Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Post 102: Apologies, Friends, Church, and Family--My Life at the Moment

I want to apologize for my last post. It’s not one that I really wanted to write. I’d been considering it for some time, purposefully putting it off, and then in a moment of loneliness, feeling sorry for myself, and frustrated, I penned the note and published it on here for all to see. And I asked a question that, really, I already knew in my heart but didn’t want to accept, and am still having trouble accepting.

I’m not ready to accept that I’ll never be with another man. And the reason for that is because I know to accept it means that I’m accepting a life without a partner. It means I’ll be accepting a future I really don’t want. I don’t want to grow old all alone. I don’t want to always live alone, or only with family. I want my own family. And it hurts me knowing that there is someone out there who I love so strongly, who I’d like to share the rest of my life with, to build a life with, but that I know I can’t be with.

I no longer hold any illusions that I’ll someday find a woman, fall in love, get married, have kids, and live happily ever after as a heterosexual male. I feel foolish for ever having believed this. It’s not that I think it can’t happen, but that I really don’t think I want it bad enough to ever see it happen. I don’t want that sort of life. The idea of having a wife doesn’t seem like such a great prospect at all to me. It seems more like a burden—not only for myself, but to whomever my wife would be. I’m afraid of it, to be quite truthful. I don’t think I’d ever be able to connect with a wife the way a husband should. And as far as kids are concerned, I just want to make it clear that I really do love kids. My nephews, for instance, have brought me so much joy in life. They’ve been a blessing beyond anything else. But I really don’t think I ever want to have kids of my own. I worry I’d just screw up their lives, or that I wouldn’t be able to be a dad to them in the way they’d need, and, frankly, I believe this world is so harsh that I want no part of responsibility bringing another being into it.

I know I can do a lot of good by not being with anyone—male or female. I think about the Apostle Paul and how remaining celibate allowed him to do more things he’d not have been able to do, perhaps, had he had a family to have to take care of. He was free, in a sense, to do other things. I try to keep that in mind. And I try to keep in mind that I don’t want to be responsible for my friend, the one I mentioned in my previous post, falling into sin. As Sweeney pointed out to me, or caused me to see more clearly, this life is short, eternity is forever, and I’d much rather be with my friend in Heaven, for all eternity, than to gain a husband for a few short years here on earth.

I whine around too much on this blog, and I’m sorry for that. I hope you’ll forgive me. It’s just that this blog is almost entirely my only means of communicating the thoughts that I’ve shared with you. If I didn’t write about such things on this blog, I’d only be bottling everything up all the time. So, I thank you for putting up with me.

I hope you’ll be willing to bear with me a bit more though.

I’ve not been in church for a long time now. I think Mother’s Day was the last time I went, Easter before that, and then only a few weeks running around Christmas. I’ve not gone to church regularly now for about a year.

This bothers me.

I quit going to church for many reasons. One reason was due to childishness, as my friend Erik suggested, and I believe was right to say so. I didn’t like the way I was being treated, so I decided to run away and go play alone in my own sandbox—as he put it. To a very large extent, I got tired of trying and putting up with others at my church, and so I left. I allowed my frustrations and anger and bitterness at them to well up within me and cause me to just give up on them, and to a larger extent, the church itself. I’ve not been very forgiving for some of the things done to me, even the things that were probably just misunderstandings on my part. But another reason is that I got tired of seeing others being mistreated as well. Last summer, one of the youth at my church announced he was gay (which was quite literally a surprise to me), and the way everyone responded to him made me sick, to say the least. And it saddened me, because I realized if I shared my own struggles, the people I’d spent my whole life going to church with would treat me the same as they did him—I finally knew what would happen if I actually came out to more people at church. I knew already what had happened when I came out to my preacher; he wouldn’t have anything to do with me, except to ignore me, put me down, and act like a total… well, let me refrain from name calling, but just say that he treated me like crap. And then I saw how not only him, but the rest of the congregation as well, treated this young teenager like crap. They did nothing to help him. And I saw how they did nothing to help a few other people with some of their problems.

