The topic of a Christian understanding of homosexuality and a Christian and pastoral response to homosexuality is related in some ways to a Christian view of singleness. There is a need particularly among Protestant Christians to revisit our view of singleness and how we communicate what it is we value in the local church. If most of our programming is geared toward marriages and families in ways that communicate a devaluing of the single state, we will (perhaps unintentionally) convey to the person who contends with same-sex attractions that they must attain heterosexuality in order to find a spiritual home in the Body of Christ.

Mark A. Yarhouse, “At the Intersection of Religious and Sexual Identities: A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality.”

I’ve had this quote, posted by sds, stuck in my tumblr drafts folder for a while now, awaiting a time when I’d have the chance to read the entire linked essay (it’s quite lengthy).

I thought when I’d first read it that maybe this quote above could have been taken out of context, but I fear I may still give the erudite believers among us too much credit.

While I applaud the essayist’s desire to encourage the church to be inclusive to those in a state of “singleness,” the idea that one would have to “contend with same-sex attraction,” as if it’s equal to the domesticated bloodlust of Dexter, strikes me as among the more offensive things one might say about their fellow human beings.

It’s like saying “Sure, be gay attracted to the same sex. But never act on it. Never allow yourself to love fully, or to be fully loved by another human, as you truly are. Deny yourself, your very identity, and this will be good, as it will enhance your relationship with Christ and give you more time to serve His people.” What a horrible and unloving message. At least Dexter found a way to release the tension every now and then, though I suppose we could argue that the Catholic Church’s support for celibacy has meant plenty of such “tension releasing.” Sorry, kids.

The essay also provides the following sterling insight:

Even when genital acts are experienced in the context of heterosexual marriage, they are still not the most important expression of love. Rather, the most important expression of love and intimacy in the life of the Christian is meant to be experienced in Christian community, in the church.

Maybe this is where the Church and I ultimately just could never get on the same page, but trust me when I tell you that even the most amateur handling of my ol’ twig-n-berries has been found to be infinitely more important and lasting than any Sunday service I may have spent being subjected to the institutionalized idea that Non-Straight People Are Better Off Without Sex In Their Lives Because Then There’s More Time For Loving Jesus.

Just… ugh.

(via danielholter)

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