Wednesday, August 24, 2005

8. Why

I’ve decided, in light of my little breakdown yesterday, to take a bit of a break from my reading. Probably only for a day or so though, because The Children are Free is sitting here, begging me to read it, and I don’t think I can hold off for very long.

I was thinking a bit about why I am doing this… why I am doing all of this investigation. I suppose it seems obvious to many of you who are reading this, but it’s kind of a new thing for me. I’ve been out (to myself at least) since I was 25, so it has taken me 5 years to actually try and figure this thing out. That’s kind of crazy.

I think the reason it took so long is fear. I kind of assumed that the answer would be celibacy, and I didn’t want to find that out for sure. I did look up gay Christian sites before, but I never looked beyond their homepages, for fear of being tempted… and I made a point of avoiding any gay functions, Christian or non… It sounds so ridiculous to me now. How I expected to live my life in such isolation from the only people with any real hope of understanding what I’m going through, I have no idea.

Well, that’s not exactly true… I have a small idea. I had this ‘hope’ that maybe I would die soon, before I had to actually figure it out. Before I had to face the prospect that God might deny me something I wanted (and sometimes felt I needed) so desperately.

Anyway, after a while it occurred to me that I’m probably not going to die anytime soon, so I have to face this. And as I faced it, I couldn’t hide from the fact that the prospect of a life of celibacy (I always feel the need to point out that celibacy means much more than a lack of sex to me) makes me miserable…and assuming that God loves me, He must want more for me than a life of misery, so maybe I am wrong about this celibacy thing. Or maybe there is hope in it somewhere that I cannot see.

So anyway, why am I doing this? I guess I’m just looking for hope.


Eric said...

yeah, there's hope out there, for both of us.

i avoided any gay functions too...clubs, parties, churches, christian gay websites. the result was even more loneliness...i couldn't connect in the gay culture and i could only connect in limited ways (in my mind) in the straight world.

i'm excited now to actually be connecting with gay people in various contexts - both christian and non-christian. not so that i can do "sexual" things, but just to begin to understand a little more about these people i avoided.

i avoided gay christian web sites because i assumed that they were compromising what i thought to be "truth" and so i didn't want to get wrapped up into that deception. i never got past the homepage either (if i went there at all). now, i'm taking an objective perspective - most are saying pretty much similar things.

have you read through the Great Debate essays over at GCN yet? (I've got direct links to them over at Two Worlds too). The Side A essay by Justin supports the position of committed relationships and the Side B essay by Ron supports the position of celibacy. I've ready through Side A and am almost done with Side B. Once i'm done i'll look at both and will most likely blog my impressions. Have those essays on your queue too!

JJ said...

It's weird, how we do that, eh? Avoid the only people who can grasp what we are experiencing... the only people we can know for sure won't judge us prematurely.

I've read both essays on GCN -- they were my starting point actually...well, GCN was my starting point. Most of the other sites I found took one position or the other (usually Side A), and GCN seemed to be more objective.

I look forward to reading your comments on the essays!

Eric said...

have you tried the chats in GCN? i tried the Side B chat last week. i just left the Side A chat - it was my first time there (the time isn't very convenient for me - not that it has to be)...i could only catch the tail end of whoever was left after the chat...

i'm having a hard time having some side A people (even people I know here in my city) explain to me what they really mean about what type of "committed" relationship that God blesses and in what context is sex okay (from their point of view).

on the surface it sounds great - that it's okay to have sex if it's marriage (gay), but i'm finding that people have different definitions of marriage and relationship and commitment.

i'm distinguising between commitment and covenant - covenant being a life-long commitment between and with God and both people. that's how i see marriage and so it "could" make sense in a gay context. but i'm finding some people say that it's all about what you feel in your heart.

that disturbs me.

JJ said...

I actually haven't had a chance to try either the Side A or B chats... I've been in the womens' chat, and the general one -- both quite fun. The Side A/B ones have just never been convienient (and I didn't know one was on tonight -- but I had company until just a little while ago so I probably would have missed it anyway).

I agree about the 'covenant vs committment' thing. To me, a marriage is a covenant, before God and man... and the only way I could conceive of having a relationship with a woman would be in the context of working towards a marriage covenant. I guess I am more of a fundamentalist than I would like to admit! :)

Nick said...

I was shocked to read that you were hoping you would die before you had to work this all out. You seem to be in a better frame of mind now, thankfully.

One thing I've noticed quite strongly, from both your posts and from the comments, is that you're relying very heavily on reading books and essays about this topic. That's not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but you did mention that (regarding the Bible, at least) you disagree with interpretations of God's will in this matter - that's how I understood it, anyway.
It seems that you're searching for an interpretation or a stance that fits with what you already believe. That's why I think it's important you find other gay Christians to actually sit face-to-face with. That way you can have decent discussions about what YOU feel, rather than what other people feel. Oh, and I just generally think that face-to-face interaction is more human and beneficial than online communication ^_^ I love the net, but it has its limits!

I have to admit, I'm surprised to encounter (albeit in a very limited way!) some well-adjusted gay Christians. The gay Christians I know personally are simply the most tortured people I've ever met. The only one who I'd consider a friend is a man who poured his heart out to me and then cried himself to sleep on more than one occasion.
Not being a Christian myself, I'd be lying if I said I knew what you were going through - not just you, JJ, but Eric and all other gay Christians too. But I do feel very strongly for you all, and if you ever need any help at all you only have to ask (I hope that's not too arrogant a thing to say, as it's all I can offer!).

JJ said...

nick, I totally agree that a face to face discussion is way better than books, or even the internet (as much as I love it!). I'm working on it. I'll be going to a gay friendly church on Sunday morning - I hope to make some sort of connections there. The problem is that I know a bit about this church, and I don't agree with their theology -- I guess this might be kind of hard to understand if you aren't a Christian. But I'm hoping that I will meet some people there that I can talk to.