17, closeted and otherwise exceedingly boring...

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Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
March 1, 2008, 12:30

Hi William

So you speak about being disjointed. It appears to me that it is I that did not make myself clear. I’d like to respond to your thoughts, but I regret it is a bit of a long post.

One thing you said was: “…I think there have been more than just a few developments in the last decades.”

I obviously wrote this clumsily. My point is that on one hand people don’t change over generations yet on another hand, they do. King David lusted for Bathsheba and had her husband killed in battle so he could marry her. There are also men today who do evil things for sex, implying that not much has changed.

However, on the other hand, society changes so much with each generation that I don’t dare assume that another person’s experience is the same as mine.

William, you also said: “On a more serious note: I think that sex is something that needs to be saved for marriage.”

I believe you said earlier that you will never marry. Therefore I assume you are pledging a life of celibacy. This is a noble stand and one to be honoured. However, celibacy is fraught with dangers too. The Catholic priesthood has been a poor example of celibacy, in that many priests have been convicted of sexual crimes. (I wrote more on this in my reply to Sandy).

William, you also said: “Regarding Matthew 5:28, I find that it does the exact opposite to the thing you described – rather than nullifying adultery by equating it to lust, I believe the intention of the passage was to raise lust to the level of adultery. Lust, I think, does not refer to mere sexual attraction, and as such cannot be said to be something people invariably do naturally, and we must have some level of control over it. Therefore, if we are expected not to lust, then we are also expected not to engage in extra-marital sex.”

Isn’t there a fine line between sexual attraction and lust? If lust is a strong desire for someone (an Oxford dictionary definition), what do you call a weaker desire for him or her? Is that sexual attraction? And how do you know you are sexually attracted if you have never lusted?

Jesus was addressing the Jewish law of adultery by challenging the Pharisees who thought they knew it all. He told them they were committing adultery in their minds. That’s why I say it’s ok because it is common to everyone. However, I left myself open to criticism by leaving the idea there and not addressing the consequences of adulterous sex. It breaks up relationships and marriages and can cause a lot of grief. It’s not an ideal which I’m sure is why it was a commandment in the old law.

I remember the pinnacle of my bible college experience at age 21 when I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I abstained from impure thoughts and deeds for 5-6 weeks. I sometimes had to get up at night to read my Bible to save me from myself. Such discipline had a big impact on my life and my attitudes to sex. It may have saved my life but it also made it extremely difficult to come out as a gay Christian man. Self-discipline is an excellent quality that we should all aspire to, but we also need to address how we will repond if we don’t achieve self-discipline. Failing is one of the greatest burdens a person experiences.

William you also said: “sex simply isn’t something that deserves such a blasé, carefree attitude that dictates it can be given without considerable commitment.”

I respect your desire and I assure you I have never viewed sex in blasé terms. To me sex is an expression of love. However, I have met and worked with many men for whom casual sex is a way of life. Many of them no doubt are silent members of this website. They are my brothers who I believe God loves deeply. Perhaps some are sisters. (I speak about men because they are the ones I understand physiologically).

We need to remember that Jesus embraced everyone: ordinary people, prostitutes, thieving tax collectors, eunuchs and criminals. They are no less God’s children than you or I. I don’t want my words to be disempowering or destructive to people and I never wish to condemn the actions of people who walk in different moccasins to me. Maybe this is why I sound blasé.

Yesterday I went to a funeral of a man who had sexual relationships but never married. He was ostracised by his family for many years because of drug addiction and behavioural problems. In his final weeks of life he needed to be restrained in his bed by hospital staff for the mutual safety of all concerned. He compulsively attacked people who were there to help him even though his paramount need was relief from the pain caused by his cancer and HIV. It seemed unthinkable that he was raised by an affluent family in a prominent Christian school, since his behavioural difficulties stemmed from childhood. Yet many people testified to the fact that this same man was so generous that he gave away his meagre possessions because he found others that needed them more than he did. His family repented that they had been inadequate to provide the support their brother/son/cousin/uncle needed.

Psalm 23 was printed on the inside of the order of service, however there were no prayers and no mention of God.

Yet I am reminded that in Matthew 25:34-36 it says: “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me…” (v.40 NIV) “The King will reply ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”

To me the tumultuous and tragic guy who was cremated yesterday is more worthy of this inheritance than I am. Yet I was the guy that was employed to support him. What an irony. Focussing on Biblical passages about sin proves we are all sinful. This is a realistic standpoint, not a blasé one. The key to me is how we live in this sinful world and whether we see God as he reveals himself to us.

Now I must start thinking about the Mardi Gras.

Cheers! Kit

Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
March 1, 2008, 13:10

Orfeo and Sandy

About gay marriages in ancient times? History Professor John Boswell of Yale University published the book: “Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality” in 1980. It’s a dry, academic read but full of everything you want to know about gay history.

