I´m glad you posted your story.
Many people here have had to work through reconciling their sexuality and their spiritual beliefs. This is something that takes time and everybody has a different journey and there are a lot of Unique answers out there….
Some find a way to remain in their church. Some move to new churches that are more accepting, Some retain their beliefs but don´t attend a church any more and others leave the church and find a new spirituality. Some are celibate and some are not.
Freedom2Be of course doesnt tell you the solution – but hopes to help you find support to find your solution.
I believe however – that you need to find what works for you. I can tell you that I believe that Gods perfect plan DOES involve same sex partnerships.
I took a long time to reach that decision and Im quite sure of it. The church once taught that the world was flat, that the sun revolved around the earth, that slavery was ordained by god and that women shouldn´t vote. These were things that the church was adamant was Gods Plan and now we know it wasnt.
The interesting thing is that the term ¨Christian¨ means ¨like christ΅ and for all the discussion over definitions of words – I think if you call yourself a Christian you should look to see what JESUS did and said.
Jesus did not have an obssession with sex as a sin. He felt that telling lies and hypocrisy were the main sins and these were the sins he taught against. What he did say was not to judge others…. and in the area of sexuality this is wise. I think Jesus didnt think sex stuff was such a big issue. He preached against different sins and those are the ones I would worry about – not the ones that people have made up which – by judging others they are actually disobeying Jesus.
Sexuality is a complex area. There are a range of sexuality covered by the term – intersex. For many of these you can not look at a person physically and decide whether they are male or female. In some cases, lab testing is needed – and in some – a person isnt male or female. My point here is that we know now that you cant tell someone´s gender by just looking at their genitals. Sometimes that will work – but not always and you wont know – just by looking – that you are wrong. There is also the tragic case of David Reimer – who was born male – but due to an accident was reassigned as female and brought up as female. Despite the upbringing – David knew he was male – and it ended tragically. But it and other cases show that we dont choose our gender – and upbringing cant change it.
Research shows that male and female sexuality are different, and it also shows that there is not a single pathway to homosexuality. What is clear is that it occurs naturally (as in its documented in many different species) and it occurs in human communities with a fairly standard rate – whether the community is accepting or not and all across history.
This tells is we were made this way (in the vast majority of cases anyway)…
Science and Medicine are fairly clear now that homosexuality is not a choice. There are many books on this subject – Im a big fan of a separate creation by Chandler burr but there are others.
Some churches are (as they were in the past) slow to come to terms with this but facts are facts and will remain facts.
So that leads us to the question – if this mattered – why would god create us that way – just as he created .
We can never really know the mind of God and people who say they do – are really showing they don't believe in an Omnipotent and omnipresent God and really just believe in an man as God because they limit him their experience and understanding.
I do believe tho that we people are created they way by God AND that its a gift to be homosexual. To deny that gift is – in fact denying God – and while people may have once have once had an excuse for denying Gods gift – we don't have that excuse anymore. Just as we have no excuse for denying rights to different races or Genders (or to people of indeterminate Gender)
These are my thoughts anyway – what is important is that you resolve the issue – not based on some people who don't know what you are feeling – but that you resolve it to your satisfaction.
I personally also recommend the ¨Study New Testament For Lesbians, Gays, Bi, And Transgender by A. Nyland¨
this is a new testament translation which is focussed on being correct rather than being theologically non controversial. Its a scholars translation and so it doesnt translate words a certain way due to political or finding issues – and these are significant issues and in many verses the translations are translated – not according to what that work actually means but what they want the verse to say.
Sorry to be so long – and we all need to find our own solution and also my experiences as a gay man will be socially different to yours in many ways (because society treats perceived males and females differently) – but I'm hoping that this (very brief) rundown of my solution it might help you start looking for yours.
Good luck and feel free to post more questions.