I Am Not A Gay Christian By Daniel Mingo, Abba’s Delight, Louisville, KY
There is a new brand of Christians which has made its way to the forefront of the great gay debate in the past few years. They call themselves gay Christians who have their own network called the Gay Christian Network. Quoting from their website, www.gaychristian.net, “Founded in 2001, the Gay Christian Network (GCN) is a nonprofit Christian ministry dedicated to building bridges and offering support for those caught in the crossfire of one of today’s most divisive culture wars. Our membership includes both those on Side A (supporting same-sex marriage and relationships) and on Side B (promoting celibacy for Christians with same-sex attractions).” Side A believes Father blesses same-sex marriages, while Side B believes celibacy is more in line with Father’s will. Personally, and for the record, I would lean more towards Side B because of its stance on celibacy. But that’s really not why I’m tackling this topic today, or why I would choose not to affiliate myself or Abba’s Delight with this network.
What would absolutely prohibit me from identifying with either group is the fact that they have found and majorly declared their identity to be in their sexual preference. I find the use of the adjective “gay” not to be Biblically sound—not because the word “gay” is not used in the Bible, but because there is no support in Biblical text for such a description of a Christ follower. Rather, Biblical text calls for Christians to separate ourselves in all ways from that which has kept us in sin. By our actions, as well as mentally, physically and verbally.
As a born-again believer, I learn to become more perfectly conformed to the image of Jesus, the Word of God made flesh. If I then identify myself as a gay Christian, I am branding myself with a name and identity that Father neither meant for me to have, nor that He has Biblically authorized. The fact is, there is not even one portion of Biblical text that approves homosexual acts. Those who support same gender sexual behavior, I believe, have taken passages out of context not considering the entirety of what Scripture has to say about living a life of holiness, in an attempt to conform the Bible to their feelings and attractions, rather than holding their feelings and attractions in obedience to the Scriptures.
Paul tells us, “Therefore from now on we recognize no man by what he is in the flesh…Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Cor. 5:16a,17. If I am a new creature in Christ, why would I ever want to take on an identity for myself that is contrary to His life in me? That would be counter-productive to becoming more perfectly conformed to the image of Jesus. Therefore, I train myself to think in agreement with the Scriptures, speak things that are in agreement with the Scriptures, and act in ways that are only in agreement with the Scriptures. To me, this leaves no room for taking on a gay Christian identity. This brings up another interesting thought!
Have you ever heard any believers identify themselves as depressed Christians? Or slothful believers? Or fear-filled disciples? I’m sure there are many Christians who suffer depression, are slothful and live in fears of all kinds, but you don’t see them identifying themselves in those ways or making declarations to justify/build their identities around those issues. There would seem to be a significant amount of deception in taking on identities that move us away from being more perfectly conformed to the image of Jesus, rather than closer to it.
Maybe in my walk I have been fortunate in my understanding of where my identity lies. I knew instinctively my same-sex attractions were not in line with Father’s design for human sexuality as set forth in the Word. I never wanted to take on a gay identity. There was never a time when I thought hooking up with guys was an OK thing with God, whether for relationships or just for sex. So I learned early the importance of having my mind renewed; and the power words have that we speak; and that my true identity is in Christ and not in my sexuality, career, roles as husband or father, or anything else.
When it came time to come clean with my wife about my attractions and the behaviors I’d engaged in, she knew immediately this was not who I was. As she has described it, she had seen the man of God I was, how I pursued my relationship with Him. Paraphrasing her, this sin had leeched itself onto me, and we just needed to figure out how we were going to get it off of me. That was 21 years ago when I began my healing journey.
I read an article last week called, “Love Wins: The Shifting Landscape on LGBT Issues in the Evangelical Church.” (LGBT=Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) The article was written by Rod Snyder, who is the President Emeritus, Young Democrats of America, July 22nd www.huffingtonpost.com. Of himself he says, “I’m a gay Christian from a conservative family fighting for a progressive cause.” I recommend the article, although there is much to disagree with in it. There were some good and truthful points in it as well. What was glaring to me, though, was the beginning of the title “Love Wins…” As I read through the article in its entirety, I was looking for something specific in what he might say about love, since he declares himself to be a Christian. I was looking for any indication of how we express our love for God. As it turns out he means how we love one another—gay-to-gay and straight-to-gay.
In one of the article’s section-titles called “Love wins,” Snyder writes, “One of the recent rallying cries for the LGBT movement has been ‘Love is love.’ One of the most common phrases in Christianity is ‘God is love.’ Everyone is pushing the Love agenda but not enough of us are practicing it. Love means listening more and yelling less. Love means pausing long enough to consider another perspective. Love means making an effort to get to know someone from a dissimilar background. Love means taking risks and stepping outside of what’s comfortable. Love means being willing to face criticism for ceding an inch to the other side.”
And for me, this is where the biggest deception of all comes in. Everyone will forever talk about learning to love each other, and the different ways to go about doing that, but what about our love for God? “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) And Paul writes to the Corinthian believers that nothing will ever separate us from His love: nothing we can do or say, nor any identity we can attach to ourselves. Nothing. Our primary charge is to love Him in return. We express that love in our obedience to Him. Jesus fulfilled the Law and summed it up by saying for us to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul and mind; thus declaring love to be the greatest commandment. Jesus also said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Yet another time, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees saying, “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment, what to say and how to say it. And I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore, the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told me.” John 12:49,50. Jesus instructs us to love the Father the same way He loved Him, by being obedient to His Word. Jesus did not reinvent or reinterpret Father’s message, but that is exactly what is being done by those who justify their same-sex love relationships. The article omits obeying God as our primary charge from our Father in our days on earth conforming to the image of Jesus. Rather, Snyder goes right to the gay Christian’s entitlement to love the way they want to love and hope Father will bless it. Reinventing and reinterpreting God’s Word to fit our feelings is one way we “worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator,” as Paul wrote to the Corinthian church.
So, how do I identify myself as a Christian as it relates to my same-gender attractions? I am an adopted son of the Most High God, a brother to and co-heir of King Jesus, saved by His grace for good works towards building His Kingdom. I am dying daily to my flesh, and the sins that so easily beset me (of which homosexual lust is one). And I am daily being more perfectly conformed to the image of Jesus.