Monday, February 27, 2012

Q&A

A few of you asked me some questions following my last two posts, and I thought I should take some time to respond to them seriously.

You asked:

1) Am I trying to rationalize giving into something I know is wrong? Is that the reason I’m undecided about being in a relationship?

2) Do I rely too much on my feelings, or emotions, in determining my actions, or how I respond to certain things?

3) Do I need an accountability partner?

4) Do I have certain preconceived notions about how God should relate to me, or even intervene, in my life?

5) What contradictions do I see in the bible?

To begin with, I will admit that I’m not sure what to think anymore. So many Christians have told me so many different things that I honestly don’t know what’s true and what isn’t. And I don’t know how much I can trust the word of any one particular person.

I have my faith in God. I believe I am saved through Christ. I pray on a regular basis. I want to please God. And I want to be a part of the Christian family, to help other Christians and to bring others into that family.

But I doubt so many things. To begin with, I’m not sure how much the bible can be trusted. I think it can be trusted more than not. But I believe it may not be entirely accurate—God inspired or not. I believe this because I know it was written by man, and man is fallible—even the Godly ones. Jesus himself rebuked Peter and his other disciples numerous times for not fully understanding him. If that is the case, then how can we be completely sure that they, and others, didn’t misinterpret or fully understand other things that they wrote about?

With this in mind, I also take into account the fact that our understanding of the body and how it works has changed over time. People know better concerning this today than what they did during biblical days. People used to believe seizures and the like were demon possessions, for instance, but we hardly call them that today. Knowing this, I can’t help but wonder if homosexuality is just another instance of not fully knowing. I look at just how ignorant people are today about homosexuality. It’s not all just about actions or conduct. I think you can actually BE homosexual. A lot of Christians just seem to think everyone is straight, and that homosexuality is just a desire to act up. I don’t believe this. I think some people actually ARE homosexual. I think it goes beyond temptations; that it’s a part of who a person is. Any version of myself as straight, I’ve absolutely hated. It’s just not me. I might as well be trying to change my sex completely. And the thing is, I believe God actually loves ME, the homosexual me, and not some phony version of what somebody else thinks I should be.

It says in the Old Testament that it was sinful to eat shellfish. Really? I mean, we’ve been eating shellfish for centuries now. It also says that God’s people are supposed to be circumcised. But that’s not been a requirement since the beginning of Christianity. People were also told not to marry between races, but this is accepted now. Jesus said he was not here to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. If that is true, then shouldn’t we still be following the law? Jesus himself said he wasn’t here to abolish it. But then we are also told that we are saved through our faith. And so, if we have faith, does following or not following at all times the laws concerning sin condemn us or take away our salvation? And what about Jesus telling us it’s not what goes into the body, but what comes out of it that makes us unclean? If two men express their love, in marriage, by having sex, is this really an unclean act—if they do this out of their love for each other?

Who’s right today? Is the Catholic Cannon, the King James Version, or the NIV, among a dozen or more other versions of the bible, the right one, or most accurate one to adhere to? One group says infant baptism is right, another says it isn’t? Who is right? One group practice the sacraments, another doesn’t. Who is right? One group says to tithe, while another says to give from the heart. Who is right? One group says you are saved by faith alone, while another says you must have faith accompanied by good deeds. Who is right? I mean, I could go on and on with this line of questions. Are the Catholics right; the Baptists; the Methodists; the Non-Denominationals; who?

Am I trying to rationalize something I know is wrong? No. I don’t know whether the thing I want is wrong or not anymore. I don’t know if the things people thousands of years ago believed was wrong really were wrong—so many other things aren’t considered to be anymore. The definition seems to change from time to time and place to place.

And am I an emotional, feelings based person? Yes. I know I am. But what is really wrong with this? I’m not saying that if I didn’t feel God’s presence that I accept He’s not there. I believe He’s always with me. But there are times when I don’t feel His presence, and during those times it is so much harder to fight. It does make me feel alone. And even when I pray anyway, and continue trying to do what’s right, it doesn’t alleviate how I feel or the fact that those feelings make it harder to deal with things. If I say I feel something, felt something, believe something, or did something or reacted to something out of emotions, it is only because I am being truthful and accepting of what’s going on inside of me, rather than being numb, blind, or ignorant. I don’t always do everything based on my emotions. I know at times I do, and this is sometimes a problem. But when or if I speak of my feelings, it is me trying to get out simply what is going on inside of me. My actions are not always dictated by how I feel. If that wasn’t true, I’d have left Christ long ago, screwed at least a dozen other men, murdered someone, lied a million and one times more than I ever have, killed myself, or any number of any other incredibly horrendous things by now. And so, if I write a lot about my feelings, please keep this in mind. And if you see where I’ve acted on my feelings, wrongly, don’t be afraid to question me about it. But just make sure of what I’m really trying to get out.

Do I have certain preconceived notions about God? Yes, I believe, rightly or wrongly, I do. I believe God loves me unconditionally. I believe God is always willing to forgive me when I ask him to. I believe God gives me direction, and has led me throughout most of my life. I believe God gives me strength and wisdom. I believe God has blessed me richly. I believe God wants to know me, and wants me to know Him. I believe God works to help people who so desperately need him. I believe he can use anyone to His benefit. I believe He can and does reveal himself to us through so many ways. I believe God is all knowing, all powerful, and everlasting. I believe God is the creator of all things. I believe God is patient. And I believe, with God, all things are possible. Those are my preconceived notions about God.