I’ve felt so much anger, and at people I hate feeling this way about. I care about them, but they’ve shown me that they care so little about me. I mean, here it’s been several months since I’ve been in church and not a single person has checked up on me. It’s like they don’t miss me at all, like I wasn’t even wanted in the first place. And now I’m left wondering what to do. I think I should go to church somewhere, but I don’t know where. I’ve heard others talk about how their churches are, I’ve been to some of them, and it’s just like none of them are any better. So, should I go back to my church? I really don’t know. And then again, I’ve been having doubts about what I believe in. I’m not sure what I believe. I have one friend who’s been telling me about Catholicism, and I have to admit I like and agree with a lot of things he has taught me about Catholic doctrine. But I don’t agree with everything he’s told me. I’m not sure I know what doctrine I believe in to even know what church to go to. And maybe that’s not the most important thing anyway. Maybe Christians get too caught up in doctrine when they should be focusing more on the basics, rather than the little details. There again, sometimes the devil’s in those little details.

So, where does that leave me?

On top of all that, I’ve lost my job this year, friends, most of the support or encouragement of my parents (who refuse to help me as well—on practically anything), my counselor, and almost any feeling that God is intervening in my life at all. And to be honest, I feel angry and confused with him as well. I did everything I thought He wanted me to do, that I felt led to do (and for that matter not to do), and I can’t see how any of it made any difference in anyone’s life. If anything, I think things are worse off. I don’t understand how God could allow the church, what should be a place of refuge, hope, strength and salvation to become something of the complete opposite. And I don’t understand what purpose it’s served me, or others, to go through some of the things I’ve gone through. I know I’m nobody to be questioning the ways of God, but I do question what God wants of me. What is my purpose?

Erik reminded me also that church isn’t always about getting something in return. It’s also about giving to others and serving God. This is something that I largely felt I had been doing, but got discouraged with when I truly needed help and nobody was there for me in return. It’s like somebody getting their arm cut off in church and everybody just looking at that person and doing nothing to help stop the bleeding. After three years of asking for help, I think I just finally bled out.

And I wonder how my preacher and others can make comments like they don’t understand why people leave the church. This baffles me. When people come to the church expecting it to live up to its words, to do the things it’s supposed to do, and then they find that not to be the case, it’s disheartening and disillusioning. People don’t want what isn’t real. I don’t want what isn’t real. I either want the real thing, or I don’t want it at all.

I want to ask anyone who reads this post to please pray for me to find a good church to go to. I want to be in church again, to be with other Christians, praising God, doing good for others, and being filled with the Spirit. So, please pray for me about this.

I just feel stuck right now. It’s like everything I’d worked for at church, at work, at home, with everything has fell apart. And I feel powerless to do anything about any of it. I didn’t want to leave my church, but I felt like I couldn’t make a difference there, and just almost had to leave. I tried to reach out and nobody ever reached back. I tried to get involved and was always pushed aside and pushed out. I worked so hard at work to do a good job and the people I worked for evidently couldn’t have cared less. I made all sorts of improvements, never caused anybody any trouble, and it’s like that didn’t matter (If I’d slept around with someone’s wife, stole money from the register, and/or blown up the place I’d probably still be employed right now). I give and give and give to my family and have done all I can do for them and it’s like it’s never enough. And from all three, if I ever ask/ed for anything in return it was like I was asking for somebody to cut off their arm or something. I mean, it’s not like I ever ask much out of anybody. But when something comes up that I desperately need help from someone, I’d have thought or hoped that that help could be returned from time to time—especially when I’d so willingly offered/given it myself.

