A War of Loves: The Unexpected Story of a Gay Activist Discovering Jesus
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Suddenly my identity no longer centered on what I desired sexually; it centered on Jesus Christ and his costly and abundant grace.
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Why would someone give up their same-sex desires and their hope for romance, unless they’d found something higher?
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God, not marriage, was to be our ultimate desire.
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I knew in this moment that marriage was something innate to God’s own image and his intention for our humanity. He had made them male and female to reflect his glory. It was beautiful.
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“Love is love” doesn’t mean that much semantically, and it provides no definition of what love actually is.
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The God revealed in Jesus Christ is the definition of love.
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God’s love should displace all others and occupy the primary space in our hearts. It is, simply, what we were made for.
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“The New Testament views the church—rather than marriage—as the primary place where human love is best expressed and experienced.”
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homosexuality is not an evangelistic issue. It is a discipleship issue.
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If Jesus was celibate and the ultimate example of human flourishing for all of us, gay or straight, then isn’t it clear that celibacy is not an inhumane sentence for gay people like me but actually a legitimate, and even honorable, choice?
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John was at the cross with Jesus. He was the only disciple who remained faithful and stayed with Jesus as he suffered. Their bond pointed to a future reality—a love that every Christian would know with God and, one day, with every other Christian in eternity.
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No Christian should carry a cross alone, and if someone is, the church is not fulfilling the law of Christ, as Paul talks about in Galatians 6:2.
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The reality is, Jesus’ call of discipleship is a claim on all of our lives.
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To be attracted to the same sex is not a voluntary behavior, as many have incorrectly argued. Instead it is a result of the creation-wide effects of sin.
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Very few same-sex-attracted or gay people report that when they become Christians, their desires simply disappear. Rather, as in my story, many find that God gives them a special empowering grace to be celibate.
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The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality. It is holiness.
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As a gay celibate Christian, I recognize that Christ is my ultimate identity; gay and celibate come second. My identity is first and foremost in Christ, but those other two descriptors tell the redemptive story of God’s grace in my life.
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I placed the word gay under the lordship of Christ; it is no longer a competitive identity to “in Christ” but a beautiful reminder of my submission to his lordship over my whole life, including my sexuality.
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The gay community is made up of people who are loved by God and need to be told about the love of Christ and the gospel. Are Christians willing to reach out to and enter our world to share and connect?
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Unless we learn how to accept others without affirming everything, we have lost the art of conversation, because we’re suppressing our honest opinions.
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We can accept and affirm people without agreeing with and affirming all of their desires or beliefs or accepting their actions.
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love without truth is not love at all. And truth without love? Well, it’s not truth.
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Whatever we worship shapes our identity. It could be sexuality, vocation, family, or gender. Whatever it might be, we were made to cleave to God for identity and meaning.
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What the Western church needs is a new identity that recognizes that Jesus isn’t just a peripheral interest. He’s the center of everything.
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Boaz is an image of Jesus, who redeems us from our old identities with his covenant love.
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When we can move beyond seeing homosexuality and same-sex desire as part of a culture war we must (or can) win, we may finally see the people behind the smokescreen of identity politics, truly loving them with the kind of love God has shown us.
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If our love for God is real, every one of us must be willing to give up anything in response to his love so it can be transformed, including our sexuality.
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Will we receive this free gift of salvation but insist on controlling our own lives? Or will we follow Jesus wherever he takes us and allow him to define our choices? This is the ultimate war of loves. It is a war for our trust and for our worship.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
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as the author of Genesis writes and then Jesus reiterates, God created us as male and female so we would reflect his image together.
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Adam needs Eve, and Eve needs Adam, in order to image God. They cannot socially or biologically work without each other. They are incomplete without God and without each other.
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marriage is framed by God in the Scriptures as solely between a man and a woman. Claiming it can be anything else is to argue from scriptural silence.
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exchanging the image of God for another image in anything we do (as expressed in male-male and female-female pairing, as Paul outlined in Romans 1) represents a rejection of God himself.
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Same-sex erotic desires are part of our fallen humanity.
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I listen to my same-sex desires as part of my more fundamental craving for intimacy with God and others, and I also deny them in deference to desiring God’s image, will, and person.