Seeing Sexuality in the Bigger Story

I got a road bike recently and have been swallowed up by the joys of cycling. It’s the closest I’ve come to feeling like I can fly—spinning through the air on sunny spring days. But it can get pretty windy in Dallas, and fiercely pedaling into the resistance can be defeating. Sometimes I start to feel sorry for myself in the misery. I knew this was going to suck when I looked at the weather earlier; what was I thinking?? But every time I descend into self-pity, I quickly remind myself: “I’d rather be on a bike in the wind than not on a bike at all.” Every time. The truth of the statement sets in and I’m catapulted back into the thrill of riding my bike. While fighting against the wind might not be as enjoyable as zipping through still space, it’s infinitely more exciting than sitting stagnant in my house. So I pedal on feeling revitalized by the reminder. Image

When people find out I have attractions toward women that I don’t necessarily believe God will change, they almost always ask me: “Julie, if God doesn’t change your attractions, why won’t you just accept it as the way you were created and enter into a relationship with a woman? Why would you deny something as natural as loving another person, and resign yourself to a lonely life of singleness?” My internal answer is something like this: I’d rather be on a bike in the wind than not on my bike at all. I’ll flesh it out before you make conclusions that take it too far.

I’m on an adventure with Jesus. Every morning I awake to a new invitation to respond with a resounding “yes” to His invitation to play with Him. I see the whole world through the eyes of the Scriptures; I’m united with Him when I’m with kids in the hood or friends on front porches; I’m stirred to wonder when I’m lost in the mountains or standing by the ocean. Every moment of my life is amplified by other moments of choosing the way of Christ—they inform one another and play into one another. The more I say “yes” to Christ, the more unappealing everything looks that falls outside of His way. I don’t believe my salvation is dependent on the extent to which I do or don’t align myself with the way of Scripture, but I do believe my joy (and intimacy with Christ) is dependent on that, because I believe His laws preserve us. 

Previously I’ve take two paths with regard to my sexuality that robbed me of the joy of the adventure. The first was when I accepted my orientation as a God-given gift and entered into relationships with other women. Lightening didn’t strike me and I still knew the Lord, but I didn’t experience the oneness I feel with Him now. The other path was when I tried to white-knuckle myself into heterosexuality by taking all the steps I thought I could take to control my orientation. My focus was misplaced on both paths, and my choices to take things into my own hands detracted from every single aspect of my life. Rather than taking things into my own hands to either fulfill my desires or remove them completely, I’ve come to see my sexuality within a larger story: The story of God’s eternal quest for restoration and invitation for us to merge in if we choose.

The doorway into His story starts with us laying everything on the table and saying: “It’s yours, Lord.” My time is not mine. It’s a gift He’s entrusted to me, and I have a daily choice to spend it for my own pleasure or to use it toward His quest for restoration (though I’m finding those two aren’t mutually exclusive). My money is not mine. My body is not mine. My sexuality is not mine. I can claim them as mine and run around acting like I have rights—a right to experience a robust marriage. But my experience has been that, while I might still have a relationship with Christ either way, the thrill of intimacy I experience with Him is forfeited when I take matters into my own hands and put my immediate desires above His bigger story.

Of course my days are filled with failed attempts. I can embody Silas Marner with the best of them and hoard my money for shiny toys from REI. I frequently make myself unavailable because “I don’t want to be bothered” by precious people that might need an ear. Does God love me any less when I stumble into selfishness? No! But I believe I miss out on a load of joy when I replace His ways with my “rights”.

We’re all in the same boat when it comes to the invitation extended to us to lay it all down to follow Christ’s way. Homosexuality seems to be moving into a separate compartment with the rise of acceptance in our culture and churches—a compartment that makes concessions for gay relationships because it’s clear no one chooses their orientation. I’m grateful there’s been a rise of acceptance of gay people because the shame and alienation that used to pervade stifled the souls of those of us who never chose their attractions in the first place. But I don’t see where the leap to acceptance of gay people means we should shift our view of what Christ calls each of us to do: lay the entirety of our lives down and say, “It’s yours, Lord. My money is yours, my time is yours, my future is yours, my relationships are yours. It’s all yours, and I want it all to be used to paint a picture of your beauty.”