Take my parents, for example. My dad knows all the things that have happened concerning me at church. Has he tried to help me any—talk to my preacher, defend me, back my ideas? No. Has my mom helped me with anything concerning being back in school? No. Here she is a teacher, went to school only about fifteen years ago, knows a lot of the stuff I’ve needed help with (I’m becoming a teacher too), but she won’t help me with anything. Both of my parents want to pretend that I’m not gay, which is of no help to me whatsoever. I can’t talk with them. Dad keeps leaving little hints that I should try to get with this girl or that one, and mom is currently doing all she can to get the daughter of one of her friends interested in me, which is just a nightmare I don’t need at all right now, or want, but tell her that. And the list could go on and on, but I think I’ve proven my point. There’s just no support.

And so there’s where I’m at. As I already said, I’m sorry to be spilling all of this out to everyone, but it’s either do it on the blog or bottle it all up and go insane, so I chose the blog. Hopefully next time I’ll have something better to write about.

42 comments:

Sweeney said...

I envy your ability to open. I have always had trouble just opening up and really talking about what is bothering me. It sounds like you are going through a lot. I have been through some similar things that you have. I will continue to pray for you.

Samantha said...
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Samantha said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile now. What you've been experiencing is not uncommon, which does not make it any easier--but please know, you are not alone.

I think it's wonderful that you are speaking about the things of your heart--and understanding that regardless of how they may be judged by others, there is a need to speak them.

It sounds as though you're understanding some difficult truths about life--namely that our lives are not always as we would wish them to be, that in order to have one thing we dearly love, often times another love must be sacrificed.

I don't often give advice, but I'm certain there is a place for you in a nearby Christian congregation--one where you can feel supported as you strive to live as you feel God would have you live. I suggest you shop around, and make sure, as you visit, to meet with the clergy and explain your situation and your needs so that they'll understand the best way to help you on your journey. And remember, as I'm sure you will, that they're human and they won't always be able to do all that you need--which is when you'll have to rely more on God, always a good thing.

I'm so sorry to hear about your losses of economic and social support, and the efforts of your parents to pair you off in a heterosexual coupling. Those things can become increasingly stressful and bring overwhelming feelings of loneliness. My prayers are with you.

Finally, as you take time out from church, remember to give yourself adequate time to study and pray and meditate. I'm certain of God's love for you. I think He'd like the opportunity to guide your life to the place where you can once again feel that love, and also the joy which comes of knowing you are cared for and supported by your Heavenly Father.

I wish you well. I do hope and pray your burdens will be lightened very soon.

Aphra said...

You do a great job of working through things logically, but a lot of times stuff that we understand in our heads doesn't always get to our hearts! It would be easier if we could logically control our hearts wouldn't it?

I think praying to God to help your heart is a good thing- I do this often!

As for support, you will probably find that people are not great supports because we are human. God is really the only support I have. Though it is *nice* to have supportive friends and family and that makes your life better, not having that makes you rely on yourself and God more. I don't know if that helps. I'm at that point in my life too :)

I'll be praying for you, too.

SueM said...

You sound really low and as though you don't have much support. It is particularly hard if your parents won't / can't accept your sexuality as you need to feel loved and valued for exactly who you are. You are loveable and valuable and worthwhile. I really feel for you and will pray for you.

Tit for Tat said...

Brandon

One thing that drives me nuts is when other people fuck with our lives. You Love Jesus, Jesus loves you. JESUS makes no reference whatsoever to Homosexuality. OTHER people do. If you choose to believe what Jesus says then do me one big favour. BELIEVE THESE WORDS.

John 12:32 (English Standard Version)
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

Take them at face value, not from people who wish to interpret them for you. Oh yeah, do me another favour and get out there and find a man to love and be who you were created to be. And as far as all you people who are trying to show him the love of Jesus and believe being gay is a sin. Go take a freaking hike.

Sweeney said...

Tit for Tat,
You lost your credibility when you dropped the F-Bomb.

Tit for Tat said...

Sweeney

Well, you know us sinners.
I guess I should have said it in french. ;)

Jay said...

"JESUS makes no reference whatsoever to Homosexuality. OTHER people do."

Tit for Tat: Orthodox Christianity states that God inspired every word of the Bible, and that Jesus is one with God as a part of the Trinity. That kind of defeats your argument. You may be more liberal, and that's fine, but you can't say this is a situation where other people just made up the commandments against homosexual sex.

