Saturday 21 February 2015

Sexuality Questions

CGI's Bronson James on Armor of God
Miller Jones is a blogger who I'd characterize as a thoughtful Christian. His postings at God Cannot Be Contained have provided a considered defence of non-fundamentalist beliefs. That he, like myself, has a back-story in a particular sectarian community has helped me identify with some of the points he makes. And I really wish all past pilgrims in that tradition could exercise the same degree of civility as he does when engaging in discussion.

In two recent posts Miller has gone where few (at least in the ex-Church of God fold) have dared tread. He has asked some challenging questions about gay Christians.

Of course if you're a flamboyant homophobe like Roderick Meredith (author of that 1961 classic The Shocking TRUTH about "QUEER" Men!"), or any of the usual gang of commentators with an Ambassador College non-qualification, the very term "gay Christian" might well be an oxymoron. The reality is that a number of gay individuals have played prominent roles in the Church of God over the years. More often than not, though, their experiences have paralleled Troy Fitzgerald's as he documents it in Cults and Closets.

In the first post Miller simply poses a series of questions. The cumulative effect however is telling. There's enough here to fuel an ongoing discussion for months on end. See A Few Questions about God and Homosexual Behavior.

Now, in a follow-up post, he addresses a recent "Armor of God" telecast on the subject from the Church of God, International (no, despite appearances to the contrary they're not extinct, just endangered). Miller makes an interesting distinction between lifestyle choices and the characteristics that are part of who we are.
Your attraction to the opposite gender is a natural part of who you are - it is a characteristic of you. Think about it for a moment. Do you remember ever making a decision to be a heterosexual? When you started into puberty, were you torn between same sex attraction and an attraction to the opposite sex? OR Did an awareness of and attraction to the opposite gender come naturally to you? Do you remember a time when you decided that Jill was desirable and Jack wasn't? Do you remember deciding that breasts were more attractive than pecs?
To be sure, one does have lifestyle choices to make in the realm of sexuality. One can choose to be celibate, monogamous, polygamous, promiscuous or faithful. We all make choices in this regard. One can choose to associate or disassociate sex and love. You can decide to live the lifestyle of a playboy or to be the faithful husband of one wife. These are choices... I think that it is safe to say that you never made a decision to be a heterosexual. You didn't wake up in college one day and decide "I think I'll like girls." Isn't sexual attraction a natural part of who you are?
The full post is available here.

It's a subject that deserves an airing, and while it has become an obsession in more mainline churches, there has been little in the way of reasoned debate in either the Armstrong churches or ex-member forums - other than the expected rants. The place to join this discussion is over on God Cannot Be Contained rather than here, so for this once comments have been disabled. Click across to have a say.