Same-sex relationships


#1

Hi Tom, just wondering what your thoughts are on same-sex relationships?

all the best

  • Pat

#2

Like all relationships, they’re quite complicated.

-Tom


#3

lol I like that

But, without attempting to start any controversy here, I had a more specific question in mind:

Do you think that SS relationships are ever morally permissible? If you’d rather not answer, that’s fine. I’m just curious.

  • Pat

#4

I’ll stick my neck out. I’ve toyed with a Trinitarian argument against the ‘naturalness’ of same sex relations for a while. Don’t know if it works. But I’d love to know what you all think. I’ll just blurt it out with as little explanation as possible for now.

Basically I argue sex as an act of love is intended to reflect the Trinity and this reflection obtains in heterosexual relations and is undermined in homosexual relations. The ecstasy and pleasure constitutive of God’s own experience of himself hetero-ecstatic, that is, it is an intimacy between others, a celebration of diversity in oneness and oneness in diversity. This relationship was meant to be mirrored or reflected in the most powerfully intimate and pleasing of embodied experiences—sexual intimacy. The most intensely pleasing of embodied experiences was meant to instantiate as far as possible the oneness of the Triune love, and this is so in heterosexual love. It is not so in homosexual love. Homosexual love paradigmatically fails to reflect the diversity constitutive of divine love, that between ‘differences’. ‘Differences’ coming together to make one, not ‘sames’ coming together to make one. The needed diversity reflective of divine love is lost on same sex relations. Thus, homosexual relations are not God’s ‘intention’ for human sexuality.

Having said that, let me quickly add that human beings are hard-wired for relational and physical intimacy and homosexuals no doubt are exercising (as do heterosexuals) a God-giving drive for physical/sexual intimacy, even if in ways not intended by God. If for whatever reason (and I won’t venture to say what those reasons might be, whether genetic, whether societal, whether spiritual, whatever; this is where the complications TomT spoke of come in perhaps) a person finds himself averse to engaging in same-sex relations, it’s to be expected that they’ll seek that intimacy in a form less threatening, or more assuring and safe, than normally is the case. Whether the Church should affirm same sex relations as a morally acceptable even if unintended (creationally) form of sexual relations is another question.

Fire away.

TomB


Pre-marital sex
Pre-marital sex
#5

I think this kind of issue goes to the heart of the difference between a theistic and non-theistic worldview. If a particular God (or god) says something is wrong then the followers of that deity MUST also be of the opinion that the thing is wrong.

If the non-theists are right in their worldview then the theists may well have inflicted suffering on any person committing such acts as they feel are wrong (but of course that doesn’t matter because moral relativism will be true and so they won’t have done anything wrong as such… :smiley: )

That doesn’t negate the problem the non-theist has in justifying his/her own prohibitions of ‘wrong’ behaviour even though appeal can be made to common consensus (which brings up the thorny issue of things like holocausts etc…).

Both sides have their advantages and disadvantages (i.e. theists having to agree with their deity over things which they might not disaprove of in other circumstances and non-theists and the mire of moral relativism). You pays your money and you takes your choice.

I used to tell a story (true as it happens) of an orphaned 16 year old boy who for a time gave lodging to an older youth (of about 20 years of age). The older man was a homosexual (though the 16 year old didn’t find that out until a few years later) who acted as a father figure to the younger man and helped him with many difficulties at school (going to the school and remonstrating with the teachers there on more than one occasion) and also when he was depressed and scared.

The reason I know this story is true is that I was the 16 year old boy and I used to tell that story as a modern take on the story of the good Samaritan. The Samaritan was hated by the Jews and so are homosexuals by many Christians. This story doesn’t condone or condemn the 20 year old but sees him as a human being in whom there was obviously some good. However many Christians would just counter with ‘all our rightousnesses are as filthy rags’ :cry:


#6

There are many ethical duties and restraints taught by Jesus Christ that would not necessarily be arrived at by reason apart from belief. This explains why followers and non-followers will always differ in ethical questions. The same is true even within Christendom: witness the differences between Roman Catholics and Evangelicals.


#7

Forget atheists and non-evangelical traditional (and/or liberal) Christian traditions…

…I’m talking EVANGELICAL homosexuals. Come on. I mean persons who are straight up Evangelical except for the sole fact that they’re gay. They are out there.

Tom


#8

I suppose there are “evangelicals” that consider premarital sex to be legitimate as well.


#9

I suppose gay-evangelicals are probably as lose as your straight-evangelicals when it comes to pre-marital sex. Dunno. I’m just wondering what we do?

T


#10

** Yes, and I suppose there are “evangelicals” who consider universalism to be Biblical…**

Pardon my sarcasm, but I felt it was appropriate to convey my point. Some actual evangelicals believe that the Bible does not condemn non-marital sex per se, and many of them would be offended that you’re putting them in quotation marks. They may (or may not) be mistaken about non-marital sex in the Bible, but they’re still evangelical.