In his keynote address to the Fourth Biennial Dignity International Convention in 1979, he said:

“Gay marriages were also legal and frequent in (early) Rome for both males and females. Even emperors often married other males. There was total acceptance on the part of the populace, as far as it can be determined, of this sort of homosexual attitude and behavior.”

A few other quotes:

“No one in the early Roman world seemed to feel that the fact that someone preferred his or her own gender was any more significant than the fact that someone preferred blue eyes or short people. Neither gay nor straight people seemed to associate certain characteristics with sexual preference. Gay men were not thought to be less masculine than straight men and lesbian women were not thought of as less feminine than straight women. Gay people were not thought to be any better or worse than straight people-an attitude which differed both from that of the society that preceded it, since many Greeks thought gay people were inherently better than straight people, and from that of the society which followed it, in which gay people were often thought to be inferior to others.”

Boswell says: “when Christianity appears on the scene … this tolerance spoken of earlier disappears and that general acceptance of homosexuality becomes much less common.”

He says: “…there is no place in the writings of the Early or High Middle Ages where the Bible seems to be the origin of these prejudices against gay people. Where any reason is given for the new hostility. sources other than the Bible are cited. As a matter of fact, from an historical perspective, the Bible would be the last source one would look at after examining growing hostility toward gay people, but so many people have a feeling that the Bible is somehow involved that its teachings on the subject matter must be addressed in detail.”

The link to his speech is:

Boswell died of complications from AIDS in 1994 at age 47 (Wikipedia).


Joined in 2007
March 1, 2008, 21:27


On your post dirrected to me concerning pre-marital sex:

Actually, theoretically, F2b has no adgenda to affirm homo-erotic behaviours. As far as I am aware F2b is a ‘space’ in which people from a religious background can discuss issues relating to homosexuality. It is true that the vast majority of people are pro-gay and do affirm that choice, it is not however the intention of the site at large, merely the intention of the majority of the people who choose to post on it. Correct me if I am wrong Anthony.

Your right homosexual people can not marry. In my opinion, whether marriage becomes legal in the future (which one can almost garentee it will) has no implication for the morality of same-sex erotic behaviour. I believe that erotic behaviour and thought between two people of the same sex is biblically immoral. I don’t know how much plainer I can put it. Whether our secular society chooses to endorse same-sex unions in the future holds no relevance because I believe that God condemns homo-erotic behaviour at a base level for all people, at all times and in all circumstances married or otherwise. The same can not be said for a heterosexual couple so, in that circumstance, the marriage rule applies as stated biblically.

Is it so black and white that you are eaither celibate or sinner? No, not really. I believe that God judges our motives and intentions that lie behind our actions. We may mean well but end up hurting someone in our everyday life, is that a sin if we truly believed we were doing the right thing? I think God can tell when we try sincerely to live by His word and example and can differentiate the unintended mistakes from the intentional sins. I also believe that some people honestly and sincerely believe a pro-gay stance and it isn’t simply a selfish cop-out. In my opinion they are not guilty of willful sin because they truely believe it ok with God. For me it would be willful sin because I believe that it isn’t. Of course there are conceret facts, eaither homosexuality is or isn’t ok with God but the only person who knows 100% which it is is God Himself. We will probably get to heaven and all get a 2/10 for theology. We all get things wrong. It’s when you decide to go against what you believe to be the will of God that you sin.

I did not mention post-marital sex because that wasn’t the discussion topic. I really don’t know, I havn’t studied it in depth to have an educated opinion. I’ll be honest, I don’t think it will ever apply to me as a gay person who has no intention of ever marrying let alone getting divorced so I havn’t given it a whole lot of thought. However I am influenced by my catholic upbringing which does not approve divorce. The catholic church says that when you marry its for life and even if you divorce God does not reciognise it. So, they state that yes you are committing adultery if you remarry and have sex. Note also that the Catholic church will annul marriages of the basis of adultery (within the marriage) or abuse. I’m pretty certain this is biblical. But as I said I havn’t put alot of time and energy into finding out so I’m open to being corrected. Perhaps you will learn more on the topic if you look up the marraige and divorce referances in the bible.

I agree with your last paragraph completly. I know I don’t come across that way on this forum and most esepically in this post but I too want to close the gap between gay people and God. Though I would be a false teacher if I did it by affirming gay relationships. I have alot of gay friends and its extreemly hard for me to be friends with them. They are in happy relationships while I am alone, they have a vibrant social life while I must always be constantly aware of boundaries when I meet new people. In esscence they represent everything I sacraficed for a relationship with God. It’s easy to be resentful. However I perservere because you are right, Christians through lack of understanding and sympathy can be hurtful. Most Christians don’t want to know you and will only give you the time of day if you can be subject to evangalism. This is wrong. I want to set an examle by hanging around regardless of religious affiliation or sexuality because love should be the base from which all Christians work.