Even if I didn’t experience infinitely more joy in aligning myself with His way than I had when I was on my previous paths in life, it would be worth it. It’s worth it because this life is short, and my life is so small when I see it on an eternal scale that culminates in Him making all things new. Yet I’m grateful for the life of vitality He grants me, nonetheless—it’s so much easier to say “no” to my immediate desires now that I’ve walked this path long enough to see the abundant fruit of it. So when I’m asked how I can possibly say “no” to something as natural as sharing life with another person, I can only say this: I’d rather be single on an adventure with Jesus than distant from the one I love most.

54 thoughts on “Seeing Sexuality in the Bigger Story

  1. Hi Julie,
    If someone feels drawn to a life of marriage with another human being, that is part of their divine calling. When God calls two people together in love and commitment in marriage, the bible says they should only take a short season apart so they are not tempted. I believe you may be living in that short season right now, and that God has someone for you with whom you can love God and her in a way that will make both loves better and stronger and more wondrous. In my former church we had two warm wonderful women who loved the Lord and one another for nearly 60 years when they were finally able to legally wed in our church. There was not a dry eye in the house because we could all feel the love they shared with each other, the Lord and their children and grandchildren. So, who knows? That may await you.

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    • Jerry, there are many people who have been called to live a life of celibacy, a life that Paul says is above married life. Julie has chosen this, and has chose to build her life in firm, doctrinal things, and not the fleeting whims of sexual and physical desires. A life built around desires, whether sexuality, passions of the heart, or physical things, never satisfies.

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      • Thanks for lookin’ out, Derek! I owe you several lengthy responses as you’ve been so thoughtful in many of your comments. Thank you for your support and encouragement; I’ll be in touch with more hopefully tomorrow.

    • Jerry! While I’m not on the same page regarding a future marriage to a woman awaiting me, I’ll receive it as a compliment that you hope the best for me in the future. I, too, hope for a full life filled with many years of sacrificial love, though I think we might have different ideas of what that will look like. Regardless, I think you’re an extremely kind man and I have utmost respect for your tender spirit toward me!

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    • Great to hear from you, Caroline! There is absolutely no sweeter spot in the world. I’ve been so moved lately to think about the way the Lord has so gently drawn me to Himself through the years. I feel like I’ve done nothing but kicked and screamed and tried to regain control, but I can see now that He’s been so tender and gracious every step of the way. I’m just filled with gratitude for the way He seeks our good even more than we do, and is so faithful to lead us into places that far exceed the tiny worlds we dream up for ourselves.

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  2. As an avid cyclist (and I love my road bike too, I must admit), all I can say is that I would take a 20+ mile bike ride with you on any road, any day… as long as we stop to consider the rivers, examine the sky, listen to the birds, shake hands with strangers and kiss the ground with our feet. Julie, you know I find your perspective highly offensive… and I will speak out in favor of a more welcoming and healthy interpretation of the Christ… but I will continue to extend an open hand in your direction, as I believe you are a victim who was brought into a co-dependent religiously abusive environment, at a vulnerable age and time in your life. (Much like I was). When you are ready for that bike ride, you will find me willing. Namaste. P.S. After our meeting last week, I road almost 50 miles, just sorting out my current call to singleness and integrity. I relate to your tenacity, but integrity and suppression are not the same.

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    • I thought about you quite a bit during my bike ride this morning, Gail. We’re 100% on the same page regarding your last point about integrity and suppression being very different things. I see integrity to be a commitment to remain steadfast to that which is worthy of our utmost admiration and affections. Sometimes remaining steadfast involves saying “no” to a particular desire in order to fulfill the greater desire—much like a married man who would say “no” to the flirtation of his secretary because it’s ultimately a “yes” to the woman he loves most. Is he suppressing his desire in that moment where he turns down his secretary? Perhaps. But it’s because the ultimate aim of his affections are expressed in the “yes” to his wife implicit in the rejection of his secretary. I see my relationship with Christ to be worthy of that kind of steadfast commitment. If it was some sort of white-knuckle-it-obedience fueled by a begrudging spirit, then I would agree with you that it would be a sort of suppression that’s not honoring to God. But when it’s coming from an honest heart that wants to do anything and everything I can to express my adoration of Him and His ways, then I see it to be an expression of love—a response to His goodness. While I might not always have that spirit, it’s my aim. And I do believe He’s honored in my desire to exude it more and more with each day. Anyway, like I said in my message earlier: I really appreciated your kind spirit in this comment!

