‘In this you rejoice, though now for a while you have suffered grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and glorious…’ (1P 1:6, 7)
I met my two friends in downtown Portland (OR); we three warriors in our late fifties, fighting for our integrity as husbands and fathers in light of our history of same-sex attraction. Burnished by cultural opposition and everyday losses, we have found together that our sexual weaknesses, submitted to Jesus and to each other, have made us strong. Through the Cross, what threatened to defile us has divinized us.
Strange to discover that around the corner 1300 ‘gay’ Christians were gathering at the annual GSN conference to celebrate all things homosexual in Jesus’ name. No longer a contradiction in terms, ‘gay’ Christians flourish today. To do so, they must bypass the Cross by splitting off spiritual commitment from sexual identity and practice.
How else do you explain this rather bizarre musing of a former Exodus leader who recently ‘came out’ as a ‘gay’ Christian? ‘Yes, I could see myself with a man; yes, I could see myself with a woman; yes, I can see myself being celibate.’ So many options, so many gods.
In contrast, my friends were leveled by the Merciful one who met both of them in the throes of homosexual adultery. Rather than justify their behavior by invoking the ‘new normal’, these two entered the fire; they underwent the stern and splendid task of becoming like Jesus by dying to idolatry and living for Him and the commitments they made in His name.
Their wives thank them; their adult children now thank them; broken members of their churches to whom they offer healing thank them. Lined with holiness, leathered by resistance, their handsome faces are lit from within. They live grateful lives, raised daily by the glorious One. They are golden.
In a Church so worldly that it cannot articulate why ‘gay Christians’ are a contradiction, we need their witness. It is golden, the hope of future generations. ‘Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be may be refined, purified, and made spotless until the end…the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.’ (Dan. 11:35; 12:3)