Joined in 2007
March 1, 2008, 21:50


In relation to John Boswell:

Yes I have read that book, I own a copy actually. I am not a historian so if John Boswell claims gay marriage existed what comeback do I have? I have an extreemly limited knowledge in the sense of unbiased truth. If Boswell says it happened and someone like Andy Comisky or Joe Dallas or even Bob Turner the head of history at Macquarie university to whom I asked this question says that it has never been institutionalised the way it is today then how I am I know who is right?

If it makes you feel better I will officially take a stance to sit on the fence. I am not a historian, I have only studied other peoples accounts of what happened and I have zero way of authenticating any of them. Boswell could obviously be biased because he is gay but then the conservative scholars could also be biased to promote their cause. Who knows? Honestly, I don’t really care. Whether homosexual marriage has been an insititutionalised, legal phenomenon previous to the current time it makes no difference to me.

Shantih Shantih Shantih
Joined in 2008
March 1, 2008, 23:43

Well, that was a long post, but it wasn’t as disjointed as mine – you had a nice systematic approach. Mind if I replicate? 😉

However, on the other hand, society changes so much with each generation that I don’t dare assume that another person’s experience is the same as mine.

I do think that society has changed quite dramatically – in every area – even in the last decade or so, but I am not really one to judge – it has been only my my impressions of culture in former decades that has made me assume this. The comment I made was written rather wryly (obviously, there have been changes to society) I know it can be hard to tell, though, without the aid of facial expression and tone, two things I rely on heavily in my speech.

I believe you said earlier that you will never marry. Therefore I assume you are pledging a life of celibacy.

It seems that this would be the case. If you knew me personally (more personally than through a public internet forum 😉 ) you would realise just how unlikely it would be for me to sustain an intimate relationship with someone else – my personality just doesn’t really lend itself to that. There’s also the matter of my ‘calling’, which I mentioned earlier – it is my belief that God doesn’t want me to marry, and if that’s true, then it would be impossible for me to do so, I dare say 🙂 .

Isn’t there a fine line between sexual attraction and lust?

I don’t think the line is that fine. In fact, to me the line seems quite bold and unyielding, (which, I suppose, made me assume that others see it the same way). The way I think of it is: lust is active, whereas mere sexual attraction is passive.

For example, I can be walking down the street and think that a guy passing the other way is attractive without that attraction translating to desire, without any willing mental intervention on my part. This is passive, and it cannot be helped.

On the other hand, if I see the attractive guy and (ahem…if I may speak frankly for a moment) become aroused, and start propagating that arousal by (for example) looking at him excessively or imagining…certain things 😉 …then that is lust.

I don’t know about you, but in my experience, the latter is an option, I can choose whether or not I’m going to do it, and that is what I think Jesus is referring to in Matthew 5:28.

I do see your point regarding the issue of failing, but I also think that that is the beauty of having a Lord full of grace and mercy, and who is willing to pick you up and dust you off if you turn to Him and ask for it. I see it this way: if we fail at something morally, we fail once; if we don’t turn back to God so He can help and forgive us after we have failed, we fail twice.

I know that it is not necessarily a given response to go immediately back to God in this situation, but that is why I think it is important to cultivate a mindset in which you depend so much on God that you would.

Maybe this is why I sound blasé

There might be some confusion here. Sorry if I gave the impression, but I wasn’t calling you blasé, I was stating that sex is something that should exist only within a context of commitment, and that any other attitude towards it would be blasé. Also, I certainly agree that God loves and cherishes equally those who who engage in casual sex, the only thing I am questioning is how Godly* a person can be who is willing to abuse such a precious part of themselves.

I also agree with you about generosity and helping others. It is certainly one of the most important qualities a person can have – one of the Fruits of the Spirit, in fact. But you must remember that there are other Fruits, including self-control, that are necessary to a good, godly, and Spirit-filled life. Perhaps your friend was more deserving of Eternal Life than you, perhaps not – I doubt one could tell this side of Heaven.

(As a side note: but it doesn’t really matter does it? “If I will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me,” John 21:22 – we are commanded by Scripture to mind our own business, basically, and not to comapre ourselves to others. We must remain focused on Jesus, and not worry about the inheritance of others.)

Hmm, the individual paragraphs are still pretty disjointed; they don’t quite flow properly…oh well, nevermind, it’ll have to do. 😉

* Note the distinction between Godly and saved. I’m not saying a person who has sex without commiting themselves to the person cannot be saved, just that God can’t work through them as much as He should be able to otherwise.