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      • You know full well why I think you thought about me a lot on your bike ride ;) Nonetheless… I have to think you were meant for more than celibacy and that Jesus is less interested in your restrictions and more interested in abundant life, but at this point, it seems you’ve chosen a definition of abundance that doesn’t involve human companionship. That is your choice, or perhaps God’s choice for you… but I thought of you too yesterday, when I heard a song called “Unfold” by Marie Digby. The song focuses on allowing someone to love you… someone real, in the flesh, who can mirror that unconditional love you find in your faith. It is possible to experience that in a same-sex relationship regardless of what the cultic Christianity has taught over the course of the last few decades in this country. To be loved, regardless of what you do, but for who you are… I wish that for the young people in your charge and for you. As many mixed messages emerge from those who suppress, try to change or otherwise divorce themselves from their God-given desires for intimacy with another person, I trust that that you will not lead your young people to a life of depression and end up with their lost lives on your hands, as many former leaders grieve. If they choose to follow their hearts and a version of spirituality that allows them to believe in companionship with the same gender, approved and pleasing to God, I hope you bless them… and do not shame them. They are not quitters. They are people who love and live with open hands, receiving blessings in various forms, unafraid to risk and unashamed. Far be it from you or anyone to steal that from them or interfere their sacred relationship with God. (Careful the things you say, children will listen…) For them, for me, for many, it is in fact, a sacred under-taking, to let someone in… and offer our bodies in sacred relationship, with the same gender. The native people called the homosexual Two Spirits and looked to them to be shamans and deeply grounded, wise people. Long before fundamentalism grew toxic weeds on our shared land, the Two Spirit person was seen as… holy. On your next bike ride, consider how the Earth can tell that story. The Earth and all that exists upon it, which some could say is the Creator’s greatest accomplishment, tells a story of Love, Justice and Mercy. On your next ride, while it suits my ego that you might think of me… see if there are any right angles among the trees. Consider if there are any black and white, rigid perspectives among the bees. And when you find yourself, on your knees, grateful and connected, consider if the loneliness is not a temptation, but a realization that you could be meant for more… or if not you, others. Perhaps celibacy is a way of hiding so deep in the Sacred that you cannot get hurt. It is safe. But is it… ideal? Wishing you well, always. I’ll be watching it all “unfold” for you and your youth… and praying for protection of their mental and emotional safety, as well as yours. Namaste.

      • “what cultish christianity has taught for the last few decades”? why are you lying? It’s hardly cultish Christianity it is ALL Christianity for the last 2 000 years. And homosexuality is approved and pleasing to God? says who? Not according to the God of the Bible. And as far as Natives, be careful to sweep them under the same brush, different tribes had different ideas about this. You’re certainly free to think and believe whatever you want, but if you lie about the Bible and what it says, you are, according to Jesus, serving the Devil, because he is the father of lies. Noone should lie about what it says to fit their own beliefs. It is by far more honest and upright to just plainly say you disagree.

      • Erg, I don’t miss being called a servant of the devil. Egads. Nonetheless… in response to Marianne’s personal attack on my character or soul… I study under Crow, Cherokee, and Choctaw elders but hundreds of tribes for centuries, openly affirmed the sacred state of homosexuality. It just took the “white man’s burden” and their toxic foods and religion to undo our connection to the land, our connection to our bodies AND clearly, our connections to one another… question everything you’ve been taught. There is nothing to be gained but sacred wisdom that need not interfere with your PERSONAL commitment to a Christian expression. Much of Christian Fundamentalism interferes with forming authentic connections to anyone unlike yourself and thus, is functioning like a cult… any faith that restricts you from seeing someone as inherently worthy of his/her own experience of faith and humanity is not faith, but a cultic version of something that was once quite Sacred, a.k.a, perhaps in the years immediately following the Christ’s death. It was leaders like Hitler (who also claimed to be a Christian) who taught creation to look at one another and see someone as “different” and “less than,” not Jesus’ teachings at all. Careful, the damage it does to your mind, to believe you are better than another because of your personal choice of spiritual expression. That is one thing we are all responsible for… the faith we choose. And if it excludes or causes another to stumble into a life of depression or rigid hatred of those unlike them, that is part of the definition of a cult.

