side B Tag

Mixed Bag of Reactions

The PCA’s report on human sexuality sparked an interesting assortment of reactions when it came out last month. Revoice co-founder Stephen Moss called it a “solid resource for our denomination,” even as Denny Burk, who is publicly and passionately vocal about his opposition to Revoice, similarly praised the report as merely a re-articulation of the Nashville StatementSpiritual Friendship’s Ron Belgau tweeted a link by Kevin DeYoung that was clearly a jab at the report, writing, “This week on Moving the Goalposts.” But at the same time, Kyle Keating participated in drafting the report and is a contributor to Spiritual Friendship.

Pretty much every single “side b” friend of mine expressed a degree of muddled and disoriented feelings about it. Appreciation for some aspects, dismay over others, and general exhaustion at needing to break down the good, the bad, and the ugly—yet again—about another church statement on human sexuality.

I can’t possibly vocalize what everyone is thinking in the side b LGBTQ+ community. But I don’t want to be silent either. Christians of all stripes need perspective as they read this report. Hopefully more responses from thoughtful Christians follow.

What I'm saying in this post regarding sexual desire is pretty simple, but it's difficult for people to swallow. I'm saying that sexual fulfillment does not come through a sexual relationship but instead through sublimation to Christ. It's astonishing to me that this needs to be said, but it does. Christians will accept the fulfillment of virtually every single other desire through satisfaction in Christ and Christ alone, but when it comes to sexual desire, they stop short. Suddenly, we've got to find satisfaction through something else. Sure, they say, fulfillment comes through Christ. But sexual fulfillment? That comes through a committed, monogamous, heterosexual marriage. If we ever hope to create an effective response to our culture's rampant sexual indulgement, this absolutely needs to change. Sexual immorality runs rampant in the church because it forces its gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer members to follow the traditional sexual ethic but no one else. A celibate lesbian's take. LGBT+ people aren’t the only ones who need convincing about celibacy. And yet the conversational burden largely falls upon gay people in the church. Let’s face it. It’s easier to talk about what “they” need to do instead of what “I” need to do. So let’s shift the conversation and talk about the collective Christian us. The church. About 80 percent of evangelicals have premarital sex, and 1 out of every 3 born-again adults get divorced (which is the same statistical rate as unbelievers). Christian men of all stripes view pornography to the same degree as the outside world (in some cases even more), and roughly 60 percent of pastors use or have used pornography. We’ve become so calloused to the repercussions of sexual immorality, that even when a major evangelical leader admits to sexually assaulting a minor, his entire congregation gives him a thunderous round of applause. The latent hypocrisy behind these statistics destroys the believability of Christianity. It burns a hole through the heart of whatever relationship the church pretends to pursue with the queer community. And it reinforces the idea that celibacy does nothing more than cover up a deep-seated homophobia in the church. Like a foul-mouthed parent who expects their child to quit cussing, the church overlooks its own promiscuity while condemning its homosexual members for theirs. But it’s time for this to change.