becoming israel


why ask why
January 23, 2009, 9:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I had planned on posting my whole story next, but it still feels like a daunting task and I also feel like I need to expound on Anne’s post. Before I do, I’d like to say thanks for all of the comments on my blog and Anne’s. I didn’t know what to expect by putting my story out there and I appreciate all of the encouragement and comments. It was very intriguing to read them all.

Now, back to asking why. I am not trying to decide if being gay is right or wrong. I’ve already decided that it’s not right for my life. I place no judgment on people who have chosen otherwise, but I’m past the step of deciding if it’s right or wrong. I’ve made the decision to do what I feel what God wants for my life and that is to not pursue a gay lifestyle. Choosing this was a hard choice and I am fully aware that it will not be easy, considering how naturally these feelings come.

In my struggles against these feelings, I felt like I was missing something. Something wasn’t clicking for me and I didn’t know what it was. This is when I had the conversation with Anne. “I know God says marriage is for man and woman. But why does He say that?”

I’ve always considered myself a very logical person and that’s what I usually use to explain restrictions or boundaries in life. Why do I have to look both ways before I cross the street? Because I need to see if it’s clear so I don’t get hit. That’s logical. Why not commit adultery? Because it damages the intimacy within a marriage. Makes sense. Also, I’ve grown up in a Baptist church my whole life and I feel like if I don’t ask “why” to some questions, I’ll be depending on what I was taught in Sunday School and not forming my own faith with my own discoveries and opinions. So I was wondering if I was missing the logic in why God says not to live a gay lifestyle (and yes, that’s what I believe but you are free to disagree).

I was prepared to hear the answer “because He says so.” And in that case, my next question was “how do I develop the kind of faith it takes to accept that?” And I feel like that’s the question I have to answer now. Even with all of the wisdom and discussion and references I’ve read over the past 3 days, the best answer I have is simply “because God says so.” Honestly, I feel like if there were a real answer to “why” I would have found it by now. But sometimes you have to ask why to figure out you don’t need to ask.

Now that I feel like I’ve written too much and not sure I answered why I asked why, I’ll conclude with this. I believe (even more firmly now) that there will be seasons in our life when we won’t know the answers. And there’s a possibility we will never know. But that’s when blind faith comes in. Blind faith is not easy but continuing to walk forward in that blind faith is necessary. Blind faith is hard. Sometimes it sounds to me a lot like ignorance. And it’s really hard to focus on blind faith when I can actually see the hot girl in front of me. (that’s my idea of a joke. ha.) Seriously, though, I think I got my answer and that answer is “We don’t know. It’s a sin because God said so.” I’m learning to trust God enough to be content with that.

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15 Comments so far
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i just came from anne’s site, and i think you’re doing a wonderful thing

beyond anything else, beyond anything that can be understood by the human mind, obedience to God is the number one thing to do, even if it doesn’t make sense sometimes

what i wrote to her was:

“i think, to sum it all up, one can be born in such a way as to be tempted to sin (any sin)
simply because we are human
then, the next step is thought
what is in our hearts, is sin
then, the last and most dangerous, is actual impulse

can one be born gay?
well, as cs lewis said, man is half spirit/half animal
so, lets look at animals
giraffes, penguins, and so forth have a lot of homosexual behavior
but, they are pure animal
they dont have morals and such
but as for humans, it says in the bible “for this reason a man shall leave his mother and father and lay with his wife and they will be one flesh”
i think that it’s like a mirror, “sinning against one’s body”
homo sex is like man=man, like a mirror
whereas hetero sex is like man=woman, like a window, or rather a door

being gay is not a sin
but acting on it is
paul the apostle tells us that if we experience these impulses, or temptations, we should remain abstinent, and holy before the Lord”

maybe there is some sort of unseen logic, like you said, like perhaps it’s simply because a man and woman can produce a child, while 2 of either can’t, and that goes against the command in genesis telling us to be fruitful and multiply

it’s like any temptation, or rather impulse
being tempted isn’t a sin, but thinking about acting on it and actually acting on it are

one can be born with a tendency to be lazy, to steal, to lust, anything
it’s all because everything was thrown into chaos when we decided to disobey God (adam n eve, n the fruit)
anyone can be born “gay”
thats a given
you see it in animals

all i can say is, keep fighting the good fight!
things aren’t always clearcut for us, but as long as we have a Life Manual, i think we’re good to go 😉

Comment by mooncougar13

I wrote these song lyrics a while back and it goes like this:

When it comes to believing / believing is just a word / in matters of the heart / faith is a verb

Sometimes we have to do things simply because they are right in God’s eyes no matter how hard they may be. Your words and courage are very inspiring. Another song comes to mind, one by Ginny Owens called “If You Want Me To”:

The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don’t know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I’m gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I’m not who I was
When I took my first step
And I’m clinging to the promise You’re not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that’s not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I’d never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me
And I’m all by myself
And I can’t hear You answer my cries for help
I’ll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I go through the valley If You want me to

***

Stay encouraged!