Brandon, I'll be praying for you. You know I'm around if you ever need to chat.

RikFleming said...

I've been studying the Book of Revelation for a few months, working on a rather large paper on the subject of eschatology.

Try reading the seven letters in chapter 2-3 and pick one you might want to join. Most of them were either screwed up or going through intense persecution from Nero.

Or, try the Church at Corinth. Now, THERE is a real winner! They are taking each other to court, tolerating a guy F'ing is father's wife, causing division at the Lord's Table, denying the resurrection....

I've been blessed with an awesome church and I am surrounded by brothers who know my story, love me and keep an eye on me. Yet it is one of THE most conservative presbyterian churches in the country. I had a friend with SSA come for a visit last week and he was welcomed and he reminded me just how blessed I am. I wish every church could be like this one and will continue to pray that the Lord will provide for you a church that you can call "home."

Tit for Tat said...

but you can't say this is a situation where other people just made up the commandments against homosexual sex.(jay)

Well, well jayman. We could go into the scriptures that people use against homosexuality and see if there is any validity to them. Are you up for that? Out of the 6 or 7 of them, how many do you think are actually about being gay or gay relationships? The problem I have with most Christians is that they actually think they know what G-d is thinking. I feel compassion for the young man Brandon is and for the one he totally has to deny because of the interpretation of some books about G-d. But Jesus loves you....Right?

Jay said...

"I feel compassion for the young man Brandon is and for the one he totally has to deny because of the interpretation of some books about G-d."

Perhaps the compassionate thing here would be to ask about his faith. It's not like Brandon (or me, or any other orthodox Christian) can just snap our fingers and stop believing the things that the Holy Spirit has put upon our hearts. I think the verses about homosexual sex are pretty darn clear, and they also make it clear that it's no worse than any other sin.

The Christian life is one about denying our sinful nature and striving for a holy one. It's not an easy journey -- every faithful Christian goes through periods of doubt, depression, and suffering. I have compassion for Brandon because I've been right where he is, and I've learned and grown from those experiences.

jennypo said...

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before ,all ages, now and forevermore! (Jude 1:24-25)

Bowing my heart before our father for you tonight, Brandon. He has broken, and he will heal us. He cannot forget that he made you, and redeemed you. You belong to him, and your hurt is his responsibility. Wait for his comfort and his explanation.

He has given his Son. Can he withhold any good thing?

Tit for Tat said...

I think the verses about homosexual sex are pretty darn clear(Jay)

Really? Well why are several of them clearly talking about Rape, Pederasty, Prostitution and Idolatry. There are many bible scholars who dont "think" the way you do.

The Christian life is one about denying our sinful nature and striving for a holy one.(Jay)

Ah, now here is a big one. Faith vs Works. Which is it? If Brandon asked to be saved, can it be taken away from him? If the "gift" of salvation is one that can be taken from you if you dont "do" the right things then wouldnt that make Jesus a hypocrite? Here is another area bible scholars seem to have some pretty big differences. You are disingenuous when you infer that there is only "one" way to read scripture. And lying in the balance is a young man who has to deny who he was created to be. And the sad part is someone helped him to believe this shit too, and people like you help perpetuate this self hatred mentality. But Jesus loves you...........right?

Sweeney said...

Tit for Tat,
Put the whole homosexuality issue aside for a second. What I was saying is how can you quote scripture and drop the F-bomb in the same paragraph. THAT is obviously wrong and is not representing Jesus in the right way.

Jay said...
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Jay said...

"Faith vs Works. Which is it?"

Both. The Bible makes it clear that faith without works is dead, but that we are justified by faith. A desire to be righteous flows from faith, as does a desire to turn away from our flesh. Salvation can't be taken away, but I, at least, don't do this (and I'm in the same situation Brandon is in) because I fear for my salvation. I do it because I love God.