Shantih Shantih Shantih
Joined in 2008
March 2, 2008, 00:00

Sandy, although it also doesn’t apply to me, I tend to take a fairly Catholic view of marriage and divorce, too. I think the passage you are thinking of concerning their stance may be Matthew 19:1-11, where Jesus forbids a man to divorce his wife for any reason other than sexual immorality.

Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
March 2, 2008, 01:38

Hi Sandy

You say: “If it makes you feel better I will officially take a stance to sit on the fence. I am not a historian, I have only studied other peoples accounts of what happened and I have zero way of authenticating any of them. Boswell could obviously be biased because he is gay but then the conservative scholars could also be biased to promote their cause. Who knows? Honestly, I don’t really care.”

Sandy, I don’t know Boswell personally although I have found a great deal of inspiration in his writings. Orfeo said that he thought there were gay marriages in ancient France and you said this was not possible because France does not condone gay marriage today. Boswell says this happened in ancient Rome yet you say Boswell may be biased because he was gay. Hey, maybe I’m biased because I’m gay? Maybe you are biased becuase of your stance, whatever it is? Let’s be honest here. Everybody has a right to an opinion but if you or I don’t have a reason to believe Boswell, it may be reasonable to expect that we say why that is the case.

I don’t feel remotely comfortable if you sit on the fence, I simply want you to tell our readers what you believe. And I will tell them what I believe.

Cheers. Kit

Joined in 2007
March 2, 2008, 08:26

Well I am afraid I am about to dissapoint you. What am I to do if two people who claim to be historians say the oppisite thing? I refuse to take a stance because I don’t know enough about it to even make an educated opinion and frankly its not important enough to me to make the time. I don’t see how the occurance of gay-marriages historically should have any impact on biblically minded Christians. If they occured then there is a tick in the box for secular society sending Christianity down the drain and if they didn’t then all the better. If I believe that God condemns homo-erotic behaviours at a base level with or without the prescence of marriage then marraige becomes irrelivant.

I realise I did express a biased and uneducated opinion previously and for this you have my appoligies. It was off the cuff and I didn’t realise it would turn into a big drama. I used a ‘reasoned’ argument to suggest that it was unlikly that gay-marriage existed in France. I don’t know historically whether it did or not. However I have nbeen both an official and unoficial student of history for years now and when big things happen, such as the insititutionalisation of gay-marriage in Canada, we tend to know about it. I don’t get why this is such a big deal. There are no implications for current, western civilisation of gay marraige did in fact exist.

Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
March 2, 2008, 12:30


“I don’t get why this is such a big deal” – quite agree! Storm in a teacup and I would not have made a big deal if I’d waited till daylight when the excitement of Madri Gras had subsided.

Just a response to your premarital sex debate at 8.27 pm last night while the Mardi Gras was in full swing. You know I disagree with your basis premise that God forbids same-sex relationships having any sexual component because I now don’t accept traditional biblical interpretations that support your position.

I just want to be clear, if I may, that although the subject was premarital sex, not all gay relationships are centrally about ‘homo-erotic behaviours’. This perhaps misrepresents the God-given gift of love that can and does underscore many same-sex relationships, some of which may not include sex at all. From my viewpoint continuous random sex acts are not based on anything godly, but there are plenty of relationships that are and plenty that struggle to be because of the lack of affirmation and support GLBTIQ people receive.

Your last paragraph gives a great deal more insight into the heart of where you come from. I too find it a difficult and lonely road because I have chosen to get out there and get my sleeves dirty. I once ministered to Christian congregations. Now I’m called to do so to prostitutes, the homeless, the lonely – people who are living and dying with HIV/AIDS. I’m humbled when I think that Jesus would be more likely doing what I’m doing if he was here today than preaching in church. However, I am soulsearching for how I can better become Christ’s arms and his feet. For me, I know, it has a lot to do with affirming people.

Thanks for your thoughts.


Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
March 2, 2008, 12:57

Hi William

Thank you for taking the time to give a detailed reponse to my epic. Now I trust we have both made ourselves clear and I guess readers will make up their own minds.

I would agree it is not helpful to compare ourselves to others. However, it is good to be humbled and moved by others, particularly those who we wish to teach.

I learnt a long time ago that God uses the most unlikely sources at times to teach us. I listened to a woman speaking at a seminar about relationships and felt very inspired. Then someone told me she was not a Christian and that she had been married 4 times, so I immediately judged in my mind that her advice was worthless. Suddenly I felt an incredible rebuke from God as a thought flashed into my head: “How can I teach you if you close your mind so readily?” That is how I learn from a dying man that there is a reflection of God somewhere in amongst all the turmoil and pain.

Matthew 25 is about much more than inheritance I think. It shows (sadly) that many who have all the trappings of being godly people in this life are in for a rude shock in the next because they miss the point.

Now that was the start of my new short post policy. Take care.


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