Comment by SolShine7

Oh yes!

I’ve wrestled with this same topic — what is sacred about marriage and what about it is so important to God–and how does it represent our relationship as the Church…. to Christ?

Of course, I realize that how we understand marriage (during this century, and filtered through our western culture) it is a bit different than how it began…. and how it was not that long ago. Things we wouldn’t think of bringing back and implementing into marriage today. Not even James Dobson would propagate literature asking us to bring it back. (=

I think it’s very important, as you wrote, to ask “why.”

After all, we Christians have an embarrassing track record for misusing scripture and abusing people.

Such as:

The reason we evangelical Christians even began to become a political entity was during the 70’s when we mobilized (thanks to Jerry Falwell and a few others) to combat a Supreme Court decision that would revoke tax benefits to Bob Jones University…. because BJU would not allow interracial dating on its campus.

Parts of our legacy are so tragic and embarrassing. I wish more Christians would ask “why.”

Comment by Fake Stacy

I was reading some Soren Kierkegaard yesterday, and your decision here reminds me of his “leap of faith” — to get beyond the simply moral life into the religious existing he regarded as the highest state of being (for a human anyway), you have to do something because of faith and not because it is logical or that you could will it one of Immanuel Kant’s maxims or make it a universal law for all people. Anyway. It’s faith, it’s blind faith like you said, and I’m finding it necessary to implement in my life as well.

Comment by Galen

Thanks SolShine7! I actually LOVED Ginny Owens back in high school and I just recently bought her album again and have been listening to it! Another song I’ve been turning up loud is “Shadowfeet” by Brooke Fraser. It’s a great song about hope! My favorite part is When the world is falling out from under me / I’ll be found in You / Still standing

Comment by becomingisrael

You are brave to address such a personal and controversial question publicly. I want to respond because I had to consider the same questions myself.

There’s a danger in following the argument “Just because,” because it denies the questions about why you should choose otherwise. To be honest you must also ask: “Why should I reject the belief that homosexuality is a sin?”

You mentioned other rules and beliefs (look before crossing the road, don’t commit adultery) that contribute to your safety and well-being. The belief that homosexuality is wrong is dangerous. Gay people who try to lead straight lifestyles run high risk of chronic depression and suicide.

I speak from personal experience. I had felt same-sex attraction since my early teens, became a Christian at 19, got married at 26 and became involved in the ex-gay movement, Exodus. As most people do, I initially felt euphoria and hope: euphoria about meeting Christians who shared my experience, and hope because the movement taught it is possible to change one’s sexual orientation.

It was a false hope. In five years of regular attendance at support groups and conferences I never met anyone whose feelings had changed the way they wanted.

(Personally, I believe a person’s sexual attraction may shift over the course of a lifetime, but it is not a matter of will or obedience, it is simply a matter of acceptance, willingness to let those feelings be whatever they are. But that is beside the point.)

Once the euphoria and hope wear off, you must face the reality of denying these feelings all your life. This is unnatural, and not a happy way of living. After a while, all my friends in the ex-gay movement demonstrated varying degrees of depression. I did not see people living victorious, meaningful lives. They were continually frustrated and absorbed in their problem. In the end, I could not believe God wanted people to live that way. Meanwhile, church teachings treated these sincere, good-hearted people on the same level as rapists and pedophiles, which contributed to their isolation and unhappiness.

I became depressed and suicidal before realizing I had to accept myself as gay. At age 31 this necessitated a divorce and break from my church, which was devastating to me, my wife and our children. From there I had a long and difficult road to figure out who I really was, but I am a happier person now.

You mentioned, “I felt like I was missing something.” If you were considering a gay relationship, you might miss the approval of your peers. There are lots of reasons for you to feel uncomfortable about it, but we often have qualms about doing the right thing. On the other hand, that particular relationship or person might not have been a good fit, but that doesn’t mean your orientation is wrong.

Your story will be different from mine, but please consider honestly the alternative question I suggest. Above all, whatever you do, I wish you happiness.

