First things first. I believe that one’s sexuality is chosen, i.e. one’s sexual actions are within their control. While who we are attracted to maybe innate, acting on those attractions is a choice. (I have always been attracted to blondes. I married a brunette. Guess what attraction I am no longer permitted to act on…)
This post is meant as an admonishment of the church and our failure to curb what I view as an epidemic of children choosing what sexuality they identify with before they even are old enough for serious adult decisions. It is also an admonishment of those who just stand by and “approve” of these choices because it is the politically correct thing to do. Same sex attraction is not a sin. Acting on that attraction or allowing that to define your very existence is.
What prompted this post was a post by Rachel Held Evans on child sexuality:
But it reminded me of one important, reality-based fact: Most people begin to recognize their sexual orientation when they are just kids, when they are young and vulnerable like this little girl.
My dislike for Rachel Held Evans is well documented. She is a very talented writer who is also a post-modern thinker. She believes in Christ, in as much as she has stated that. But she does not preach Christian thought. She preaches a moralistic therapeutic deism. Frankly, she should start her own “christ-centered” religion instead of co-opting Christianity. But it helps her sell books, get likes-clicks-shares, and she is a prominent voice in the modern church. So it works for her.
That said. Her “reality-based fact” is hardly so. It is a perception. It is fed by stereotypes. It is grossly wrong.
I have always been creative. Writing stories. Writing songs. Creating music. Putting on a show. It has always been in my DNA. When I was younger I took figure skating lessons because I was in Canada and my family couldn’t afford hockey equipment. My favorite color is purple. (Why? My dad’s was red. My mom’s was blue. And I understood a color-wheel)
I love the theatre and Broadway (Don’t even get me started on Mary Poppins, the London cast versus the New York cast). I sang in choir. I rocked speech/debate. I didn’t develop a strong affinity for sports until later in life.
According to our current culture I should have embraced my “sexuality” at a young age. I was bullied when I was younger because of my “lack of manliness.” I was never good at fighting, but I have always been excellent at killing someone with my words and sarcasm. But this is where the evolution of a lie happens. You see. I love women…now. But when I was in 3rd grade and 4th grade girls are pulling my pants down at recess to “experiment” on me, I can’t say that the whole sexual thing appealed to me. Of course, I wasn’t gay…I hadn’t even experienced puberty yet. But the evolution of a lie told me that I was not normal. That is what the devil does. That is what the over-sexualized culture tells us. I was nine years old…I wasn’t supposed to even like girls yet. But when you see Magnum PI enjoying getting in the shower with a woman. Shouldn’t you enjoy it too?
And that is where the words of Rachel Held Evans are damaging. And where we really fail as a church sometimes. As a church, we have to be willing to address and have the conversation. Especially in a culture where an eleven year old boy can make a YouTube video “coming out” and be treated like a rockstar. I have never seen a culture not only willing to jump into hell but so good at cheering on others willing to do so.
Take a look at the pro gay anthem by Macklemore, Same Love:
When I was in the 3rd grade I thought that I was gay. Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight. I told my mom, tears rushing down my face..
She’s like, “Ben, you’ve loved girls since before Pre-K!” Tripping, yeah, I guess she had a point, didn’t she? A bunch of stereotypes all in my head.
What would Rachel’s response have been? Don’t worry. God made you that way so I love you. And she would help feed the lie.
Before we can address the lie we have to know what the lie is.
The lie is two-fold.
1. That a man who loves theatre, draws, or sings isn’t manly.
This is what we call a stereotype. And creativity and being artsy has nothing to do with sexuality and everything with being who God has created us to be. God, as creator, created beautiful things. Beautiful songs. Wondrous talent. King David, best known by secularists for his inappropriate love of women, was also an artist who the Bible describes as ruddy. Don’t know what that is? Fair skinned. Not exactly a manly descriptor. But he was a man after God, the Creator’s heart. He probably still didn’t wear pink though. But you get the point.
2. That our sexuality should be our identity.
Imagine if the best descriptor of me was that I prefer sex with women. That was it. That was the end all/be all of my identity. Nothing else was prominent enough.
God created sex. It is wonderful. When a man and wife have sex, it is the closest and most vulnerable they will be with each other. They know each other. This knowledge is deep and profound. But it is used to create life not an identity.
I talked earlier about how the church does a poor job of talking about abstinence in our culture.
But, as a church, when we accept these two lies, we help the evolution of the lie.
When we adopt Rachel Held Evans’ viewpoint. We help to feed it.
So, what do we need to do? Embrace truth not run from it.
When our sons and daughters ask us questions about sexuality, we need to be prepared with truth. Instead of freaking out, we need to understand what is really being asked.
Why don’t I fit in?
A child who doesn’t have a sexual thought at 10 is asking about why they aren’t normal or why they don’t fit in. They are looking for answers. The truth is that at one point or another none of us fit in right. It is the awkwardness of dealing with other humans. As adults, we experience the same problems.
I don’t understand my thoughts?
Our mind is a weird place. We think a lot of weird and bizarre things. But thinking doesn’t mean we have to act. In fact, there are a lot of internal battles in our conscience that we have to control. That process is a part of growing up as well.
Something happened I don’t know how to explain or talk about?
Whether they happened on a pornographic website. Or were molested by a family member, friend, or playmates. Somethings are hard for a child to digest. And there are a lot of people in the gay community who have deep pain from a robbing of their innocence. We have to understand that we live in an evil world and evil people like easy targets. That is why they prey on our young.
God has not called us to sin. He has not created us to run afoul of his laws. And we control our actions.
So, let’s speak truth to the lies.
And let’s speak that truth in love.
And let’s embrace the fact that God is a Creator. And a man who is a creator is not automatically afoul of God’s law. In fact, we can harness that in the church. The church used to be the place where creativity reigned. Where art and theatre were financed. We have lost that, to much cultural detriment I might add.
And most importantly we should never let our sin be our identity. Because it is never our identity to Jesus.