Since coming out to the world of social media the other day, I have observed a lot of people discussing what my theological and ethical stances are on sexual desire and expression. Some folks have asked me questions about this directly, and others have simply affirmed and honored me for stances they perceive I am holding. I generally welcome the feedback and conversation.
Nevertheless — as much as I think it is important to weigh our beliefs and practices against scriptural teaching, and to discern how to humbly follow Christ’s leadership in these areas — I want to be clear that I was intentional about avoiding the opportunity to define all my stances in one post. I have PLENTY of opinions related to all things at the intersection of LGBTQ issues & faith… There are a couple of those opinions I’m sure I won’t be quiet about forever. But all of that ultimately is not the hill I want to die on.
For one, I don’t want to always play into the silly culture war — if I can avoid it. Secondly, I simply don’t need to tell the whole world what I think is right. I’ll more likely share about that with folks who share in common with me some fundamental assumptions about the very nature of truth. I can’t expect everyone to live the way I live when we don’t have the same core values or give allegiance to the same sources of authority.
Beyond that though, I could also just say this: It wasn’t an ethical or moral stance that made me fall in love with Jesus in the first place. And it wasn’t the tossing out of an ethical or moral stance that helped me figure out how to get more free from shame or how to grow more integrated as a person. I’ve long wanted far more clarity and resolution about all my “stances” than I’ve been able to find. But that has apparently never been a big priority to Jesus, in comparison to His own insistent pursuit of my simple trust. Our connection is thriving, and that doesn’t rise and fall on what an amazing job I do at managing my sexuality, coming to correct doctrinal conclusions, or identifying myself according to any expected criteria. Our relationship is covenantal, not contractual.
For the record, if you want to know if I’m “pure” or not, I can answer that in two ways:
— On the basis of my own merits and performance — Nope. I don’t have any purity to assert. The quality of my lifestyle, behavior, convictions, and intentions would not earn me anything in the big scheme of things. Feel free to assume the worst.
— On the basis of how Christ has so generously and thoroughly transformed the very essence of who I am, bringing me into holy union with Himself — 100%! I’m dead to sin and as pure as can be (Romans 6:11, 2 Corinthians 5:21). I’ve got His own righteousness flowing through my veins (even on my worst days), and I did nothing to achieve that or make it happen.
It is “because of Him [I am] in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption…” 1 Corinthians 1:30. He chose me (John 15:16). And He offers His full embrace to all humanity (2nd Corinthians 5:19-20).
My biggest conviction is the same as Paul’s… “Indeed, I count everything [that brought me status] as [dead to me] because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. [May I] be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which comes through trust in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on trust” (Philippians 3:8-9). That is ultimately the only thing that puts my heart at rest.
Wherever you are in your own process, I hope your heart will find its rest in that place of security too.
In Christ alone, my hope is found…
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.