I was brought up in a loving, moral, church-going family and benefitted from Christian input at Sunday School from a very early age. From around about the age of 10 or 11 I became very conscious of being attracted, both emotionally and physically, to my male school friends rather than to my female school friends. I hadn’t chosen to have those feelings and I spent most of my teenage years fighting against them and tormenting myself with guilt over them. Finally, aged 17, I reluctantly started to identify myself, inwardly at least, as being gay.
A well-meaning Christian friend put this question to me and I confess that it made me quite angry. I was surprised by the strength of my reaction and have spent some time subsequently reflecting both on the question and my response to it.
God is love (1 John 4:8). This truth about God is used by some people to argue that, therefore, God must approve of any relationship that our culture defines as loving. But there are two key flaws to this argument.
On 12th May, the Lord willing, I will celebrate my twenty-fifth birthday. Before anyone retorts that I haven’t aged too well, I mean the anniversary of my being born again. The day God graciously “rescued [me] from the dominion of darkness and brought [me] into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1:13).
Enjoying God and experiencing satisfaction in Christ are exciting elements of the Christian life. In addition to enjoyment and satisfaction though, St Paul makes this assertion in 1 Timothy 6:6: “But godliness with contentment is great gain”
Do you like God? Until recently, I had never been asked that question. But author Tim Chester posed it in his opening talk at TFT’s 2016 National Conference. Does it matter if I like God? The most important commandment, says Jesus, is to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ (Mark 12:30). Nothing about liking God. Like him or not, surely I just have to get on with the business of loving him. Don’t I? He is, after all, God.