I also think it's a little offensive to say that my desires dictate "who I was created to be." By that logic, aren't all people created to start having sex as soon as they hit puberty, and aren't we all supposed to hook up with everyone we're sexually attracted to? And if I was born with an angry temperament, shouldn't I indulge it? After all, it's who I was created to be.

And leave off the "But Jesus loves you... right?" Your shtick is old.

Sweeney said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, Tit for Tat, but you are a heterosexual male in a Heterosexual relationship, therefore, you have really no authority to give us advice on this issue. Both me, Jay, and Brandon are Christians who struggle with homosexuality. YOU have no idea what that is like. We choose to follow what the bible clearly says about homosexuality, not because we are brainwashed by other people (as you have implied several time) but because we love God and want to follow His commandments.

Tit for Tat said...

, but you are a heterosexual male in a Heterosexual relationship, therefore, you have really no authority to give us advice on this issue(Sweeney)

This is a public forum, right? And whether you want to believe this or not, your views affect my world too. Though I may not be gay, others around me are. Let me address some of your beliefs about G-d.

how can you quote scripture and drop the F-bomb in the same paragraph. THAT is obviously wrong and is not representing Jesus in the right way.(Sweeney)

I think you are worried about the wrong things. Let me give you an example of something that should concern you a little more.
You have a family that lives beside you(neighbours). A father, mother, two sons and an 11yr old daughter. One night the holy spirit comes to you(you know this because it is the same feeling you got when you were saved). But this time the holy spirit wants you to go kill all of the family except the girl. She is going to be for you for later. Now why would G-d say this and is there any reason to think that G-d would actually do this? Well there is some evidence biblically that G-d is capable of just that.

Numbers 31: 17-18

17Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

18But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Now my question is. What do you do, and why do you do it?

Tit for Tat said...

Jay

So faith and works are required. I would imagine that both you and Brandon were convicted by the Holy Spirit and asked for Jesus to come and save you. You freely accepted the gift offered to you. You both have the faith part down, right?
Works on the other hand are a little different, seeing as you are both not perfect you will continue to sin, correct? So let me put forth some scenarios for you.
Firstly Brandon finally finds a mate. He joins into a committed, monogamous, loving relationship with a man. They share finances, care for each other, work to make the world a better place. But, once a week they engage in a sexual relationship. Afterwards they are sorrowful and they repent.
You find a wife and enter into a committed, monogamous, loving relationship. You share finances, make a home and have a faimly. Unfortunately, twice a week you unleash an unjustified angry blast on your wife. You are then sorrowful and repent. Here is my question.

As all sins are equal, are you twice as likely as Brandon to have your gift of salvation revoked?

Tit for Tat said...

And leave off the "But Jesus loves you... right?" Your shtick is old.(Jay)

Youre right, the Jesus loves you shtick is old.

Jay said...

Tit for Tat, I think after your reply to Sweeney, that you know absolutely nothing about Biblical theology other than dull platitudes and straw men that liberals always hard about. If you can't see a difference between the Old and the New Covenant, and don't want to take the necessary steps to learn, then I frankly don't need to engage with you any more. If you're open to learning, read your Bible, and read it as the inerrant word of God, not a cultural document.

Oh, and in terms of the two scenarios: part of repentance is not doing the sin anymore. If a man has a an angry outburst at his wife, and repents, it should be awhile before he has another one. Same goes for a couple that stumbles sexually.

Sweeney said...

I agree with Jay. I'm ending this argument because it is not fair to Brandon. He does not need this right now. It's very clear now, Tit for Tat, that your just some Far-left nut job that is just not worth arguing with.

Tit for Tat said...

It's very clear now, Tit for Tat, that your just some Far-left nut job(Sweeney)

After you repent for insulting me, just remember you may appreciate a far left nut job when your fundamentalist Christian brothers decide to kick your ass when they find out your gay.

Just a note guys. Just because I dont read scripture the way you do doesnt mean Im wrong and youre right.

1 thessalonians 5:21

I dont think the way you read it is good, so I test.