An evangelical accepts Jesus’ divinity, Jesus’ sole role as savior, salvation by grace through faith, Biblical authority, etc. One can accept those things and also believe that non-marital sex is okay.

Let’s be fair here.

peace

  • Pat

#11

** Yes, and I suppose there are “evangelicals” who consider universalism to be Biblical…**

Pardon my sarcasm, but I felt it was appropriate to convey my point. Some actual evangelicals believe that the Bible does not condemn non-marital sex per se, and many of them would be offended that you’re putting them in quotation marks. They may (or may not) be mistaken about non-marital sex in the Bible, but they’re still evangelical.

An evangelical accepts Jesus’ divinity, Jesus’ sole role as savior, salvation by grace through faith, Biblical authority, etc. One can accept those things and also believe that non-marital sex is okay.

Let’s be fair here.


I disagree. That’s your opinion that I am not being fair. Why should I live by your conscience? Why should I care if they are offended? Many were offended when Martin Luther King called out the racists of his day. I have every right to believe that non-marital sex is sin, and I won’t apologize for it. I have the right to believe that someone is not a Christian that is involved in unrepentant fornication.
The Apostle Paul said that there are many that won’t inherit the kingdom of God:
9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
peace


#12

Nobody said you should.

Racism necessarily hurts the people affected, but non-marital sex does not. But I realize that your point was that sometimes offending people is an unavoidable consequence of telling the truth.

I did not say or imply otherwise.

I did not say or imply that you should.

My point was that, in every other respect, they’re evangelicals - at least according to the usual definition of “evangelical” that I’ve seen. They don’t “repent” because they honestly don’t think they need to. They don’t believe that the Bible condemns non-marital sex. That belief doesn’t reduce their “evangelical” status. But you’re free to disagree…

Also note that somebody can affirm non-marital sex without ever engaging in it. A celibate person could affirm non-marital sex without being “involved in unrepentant” sin.

The word translated as “fornicators” is “porneia”, which usually broadly referred to sexual immorality per se, which raises the question of which sexual acts are sinful. For you to assume Paul included non-marital sex begs the question.

He may have included non-marital sex, just as Paul may have meant to imply eternal damnation in Thess 1:9, but that is beside the point. I’m talking about people who uphold Biblical authority (as well as the usual ideas about Jesus and salvation) but who simply have a different interpretation on the issue of sex outside of marriage. I don’t think that makes them less evangelical, but I’m also beginning to think that it doesn’t really matter.

best wishes

  • Pat

#13

And all of that is off topic . Hopefully we can get back to the topic of SS relationships.


#14

Yeah, SS relations!

TomB


#15

It’s actually quite relevant, for if fornication is a habit that excludes one from the Kingdom, it’s a pretty serious topic!
Who teaches among evangelicals that you can have sex outside marriage?


#16

I’m sure straight sex outside of marriage is an interesting topic. But it’s not relevant to gay sex really. What about gay couples practicing monogamous sex in marriage? Or what about celibate gay persons? There are some gay persons who embrace all the evangelical faith commitments, who also agree to monogamous sex within marriage, but they’re gay.

Kaviraj, any thoughts on my trinitarian argument? Make sense? Is there anything to it? The essential point is that the BEAUTY of divine relationality was meant to be reflected in creation, in particular in the ecstasy of physical union. That was meant to be a union of ‘others’ or ‘differents’, not of ‘sames’. So can we say that gay sex is “less than intended by God” or “a less than fully beautiful form of union” and then accommodate ourselves accordingly? In the end you render a verdict or judgment of sorts on a particular ‘form’ of sexuality anyhow. If that’s really the Biblical ideal, then fine. Let’s say it. But if not, how?

TomB


#17

Are you claiming that “straight sex outside of marriage” is what fornication refers to? I would like to see the evidence for that (if that is what you are claiming). I find it hard to believe that God would permit a sexually active single life for gays but not straights! As far as celibate gays, isn’t that what all single people are called to (celibacy)?


#18

Suicide bombing is also an important topic, but not the topic of this thread. The topic (and even the title) of this thread is same-sex relationships. Some pro-SSR authors believe that sex is reserved for a life-long relationship, and that sex within such a relationship is sacred. For example, the founder of the Gay Christian Network (GCN*), Justin Lee, believes that God blesses lifelong SS relationships and that sex outside of marriage is wrong.

  • GCN is meant to be a “safe haven” for Christians that are gay in orientation. It does not officially endorse any view on SS relationships. Some members believe that gays are called to celibacy, while others believe that God affirms SSR, while others are unsure]

Maybe we should start a new thread

best wishes

  • Pat

#19

still thinking :slight_smile:

  • Pat

#20

To follow up on my own post:

I highly recommend Justin’s paper at gaychristian.net/greatdebate.php

At that link you will also find an article by a celibate gay Catholic who has opposing views. They’re both good articles.

  • Pat