        My elders, my faith and even my dear mom and dad taught me to treat Creation with respect, as it is a reflection of the goodness that is in the world. I am a native soul by choice and now by integration from elders who see me as one who bridges the gap with the white man’s race. And that is the type of spirituality I embrace… those that truly extend open hands into one another’s tribe and say Aho and Welcome. Inclusive spirituality …

        Marianne, even you, would be welcome at a drum circle or on a bike ride, regardless of your judgment of me. There is no devil about which you speak other than the devil of divisive faith… I hope you become inspired not to serve that devil of your choosing. While we can argue who has choices in sexuality, no one can argue that our spirituality is in fact, a choice. Choose wisely. Young people are taking notes and history will determine what is said of us. Aho, amen and namaste.

      • you are Native “by choice”? right… I know a thing or two about Natives, whom I love btw, and I would def not consider you native because you think you are. That I can tell you. I can also assure you that all natives do NOT agree on this issue. Also, I didn’t attack you personally. I called you out on lying about Christianity. Calling the rejection of the practice of homosexuality recent and cultish. That is a lie. And you’re also continuing to lie claiming that Christians do not accept ppl for who they are. Yes, they do. But Scripture has a completely different view on this issue which is not aligned with yours and the VERY recent agenda of the LGBT movement. Furthermore, Jesus spoke about him though, and the necessity to reject evil and warned of getting lured into it by temptations. I think most Christians prefer to believe what Jesus had to say on this, not ppl who defend breaking from what the Bible teaches.

    • Hi Jessica. If it were up to me, I would ride that far daily! Ha! Riding to get ice cream seems a lil’ counter-intuitive but I’m not saying I’m above it. ;) As for my mom and dad being dear, yeah, they are pretty special people. My mother is an all-out saint and while my father was far from perfect, in his death, I was able to truly connect with the spirit of his life and even wrote a book because of how impacted I was (It’s called Enlightenedish, just released this week. He died Sept 2011, unexpectedly.) Anyway, I think any child would find a way to honor their parents, in whatever ways they can, as long as they grow up being taught that their own perspective matters, ya know? I’m an Exective Director of a nature-based preschool so I work with young minds (and families) daily and investing in their social and emotional intelligence is what leads to open-hearted and well-rounded citizens. We have some amazing children who, even as they test limits, always find their words in order to resolve conflict. (Okay not ALWAYS ;)) Anyway…

      Thanks for reading through my comments. I am finding it hard to come to this blog knowing that my perspective is rare, as even one person questioned the fact that I study under native elders who initiated me into their tribe just last year. It’s hard to know that my perspective of the Christ needs to be challenged by those who are comfortable with not expanding. I have never been a person who was afraid to expand in my faith… So, how I describe the Christ is that it is a Life Force that has been present in Creation long before the Bible was even written. Creation didn’t start with the Jews and won’t end with the Christians. I see that the Word, that is the Christ, has been here long before we could box him up into the person of Jesus and will surpass all of our understanding long after we are gone. It is higher than us all, honestly. It isn’t Source but it is… a pathway through which some can find great peace and hope for their lives… but it is not the only path. I am not afraid to say it this way – the Christ is actually bigger than the 33 years of Jesus or the 2000 years of the church. We are nothing compared to that energy until we realize we can engage in something bigger than our individual faith traditions. In fact, even when I date, I hope to meet someone less like me, rather than someone who sees the world just as I do, because I believe the diversity of faith enhances my individual experience.

      And this is probably where I lose most people who identify as Christian… ;) But… you asked so… there ya have it. Namaste, Jessica. See ya on a bike ride too, energetically/spiritually, since not-so literally. Pass the ice cream ;)

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    • Thank you, Marianne. I’ve only come to understand the “His laws preserve us” part because I’ve bucked against them enough times to experience tremendous consequences. Who am I kidding—I STILL buck against them and am the worse for it every time. Hopefully there will be less bucking and more submitting with each day that passes!

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      • and remembr we all in some way or another. we’re on this journey to learn and experience His Law/Love. Andthough I haven’t had the same struggles as you, I have certainly learned that everytime I stray (fall for what the world teaches) and excuse it it only brings me down. God bless you. Your heart is definately in the right place.

  3. “I’d rather be on a bike in the wind than not on my bike at all.”

    That explains so well why I am in the relationship I am with my partner, despite the numerous people who are the “wind” who say I can’t be Christian or moral and have a marriage and family with him.

    Wherever your wind lies, it’s not about that- be strong, and be with Jesus, as he has been with me.

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    • Interesting take on the wind analogy, Alex! hahah I appreciate you sharing your experience with kindness and not being judgmental toward my posture in the process. I know it’s probably frustrating to read someone like me considering the love you have for your partner, and I’m grateful you’re willing to celebrate my process with the Lord in the midst of your differing views. Thank you for that!

