This started off as a comment in response to other comments on my last post ("Lighten Up Thou Hypocrite!") but I decided to make it a blog entry since it turned out to be pretty long.
Thanks angel and wysguy for your comments, you both have always been supportive of my process and i appreciate that.
As for the "hypocrite" reference - yeah i know. I don't think i'm a hypocrite. But when i wrote "thou hypocrite!" i was meaning that i would be if i proclaimed to the world that one "shouldn't" engage in pre-marital sex, but then i do. In that context, i think i would be a hypocrite.
The trouble for me is that, if i'm honest with myself, i really don't know what i'd do. I'd like to say that i'd wait. But i'm just trying to be honest with myself in that i don't have a whole lot of experience with romantic relationships - straight or gay. That's the hard part for me....trying to figure out "what" i believe when it's all in theory.
This whole journey for me stems from realizing that alot of my previously held beliefs comes from what people told me or what i was exposed to. They were untested and unchallenged (for me). I wasn't fully informed when i decided that "yes, i believe that!" I can cling to beliefs logically but i simply want them to be "real". I want to own them. So this kind of wrestling in me is what it looks like for me to live out my faith.
In terms of "judging" others, i can't place a judgment of an issue that i, myself, am unsure of for my own life. I agree with you, wysguy, that as believers there is an accountability to each other. If i know a brother of mine is harboring hateful thoughts or even lustful thoughts, it would be right for me to point them out so as to sharpen him. But in terms of exhorting or rebuking a brother on an issue that i'm still trying to resolve - then i would say that i shouldn't judge. There are others for that.
I'm not saying that as believers we don't judge on certain levels in certain contexts. In my last post, I was speaking for myself that I can't judge someone for something i'm still wrestling through. I mean, if i'm going to try to connect with someone, then i should be sure of what i'm offering if i'm going to offer it as "Truth". (For example, it just seems wrong for me to have an English teacher who uses poor grammar.)
For me to say that "I" shouldn't judge on this issue, doesn't necessarily mean that "others" shouldn't judge or offer correction on this issue if they feel secure in what they believe about it. (Continued example, an English teacher who does use proper grammar has every right to teach on the subject).
At the same time, i can judge (discern what is right or wrong in a brother's life) on something i am sure of - like the Deity of Christ.
This wrestling through the issue of pre-marital sex is similar to my wrestling through the issue of homosexuality as a Christian. I have not yet concluded, with certainty, that a Christian can or cannot also be gay. This issue is also not so black or white for me. I have reserved judgment until i am fully informed and have fully processed through it. In the mean time, it would be horribly wrong for me to tell another Christ-centered gay person that they are "in sin". Similarly, i can't tell a gay or straight couple who are both committed to each other that their sexual activity is wrong. Please note again, I am speaking only for myself because of where I am at on these issues. Until I reach resolution or conclusion for myself, I should remain silent in regards to judgment.
The last post was an especially tough blog essay to write in comparison to others because i normally just write whatever raw thoughts i'm having at the moment. (So whatever i write, doesn't necessarily mean that it's what i've concluded for all time and eternity). However, for this subject about pre-marital sex...i'm still wrestling through it. Like i said, it's not black and white - at least as i think through it. So articulating what i am really feeling about this in today's and yesterday's post was difficult.
I'll be continuing to wrestle through it. For all i know, i'll come full circle and believe adamantly that no sex should be engaged in before a covenantal context. The question is, what would it take for me to get to that point? Continued prayer? Continued insight from those who sincerely want to help me grow? Further academic study in Scripture? Having my heart broken in a failed relationship? Reaping physical consequences for placing my intimate trust in someone prematurely?
I'm not gonna go out and have sex tonight or tomorrow. Random sex, i am sure, is wrong. The context of what i'm wrestling through in terms of sex is in a committed relationship. So until that happens - nothing to worry about.
However, i appreciate the sincere concern! Please don't give up on me, but rather, I invite you to walk with me.
I have posted on this matter many many times. I'm conservative and traditional in many ways. Ideally, in a more perfect world, regardless of orientation and configuration, waiting until covenant would be best. Sex before covenant can really do harm. Sex, in my opinion, commits us to another. Our flesh speaks the words "I do". And when that is done outside of such a commitment, we lie with our bodies. Remember, for many early Christians moving into together and setting up house meant the two were married. Fancy ceremonies are really in many cases of a late date, especially for the peasant classes.
I've talked before of my failed relationships, sex outside of covenant with the two men before my partner. Waiting without the loving boundary of peers and community is nigh impossible. By the third date I found myself in bed (sex broadly speaking). That is the danger really for many gay Christians. Having loving peers who wish them happiness in a relationship, but who are also willing to just as with straight peers help them wait it out until commitment.
Even so, better to love. Were I've fallen, I've asked forgiveness, in my case, went to Holy Confession, and moved on. Some people become so scared by the mess, they never love.
Things are not simple or as ideal at present. My own commitment happened within the context of a process. We're both committed Christians--Lutheran and Anglican, but our covenant happened in process. I think the more your church supports a covenant approach, the more likely waiting becomes an option. My own tradition is getting there...my partner's lags behind on a national level though many local parishes will perform Holy Unions.
And pray, always.
His grace is sufficient for you...and ME...and all of us. This is how MUCH He loves you and is willing to submit to you. He submits to you by providing this abudunt GRACE. *heavy sigh* It's so incredible.
I know that there are ways in which you submit to Him....I'm not judging you...I promise...but....remember...this upside-down Christian counter-cultural life we are living calls us to submit...on all counts. I say this to myself in every way as I say it to you. I constantly have trouble in submitting. And yet, I am called to SUBMIT.
i love you!!!
His GRACE covers you...no matter what....
I KNOW this is MORE than difficult for you....and yet...i know that your desire for holiness and Godliness is not lost...and never will be...not matter what your choices in the meantime....
Is God like bipolar...or what????
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