there aren't any more. When homosexuality was inconceivable to most minds, physically expressive relationships with boys weren't an issue; both of you knew that it wasn't going to be sexualised, therefore there was much less risk of it happening. These days we have to work to establish the boundary lines for our YF, so that he doesn't misinterpret our actions if the thought is in his mind, either positively or negatively. (I've had two occasions when 'kids' have said to me 'I hate gays'. Perversely that was a liberating comment, because it meant that our friendship was far less likely to end up in bed, though that probably meant that they had picked up clues from me that hinted at my interest.)
But stabilise also means (trying to) get our friendship with our YF healthy in itself. The best ones are where you actually get to pray together; if there's that degree of sharing with him, you're doing great, and hearing your YF pray his heart out for you is one of the greatest pleasures you'll ever have. And if you are teaching him to pray with other people, that'll stand him in good stead for the future. But even if he's not really up to praying out loud, praying a blessing over him as you leave is a restatement of what's most important in your life which acts a reminder for both of you. Our YFs do grow up - and if we do it right, they can often continue as close friends for the rest of our life; two of my closest friends arrived in my life at the age of 14 - they're in their thirties now. Of course the nature of the relationship will change - but our concern is to the best with the opportunities to bless them that our lives offer. It's what we're here for - to build God's kingdom in all that we do. Yes, it's a hard slog at times, but so it is for everyone in different ways. We suffer a disability - but others are far worse off. Counting our blessings has gone out of fashion; it's worth trying occasionally.
Finally - all this is in the context of our glorious hope for the future. We're seeking to do God's will because we've chosen to go His way, and in the end, after we die, we WILL be at home with Him. Jesus showed us what that can cost - but also that there IS hope for the future. Considering what our present hassles are going to feel like when we look back at them in a few thousand years time, can help us get a perspective. Similarly remembering the moments where God HAS been there for you will give hope that He will be again, even if at the moment it REALLY doesn't feel like it. Our faith is based on objective truths:
Christ has died
Christ is risen
Christ will come again
We've chosen to live on that basis. If it's not true, then 'we are of all people most to be pitied'. But if it is, it's worth the struggle and aggravation.