Having left our children and youth vulnerable in the area of sexuality, through silence and denial, we are quick to pick up stones and throw them at others who fall into sin in the church. Especially those who struggle with same-sex attraction—disregarding that it is quite likely because they were sacrificed on ‘the altar’ as children. We condemn them to hell without ever hearing their stories, their pain, their hearts.
Through neglect we create the ‘dragon’ we later spend much of our energy trying to slay. We chalk same-sex attraction up to ‘personal choices’—and, for those who choose the lifestyle, there is merit in it because we do have free will—but we neglect to acknowledge the ways we have failed to educate and equip. We blame
their choices on rebellion, which also has some merit, but we fail to see that it is ultimately the rebellion of a Christian culture against God, not necessarily, always and only, the rebellion of the person struggling with temptation or choosing that lifestyle. If he or she has been introduced to same-sex experience through childhood sexual abuse, it will often continue to be a struggle. So, while turning a blind eye to their childhood plight, we are quick to judge and abandon them later.
Christian ‘psychology’, loosely so named by me for the purpose of my blog post, and based only on detached religious/Christian opinion, would say, “surely the victims would be repulsed by such things and not engage in it later”. I’ve heard that argument. In reality, that is not how it works.
Go back to the truth that ‘sexuality is more spiritual than physical’, and it stands to reason that if you give a specific spirit power, then, in fact, it creates a bond that will potentially become a driving force. It opens a door to attraction that is unnatural—according to God’s obvious plan—and leaves the person struggling, possibly for life.
Even as believers we may struggle for many years against that attraction, through the awakening of something we should have never known. This struggle is not uncommon. I’ve heard it from women and men, including those in Conservative cultures, and those wearing white bonnets. It is a ‘humanity problem’, and a tragic consequence for childhood sexual abuse that is not appropriately addressed. Tragically, we have made it completely unsafe for these people to safely put their struggle on the table, unwilling to do the hard work of walking through the messy stuff of their experience with them. In this way we ‘sentence them’ to (more likely) falling into same-sex relationships, by not giving them a safe place.
Lest you are tempted to judge those who struggle, remember, any one of us could choose the homosexual lifestyle, whether we have been innocently introduced to it in childhood or not. To arrogantly declare otherwise is foolish. All we have to do is turn our hearts away from acknowledging God (Romans 1), and accept ‘this world’ view and humanistic thinking on the matter, and we open ourselves up to that.
To judge harshly those who struggle with the attraction, even though they choose either a heterosexual or celibate lifestyle, is not Christ-like. Particularly when many of us, and church leaders included, have secrets hidden in our own closets that we are not willing to expose.
I cannot help but wonder, if the reason the church has become hyper-reactive to those who admit struggling with homosexual attraction, is because we’re in a panic that we will be exposed if they stick around too long. We fear that God will require that we ‘come out of the closet’ so to speak, in the hidden things of our personal lives. Maybe, just maybe, if we—the church—did just that, things would change.
What if every leader, who is quick to judge and quick to expose or excommunicate, while hiding personal sins, would stand up and make confessions for the hidden sins, rather than demanding the other person do so?
What if Christian leaders would ‘lead by example’, rather than judgement? What if the world would see us living transparent lives, rather than religiously arrogant lives? What if the young man or young woman who struggles with same-sex attraction was not judged for the temptation, but pursued in love by Christians who realize it could just as easily have been them?
….To Be Continued….
© Trudy Metzger 2012
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