Take Pride: You Can Be Christian & Gay
Disclaimer: before we even continue with part 4 to #everythingrelationship – I want to put it out there that this is a sensitive topic. As a Catholic, I hold certain values that I know not everyone will agree with and that's ok! You don't have to agree with me, but I hope that my opinion will be respected and that you will get an insight into why I believe what I believe. Ok let’s get into it…
When it comes to homosexuality, it can seem like there’s only two options: either you choose Gay Pride or Gay Shame. But why should you when that was something you never chose yourself? We don’t choose attraction and attraction itself is not sinful.
The truth is: it’s natural to be attracted to the same sex. In fact, we’re supposed to be attracted to the same gender, we’re supposed to be attracted to our friends. Not every attraction has to be sexual, however. I think the problem is that our world has over-sexualised everything, to the extent that we’ve become dominated by our sexuality.
Our world tells us that whatever our sexuality is that is our identity. But if only you knew that your identity lies, first and foremost, as a child of God and that no one can take that away from you. As sons and daughters of the King of Kings, you’re worthy heirs to the throne with Christ. Your identity shouldn’t have to be reduced to just your sexuality, when you are worth much more than that.
A lot of people have the misconception that the church hates gay people or that if you’re gay, you’re going to hell. It couldn’t be further from the truth. For the church is your home and it’s supposed to be your safe place. The church does not condemn you, it’s where you're meant to be. If you’re gay and you feel exiled from the church, I want you to know that the church welcomes you with open arms. At the end of the day, you are our brothers and sisters in Christ, we want to love you and accept you.
Now for the difficult part… If the church is so loving, then why doesn’t it permit gay marriage?
Simple answer: marriage is sacred. The Church aims to preserve the purpose of a true marriage which is not only for the companionship and mutual love of the spouses but also for the procreation of children. So the question isn’t about permission: may they get married? It’s about can this marriage be free, total, faithful and fruitful?
Yes, two people of the same sex may love each other and be faithful, but it’s physically and scientifically impossible for them to be fruitful and procreate. That’s why the church only approves the marriage between a husband and wife. Therefore, any sexual acts between two people of the same sex would be sinful, as it is outside of the context of a true marriage.
“For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” – Mark 10:7
The same words are echoed all the way back in Genesis and it’s impossible for a same sex couple to fully become ‘one flesh’. It’s just not the way God designed sex to be, for there’s a level of intimacy that just cannot be reached. Sex no longer becomes a selfless act of “this is my body given up for you”, but rather it becomes a selfish act of “this is your body taken by me.”
Sex outside of marriage for a gay couple is the exact same sin as sex outside of marriage for a straight couple, since the Bible warns us that we should “Flee from sexual immorality”. Yet there’s Christians who will judge a gay couple for falling into sexual sin, when they themselves are having sex outside of marriage. The Word says, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” For both sins carry equal weight…
Others would argue that the church is robbing homosexuals of their ability to love freely. But I would disagree. I think true love is made manifest through sacrifice. A life of celibacy, that people who experience same sex attraction are called to, is one of the largest sacrifices one could make. It’s a choice to glorify God with one’s body, rather than use one’s body in an unnatural way and to desecrate the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The choice of celibacy, yet challenging, is a beautiful choice to pick up one’s cross and follow Christ.
The thing is we can live without sex, but what we can’t live without is intimacy. Fellowship is so important – it’s so important that we support our friends that experience same-sex attraction on their walk with Christ. Instead of spreading hate, let’s spread love.
If you’re a homosexual who’s ever experienced homophobic attacks, I ask on the behalf of those individuals for your forgiveness. If you’ve ever felt exiled from the church, I welcome you back in. If you’ve ever felt shame, I pray that you find healing. Remember: you are a child of God – you will forever be loved and accepted by the Creator, so take Pride in your identity.