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      • It took a while to not be judgemental, but I am hopeful seeing this new crop of people who are on their own path and aren’t preachy and judgemental themselves about it to others. And I’m hopeful for those who seek celibacy rather than being “ex-gay,” they have a much better chance!

        I wish you well on your journey, not knowing where it will take you!

      • Thank you, Alex! I understand why you might be skeptical. Hopefully many years of a lot of people living honestly and treating others with dignity will begin to bear fruit down the road. So grateful to play some small part in all this!

  4. Great post and a important reminder to die to ourselves daily. The battle is the same for all for who experience the reality of the new life in Christ. I wake up each morning with a battle mindset because my old nature wants to come back to control my life. I have to daily fixed my hope on Christ and what he has promised for me. It does not matter what aspect of our earthly fallen nature that we are fighting against because it is in essence the same fruit that was offered to Adam and Eve which is self-rule which looks so inviting but always lead us to spiritual death. It can be greed, pornography, greed, homosexuality, self-ambition, bitterness, malice, pride, gluttony and ect since they are all originated from our old sin nature. I have been studying all the New Testament passages pertaining to the old life versus living by the Spirit for a greater understanding. I have given in at times because I had believe the lie that our latent sinful desires will offer us something better than Christ. It is natural to feel this at times because we are trapped in a body that longs for them but we have the mind of Christ that knows the truth as the Holy Spirit reveals it from the scriptures. If we hold fast to our confidence then in time, we will see God unfold his plan for us which much better and give us life-giving eternal fulfillment not the temporal happiness that the world lives for but always ends. It is not about feelings but a firm conviction which is about faith in Christ and his promises. Don’t limited God on what he can do and wants to do with us. Just continue to trust in Christ so that the right time we can reap a harvest that outweighs the struggles.

    Galatians 6:7-10 “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”

    1 Peter 1:3-4 “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”

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    • Living by the Spirit is difficult, indeed! I find I’m so quick to want to control things, but like you said: a simple trust in the goodness of God is the most beautiful way to spend our days. Your words about maintaining and openness regarding how He’ll move are good words for me to hear tonight. I’m always quick to make claims about how things will go based on logical reasoning, but God doesn’t confine himself to the reason of man. He’s so much bigger than the boxes we place Him in and I want to remain open to His surprises at every turn. Thank you for sharing, Albert!

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  5. Following your convictions, whatever they might be for the time being, is challenging. Especially when those convictions have you committing to singleness when your desire is for relationship. I hear your heart and greatly appreciate your desire to lean into and press hard after Jesus and his ultimate will for your life. You are a strong woman of faith, to be commended for that for sure. Keep on pressing into Christ. Thank you so much for sharing…

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    • Thank you, Trista! Your encouragement is always such a blessing–“real talk” as my kids would say :). I’m blessed not to burn with a desire to be with someone, but there are always things vying for my affections that make it difficult to follow my convictions. I think we’re all in the same boat with that. I’m just so grateful for His grace to me every day as I mess it up and try to make life all about me!

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    • James, it’s a blessing to hear from each person who’s “with me” in this pursuit of Christ. Thank you for taking the time to remind me there are people all over the planet who are running after the same Lord.

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  6. Such a sweet and tender writing. The Lord has truly blessed you with clarity on His desires for your life. His children truly do recognize the voice of truth and respond.
    Lord- I pray that You will keep Julie just as You have been. Keep guiding her, keep directing her, keep correcting her, and keep loving her.

    Phil 1:6 6 being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

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    • Your kindness is undeserved and SO appreciated, Bill. Thank you even more for your prayers. I was so grateful this morning as I though about how God has “kept” me through so many ups and downs. I hope and pray He’ll keep keeping me for years and years to come, and I’m grateful for the reminder that HE’S the one who begins the work in us and HE’S the one who is faithful to complete it. Praise God it doesn’t fall on our shoulders or the load would be unbearable!

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  7. Hey Jessica! A relationship with Jesus has definitely fulfilled me more than anything else in the world—it makes everything else even more beautiful. As far as the gay gene goes: the best research seems to imply there are many things that play into the formation of a sexual orientation, including a genetic predisposition of sorts and various developmental circumstances. It’s probably different for each person, but I don’t like to rely heavily on the developmental piece because it has often been used to imply parents did something to cause their child to be gay. That doesn’t seem to be the case and it can create shame among parents. I appreciate the fact that most honest researchers will say we ultimately don’t know why people end up gay. Regardless of how a person ends up with a gay orientation, that becomes their reality. So I think it’s most important to look at how to best steward our sexuality once it IS developed rather than looking at how it came about. I’m not a researcher though; I just plagiarize those who do all the diligent work :).

