Side B

There are many different opinions on the subject of homosexuality. In secular circles (at least in the USA), there seems to be a consistent viewpoint, but that is not the case for Christian circles.

At a high level, there are those Christians who believe that the Bible is clear that same-sex sexual activity is sinful, and those who believe that verses in the Bible that condemn same-sex sexual activity are either mis-translated, taken out of context, or not applicable to modern society, and thus don’t believe that same-sex sexual activity is inherently sinful. (Recently, these two viewpoints have been referred to as ‘Side A’ for those who don’t believe that the Bible condemns same-sex sexual activity, and ‘Side B’ for those who do.) These two views are very different, and often are the two sides people think of when they think of ‘The Debate’ that Christians have about homosexuality.

But looking deeper, there are another two sides that people also debate. That debate revolves around the question: “Is a homosexual orientation or attraction to the same sex inherently sinful or is that orientation/attraction okay if that person doesn’t act on it and avoids all same-sex sexual activity?” Both sides agree that same-sex sexual activity is sinful, but the debate basically boils down to if same-sex attracted Christians should actively try to change their orientation to attempt to become completely heterosexual, or if they can simply live a celibate life. These are the two viewpoints that I have found myself in as I have grown and tried to understand my own struggles with homosexuality.

Growing up in junior high and high school, I mostly just ignored it and tried not to think about it. I didn’t understand much about it, and just assumed I would still be able to date a girl once I felt I was ready to date. But, time went by and most people I knew dated and even got into serious relationships. As I started to consider what my future would look like, I realized it wasn’t something I could ignore any longer, and I wasn’t just able to date despite it. As I left high school and started college, I realized that my same-sex attractions were preventing me from dating at all. I had zero attraction to girls and would not have felt comfortable attempting to date. So, for the first few years of college, I tried hard to suppress all same-sex attraction that I had, and praying to God to take it away from me.

The problem here is that God never promised to take away any and all temptations that we deal with. If we could get rid of all temptations by asking God, we could become sinless, something that only Jesus is. Just because I ask God to take away my homosexual attraction doesn’t mean that He will. And yes, I can train myself to look away and clear my mind of the sexual temptations just as a straight person working to stay pure/faithful, and I have worked to do that, but doing that is not going to change my basic attractions.

It was very difficult thing to accept. Yes, it was a relief because I did finally stop beating myself up simply for the attractions I had, but it meant embracing the reality of celibacy. This means that I very likely won’t ever have a family and kids of my own, something I had always just assumed would be part of my future when I was younger. This was a lot lonelier of a path than I expected to have to endure, but I do now believe that it is the correct path for me to be on.

One part that was the most disappointing to me was the silence from the Christian communities I grew up in. The taboo nature of the subject within the church ultimately made me scared to open up to anyone and attempt to figure everything out on my own, something that caused me to go through a lot of hurt before ending up where I am today, and I imagine others in similar situations have also been very hurt by the way many in the church approach the subject.

On the bright side, I have seen more churches and people in churches be more willing to talk about it. My church has had a very good sermon on the subject and have also had a message on the subject for the college ministry fairly recently. Unfortunately they happened a bit too late for me, but I do hope they can be helpful to people who struggle with same-sex attraction and still don’t know exactly what they are going to do about it.

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