Tit for Tat said...

Brandon

Heres my prayer for you. I hope you find real time love and have the courage to trust you will be loved regardless.

Jay said...

I can't speak for Sweeney, but I've found that no one in my church, family, or Christian friends has decided to kick my ass when I came out to them. Heck, none of my gay friends have, either. My ex-boyfriend is still a close friend and respects my decisions and views, even if he doesn't agree with them. So before you start painting all conservative Christians with one homophobic brush, maybe you should get to know some, or listen to guys like us who are around them.

There are good and bad people out there. Brandon is around some bad ones. I can't speak for the ones around Sweeney, but the "fundamentalist Christians" I'm around -- though not perfect -- are a pretty awesome bunch.

Tit for Tat said...

Jay

Maybe you should take your own advice. You know, the one about paint brushing.


"I think after your reply to Sweeney, that you know absolutely nothing about Biblical theology other than dull platitudes and straw men that liberals always hard about."(Jay)

Jay said...

I was responding to what seemed clear based on your responses. You didn't present any clear knowledge of theology, nor are your arguments weighty to anyone with a large amount of study in that field. They were platitudes and straw men.

Even well-established liberal Biblical scholars don't use the, "Well, Jesus never said a thing about homosexuality" card (because He also didn't say anything about a variety of other sins that are indisputably wrong).

You said that if Sweeney told Christians he was gay, they'd kick his ass, which shows a pretty intolerant view of all conservative Christians on your part. I, on the other hand, made a specific comment about you. No paint brushing here, but a response to what you've already revealed about yourself.

(Oh, and thanks for noting a spelling error. I should have said "harp" in that above quote instead of "hard").

Brandon said...

Sweeney, Samantha, Aphra, Sue, Tit for Tat, Jay, Erik, and Jennypo:

Thank you each. Your concern, prayers, advice, and everything else means so much. Thanks for lifting me up a bit. :)

As for the back and forth: I just want to say that I realize not everyone is at the same place in life, or has the same understandings or beliefs about everything. For the time, I think that's all I'll say about it.

Tit for Tat said...

Brandon

Here's something I do use some biblical material for. Good life philosophy. Take Heart..."This too shall pass"

Semper Certatio said...

I've enjoyed this dialogue, and so in good evangelical fashion, thought I'd put in my $.02.
Tit for Tat (I like that screen name, btw, its very appropriate), you seem to be giving a contradictory message, and are making some assertions that you haven't substantiated.
First, if Brandon, being the intelligent adult he has been, has decided that for him, sexual expression means celibacy even if it is painful and difficult, then why are you encouraging him otherwise? Hopefully you are in favor of allowing self determination in sexual expression, we get to choose how we express our sexuality. Well, it seems that Brandon has chosen his particular path- are you trying to deny him that choice simply because it isn't the one you would have picked? That makes as much sense as putting a screen door on a submarine.
Either we get to choose how we express our sexuality, including by not expressing it at all, or we don't. If we do get to decide for ourselves, then let Brandon (and the rest of us in the same boat) express it according to the values he accepts.
Second, you implied in one of your responses that the verses in the Bible that condemn homosexual activities as being tied to rape, prostitution, non Yahwistic cultic practices, etc. Where do you get that idea? I hear it thrown out there so often, yet, as someone who has made a life of studying Ancient Near-Eastern texts, I can tell you that I know of none that date to the time of the writing of the Hexateuch (according to both early and late dating methods within conservative scholarship) that talk about condoning homosexual activity. They just don't exist. 1000 years later? They do then. 1500 miles away? Yep, they exist there. But not in any context or setting that would have influenced the writing of the Hexateuch.
Finally, with regards to faith v. works, that is not at issue, as I understand it. I can only speak for myself, but the problem confronting me, Jay, Brandon, and any other SSA strugglers who are also Christians comes after salvation is established. Before I was saved, I didn't give a tinker's dam about whether or not I honored God with my sexual expression. It is only now that I am saved that I want to see how I can use every part of me, including my sexuality, to honor God. If God wants me to forgo sex, then I will forgo, not to get saved or stay saved, but rather to express obedience, love, and devotion to the God who gave his life for me. That's why I am celibate- not to be saved, but because I want to honor my King who saved me.