Comment by Van

So I was wondering if I was missing the logic in why God says not to live a gay lifestyle (and yes, that’s what I believe but you are free to disagree).

This may sound obtuse, but exactly where does God say not to live a “gay lifestyle”? Is the word “lifestyle” even found in Scripture anywhere? Where does God say “marriage is for man and woman”?

These are serious questions, and I think they’re the key to the answer to your questions. However, I think that your questions do indeed have answers, and they’re likely to be quite surprising if you’ve never looked into it before.

I might as well declare my hand and note that I’m a Liberal Christian, and not what people in the United States customarily refer to as “evangelical”. I’m also a bit of a Biblical studies geek who is often frustrated when people say “the Bible says X” when it doesn’t, or think they know why the Bible says Y when the real reasons are more subtle and complex and, thanks to history, partly unknown. So I might actually be more hinderance than help.

Comment by Pseudonym

Pseudonym: It’s interesting that you say that you are a Biblical studies geek, yet you do not know that quite plainly, in black and white, the Bible says “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 and Ephesians 5:31.

She’s already said she knows that God has more for her than being gay, and that she’s beyond the point of decision-making. She’s not asking for help or opinions, she’s trying to be a help to other people who may be where she has been because she felt so alone at the time. I think it’s a very admirable and courageous thing to do and encouragement is what she should get rather than opinions and critiques about whether she’s making the right choice for her life.

Becoming Israel: I’m very proud of you and hope that you can in turn be a source of encouragement for other women who feel alone that come to your blog. I am praying for you always.

Comment by WC

My pastor, Andy Stanley, says something to the effect of, “When you don’t know why, submit and apply.” He asserts that understanding can sometimes only be found on the other side of obedience. I get that this may sound simple-minded to some people, but as I look back on my life, I have found that the experience I gain from obedience has often given me the 20/20 hindsight I needed to understand.

peace|dewde

Comment by dewde

I’ve pondered for a while whether I should make another comment here. It’s difficult to advise someone one doesn’t know at all, and who has a different view of life. Perhaps the best advice I can give is just: listen carefully to Van, who clearly has more relevant experience than I. And then shut up myself.

And yet … and yet. There is something else that does need to be said – something very important. Though it may make me unpopular here.

You speak of blind faith as if it was a virtue – something to be worked on, something to be achieved. But blind faith is associated with huge dangers. You can have blind faith in something that is good, but equally well in something that is indifferent, or evil. You can have blind faith in something that is right, but also in something that is wrong, or incoherent. And you can never tell which it is. Someone with blind faith always thinks that their faith is right, because they do not have the ability or inclination to look for errors in their thinking – that is what blind means, after all. If you are critical of your faith, and looking carefully for errors in your thinking, then your faith is – fortunately – not blind.

If you think blind faith a virtue, consider this. The protestants who slaughtered catholics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had blind faith that their religion was the right one. The catholics who slaughtered protestants also had blind faith. So did the muslims who flew aircraft into the WTC. So did the hindus who destroyed the Babri Mosque.

No, of course blind faith does not always lead to consequences as serious as these, but then countless more minor, but still harmful, effects could also be listed. If people with blind faith do good things, it is by fortunate accident, not thanks to their faith.

Blind faith is not a virtue. Ever.

Comment by Stephen P

Van’s comments above are consistent with the experiences of fellow believers about which I am informed. I have had several friends who were on the brink of suicide and were pulled back from the brink, all because they could not accept themselves as they were born and tried to conform to expectations communicated to them by others.

Stephen is right. Blind faith is not a virtue and if a professed Christian ever told me that, as a believer, I am expected to have “blind faith,” I would literally run from that person. Because that person does not understand what the Bible teaches or what the concept of faith is really all about.

The Divine Creator does not expect me to follow blindly. If that were the case, why did the Creator give me an intellect? Eyes? Ears? Taste? Touch? Why bother to give me any ability to reason, consider, deliberate . . . in other words, why were we given Free Will if that is the case?

“Because” is not an answer, even in a Biblical context because the Bible doesn’t say anything just to say it. In all of the Bible there are cross-references, historical references, historical context . . . all there for the purpose of telling us “why.” It may be hard to find, but the answer is there. And if it isn’t, that’s because we are asking the wrong question.

