Sunday, 22 March 2015

Love is an Orientation - An excerpt

So I went to Pelangi Pride Centre yesterday and borrowed Andrew Marin's Love is an Orientation. I've heard so many good things about it and was not disappointed.

Here is a short excerpt from Chapter 1:

"Through all these outward Christian successes John's soul was scarred because he thought he had to keep his attractions a secret. Daily he wondered why God would let him have these problems. He had decided at age fifteen, when the attractions first began, that he would earnestly pray one prayer every night: "Lord, when I wake up in the morning please just let me be straight like everyone else."

John prayed that prayer every night until he was thirty years old. And every morning for fifteen years he woke up dejected and broken because he still had the same attractions he never wanted in the first place. By the time I met him he was thirty-four years old, and like many others in his situation had determined that one of the two conclusions must be true.

The first possibility is that there is no God because he had not answered the one prayer they ever prayed. A number of people I have known over the years were initially terrified by the realization of a same-sex attraction that they gave up all other desires. They wanted nothing for their birthdays, Christmas or any holiday other than for God to take these feelings away. I have also known others who have substituted superficial desires - material goods, popularity, etc. - in place of their intimate desires so as to try to cover up all of the pain and shame they felt for being attracted to the same sex.

Too often the intense pressure of getting rid of these gay erotic thoughts from either extreme overtakes people's lives and dominates their existence for so long that it's all they can think about. This perseveration consumes their entire being and, with so much persisting hurt and pain, they wonder why, if there is a God, he would let them suffer so much. There must not be a God after all.

The second possibility people come to is that if there is a God, perhaps he is not answering their one prayer because they are already condemned to hell for their same-sex feelings. If that is true, people such as John believe that they might as well fully immerse themselves in the gay life because it doesn't matter one way or the other.

And what struck me as so significant about these two thoughts was the fact that the man sitting in front of me pouring his tortured heart out was the former student body president of the most well-known evangelical university in the country! At that moment I realized this topic was no longer the "battle of all eternal sanctity" as I had always been told it was. This topic, just like John, is about building bridges to those among us whom we let go without a second thought."

Where I belong

At my first church, I felt like I was part of a family. Until it wasn't. A guest pastor had come from New York and made a homophobic...