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Not that there’s anything wrong with that

March 21, 2019

To see where where the complementarian argument of Not heterosexuality but holiness is headed, see the 2015 article at The Gospel Coalition (TGC) titled Godliness Is Not Heterosexuality.  In the article Pastor Ed Shaw complains that Christian parents don’t want their children to become gay like he is:

I was recently on a panel talking about same-sex attraction at a large Christian conference. One of the questions I was asked was a thinly veiled version of the one question many Christian parents most want to ask me: “How can I stop my children from being same-sex attracted?” or (as no one has really had the courage to put it) “How I can I stop my child from becoming like you?”

It’s a revealing question. The number of times I’ve been asked it (always in roundabout ways) demonstrates how great a fear it is for many Christian parents—to raise a child who might be sexually attracted to their own sex. It’s not something they want to have to share in the Christmas letter in years to come—either openly or by what’s clearly left unsaid.

The great hope is that they’ll be able to write of happy marriages, numerous grandchildren, and continued involvement in a good evangelical church. They don’t want to have to say instead that a child is gay, that there won’t be any grandchildren (at least, not in the conventional way), and that their son or daughter is now part of some LGBT-affirming church (if any church at all).

What they want from me is a few simple steps they can take to stop that from happening—ban their young son from playing with his sister’s dollhouse and discourage that sister from playing football when she’s older.

Shaw explains that Christian parents shouldn’t be concerned with such things.  What they should be concerned about is that their children grow up to be holy, and being gay can make them holy.  He quotes another pastor whom he says gave the right answer when asked how to help prevent children from being gay:

So I was helped enormously—hopefully like everybody else listening—by the reply of another panel member at that conference. A heterosexual minister, he runs his church’s support group for same-sex attracted church members. He’s also the married father of two sons. He said something like this:  “We, most of all, want our boys to grow up as godly and mature Christians. Some of the most godly and mature Christians we know are same-sex attracted. So why should we be so afraid of them growing up as same-sex attracted?”

I was flabbergasted by this reply. It finally blew apart my wrong presumption that same-sex attraction and godliness, like oil and water, don’t ever mix. It made me recall that some of the most godly people that I’ve ever known have also experienced same-sex attraction. In fact, one of the Christian leaders I most respect as godly has been made so through his struggle with same-sex attraction.

…that panel member is a parent whose main ambition for his children is the right one—godliness, not heterosexuality. I’m sure it doesn’t mean he’s praying his boys will grow up to be same-sex attracted. But his reply showed he has what we should all care about in our response to the gospel of grace—Christlikeness. Being like Jesus is the true biblical definition of godliness.

Shaw is one of three gay Christians who run the site Living Out (along with Pastor Sam Allberry and Sean Doherty).  This is relevant because while Shaw isn’t speaking for Allberry in the TGC article, posts on the Living Out website speak on behalf of the three of them.  The article Does Living Out support ‘gay cure’ or ‘conversion therapy’? makes it clear that Living Out has the same objection to the idea that being straight is somehow better than being gay:

Why we do not support the idea of ‘gay cure’

1) Homosexuality is not an illness. But using the language of ‘cure’ makes it sound like it is, which could be very damaging to vulnerable people (such as a young person coming to terms with their sexuality), making them feel ashamed of who they are at a very deep and fundamental level, and perhaps in some cases even contributing to suicidal feelings. Thankfully, we are not aware of any organisations in the UK which do support the idea of a ‘gay cure’. Our belief is that all of us have fallen sexual desires (whether heterosexual or homosexual), and that what we need isn’t more heterosexuality or less homosexuality, but the holiness found in Jesus Christ.

2) Attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation assumes that being gay is somehow more problematic than being straight. We believe that heterosexuality as we encounter it in this world is just as fallen as homosexuality. If a person changes from lustful desire towards people of the same sex to lustful desire towards people of the opposite sex, that is in no sense an improvement. So, attempts to change sexual orientation could be a distraction from the real goal, which is sexual purity expressed either in fulfilled marriage or in fulfilled singleness…

Keep in mind that Denny Burk, the president of the CBMW, co-wrote a book arguing against conversion therapy because the goal should be holiness, not heterosexuality.  At the same time Burk asserts that homosexual desire is sinful, and that the idea of a gay Christian identity is wrong.  Yet he also has declared that Pastor Sam Allberry of Living Out is a man the Lord has raised up for our time.  This kind of pretzel logic is exactly what complementarians have traded in for decades regarding feminism, and they are now doing the same thing regarding homosexuality.

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Post Information
Title Not that there’s anything wrong with that
Author Dalrock
Date March 21, 2019 3:23 PM UTC (4 years ago)
Blog Dalrock
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