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  8. Thank you for your post. I appreciate that your relationship with Jesus means more to you than your personal desires.

    The statement that His laws preserve us seems very biblical. Jesus said all the Law hangs on love for God and neighbor. Paul said that whatever command their might be is summed up in loving neighbors as ourselves. Reading the Law, though, I see that God did not forbid female homosexuality. He didn’t even mention it, even though he gave some female-specific sex laws. My belief is that if female homosexuality was a sin, God would have said so long before New Testament days when most of human history had already taken place. There’s only one verse in the entire Bible that might possibly be used to condemn it (Romans 1:26), but even that verse does not say *who* women did unnatural things with or to. We mentally add the phrase “with other women,” but the text does not say that or even specify what the women’s unnatural behavior was. Nature itself shows animals engaging in homosexual behavior, so I don’t think Paul would’ve referred to the whole of homosexuality as against nature, especially since God didn’t forbid all of it in the first place. (I can’t imagine a just God condemning people for doing things he specifically did NOT forbid.)

    I admire your respect for the Law, so I encourage you to revisit the Torah regarding sexuality to see 1.) what God forbade / called sin, 2.) what he regulated without forbidding or condemning as sin, and 3.) what he didn’t see fit to even mention. Also consider the life stories of OT heroes such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and Gideon. Allowing the OT to speak is a very eye-opening experience. Many things religious leaders classify as sexual sin are absent from the sin list in God’s Law and in what he chose to rebuke in the lives of the saints. I believe there’s no way God drastically missed the boat in defining sexual sin for most of human history.

    Thank you for considering my thoughts.

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    • To read the Bible without knowing historical context or even look at Biblical context is bound to lead to misunderstandings. You have to understand that sex was considered only lawful within marriage in ancient Israel. Women were virgins until they married, if not they were considered “loose” women and this was a sin. Marriage was only between a male and female It was never between the same sex. The whole definition of marriage was based in the Creation story of Adam and Eve. Furthermore, re: homosexual sex in animals; it may occur, but it is far from common. There are also a whole lot of other things animals do sexually, like a cat may try to have sex with his mother and so on. Animals didn’t eat from the tree of knowledge between good and evil, hence they are innocent, unlike humans. Only humans are created in the image of God and only humans have specific laws from God. Adultery, fornication, etc. all of it, outside the marriage, was condemned. And yes, Jesus said the Law was summed up in loving God and your neighbour, because that is what following the Law means. He also said that Scripture cannot be broken (ie. the Hebrew OT texts) and he also spoke about marriage. Jesus never said the Law wasn’t valid, he was Teacher of the Law.

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      • Marianne,

        I agree that humans were given specific laws from God, but some of the things you say are condemned are not actually forbidden by the Law or rebuked by God as He speaks to people in the OT. I encourage you to read the Law and note exactly what it does and does not forbid. I agree with you that context is important. I still recommend reading OT life accounts for that reason.

        I believe that defining acceptable (non-sinful) domestic relationships *only* according to the creation story misses what the whole of scripture demonstrates. For example, the creation account does not provide for singleness or polygamy, though both of those are demonstrated to be acceptable options in scripture. Genesis also says that a man shall leave his father and mother, but no one would say that God *requires* a man to leave his parents if they are unable to care for themselves.

      • Jamie… please.. that was the most awkward excuses to justify it ever. If you don’t think homosexuality is wrong you can state that you disagree with the Bible, because you do. And you would be honest. It is never ok throughout and condemned as a serious enough sin to warrant the death penalty. I’d say that lying about what Holy Scripture says to justify what you do, is worse than even doing it.

