Why I’m Not A Heterosexual Anymore

funny wedding pic

Marriage!

I’m not a heterosexual anymore. That may seem strange coming from someone like me, but hear me out.

Let’s talk about what it means to “not be heterosexual.”

You’re probably thinking, “Oh boy…he’s gay.” But that’s not the case. I’m not gay, I’m very happily married to a woman. But I’m also not a heterosexual anymore…and neither is my wife, for that matter.

Here’s the thing: heterosexuality is a myth. By implication, this also means that homosexuality is a myth. In an article published in First Things magazine by future-monk Michael Hannon entitled, “Against Heterosexuality,” a case is clearly laid out against sexual orientation. Hannon writes:

First of all, within orientation essentialism, the distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality is a construct that is dishonest about its identity as a construct. These classifications masquerade as natural categories, applicable to all people in all times and places according to the typical objects of their sexual desires (albeit with perhaps a few more options on offer for the more politically correct categorizers). Claiming to be not simply an accidental nineteenth-century invention but a timeless truth about human sexual nature, this framework puts on airs, deceiving those who adopt its labels into believing that such distinctions are worth far more than they really are.

Basically, what he is saying is that the idea of a sexual orientation is deceptive in that a LOT of people believe that heterosexuality is the norm, the eternally changeless state of how people “should be” and homosexuality (and by implication, homosexuals) is a giant mistake. It’s deceptive because the concept of sexual orientation is less than 150 years old.

Hannon argues that sexual orientation is something we should dismiss from our minds and vocabulary precisely because it goes about defining people and sexuality entirely backwards. Sometime in the 19th century, scholars decided to start defining sexuality, not by it’s obvious natural function (aka, having kids), but by the object of sexual desire. This short circuit of the old view of sexuality removed the motivation for chastity by removing the common good from marriage: children. Sex became purely about passion and feelings, and without a concrete tie between it and nature/reality, the very idea of “heterosexuality” began to lose its meaning. (See Hannon’s article for a deeper analysis of this thought.)

Perhaps the most powerful truth that Hannon unlocks is that when we think about people in terms of heterosexuality (or “normal”) and homosexual (“abnormal”), the sexual orientation lens we are looking through colors our view of people’s actions. Suddenly, we aren’t seeing sexual sin the way the Bible describes it, as equally damning no matter the sin (by that I mean that any sin, no matter how small, is enough to incur God’s holy justice). We see “heterosexual” sin as one thing, and “homosexual” sin as another. Do we see what has happened here? In essence, we are using categories that classifies one group as socially normal (“heterosexual”), and thus free from moral judgement, and the other group as socially unacceptable and the target of all moral judgement. As Hannon so succinctly says:

The most pernicious aspect of the orientation-identity system is that it tends to exempt heterosexuals from moral evaluation… Nevertheless, as a general rule, identifying as a heterosexual person today amounts to declaring oneself a member of the “normal group,” against which all deviant sexual desires and attractions and temptations are to be measured… Of course, we do have a model norm for the evaluation of sexual deviancy. But that model is not heterosexuality. It is Christ Jesus himself, the God-man who both perfected human nature and perfectly exemplified its perfection, ‘one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.’ For the self-declared heterosexual to displace our Lord in this position is the height of folly.

By saying we are heterosexual, we are putting ourselves into a special category that has a different standard of judgement than the homosexual category. Not to mention that the very idea of sexual identity removes responsibility from one’s attractions. We’ve all heard the refrain, “I was born this way.” It’s offered up as an excuse for one’s actions, but as Christians, we know that we are born sinful, and yet are still responsible for our actions. The sexual orientation idea clouds this truth.

In accepting this paradox of heterosexual vs. homosexual, Christians have given up their greatest weapon in combating sin and immorality. For years, people have said that homosexuality is sinful, when such a thing is impossible for the Bible to condemn, simply because the idea of sexual identity and “homosexuality” is less than 200 years old! What the Bible has always condemned is sexual sin outside of marriage, same-gender sexual acts included. By putting these acts into their own category, then inextricably attaching them to the individual performing them, we have denied the power of the Gospel to free sinners by denying that they really are sinning.

In light of this,  the question, “What do you, as a Christian, think about homosexuality?” becomes meaningless because it’s the wrong question. The question is, “What do you, as a Christian, think about sexual sin?” We have had such difficulty answering questions about homosexuality, all while struggling to convey that the Bible has a message of love and redemption. We are seduced by the pridefulness of being “normal heterosexuals” because at least we aren’t “abnormal homosexuals”. It’s strongly implied that “homosexual” sin is worse than “heterosexual” sin. And that has been a fatal mistake.

We are all sinners. We need Jesus Christ and His redemptive blood covering our sins. It’s time to repent of being prideful because we’re “normal”. We’re not. We are broken and in need of healing, “heterosexual” and “homosexual” alike.

Because we’re all human.

