Living with an identity you can't walk in

Something has been bothering me for a little while now, and I feel compelled to put some thoughts on paper.  You may have heard of side A and side B Christians, terms commonly used to describe the two main approaches to Christian sexuality.  Side A promoting the idea that you can be an openly gay Christian, and side B teaching a more traditional biblical sexual ethic, of being same-sex attracted but remaining celibate in order to honour God.

Clearly, I do not agree with the side A Christian argument; I believe that the Bible is clear on holy sexuality and homosexuality.  You may therefore think that I fall firmly on side B, yet I can tell you that I don't.  Why?  Because I believe that many proponents of side B theology are missing a fundamental truth.  The truth that Jesus is in the business of transforming lives.
Let me try and explain this.  Jesus came so that we could have life in its fullest, some translations of the Bible say in abundance.  I do not believe that God expects us to put up with second best.  By that I mean I don’t think that he wants us to live with an identity that we can't walk in.  By calling myself a gay, celibate Christian,  am I not putting myself in a position where I will always be troubled and never be fulfilled?  As a gay, celibate Christian I'm always going to be answering questions such as, “what do I do with my sexual feelings?”, “how do I express my sexuality in a God honouring way?”, “how do I fit in to a church society that is predominantly heterosexual?” and the inevitable question “Why me Lord?”

If, however, we can take a step towards the renewing of our minds, to see ourselves simply as Christians whom God has forgiven and who wants to give his best to, our mindsets start to shift.  I'm not saying that all of a sudden, we start pursuing heterosexuality.  What I am saying is that because our hearts are postured towards Jesus above our sexual identity, we can ask him to show us how he defines us and start to live in his truths.   In fact, truth be known, I believe there is a danger of many side B Christians finding fulfilment in their identity as ex gay Christians, over and above finding their identity in Christ.

I have personally pursued Jesus on this and I know for sure Jesus doesn't define me by my sexual attractions, which I 100% recognise were a product of many factors of my upbringing.  Thankfully Jesus sees me totally differently, and I'm grateful of this, because otherwise it would look like he was leaving me in limbo with an identity that I couldn’t walk, and honour him in, at the same time.

I believe that he gives us our hearts desires and I have started to see Christians of the same mindset as me dating someone of the opposite sex, something they wouldn't have dreamed of just a few years ago.  I would argue that it was their shift in mindset that allowed them to dream and opened them to the opportunities God was opening up to them.

But let me be clear, it's not all about dating, what I have also seen is Christians truly at peace with their singleness.  These are Christians who have found communities which both support them in their unique journey out of LGBTQ+, and a local church context where they are finding a place of belonging.  Christians who are emerging as confident men and women of Christ, pastors, evangelists, prophets, teachers and apostles.

I believe we all are free to make choices as to how we pursue our own faith and I respect everybody’s right to do so and identify as they feel led.  But I do want to highlight my belief that God changes us and equips us to live fulfilling lives in line with the identity that he has given us as Christians. We don't have to settle for second best, we don't have to live our lives tied to an identity that once defined us in our sin, we are free to be who God created us to be before sin took a hold and twisted our understanding of God’s truth.

I am neither a side A, nor a side B Christian.  I am a Christian pursuing God, excited to walk into new paths, unsure as to what the future holds, but confident that whatever it is there will be no confusion as to where my identity lies.

Who the son sets free is free indeed John 8:36.





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