  9. I am speechless and humbled by your example and the love you exude towards others who disagree with you. I have been going through my own walk away from a life of ssa and you and others like you, have softened my countenance as I struggle with my own desire to follow Jesus. It sometimes feels like I am riding on a pedulum- attracted to Jesus and then attracted to the human nature which is in opposition to Him. Although I beleive ssa is sin no one seems to like that word anymore as it has so many horrible connotations , but to me sin is missing the mark of what God’s will is or His ‘law’ which is love or His intent for us. And ultimately stating the truth bluntly, which is what I do most of the time, does not benenifit the hearer and I applaud you abliity to reach the heart and go beyond doctrine.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing such an encouraging word with me, Kathy! You’re not alone on the pendulum ride; I think we all find ourselves swinging back and forth when it comes to such deep and personal questions with huge implications for our lives. But there’s something beautiful about living in the tension because I think it’s where we experience Jesus in some of the most intimate ways. Thank you again for your kind words!

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    • Jessica, please forgive me for not responding more quickly. The only way my husband and I “stay on our bikes” is to take each day as it comes. This is definitely a long ride, not a quick sprint (sorry to mix metaphors). When I find myself struggling I stop and make a point to see/reflect on what is going on. Am I tired, bored, angry– it is usually when I feel this way that I get into trouble.
      Prayer, honesty with trusted people, and recognizing my triggers helps keep me on my bike.
      I hope this helps you. Just remember, we were NEVER designed to go through struggles alone. Find a safe community where you can share, be encouraged and held accountable and develop community for those moments when you struggle.
      Blessings to you and keep me posted. I’m glad to pray for you as well. :)

      Reply
  10. We all have our own truths that mean something to us, and no one else can fill in these parts of our identity for us. We cannot universalize our unique experiences to include or affect all people. I think you have a truth that you are living for and I value you for coming to terms with your identity with such determination and passion. I respect that you want to give yourself up to Christ, and I think that a lot of the good facets of Christianity are often trivialized and/or forgotten because of stereotypes in the media or people who represent the religion in a bad light. You make a good point: you value your relationship with Christ more than earthly possessions–whether that’s in the abstract or physical. Definitely respect your opinions and I also have come to terms with my identity and sexuality in a different way. I serve my Lord and communities in other ways–and that’s ok because our experiences are not universal, they are unique to us. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Reply
  11. Wanted to clarify… I mentioned the theological side of things not out of a desire to debate theology but out of compassion for Julie and others with similar experiences. I don’t want to see anyone carrying burdens that God has not given them, following restrictions that are not found in scripture. Realizing that you don’t have to choose between intimacy with God and intimacy with another person is a profoundly liberating experience. May you know the freedom He has given you, and may you love Him all the more.

    Reply
    • Hey Jamie! Thank you so much for the kind manner in which you presented your theological views on all this. I don’t have the brain power right now to respond to the points because they were very insightful and require a lot of thought and research, but I don’t want to pass on the opportunity to express how much I appreciate the spirit of your post. I’ll do some reading/thinking about the questions you raised, and will respond more when I’ve got a fresh mind. In the mean time: thank you for contributing to the conversation the way you have.

      Reply
  12. Dear Julie,

    It is my first time reading your blog entry, and I am thankful that God leads me to your blog. I have been a devoted reader of Matt Moore, and his story and sharing really inspire me! Today, I discover your blog and this post touches me a lot as well.

    Although there are still a lot uncertainties going on in my life ahead, and sometimes I have doubts about my faith in God, especially concerning my sexuality, I definitely know that it is time for me to think more about my relationship with God.

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post and I will keep reading your other posts. I am sure God will use what you write to touch me, teach me, heal me and inspire me. God bless you and your works for Him.

    Have a very nice day!

    Yours,
    Sam

    Reply
  13. Hi Julie:

    Thanks for sharing some of your journey with Christ. I read your story and your feelings about things as it relates to your being attracted to women. You referred to it as a “gift from God”, and as I think about it, I think you’re very badly misguided on that point because homosexuality is not in accordance with God’s purpose for human sexuality.

    Now I am clear that being attracted to someone of the same gender and acting out on those feelings are not one and the same. I believe that it is quite possible for people to have SSA and not indulge their fleshly appetite by yielding.

    You seem like a very nice and loving spirit, and I wish you well in your walk with Christ. By the way, I’d love to ride a bike for 50 miles too! :-)

    Reply
  14. Julie,

    I recently ran across your blogs.. I enjoy them immensely and agree more often than not. I have a quick, honest question. What I am hearing you say in this blog is that you can be gay and Christian. You can even be gay and in a God honoring relationship. But for you, personally, you feel closer, more in tune and more alive in your walk with God by being celibate and single. The question is 2 fold. Did I read/hear you correctly? If so, do you think that could be true of ALL human beings, gay or straight, or just gay?

    Thanks so much!

    Reply

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