Learner Man said...

Hey guys,

what a conversation. I've read a good chunk of it but the one thing that really jumed out at me was a comment about self hatred:

"And lying in the balance is a young man who has to deny who he was created to be. And the sad part is someone helped him to believe this shit too, and people like you help perpetuate this self hatred mentality."

In my experience - and it will not be everybodies, the self hatred is what has led to my homosexual feelings - not the other way around. I have found nothing but love and acceptance from my Christian friends and Church - they get frustrated with me when I keep putting myself down.

An inability to seem myself as I perceive a man should be has led me to viewing other men as more attractive, and has become sexual.

This means for me that by pursuing a homosexual relationship would exacerbate my feelings of self hatred as it would be affirming to myself that I am not man enough myself. That the man God made me to be is not good enough.

I could go on. I knw that many folk in the same situation do not have the same feelings of self doubt, but I would suggest that in many cases it be that way around.

Tit for Tat said...

Semper C.

Thanks for the response. In my view of life, its all about options and seeing as Brandon has made this a public forum, I thought I would give a different option. As he is an adult, I would no more be forcing him to change his sexuality than if I was offering him a different flavoured ice cream. He could just say no. Maybe I choose to show a different way because I see how much pain and suffering this one is causing him. Also because there is no actual "real" proof that this view is correct. Its easy for a Heterosexual person to believe this stuff because ultimately they can marry and have a wonderful sexual union. Homosexuals on the other hand have to deny that part of themselves for a lifetime. Now you may be ok with that, but it sure seems to me that Brandon is having second and third and fourth thoughts on the matter. I cant imagine you havnt found some stuff on homosexuality that may be different than your take. Here are 3 sites. Why dont you give them a full read and then come back and tell me if you are absolutely correct that your view is the right one.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibi.htm

http://home.earthlink.net/~ecorebbe/id18.html

http://www.hrmcc.org/Resources/StudyDocuments/bibleand.htm

Semper Certatio said...

TfT,
Thanks for your response to my response to what you wrote (pleasantries can become absurd! :)) You are doing more than just presenting options, you are prescribing behavior for Brandon (and for other SSA strugglers, like myself). Let me quote you:


get out there and find a man to love and be who you were created to be. And as far as all you people who are trying to show him the love of Jesus and believe being gay is a sin. Go take a freaking hike.


You told Brandon to do more than just consider another option to the one he has chosen for himself, you have told him to engage in activities that he (by his own admission in his blog) believes to be sinful. I've got to ask, which is it? Are you merely presenting another point of view, one that Brandon already knows about and has rejected (as his blog makes explicitly clear), or are you pressing him to change his position (as your previous post seems to indicate)? Be honest, its the latter.

It's true, there is considerable pain and suffering involved in resisting sexual inclinations, particularly over a lifetime. Brandon is not ignorant of that, I'm not ignorant of that. Presumably, you aren't either, albeit from a heterosexual context. But you seem to be suggesting that pain and suffering are the ultimate wrongs, that the primary concern of all involved should be to alleviate pain and suffering. But, while those things are not good, so much good can come from them. I see my SSA, as well as that of everyone else who struggles against it, as an opportunity for me to take something normal and ordinary, sexual desires, and make it into something that radically glorifies God- I get to sacrifice my sexuality to him, for his greater glory. Why is that bad?

Finaly, I have read considerably on homosexuality, from a number of different viewpoints. I'll read those pages, but I doubt they will have anything new for me. As I struggle against same-sex attractions, I am very much informed regarding this issue, have read extensively on it, attended conferences on it (not just "change" conferences, but academic and APA ones too), and believe that where I am at regarding the subject makes the most sense, at least as I understand it.

I look forward to your reply.