My wish for you is that you come to accept and love yourself as a perfectly formed creation of the one Divine Creator who desires only good for you: Happiness, peace, contentment. Tune out the voices of those around you who desire a specific outcome in your life that matches their own expectations. Go away to a quiet place where you can find solitude. Take a Bible (hopefully, a modern translation such as The Message), be still, and listen for the voice of your Creator. Hear for yourself what it is saying. Respond ONLY to that voice, no earthly choruses. Stop looking at your own characteristics as good or bad, acceptable or sinful, and consider yourself simply as you are. The answer will come and then you need to accept that answer & love yourself for having found it, as the Divine Creator loves you: Unconditionally and unapologetically.

There are no accidents. There is no such thing as happenstance. Everything that happens in the universe is preordained, ordered, and designed to impact the world in the manner in which the Divine Creator – alpha and omega – has ordained and foreseen. Therefore, it is no accident that I bumbled my way to Ann’s site and from there to this one. It is no accident that the Divine Creator has led me to type the words contained in this comment. It is no accident or coincidence that others have come to share their insight. Embrace the fact that you are being spoken to by the Divine Creator through the faceless voices of the blogosphere who have taken time to interact with you.

Feel free to email me privately if you wish to discuss further.

Caring for you and wishing you light, blessings, and peace, I am:

Hopeful Spirit
On the Horizon

Comment by Hopeful Spirit

I just realised that I don’t know how to address the owner of this blog. Do you have a nickname that we can use to call you? For the moment, I’m just going to call you Becoming, if that’s okay.

First off, I agree with Stephen P. Some of the greatest acts of heroism in history were committed by those who had blind faith. And so were some of the greatest atrocities. It’s not inherently bad, but it’s not inherently virtuous, either.

When you asked “why”, what I felt you were asking for was a reality check. As Stephen pointed out, you never actually got one.

Comment by Pseudonym

Numerous times in times in Luke, Jesus says, “your faith has healed you.” I completely agree with your post and have found “blind faith” to mean this to me: I believe that God created me and knows what is best for me, better than what anybody else does (even myself), and so whatever He tells me, I do (or at least try to). I still ask why often and have found the answer in the journey like some have said before, but my life has started to get more and more fulfilling the more I am able to completely lean on Him (ie not have to spend my mind energy or time thinking about why this is good or not…I just know it is the best because God knows what is best for me-my belief) – it is a tough journey sometimes. I just want you to know I am praying for you and wish you the fullest of life.

Comment by rlowenfield

I think I can relate to you. I believe that all believers struggle with some type of sin. As a divorced heterosexual woman, I have decided that I need to stop dating. It is extremely difficult for me to abstain from doing what my hormones are driving me to do. Honestly, I haven’t been able to do it thus far. So, I am taking a dating sabbatical. I think that is the only way I can keep from sinning.

From my own personal experience, I have only dated one Christian man who didn’t try to talk me into sleeping with him. Last couple of guys I dated were very active in the church, and very respected. (Let’s just say that they weren’t exactly treating me as a sister in Christ.)

I wonder why everyone seems to gloss over the fact that heterosexual singles in the church are not remaining chaste. It kind of seems like some folks are harder on homosexuals than they are on heterosexuals. Isn’t fornication still just as much a sin as anything else? I don’t know… just my two cents.

Comment by fraizerbaz

Man and woman were created to be a “union” completely united, as in sex, as God and man is. Thats why the bodies were so completely and perfectly created for the other. God is a lifegiver, man when with a woman in the right relationship, is also a lifegiver…depositer of sperm? Haha. He gives his body, she recieves it and life may come from it.

I dont know why and understand why the same sex loves or is attracted to the other. My aunt is gay and married to another woman. She was not always gay and she has had bad issues with men. That is just her case. I read a quote recently that stated women are tough and on the defense against men because they have to protect themselves because men no longer protect them.

If two of the same sex are united it is in complete contradiction to the very design of God for us sexually or otherwise. Its no different than a married man who is tempted to have sex with other woman. its a natural urge to be attracted but he still has to deny that or face the consequences. Its like asking why cant married couples just have affairs when they want hot random sex? We know its not right as its not faithful and something about it seems to lack love. I may be tempted to go to the bar, get drunk, call a buddy and have some sex (which sometimes i am tempted to do) but i dont because i know its not what God wants for me. ( I dont even have to read that in the Bible) its common spiritual sense in my spirit. Its not Gods design for me.

What your doing is so hard and tough, ive been addicted to other things and even sex with a man i wasnt in a Godly relationship with, so i know changing habits and thoughts are hard. Like you said where your weak he is strong, so you have what you need even though its hard.

Comment by ANA




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