I highly recommend reading Hannon’s article. It was incredibly enlightening for me and he covers a lot of ground that I didn’t. I hope I gave a good account of this subject; please let me know in the comments!

Stop Focusing on Millenials

Millennials like holding small churches as well.

Millennials like holding small churches as well. Image links to source.

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about “millennials”. Millennials, according to the Internet, are a group of highly narcissistic Facebook addicts that can’t find time for church, otherwise known as people who were born between 1980 and 2000.

At least that’s what you might think if you read a few of these articles demanding that the church start catering to the “needs” of millennials (as if millennials don’t have the same needs as everyone else). One article I read said that millennials have “highly sensitive BS meters” and can detect any hint of untruthfulness in church. That seemed pretty narcissistic to me.

Here’s the thing: the church is not here to validate you. No, it’s really not. It is not a social institution designed to cater to consumers, despite the deplorable entertainment mindset of the modern church. The church is the bride of Christ. And it’s job is to serve Christ and propagate the Gospel.

The question, “Why are the millennials leaving the church?” should be completely irrelevant to any church that is faithfully submitting to Christ and preaching the word of God. Because any church that is faithfully preaching the Word of God doesn’t have to care about membership numbers. This is because numbers don’t matter, faithfulness does. The question is, “Are we serving Christ and preaching the Gospel?”

If young people are leaving your church, there’s two possible explanations: 1) the church is unfaithful and in sin OR 2) the person is unfaithful and in sin. In all the discussions about millennials leaving churches, it’s amazing that no one has stopped to ask, “Well, maybe the millennials are wrong for leaving.”

Whoa there. Do I dare suggest that young people born between 1980-2000 might actually be sinners? That perhaps have unbiblical expectations for what a church should do? And some of them may be leaving for sinful reasons?

Millennials (of which I am one) are people too. They need the Gospel and Jesus just like Generation X and the Baby Boomers. A church that’s preaching the Gospel and Jesus doesn’t need to worry about young people leaving, unless the church is in sin.

Is there a problem that so many people are leaving the churches in America? Yes, and I don’t mean to suggest that the decline in membership in churches is actually JUST the millennial generation’s fault. Churches have largely failed their members, but that includes ALL their members, not just millennials. The point I’m trying to make is that there are two sides to this coin, and we would be remiss if we didn’t examine both.

If you leave a church because it’s petty and judgmental and failing to preach the Gospel, that’s a good thing.

But if you leave because the church biblically declares sin to be what it is and that’s offensive to you, then the blame is on you.

What do you think? Is the focus on millennials too strong, or rightly placed? 

3 Songs You Should Drop Everything And Listen To Right Now

Lately, I have had 3 very specific tunes constantly running through my head. It’s been great listening to my mind’s radio recently, because luckily, I love these songs! I highly recommend each of these, so let’s dig in!

The Gospel by Geoff Krieger

This song is sweet, succinct and catchy. A buddy of mine did some of the instruments and production for the song, and it turned out very well.

Why It’s Good: I love this song because the chorus draws some very specific allusions to the Bible that I find very comforting. The chorus says, “And soon, this mortal wave will part for us, then you and I will cross the sea on holy dust. In time, the storms of life will pass us by, and broken hearts will heal when they know the gospel.” The theme of “you and I” is reinforced by the introduction of group vocals, which provides support to the theme and message.  The melody gives a sense of hope and the words tell you that there is hope and eventually, this life will be over and we will go to another place. For Christians, that is a blessed reminder.

Where can I hear it? Visit Geoff’s Soundcloud. You’ll be glad you did. The Gospel – Geoff Krieger

We Found Love by Lindsey Stirling

This song has also been dominating my mind lately. In case you have not yet experienced Lindsey Stirling, go check out her YouTube page. Seriously. She’s absolutely incredible and one of my all-time favorite artists. About a year ago, she covered Rihanna’s “We Found Love” after a trip to Kenya that profoundly affected her. She took a pop song that was pretty mediocre and turned it into something that’s really beautiful.

Why It’s Good: The combination of the African harmonies and drums with the very Western sound of Lindsey’s violin creates a melodious juxtaposition that’s simply sweet. The melody awakens a sense of possibility and adventure, as the vocalist (Alisha Popat) sings about finding love in a whole new place. The original version says, “We found love in a hopeless place.” Lindsey, after her experience in Kenya, changed the lyrics to “We found love in a holy place/ We found love in a whole new place.”

Listen to it on YouTube, or watch it here:

Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer by Keith and Kristyn Getty

This song is such an encouragement. It’s a modern hymn that is all about trusting Jesus through life’s trials and it’s a wonderful reminder of our beautiful Savior and His work.

Why It’s Good:  “Jesus draw me ever nearer / As I labour through the storm. / You have called me to this passage, / and I’ll follow, though I’m worn.” Just read those words.  That’s why it’s good.

Listen to it here.