Sweeney said...

Tit for tat,
Let me say this one more time. You, nor any other heterosexual, really have no authority to pretend you know what it is like to go through what we go through, or to give us advice. I don't care if you have gay friends or not. You will never understand it. My best friend(who is heterosexual)knows about everything I go though. I've explained everything to him and he accepts me, but he is the first to admit that he does not fully understand what it is like. STOP PRETENDING LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE.

Tit for Tat said...

STOP PRETENDING LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE.(Sweeney)

Whats so hard about understanding what its like to be attracted to someone? I fully get that, both love and lust. Whether its Male on male, female on female, male on female or maybe a little of both. Same feelings. Now, when you add that your belief makes you a miserable sinner and you cant partake in the love your head and heart and body want to, well thats a different story. Youre right on that count, I dont quite get that.

Tit for Tat said...

I've got to ask, which is it? Are you merely presenting another point of view, one that Brandon already knows about and has rejected (as his blog makes explicitly clear), or are you pressing him to change his position (as your previous post seems to indicate)? Be honest, its the latter.(Semper)

Obviously he is not totally convinced or he wouldnt be writing about it. You reaffirm your position. I believe your position to be erring on a few things. I affirm my position and you see me erring. Thats the joy of debate. In the balance lies the mental health of many. Dont think your position doesnt negatively affect people outside your faith. Because it does.

Brandon said...

"Before I was saved, I didn't give a tinker's dam about whether or not I honored God with my sexual expression. It is only now that I am saved that I want to see how I can use every part of me, including my sexuality, to honor God. If God wants me to forgo sex, then I will forgo, not to get saved or stay saved, but rather to express obedience, love, and devotion to the God who gave his life for me. That's why I am celibate- not to be saved, but because I want to honor my King who saved me."

Very well said, Semper Certatio. I agree.

Learner Man, I've wondered about the same things--Maybe the reason I like other men is that I see in them certain qualities/traits/characteristics/etc. that I don't think I posess myself. Sort of an envy turned sexualized idea about causation of homosexaulity, or, as I've heard others put it, a canabilistic notion. But I can see that some in my own case. I once read a book that mentioned this (I believe it was Jeff Konrad's "You Don't Have to be Gay") and the author urges you to make two lists; one that details everything you feel you lack as a man, and another detailing everything you like about other men. I've done this myself, and asked others to, and surprisingly, the two lists almost always look roughly the same. Seems to sort of back this notion somewhat.

On another note, I also have experienced acting on my attractions and feeling more lowly afterwards than I did before. Though, some of that was probably more due to the circumstances than self-hatred. I don't like how those experiences came about. But there have been times when, yes, acting on those attractions in some form, even when the circumstances weren't really bad, did in fact make me feel worse about myself, because it did make me feel less as a man, or not as good enough as other men.

Tit for Tat said...

Brandon

How could you not feel less than a man. Your worldview is already set up to make yourself less than the average male. You are attracted and turned on by men, the average is not. So long as you feel the need to honour your "king" you will continue to feel shame. Its not like your homosexuality is going away. Your words make that very clear. Maybe G-d is calling me to help you see a different way to see yourself. Afterall, what do I gain by being here? Its pretty obvious what the other christians gain. They help you to help themselves to reaffirm their position.

Sweeney said...

Brandon,
You should not be concerned about being a "man". The reason I put this in quotations is because the bible really has no description of what being a man is. The only thing it says it that if a man gets married, he is to be the head of his house hold, or, if he is called by God to serve in the church, then there are a few "rules". Really what we see as being a "man", is really created by our culture. God does not care what type of "man" we are in the worldly since, but he cares about how we use our life to glorify him.

BH mom said...

oh young one, what you write could be my son.
Im sorry you have lost so much, that your parents and church show only conditional love for you.
Thank God He shows unconditional love for all His saints.
Please dont lose sight of that. Even if we feel like He is not with it, he is.

Brandon said...

Thanks, BH mom. I'll certainly try to always remember that. :)