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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pitching a Rainbow Cross: In Hoc Signo Vinces!


Why Talk of A Weakness, of "Sinful Disposition?"

To be clear, having a disposition towards your own sex isn't, on it's own, 'sinful.' When some people use the phrase "sinful disposition," they merely mean feelings and attitudes that could lead to sin. Sometimes, that's certainly the the case with gay attractions. Just like it's also the case with straight attractions.

Straight attraction is the 'good' attraction, we're told. But if you take a look at this good attraction, you'll see that the difference between chaste and unchaste can be hard to trace. There are plenty of confuzled teens wondering what they should feel about their budding, perfectly straight feelings, and getting very few perfectly straight answers.

A sinful disposition, in the true sense, would be Lust. Not only is harboring it sinful (because it means wallowing in or fabricating a feeling sexual pleasure,) either mentally or in reality, but it leads into greater sins of action. Of fornicating, of masturbating, or of usury over love-- even with one's own spouse. Yes, lust can exist within the carefully laid out lines of Holy matrimony! This is because staying out of sin isn't the equivalent of skipping over the cracks and coloring in the lines. That's why (without lust) I won't call not fitting into the cookie cutter of straightdom a 'sinful disposition.' 

I'll say that I don't tend to "identify" as gay. Until recently, I still quite disliked the word. I tend to use it more by convenience, as a adjective or to describe my experience, than as a reference to who I am. But, if attractions to the same sex is a weakness we need to remember that the Apostle Paul declared that he would "boast in [his] weakness" (2Cor 12:9), and admonished that we must "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (1Cor 11:1) He boasted PRECISELY of a "Thorn in [his] flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment" him! (2 Cor12:7)

To be clear, Paul DID NOT boast that this thorn was good or wonderful, and in fact claims that he "pleaded with the Lord to take it away from" him. (2 Cor12:8) But despite fervent prayer. the lord did not take it away, and that, in fact, is what Paul make's his boast! That he had a weakness he was too weak to carry, and that the Lord gave him Grace that was more than sufficient:"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2cor12:9-10)

"He didn't make you gay. He made you a conqueror in Christ Jesus!"

Yes, I am a child of God, and if he sees fit to take away any of my thorns, this or otherwise, I will rejoice. But thorns, wounds, scars are places where God can reach down and touch our lives, and so often, his touch leaves evidence of His divine healing and light. He heals, but he leaves a scar, a beautiful scar, as testament to his power. I would rather have a closed wound overflowing with his love and pouring out his grace than to never have a scar at all. Faults, surrendered to his love, are happy faults!

Nobody says to a climber, "Why do you speak of Kilimanjaro and Everest? Why give it any attention if it's an obstacle?" Or imagine talking to a proud climber who made it to the top, he's showing you photos of himself and his mates standing on the mountain: "I'm glad you conquered a goal, but why is there a mountain under your feet? Cut it out!" The obstacle is the source of glory. And, in the case of sexual attractions of any sort, being able to look, chastely, at the people around you with abiding respect and due wonder means standing at the peak.

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