The word holiness can give rise to thoughts of legalism. Or it can bring to mind the image of someone who is dower and puritanical - isn’t it a shame that the puritans didn’t smile for their portraits?! For example, when I was volunteering on the TFT speaking team a few years ago, I remember one of my colleagues being called a Pharisee - unfairly, I should stress! Rightly teaching what God’s Word says on ethics and godly behaviour can so easily cause this reaction.
David Bennett describes his life both before and after he became a Christian. He was attracted to other boys from the age of 14, and so had issues with Christianity because he felt if he was to become a Christian he couldn’t act on his romantic inclinations. He became a gay activist in Australia in support of gay marriage. Despite all this, David writes, “Jesus did not stay tidily out of my life.”
Some people who are single and/or attracted to the same sex find that physical touch is something they feel they lack. Therefore, feelings I began to have a few years ago took me somewhat by surprise. I became aware that I felt acutely untouched. I felt like I needed to be held. I felt like I had a craving for physical intimacy.
Preston Sprinkle (don’t you just love that name!?), is an author, teacher, and speaker with a PhD in New Testament. He’s written a gem of a book called ‘People to be Loved.’
Celibate same-sex attracted Christians, while accepting that they need to say “no” to their desires for sexual intimacy with another person of the same sex, often long for another way of meeting their God-given hunger for connection and intimacy with others. Behind this is this reasonable question: “Are there any healthy alternatives to sexual intimacy that will ease loneliness and physical isolation for celibate Christians?”
Is it wrong to miss what God doesn't desire for my life? Is it wrong to grieve a relationship that was sinful? Is there a way I can hurt AND grow in love for Jesus? Considering these questions, I want to give you three gospel truths I find helpful in these moments.
How long is it since you were disappointed in something, somebody or even yourself? Perhaps you are experiencing disappointment at this time. Disappointment ranges from serious life changing situations to minor ones such as the disappointment with my latest photo, which makes me look like an ageing fugitive from the law!
Within the Body of Christ, we have a family responsibility to one another as God’s children.
Vicky Beeching's book Undivided tells the story of her life as a teenager and then as an adult, struggling with marrying up her evangelical theology and emerging sexuality. This review responds to the revisionist theology woven throughout the book.