When it comes to accountability, I have nobody I feel comfortable with confiding in. I’ve had many different accountability partners before. None were really ever able to help me and none ever really acted as though they really wanted to. That is, none wanted to be in it with me for the long run. To an extent, I’ve actually been looking at this blog as a substitute of sorts lately just to help in this area.

And in all of this, what do I want?

I want to go to bed and wake up in the morning beside the man I’ll spend the rest of my life with. I want someone I can come home to. I want someone who’ll love me no matter what. I want someone I can cook for. I want someone I can hold hands with, kiss, and hug. I want someone I can curl up next to and watch a movie with. I want someone I can travel the world with. I want someone who will know I’m his no matter what. I want someone I can trust and confide in. I want someone I can spend the holidays with and spend time with his family. I want someone who will care for me when I’m sick. I want someone I can be happy with—even when times are bad. I want someone who will believe and worship in God alongside of me. I want to be married to another man. I want to love and be loved, and to dedicate my body and soul to that person. That’s what I want.

Some would call this selfish; that I’m thinking only of myself. I find this so condescending and hypocritical. When a straight woman wants these things, she isn’t called selfish. Her wants are said to be good. But when I want these things, because I am a homosexual man, it is said to be selfish. How is it selfish, or evil, for me to want to spend my life with someone? And not just as a friend, but as a real this-person-is-your-other-half-in-all-ways lifelong partner.

I may not know for certain if what I want is wrong, but I know that it is only common and natural for people to want to be with others this way. Unlike most men, I just do not want to be with a woman.

So, that’s where I’m at right now. You can wrap all this stuff up together and surely see why I’ve been so completely conflicted. And, really, this isn’t even considering all of the personal issues I’ve been dealing with lately.

In all, please just pray for me. And forgive me if I seem a bit on edge. It has been a hard day, I’m tired, and... well, just pray for me. I do want your thoughts/comments/advice/words of wisdom/etc., so hopefully I’ve not scared anybody off yet. I really do appreciate your all’s comments on such things.

8 comments:

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Thom Hunter said...

Brandon,

I think one of the key words in your post today is "doubt." We all have it and it can be very healthy because it keeps us searching, rather than opening up the possibility we will seal the deal with something that is untrue. So, we doubt and we keep on looking for the truth.

I thought you might enjoy a post I did a while back that addresses the impact of doubt. Maybe it will be helpful to you and to those who doubt you as well. I'm not shamelessly promoting my blog here, but I think you will find it helpful: It's called "Where Would We Be Without Doubt?"
http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=4891525151395322807#editor/target=post;postID=491534849590657734

God Bless,

Thom

kris said...

by the cursory reading I think you have already made up your mind what you want.
All the answers to those questions are yes. and that isn't wrong.
you are choosing to find fault in the book. and in fellow man.
But at the end of the day, its between you and God.
When people pray to ask for change or some sort of sign, they get impatient. Gods time is not our time and soon enough we will know what He wants.
The saying, it all comes down to faith... is just that.
You have to believe....Believe God at His word and His word is the bible, you have to believe God did make you for his pleasure and purpose.
You can study until your brain falls out and one still may not interpret the bible right.
Pray that God will show you what he wants for your life.
Pray that you will focus only on Him and what He has to say about you. [not your fellow man]
if you believe God is sovereign you believe that in his time he will show whether it is right or wrong.
As a mother of a gay son I don't think its healthy to stay stagnant, go forth in life. meet people, learn to interact with people, get in a good support system, whether it be church, counseling, etc.
When God shows you... you will know.
i love you and am praying for you, BH mom ~ Kris

Anonymous said...

In case my previous comment didn't get through, again, here's my email:

prophet_joeldc@hotmail.com

If you wish, I would like to offer myself as someone in whom you can confide. I know it made all the difference in the world to me when I had someone to confide in, someone who didn't freak out or condemn me no matter what I said, thought or felt.

Anonymous said...

There was a lot more i intended to say, but blogger ate up my original comment.

You probably have an idea of my beliefs already, so there you have an understanding of my bias in regards to same-sex attraction.

I still wrestle with it myself, man. For what it's worth, I hope to share what I've learned in my own struggles as a means of encouragement and insight. But to God be the glory in all things, especially in my own experiences.

Who knows, I probably need to learn something from you, too. :)

Sophus said...

These last three Anonymous comments are from Sophus, btw.

~~Sophus

Brandon said...

Steve, thank you for the invite.

Thom, I think you're right about doubt. I wasn't able to open up the link you sent, but I agree with what you wrote in the comment. I would much rather know the truth than to just accept something that may not be truth.

Kris, I think you're very understanding. I really appreciate your advice and will try to follow through. Thank you for caring, and for just being so good. :)

Sophus, thank you, also, for caring and offering to help. I'll try my best to email you back sometime tomorrow.

covnitkepr1 said...

You are more than welcome to visit my blog and become a follower. I didn’t see a follow widget on this site, but if you put one up...I will gladly follow you as well.