Sunday, February 26, 2012

All Things Considering

Whenever I fall, I like to know why. What stumped me? Could it have been prevented? The whole who, what, when, where, why, and how of the situation.

I know I’ve not completely made up my mind that being with another man is wrong. I don’t mean that I think sleeping around with men isn’t wrong. I mean that I’m not sure if I dated another man, if we fell in love with each other, decided to commit ourselves to each other, and then made love that that would be wrong. There are so many reasons for me to believe that it isn’t. There are several reasons for me to believe that it is as well though. And so I’m torn between the two. I actually do see beauty in two men, or two women, being in love with each other. And I think about what we are told love is, and I see nothing from its description in the bible that would make me believe that my love for another man wouldn’t be celebrated.

I see enough contradictions between the Old and New Testament to give me some serious doubt about absolutely all homosexual activity being sinful. In love, I’m not sure it is. And even if it is, I’m not sure it’s something damning. If we are saved through faith, then isn’t faith in itself what truly saves us? Of course if we are truly saved, then our actions must surely reflect that. But if we get certain things wrong, either knowing or unknowingly, are we no longer saved through our faith? If I fell in love with another man and committed myself to him for the rest of my life, and, yes, made love with him during that time, would that really bar me from Heaven? Would Jesus really frown upon our expressing our love for each other? I don’t think me being in a lifelong, committed, sexual relationship with another man would necessarily damn me. But I do wonder if it is truly sinful, because if it is I want to resist.

I’ve been praying about this for years and I can’t seem to get any real answer that doesn’t include some level of uncertainty with it. And so, I am torn between two thoughts. If I loved a man, would God not, like me, find some degree of beauty in our coming together, and approve of such a relationship? Or, would such a thing be a sin, whether love is involved or not? There are reasons for me to believe both positions, and each holds weight.

I think not knowing what to think about this certainly played a part in my recent fall, and that of many other times—allowing me to delve into fantasies about what my life could be like.

I also believe that I am stressed far more than I should be, and as I expressed in my last post, pornography and masturbation help with this. It’s a quick fix to the thought of certain problems in life. And so I know stress played its part.

Not feeling connected with God was also an influence. There are times when I just cannot feel his presence with me. I like to think that I’m walking hand in hand with God by my side, but a lot of times I feel like I’m reaching out and only clutching air. I look around and cannot find him. I feel alone and deserted. I feel like He’s ran ahead of me, and I have to sprint through an elaborately cruel obstacle course just to keep a glimpse of him in my view. I know this isn’t true, but I find it so hard to fight these thoughts sometimes. I feel bad for one reason or another and I begin finding it more difficult to keep my grasp, as though my fingers are pulling away, and I’m reaching to no avail. I felt like that before this last fall. I wanted God to help me, to intervene somehow, but He didn’t. He was most likely there, but for some reason I just couldn’t see Him. I felt like I had to rely on my own strength, which just isn’t anywhere near good enough.

And then I know I didn’t use the best judgment. I knew I was very tempted to look up pornography, but I got on my computer anyway. It’d have been okay had I kept my door open or taken my computer into the living room. But I didn’t do either. And there again, I’d have been okay had I not gotten on my computer at all until those temptations had passed. I didn’t guard myself against the temptations the best way possible. In fact, I can see how very little prepared I was to fight those temptations. I think about this and wonder if perhaps that is why God didn’t intervene. Maybe to fall was the only way I’d see how ill prepared I was.

And then there are emotions. Anger, fear, hopelessness, jealousy, hate, regret, shame, sadness, and worry are all things that can cause you to stumble. I know I was feeling some of these things before I gave in. I know I need to learn better ways of dealing with these sorts of negative emotions.

There may be other reasons for this last fall, but these were the things I’ve been able to identify.


naturgesetz said...

I may come back with a further comment later. But for now I'll just say that it seems to me that there are many loving relationships, and many kinds of loving relationships which do not involve sexual activity. So being in a loving relationship with another man does not imply that God would approve of sexual activity.

Well, I can't resist another comment. Is the reason you are undecided that you have been trying unsuccessfully to rationalize conduct that you know is wrong? It would be convenient if you could honestly tell yourself that sex between two men in a loving relationship is not wrong. Which is why you keep trying to. But you can't. IMO the New Testament is clear: it's not talking about orientation; it's talking about conduct.

CovenantGuy said...

Contradictions between the OT and NT such as...? That's kind of a tall order.

And I'm going to echo natur's comment above. Loving relationships between men do not, by default, include sexual activity. What they *do* include is, of course, love. Chaste relationships are the biblical norm outside of marriage, so I ask about the contradictions you're referencing because this comes down (as you more or less pointed out) to this question: Does the Bible have the right (and consistency) to govern all of life, including that of my activity in my bedroom?

And, I think that's the right question. Feel free to email me privately to talk about it.